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Digital Camera Glossary

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Digital Camera Glossary
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Auto focus
A feature that will automatically obtain clear focus on a subject (instead of requiring manual adjustment), allowing you to get the best picture without any blurring.

Burst mode
Also referred to as continuous shooting, burst mode captures multiple shots in rapid succession with a single click of the shutter.

CCD or CMOS sensor
A sensor is the heart of a digital camera that records an image when you take a picture or capture video. The size of a sensor has a strong influence on its ability to detect and record light accurately. Larger sensors, like those found in DSLRs, allow you to capture better images in low light and more color detail overall.

Digital zoom
This is not true zoom — it is merely simulating zoom by enlarging the existing image's pixels by cropping. The actual length of the lens does not change. Digital zooming results in reduced image quality, and should generally be avoided or turned off on your camera altogether.

F-stop (or depth of field)
The measurement of the aperture setting (the "eye" of the camera) in a lens. Like a human pupil, the f-stop setting determines how much light is allowed to enter the lens and pass through to the film (analog) or the CCD or CMOS sensor (digital). It also determines how much is in focus in front of and behind the subject. For example, a shallow depth of field (lower f-stop number) will result in your subject being in focus while the background is blurred.

Face detection
Face detection tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

Frames per second (FPS or frame rate)
A frame is equivalent to a single photograph, so the frames per second rate is the number of photos that can be captured by the camera in one second of time. The higher the number, the more photos you can capture in one second.

Gigabyte (GB)
A measure of memory capacity. The higher GB, the more storage.

High sensitivity/low-light technology
This digital camera technology delivers exceptional image quality in low-light conditions. High sensitivity/low light CCD or CMOS sensors reduce noise, accelerate processing speed, and enhance picture quality for richer details, vivid color and less blur.

Measures the sensitivity to light.
- Higher ISO settings allow for better low light photos.
- Lower ISO settings are great for outdoor shots.
- LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor
- Full-color display found on a digital camera or camcorder that lets you view and review your digital pictures and videos when they are taken.

Megapixel (MP)
The more pixels that exist in an image, the higher the resolution, and therefore the greater the quality of the image. The number of megapixels is only one aspect relating to the quality of a camera, or the actual quality of a photo it is capable of producing. Factors such as camera sensor and the optical quality of a lens play equally important roles.

Optical image stabilization
This feature minimizes the blurring caused by camera shake or subject movement.

Optical zoom
This is your lens' true zoom capability. The lens does the work by reducing or enlarging the field of view. The greater the optical zoom, the closer you can get to the subject you are shooting.

Scene modes
These are preprogrammed settings on your camera that help to automatically achieve the best photo given the current shooting conditions. Some examples include portrait, landscape, sports, night and many more found on most digital cameras today.

Smile detection
The camera will lock onto the subject's face and automatically trigger image capture when a smile is detected.