Three Photographic Acronyms Are Explained (Part 1 of 2)

Are you a photographer looking for the right camera but have you been confused by all the acronyms?

They all sound lovely, but it is essential to understand their meanings so you can select the right camera. This article will explain three of the six acronyms you’re likely to encounter.


The Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera combines a single-lens reflex (SLR) and a digital back camera. What does this all mean for you and your photography skills?

Instead of having the colors adjusted for printing, you can capture photos exactly as you see them. You can also grab them digitally, as opposed to film images. The mirror-and-prism camera format works by letting light pass through the lens, bounce upwards off the mirror and into a prism. This reflection reflects light back to the eye through the viewfinder.

DSLR cameras offer many other advantages, such as the ability to capture high-quality images. The sizeable electronic imaging sensor that is used in the digital camera allows for this.

The ability to alter lenses allows you to be flexible. A lens can change many aspects of a photograph, including color, contrast, saturation, and clarity.

DSLR cameras also have a near-zero lag time. This is the time between pressing the shutter button and the camera taking the photo. This is especially useful for action photography, where you may only have a few seconds to capture the perfect shot.


High Dynamic Range is a technique for photographing. It was first developed in 1850. The user can capture more light-to-dark areas in a photograph than is possible with a standard camera shot. This results in a photo with higher intensity levels and greater accuracy.

This technique involves taking multiple shots simultaneously (also known as bracketing), even though you only press the shutter once. The images captured at different exposure levels are combined to give a better representation of the light/dark range.

HDR is measured by EV (Exposure Value) differences. This determines contrast. The contrast between a DSLR camera and a standard digital camera is 2048:1. This contrast is twice as high as the 1024:1 of a traditional digital.

HDR images are sometimes called “scene-referred” because they closely match what the human eye sees.


The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) originally refers to the speed of harmful material for photographic images. It refers to the sensitivity of a shot to light.

Simply put, ISO is a measure of how sensitive film is to light. This will make it easier for you to capture great shots in low-light situations. A setting of 100 is best in daylight. The ISO can be increased to give the camera some help in low light.

This is also useful for action shots, as it decreases blurred images. Be careful not to increase your ISO setting too much. This will create noise.

Many cameras come with an automatic ISO setting. This adjusts to the scene’s light. A DSLR camera is better if you need to set a higher ISO value to create artistic effects. A DSLR camera has a larger electronic imaging sensor that allows for a more comprehensive ISO range than a point-and-shoot digital camera.

These acronyms should give you an idea of what you need to look out for when buying a camera. Part two will provide you with three more acronyms to help you be prepared.

Serif is a leader in software development for small businesses and homes. Peter White works at Serif. Serif offers a variety of photo editing software, including PhotoPlus, a powerful photo editing program, and PhotoPlus Starter Edition for beginners.