What Do Photography Acronyms Mean (Part 2 of 2)


Part one of this article covered the first three acronyms you will encounter when looking for a new camera.

We’ll be covering three more in this final and second part. This will ensure that you can get your photography going after you have made your decision.


RAW is not an acronym, but it’s still essential. It is a way to capture ‘raw data rather than standard JPEGs. Professional photographers use it to produce higher-quality images. However, taking a photograph is just the beginning.

After you press the shutter, your image is saved as a raw file. There is no automatic processing (saturation brightness, white balance, etc.) No compression or saturation is applied, just like it would automatically be when shooting a JPEG.

You can download the result as a much larger file than you can on your computer. What’s the point of this? A RAW image has more detail than a JPEG.

RAW files offer 16-bit images, while JPEG images can only be used with 8-bit. This is the difference between 65.536 levels and just 256 levels of brightness from black to white.

This can be useful for creating better images and enhancing scenes that have underexposure or cloudy conditions. It is easy to reveal all details in the RAW image captured.

This is similar to JPEG shooting. The camera determines the level of the shot as soon as it is taken. After compression, the JPEG can be viewed. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to recover or correct features like white balance.


Two types of image sensors, the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors (CMOS and Charge Coupled Devices [CCD], convert light into electrons and then turn those electrons into a digital image. They convert what you see through the lens into a JPEG and RAW file.

CCDs are widely considered superior because they produce high-quality images and low noise levels. Even though they used less power than CCDs, CMOS sensors were still susceptible to noise.

CMOS is now more common because these sensors can handle image-processing tasks like noise reduction and conversion from analog to digital.

CCDs have some advantages, especially when it comes to panning and capturing fast-moving objects. CCDs use a global shutter, which captures the entire frame at once, while CMOS records each line individually, which can lead to distortions of moving objects.

A CMOS sensor will likely be found in the camera that you select. Why? This is due to improvements in performance, power consumption, and size.


The Exchangeable Image Format is metadata about the photo that you capture with your digital camera. This format is similar to TIFFs and JPEGs but not RAW files. However, there are alternatives.

This data includes the date, time, and location of your photo (the time zone is not included); settings like a model, aperture, and shutter speed; focal length; descriptions, and copyright information.

This information is useful when you review your photography. You can check the EXIF data if you are unhappy with a photo and make adjustments to improve it in the future.

You can also set the GPS information and a thumbnail of your shot. The first allows you to view the picture on your camera’s LCD screen, while the latter lets you tag the photo’s location. This is possible with some smartphones and cameras.

EXIF data is supported by many photo editing programs and image gallery software. Even if you save your photo under a different name than what you intended, the data will still be available.

The sheer number of options available makes it difficult to choose the right camera. Finding the right camera becomes more difficult when you are bombarded with acronyms and terms.

You’ll be better equipped than anyone to make the right buying decision if you have a basic understanding of six critical acronyms.