Digital Camera Question, what does all this stuff mean?

I'm looking to buy a digital camera and I realized, I don't know what any of this stuff means!

What is digital and optical zoom, and the difference or importance of them?

What do all these terms mean?

-Central/Spot/Matrix Metering

-MPEG4 Video with Audio (the MPEG4 part)

-15 Scene Mode and 11 Digital Filters

-1.6" TFT LCD

- CCD optical sensor and CMOS sensor

-Digital Filter, PASM Exposure

-L/R Adjustment

-Image Sensor and Pixel Array


I know, it's a lot to describe, but i'd really appriciate the help, if i know what these mean maybe i won't get ripped off.

And please, keep it in lamance terms if you could! xD Thank you in advance!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    digital zoom is when you crop a picture, then zoom in on the cropped image. This is usually done after you take the picture. The picture will probably lose quality based on the camera. Optical zoom is achieved from the camera lens itself. Basically the zooming function on the camera, BEFORE you take the picture.

    Central/Spot/Matrix Metering:

    These are different camera modes that might be available as a settings feature. It has to do with the exposure of the picture you are taking.

    central: the camera will use the light information coming from the entire scene, but will give the light in the center a higher priority.

    Spot: the camera will only take a tiny spot of the scene into account when calculating the exposure. for example, when you take a picture of someone with the sun behind them, a lot of times the camera will expose for the background, making your subject really dark and the background clear. The spot mode allows you to take the exposure from the persons face instead of the sky behind them.

    Matrix: I think this has to do with auto function. Supposedly, it takes the best exposure that the scene needs. I think it's usually a default setting for cameras.

    MPEG 4 video and audio: It's a type of codec.

    Whats a codec? Basically, it's a small program that is capable of reading video and audio information. It's what plays your videos. MPEG 4 makes your video and audio files small, but big enough to play them. It's usually used for streaming videos.

    Scene Modes is a special way of programming the camera so that it can adapt itself to certain exposure and recording scenarios such as landscape, portrait, indoor, outdoor, beach/snow, night/day, backlight, widescreen, etc. So guess the camera your looking at has 15 different scene modes. not bad.

    The digital filters are different lens settings for better quality pictures. ie, polarizing filters, UV filters, Neutral density filters, etc. Some of them get rid of glare, some of them help the pictures colors more vibrant, and lots of other very useful stuff.

    1.6" TFT LCD is basically the size of your screen. It's 1.6 inches wide and long.

    CCD and CMOS are the chips inside the camera that translates the light that travels into the camera into digital information. These are really important for all cameras.

    CCD (charged coupled device).

    CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor)

    All you need to know is that CMOS is a newer chip that was recently created, but not as advanced as the CCD chips. Right now, the differences would be...

    CCDs are generally better at picking up light and less grainer than the CMOS chips. So a better image quality. CMOS chips use less battery power than the CCD chips, but at a cost of quality in your picture. It really depends on what you're going to use it for.

    PASM exposure:

    Program-kind of like an auto mode

    Aperture priority-camera picks the best apeture automatically

    Shutter priority-camera picks the best shutter automatically

    Manual-you change both aperture and shutter manually

    L/R adjustments are left and right adjustments in the camera. mostly used when navigating through the menu. When you want to change certain settings that have numerical values, it has a Left/Right button, usually left being the smaller number and right being the bigger number.

    Pixel Array:

    has to do with the resolution of the image. ie, 640x480, 800x600, etc. higher the number the better.


    Yep, ISO is a speed setting. it has numbers like 100, 400, etc. The higher the number, the more sensitive to light it is.

    Whew! That was fun. good practise.

  • 1 decade ago

    Optical zoom is clearer them digital zoom. If you’re looking for a camera with good video quality as well as still shots; I have a Sony Cyber-Shot. It takes excellent video clips. (High quality setting: 30 frames per sec. med. Quality setting: 25 frames a’ second). The ISO in digital cameras simulates the ISO speed of regular film cameras. In my digital camera there is a setting for 100, 200, 400, speed. OK if you want to play your vid clips in Media Player, chose a camera that takes them in MPEG format, MPEG may be cleaner quality depending on the camera.

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • stan l
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    WTF is"lamance" terms? Check Spelling can work for you if you let it.

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