Photography Acronyms

Photography acronyms can be cryptic. Photo: Can Stock Photo
Photography acronyms can be cryptic. Photo: Can Stock Photo

These are some of the most common photography acronyms.

Visit Wikipedia for an extensive list if you need to decode some more letters.

SLR: Single lens reflex. A type of camera that lets you view the image through the same lens that takes the photo.

DSLR: Digital single lens reflex. An SLR camera that has a digital sensor, rather than film.

P&S: Point-and-shoot camera. A small, consumer level camera that is easy to use, to the point of only needing to point and shoot. Lacks a lot of the advanced features of SLR cameras.

B&W: Black and white. An image without colour, but made up of tones of black and white.

HDR: High dynamic range. A style of shooting that involves combining multiple exposures to achieve greater dynamic range.

DOF: Depth of Field. The range of focus in your image. How much of your image is sharp in front of and behind the point you’re focused on.

AF: Auto-focus. The ability of a lens, or camera, to automatically focus on a subject.

OOF: Out of focus. An image that isn’t in focus, or referring to specific areas in the image that aren’t in focus.

OCF: Off-camera flash. The use of external flashes that aren’t mounted on top of the camera.

PP: Post-processing. Using software to edit an image on the computer.

SOOC: Straight out of camera. An image that hasn’t yet had any post processing done to it.

ACR: Adobe Camera Raw. A program used to made edits to RAW camera files.

PS: Photoshop. A program made by Adobe to edit photos.

PSE: Photoshop Elements. A version of Photoshop with fewer features, more aimed towards hobbyists.

LR: Lightroom. An editing program made by Adobe.

JPG or JPEG: A common file format for picture images. Pronounced “j-peg”. Stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, who created it.

RAW: A file format that records all possible data from the camera sensor. Differs from a JPEG, in that with a JPEG some original image data is lost due to compression. RAW files have many different filename extensions, like .cr2 (Canon), .nef (Nikon) and .arw (Sony).

DNG: Digital Negative. An open-source raw file format.

IQ: Image quality.

FF: Full frame. A digital camera that has a sensor that is the same size as a 35mm piece of film. Smaller sensors are often referred to as “cropped”.

CMOS: Complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor. The technology used to create the majority of digital sensors for cameras.

CCD: Charged-coupled device. A technology used to create sensors for some digital cameras (like Leicas).

C&C/CC: Comments & Critiques. Can also mean Constructive Criticism. Used when asking for feedback on an image in a forum.