What does that mean?

We've tried to identify as many phrases, terms and acronyms that manufacturers, photographers and filmmakers seem to love and provide a definition to help you understand what they mean. As we find more of these they'll be added to the glossary and we know there's a heap more to include.. This could be a long job.. If you think we should add one to the list please let us know in the comments below. Funny ones will be enjoyed but not added. ;-)

4K - also known as UHD or Ultra High Definition, refers to the size of recording dimensions of footage (or playback area on screens) - In pixel width and height dimensions, true 4K is 4096×2160. UHD is 3840×2160.
Anamorphic - A type of lens that gives a wide screen look to footage.
Aperture - the calibrated adjustable opening in a lens through which the light passes on the way to the sensor.
APS-C - Refers to the size of the sensor in the camera with an image capture size of 25.1mm × 16.7mm.
AR - Augmented Reality, where a real scene is enhanced with computer-generated information such as characters, articles or data. Pokemon Go was one such example.
AXSM - Sony media card
Balanced Cable - A wiring technique where poles are swopped to reduce interference noise picked up by cables. Unbalanced cables do not have this feature.
Binaural - A way of recording sound using two microphones to create a more realistic sound when played back to the listener.
Boom - An extending pole on to which a microphone is usually attached. Also a very loud noise.
BTS - Behind The Scenes. Usually refers to a film or article about something that's being made, like a film.
CA - Chromatic Aberation - The fringe of usually purple or green light around the edges of things with sharp contrast to it's background like a tree against the sky.
Cardboard - Google's new low-price virtual reality 'headset' made from, well, cardboard. Insert a phone running the right software, in to the headset and watch immersive video with full 360 degree views. Also a stiffened paper used for making boxes.
CF Card - Compact Flash memory card
CC - Creative Common licence. Allowed by copyright owner and used for agreeing how images can be used. Usually non-money-making. See here for more information about licencing.
Cinemagraph - A very short film featuring a small amount of movement over a mostly still image. Usually created with a GIF.
Dead Cat - A fluffy fur-like cover for microphones used to illiminate wind noise. There are no actual dead cats used for wind-noise suppression.
Diegetic - The sound in a film that occurs naturally from within it such as someone talking or a car's engine. (See also non-diegetic).
DSLR- Digital Single Lens Reflex - A camera with a mount to change lenses through which the light passes on to a mirror whch reflects it to the viewfinder at the rear of the camera.
Drone - A remotely controlled multi-rotored flying device designed to carry a camera. Or someone talking too much.
DNxHD115 - A post-production codec used by the editing software Avid. One of a few, such as DNxHD440x. See more here on
Editorial - The type of use for an image or footage. Non-commercial, i.e. not advertising a product or any other type of entity. Normally reflects real life and not set up as an image for an advert might be.
E-Mount - Lens mount made by Sony.
EF-Mount - Lens mount made by Canon.
ENG Camera - Electronic News Gathering camera used originally by those shooting for news gathering.
ETTR - Expose To The Right - A technique to add more exposure, used when filming, especially with LOG profiles which means more shadow detail is recorded but at the risk of blown highlights.
F-Stop - The calibrated amount of light that is allowed through the aperture in a lens. E.g. F2.8, F4, F5.6.
Fibonacci Spiral - A geometric line discecting a scene upon which points of interest are placed. Used for hundreds of years and is said to reflect lines found in nature. Also called golden spiral or golden ratio.
Firmware - The software in a device that controls how it works. Usually updateable when new versions are released by the manufacturer of the device.
Focus Peaking - Areas of focus in a scene highlighted by the camera on the display to aid manual focussing.
Full-frame - Sensor size. Equivilant to 35mm film size
GIF - A file format for saving picture files and also to show short animated images. Has a low 256-colour range capability.
Global Shutter - the way the sensor switches the pixels on and off to receive light on to the sensor. This exposes the sensor pixels all in one go. Unlike a rolling shutter which switches each pixel on and off in a wave down the sensor. So the top one is on for the predetermined amount of time, switched off, the one below on then off all the way to the bottom. So the pixels at the bottom are switched on and off much later than the top but still for the same amount of time.
HD - High Definition output - The size of the recorded footage in pixels 1920x1080 or the smaller size at 1280 x 720
HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface which is a cabling standard for video output and transfer.
ICYMI - In Case You Missed It - Usually seen on Twitter to show a tweet is a retweet of one sent previously.
ISO - International Standards Orgisation standard for defining the light sensitivity of sensors.
Jack - A type of standardised connector used for connecting mainly audio equipment. Also close friend of Jill.
JPG - or JPEG. Pronounced Jaypeg. Stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. A lossy format for saving images in a compressed file to reduce size. Continually saving the same jpg file will reduce quality of the image each time.
Jump - Google's VR 360-degree package including a rig designed with GoPro holding 16 GoPro cameras in a circle which creates 360 degree video. Google's servers and software then mesh that video together in to a single virtual reality stereoscopic experience. See also Cardboard. Also a rather wonderful track by Van Halen.
Lavalier - A small external microphone pinned to the clothing of the person to be recorded.
LOG - A profile available on some film cameras which records more detail in flatter footage making for more dynamic range in the final film. Explained well by BHphotoVideo here.
Lossy - Refers to the loss of quality by file size compression every time a lossy file type such as a jpg is saved.
Lossless - Refers to a file type such as a TIF file where compression, if used, will not result in any loss of quality.
LUTS - A Look Up Table used to help colour and grade film footage
Micro Four Thirds - or MFT. Refers to the size of the camera's sensor with an imaging area of 17.3 mm × 13.0 mm.
Mirrorless - A camera with a mount to change lenses where the light falls straight on to the sensor. Any image seen through the viewfinder is shown digitally.
mise-en-scène - Scenery and prop design and arrangement.
Model Release - A form signed by a person or guardian giving permission for a person's image to be used in an image. Usually for when an image is to be used commercially. The person signing agrees to the terms of the release.
ND - Neutral Density - A filter designed to go in the path of the light in order to reduce the amount before it hits the sensor.
Nit - a unit of light measurement. Equal to one candela per square metre.
NLE - Non Linear Editor - used for putting together footage clips to make films
Noise - Unwanted specs of colour in usually dark areas of an image or footage.
Non-diegetic - Sound added to a film that doesn't occur naturally from within the film, e.g. music or narration. (See also diegetic).
Parfocal - Zoom Lenses that don't change focus when the lens length is zoomed in or out. Used especially in cinema lenses. (See also varifocal).
Pin Cushion - A form of image distortion where straight lines bow in towards the centre of the image.
Pop Filter - A small mesh screen placed in front of a microphone to reduce the 'popping' sounds, such as hissing s's during a recording by reducing fast-moving air over the mic. Placed between the speaker and the microphone.
Posturization - Banding found in large areas of colour where the numbers of tones have been reduced. Especially caused by compression. Typically seen in images featuring a lot of sky.
PPL - Phonographic Performance Limited - If you're a record company or performer, PPL collects licence fees on your behalf.
Property Release - A form signed by the owner of a property or intellectual property giving permission for that property to feature in an image, usually for commercial purposes.
PRS - Performing Right Society - If you're a composer or music publisher, PRS will collect and distribute licence fees on your behalf.
Raw - The unmodified output from a camera, i.e. no compression or in-camera modification applied. Can be a still image or footage.
REC 709 - A broadcast standard for HD television.
RF - Royalty Free. Allowed by copyright owner and used for agreeing how images can be used. Money making but only once per licence. Use of the image or licence generally allows unrestricted use within agreed parameters. See here for more information about licencing.
Rig - A shoulder mounted camera support used by the camera operator to hold the camera and other associated components such as a viewfinder to allow the camera operator to move with the camera.
RM - Rights Managed. Allowed by copyright owner and used for agreeing how images can be used. Money making. Use of image or footage determined by the contents of the licence. See here for more information about licencing.
S-LOG - A method of retaining detail in dark shadow and bright highlights by modifying footage in post. Different manufacturers have different namkes for their log files.
SD Card - Secure Digital memory card
Sensor - The light-sensitive panel in the camera that gathers the light to record the picture.
Shutter - The curtain that opens and closes in defined units of time such as 1/60th second allowing light through to the sensor for that amount of time.
Slider - A device upon which a camera is mounted to smoothly move it along it's length when filming footage.
SNG - Satellite News Gathering - Using satellite to transmit news.
SSD - Solid State Drive, a storage device with no moving parts, unlike a typical hard drive which contains many moving parts. Some cameras are now writing direct to SSD's.
Stereoscopic - Two views of the same scene shot at slightly different angles brought together to be viewed by each eye for a 3D-like viewing experience.
Strobe - A piece of equipment used to light a scene for stills photography. Sometimes called a flash or flashgun and mounted on the camera, on a light stand maybe even hand-held.
Super-35 - A slightly larger image size than 35mm.
T-Stop - A measurement of the actual amount of light passing through a lens to the sensor. Not the same as F-stop, which is a measurement of the opening of the aperture.
TIF - A file format for images where there is NO loss of quality from compression each time the image is saved.
TTL - Through The Lens. Referring to how light is measured in-camera prior to taking a photograph and especially when using flash.
Treatment - A synopsis or overview of a story for a film or TV programme. Usually written at the very start of the filmmaking process to describe the story.
Trigger - An electronic device for firing a flash or camera remotely. Usually wireless but sometimes wired.
TRS - A type of connector (usually 3.5mm) or jack, often found on sound-oriented equipment like external microphones. Note number of black bands on connector, two, show difference between TRRS which has three. (TRS stands for Tip, Ring, and Sleeve and refers to the functions of the different parts of the connecting socket).
TRRS - A type of connector (usually 3.5mm) or jack, often found on sound-oriented equipment like iphone earphones. Note number of black bands on connector, three, show difference between TRS which has two. (TRS stands for Tip, Ring, Ring, and Sleeve and refers to the functions of the different parts of the connecting socket)
UHD - Ultra High Definition (See 4K).
Varifocal - Zoom lenses that change focus when the focal length is zoomed in or out. Found especially in photography lenses. (See also parfocal).
VR - Virtual Reality. Usually involving a person wearing a headset that allows them to see a 360 degree view of a scene. See also Jump and Cardboard.
White Noise - recorded sound that contains no useful information.
XAVC - Sony video recording format.
XLR - A rugged 3-pin electrical connector used for audio and video cabling.
XQD - New high-performance memory card format.
Zebra Stripes - Used to show exposure levels on a monitor view of a scene.

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