Camera Terms – Photography Dictionary

This Guide to LCD Monitor Terminology was developed to help you understand the many terms, names, phrases, specifications and buzzwords associated with CCD and CMOS.  We hope you find this useful, but please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at any time if we can help cut through the clutter of any CMOS or CCD terminology.

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4K UHD (Ultra-High-Definition) is a 16:9 video resolution with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. It is called 4K because the 4K cinema standard (DCI 4K) stretches horizontally to over 4,000 pixels (4096 x 2160). While it is the newest resolution in the consumer market, it is already being relabelled to UHD-1 to make way for 8K which will take over as UHD-2. 4K is exactly double the horizontal and vertical resolution of Full HD/FHD (1920 x 1080) for a total of 4 times as many pixels. 



24VDC is a direct current power standard growing in popularity due to its increased safety and cost savings. VAC systems will have voltages above 100V, whereas 24VDC keeps the voltage at a much safer level. 


Auto ICR

Auto ICR Mode automatically switches the settings needed for attaching or removing the IR Cut Filter. With a set level of darkness, the IR Cut Filter is automatically disabled (ICR On), and the infrared sensitivity is increased. With a set level of brightness, the IR Cut Filter is automatically enabled (ICR Off ). Also, on systems equipped with an IR light, the internal data of the camera is used to make the proper decisions to avoid malfunctions. Auto ICR Mode operates with the AE Full Auto setting. When the Auto ICR Color Mode is set, the color is added.



(Charge-Coupled Device sensor) An electronic memory that records the intensity of light as a variable charge. Although mostly replaced by CMOS sensors to capture images in cameras, CCDs are still used in astronomy, microscopy and biomedical imaging because of their excellent sensitivity during long exposures. CCDs are analog devices. Their charges equate to shades of light for monochrome images or shades of red, green and blue when used with color filters. Devices may use three CCDs, one for each of the red, green and blue colors.



(Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) Pronounced “c-moss,” CMOS is the most widely used integrated circuit technology. CMOS chips are found in almost every electronic product from handheld devices to mainframes. CMOS uses PMOS and NMOS transistors wired in a balanced fashion that causes less power to be used. The first transistors were bipolar, which are still used when higher power is required, and CMOS and bipolar are also used in combination.


Composite BNC

BNC is a composite analog signal that transmits either audio or video with a locking connector. BNC cables give true 75 ohm resistance and includes video, color, and sync signals all within one cable.


Custom Preset

The camera shooting conditions can be stored and recalled. The settings are recalled when the power is turned on.


Defog (Low/ Mid/ High)

When the surrounding area of the subject is foggy and low contrast, the defog mode will reduce the effects of the fog and make the subject appear clearer. You can select from four levels: OFF, Low, Middle and High. The effect level can be automatically adjusted according to the fog density.



DVI stands for Digital Video Interface; it is a video-only signal. DVI uses a locking connector. DVI-I (Integrated) works with both digital and analog signals, one of the only connectors to allow this. DVI-D (Digital) works with digital only signals and allows for higher resolution. 1920 x 1200 is the highest resolution DVI can support, but only up to 15 feet. Lower resolutions (1280 x 1024) can be transmitted up to 49 feet.



Exmor shortens the analog path even more by performing A/D conversion on each column of pixels. While all CMOS sensors perform noise cancellation in the analog domain, Exmor also deploys it in the digital domain.


Flare Reduction

Diamond flares and ghosts that occur on lenses disrupts focusing and deteriorates the image quality. The new lens adopts 7 blades compared to the conventional 2 blades, improving this phenomenon by generating fine circular flares, and thus greatly improving image quality.



Field Of View: The observable view through a camera lens and the scene that winds up in the photo. A wide angle lens (short focal length) delivers a wide field of view (FOV). A telephoto lens (long focal length) yields a narrow one.


Full HD

(Full High Definition) A screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which is the HDTV standard. FHD mean 1080p resolution, not interlaced 1080i (see progressive scan). The “Full HD” and “Full HDTV” designations are used to contrast 1080p TVs and monitors from the lower 720p screens.



HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface; it transmits both audio and video digital signals. HDMI is similar to DVI except the connector does not lock in place. HDMI is able to carry an uncompressed A/V signal up to 15 feet. There are different categories of HDMI with the newest one (HDMI 2.1) capable of reaching 10K resolution. In general, HDMI can produce resolutions of FHD (1920×1080) and above or below. It is one of the most versatile cables currently available with the only downside being its lack of long cable runs and added cost to the manufacturer’s royalties.


ICR On Color

On conventional models, only black and white images are achieved while the IR cut filter was removed. The new ICR ON COLOR function enables the camera to capture shots with color even when the IR cut filter is removed. It is effective for color visibility in dark environments. *The precision of color reproduction varies depending on the light source and brightness.


Image Stabilizer

A feature that helps to maintain a smooth image despite the camera experiencing vibrations, shock and other movement. There are two stabilization methods, both of which generally use gyroscopes to detect motion.Optical and Electronic Stabilization: Optical image stabilization (OIS) uses an accordion-style bellows that shifts the light between two lenses based on the motion of the camera. The image is stabilized before it reaches the CCD or CMOS sensor. Another OIS technique is the mechanical shift method, which moves the sensor rather than the lens. This allows stabilization to be achieved using ordinary lenses.Electronic image stabilization (EIS), also called “digital image stabilization,” examines the difference between video frames and smooths the transition between them via processing.


Interlaced Scanning

Interlaced is a method of scanning video. Video sources that have the letter i in them are interlaced (e.g. 1080i). This method of scans the even and odd numbered lines as two separate fields. First the even scan lines are drawn, then the odd scan lines. One each of complete even and odd scan line fields make up one video frame. Interlaced video will double the perceived frame rate of a display without consuming extra bandwidth. However, interlacing effects like combing can occur if the interlaced video is displayed using a slower speed than it was captured, or in still frames.


ISP (Image Signal Processor)

A specialized digital signal processor or a section within a system-on-chip (SoC) that transforms an image in some manner. Digital cameras use an image processor to convert the light captured by the sensor into a digital image. Noise reduction, image sharpening and Bayer interpolation (see Bayer pattern) are the kinds of functions an image processor performs. Also called a “media processor” and “image signal processor” (ISP)


Low Focal Plane Distortion Image

The image warp that occurs when capturing rapidly moving subjects are reduced.



(Low Voltage Differential Signaling) A balanced digital transmission method that is noted for its high-quality signal (low noise). LVDS is used in myriad applications, including LCD monitors, network and peripheral devices, A/V equipment and automotive systems. An option for the SCSI interface, LVDS doubled the cable length from six to 12 meters. LVDS sends data over “data high” and “data low” lines rather than data and ground. The receiver detects the voltage difference between the two signals instead of relative to ground.


Motion Detection (MD)

This function instructs the camera to detect movement within the monitoring area and then send an alarm signal automatically.



The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines standards used in North America for various grades of enclosures used in industrial applications. Each enclosure is rated to protect against personal access to hazardous parts and environmental conditions. The X in NEMA ratings indicates additional corrosion protection. For a more detailed description, see NEMA ratings.


Noise Reduction (NR)

The NR function removes noise (both random and nonrandom) to provide clearer images.


Output Signal

The output signal is the signal that is transmitted ‘out’ of a source. For example, if you have a computer connected to a monitor, whatever signal is coming ‘out’ of your computer into the monitor is the output. Outputs on a device determine which signals can be transmitted and sent out of the device. Make sure the output matches the input on the receiving device.



PAL stands for Phase Alternating Lines. PAL is the analog video standard for the rest of the world.PAL standard will transmit 25 frames each second at 50Hz with each frame being made up of 625 individual scan lines. The digital standards to succeed PAL are DVB, ISDB, or DTMB.


Picture Effect

• E-FLIP • Freeze • Black & White (Monochrome Image)



Sometimes referred to as a “dot,” as in “dots per inch”, “Pixel” is short for picture elements, which make up an image, similar to grains in a photograph or dots in a half-tone.  Each pixel can represent a number of different shades or colors, depending on how much storage space is allocated for it.  Pixels per inch (ppi) are sometimes the preferred term, as it more accurately describes the digital image.  The actual physical size of the pixel is equal to the pixel pitch of the display.  If your display is set to something less than the maximum resolution, then a pixel will be larger than the actual size of the screen dot, i.e., a pixel will use more than one dot.


Position Preset

Using the position preset function, 16 sets of camera shooting conditions can be stored and recalled. This function allows you to achieve the desired status instantly, even without adjusting the various items each time.


Privacy Zone Masking

Privacy Zone masking protects private objects and areas such as house windows, entrances, and exits which are within the camera’s range of vision but not subject to surveillance. Privacy zone masking can be masked on the monitor to protect privacy. • Mask can be displayed on 8 places per screen • Individual on/off zone masking settings.


Progressive Scan

Progressive is a method of scanning video. Video sources that have the letter p in them are progressively scanned (e.g. 1080p). Progressive scanning scans both the even and odd lines of video (the entire video frame) at the same time. While progressive does not halve the bandwidth or double the perceived frame rate like interlaced scanning, less motion blur will occur since everything is scanned at the same time. Broadcast companies like ESPN have sacrificed resolution in the past to transmit at 720p instead of 1080i simply to make use of the benefits of progressive scanning’s enhanced motion capture.



The display resolution of a LCD monitor is the number of horizontal pixels multiplied by the number of vertical pixels. TRU-Vu’s display resolutions range from 640 x 480 up to 3840 x 2160 (aka 4K resolution). Larger display sizes will typically require higher resolutions that provide sharp image quality. However, LCD displays with smaller screen sizes can have lower pixel resolutions but still produce excellent image quality.



SDI stands for Serial Digital Interface; it carries both audio and video digital signals. The SDI commonly used today is 3G-SDI and HD-SDI. These both feature locking BNC connectors as well as a resolutions of 1920 x 1080. HD-SDI is only able to do 1080i whereas the newer 3G-SDI is able to do 1080p60. SDI is a great “bridge” from source to end destination since it can be run up to 330 feet with an HD bitrate.


Spot Focus · Spot AE · Spot AWB

Enables functioning of AF, AE, and AWB only in specified areas within the screen. Enables independent specification of any rectangle of the entire screen divided in 6 x 8. For example, if the subject location is specified with Spot AE, enables capturing of images with Exposure effects reduced even if brightness changes occur outside the specified frame.


Spot Light Avoidance

Avoid AF /One push AF focus issues when shooting a subject with a bright, spot light source, such as an outdoor light with Spot Light Avoidance. For example, when shooting outdoors at night with a surveillance camera, the camera may not focus due to the bright light. In that situation, using the Spot Light Avoidance function, reduces the impact of bright lights and you can focus with the AF / One push AF.


Stable Zoom

“StableZoom” is a function for performing correction using the Image Stabilizer function in accordance with the zoom ratio, and smoothly zooming up to approximately 36× using a combination of the optical zoom and digital zoom.


Super Image Stabilizer

Applying a wide correction area using 4M pixels the camera series suppresses blurs from strong vibrations and rotational vibrations compared to conventional models. There are 2 modes available to select from based on the scale of vibrations.

•Super: Suppresses strong vibrations with a wider correction area compared to conventional electronic vibration suppressors.

•Super+: By employing a wider correction area than “Super,” “Super+” suppresses intense vibrations that cannot be suppressed with “Super.”

Potential application: Shipboard, attachments for ITS surveillance, on bridges, drones, vehicles, etc.


Temperature Readout

The camera unit’s internal temperature can be read from temperature sensor in stabled in the circuit board. Use it as a reference value.


Visibility Enhancer (VE)

Depending on the imaging scene, the Visibility Enhancer function makes the darker part of a camera image brighter, and automatically correct brightness and contrast to show bright parts clearly.


Wide Dynamic Range (Wide-D)

Wide-D mode is a function for dividing an image into several blocks for correcting blocked-up shadows and blown-out highlights in accordance with the intensity difference. It enables image acquisition in which portions ranging from dark to light can be recognized, even when capturing a subject with a large intensity difference that is backlit or includes extremely light regions of interest.


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