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Digital Photography Glossary

Photography Glossary - Z

Understand the terminology of digital photography, digital printing and digital imaging so that you will become a better photographer. Photographic terms such as Zone System, Zoom, Zoom Lens, ZLR Camera, and more.

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Zone System

Zone System is a visual reference system developed by Ansel Adams to categorize the specific tones of a black & white image by dividing the range from pure white to pure black into seven discreet sections or zones.

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Zoom

The Focal Length of a Lens

Zoom is the ability to adjust the focal length of a camera lens for greater (or lesser) magnification. Zoom can be used to refer to the actual process of adjusting the focal length or to the adjustable lens itself.

Click here to learn more: Understanding Camera Lenses

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Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens

A Zoom Lens is a lens type in which the focal length can be adjusted though a set range; i.e. 17 - 35mm or 80 - 200mm. Zoom lenses are able to maintain focus through the focal length changes. Zoom lenses contain more lens elements than a fixed-focal length or prime lens, and therefore aren’t quite as sharp. Naturally, the angle of view decreases as you increase the focal length and magnify the image. Zoom lenses are highly versatile due to their extensive focal length range (from wide angle to telephoto without swapping lenses on the camera).

Click here to learn more: Understanding Camera Lenses

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ZLR Camera

The Zoom-Lens Reflex (ZLR) is an SLR (single lens reflex) camera in which the zoom lens is directly integrated into the camera body, instead of having an interchangeable lens. Many mid or entry level consumer digital cameras are ZLR in their design. They provide the operator with a larger image sensor than a point and shoot camera, but without the flexibility of having changeable lenses.

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