Noise is the digital equivalent of grain in film. It’s random electrical signals captured by the photosites on the camera sensor, and usually this background noise level is so low compared to the brightness of the captured picture itself that you just don’t notice it.
White balance is an adjustment to correct and neutralise colors captured with different light sources. The color of light can vary considerably depending on the time of day and whether you’re shooting in natural light or under artificial light.
Video jargon can quickly get complicated. But the basics of video are comparatively simple and easily learned, and the rest can follow from that.
Dynamic range is the camera sensor’s ability to capture detail in very bright and very dark parts of a scene. Cameras (or sensors) with a low dynamic range record dark shadows as a solid black or bright highlights as a featureless white.
Digital cameras typically offer a range of ‘picture styles’ to suit different subjects or different tastes in color rendition. Canon calls these Picture Styles, Nikon calls them Picture Controls and other camera makers have their own names.
Traditional photo editing is ‘destructive’. That means every adjustment you make permanently changes the pixels in the photo and there’s no way back unless you’ve saved a copy of the original and you’re willing to start again. ‘Non-destructive’ editing is fully reversible. You can go back and undo or redo all of your editing work at any point in the future. Naturally, there’s a catch
Aberrations, or optical imperfections, exist because no lens is optically perfect. Almost all lenses show aberrations from the ‘perfect’ image.
The whole topic of color management can get pretty dry and technical, but stick with it because there’s information here that’s useful and puts lots of other things in context.
The aspect ratio of an image is the ratio of its width to its height. The larger the ratio, the ‘wider’ the image; the smaller the ratio, the ‘squarer’ the image.
Bit depth is an important concept in digital imaging if you want the best possible image quality and if you intend to manipulate images heavily.