Why are Camera Zoom Buttons Labelled W and T?

   Posted April 11, 2011 by David Kirk in Entertainment

My daughter recently received a digital camera. One of her first questions to me was asking why the zoom buttons were labelled with the letters W and T. Once you know, you will remember it forever.

My daughter was extremely excited when she got her digital camera for Christmas. The one thing she could never figure out what why the zoom buttons were labelled with a W and a T instead of a plus and minus. The good part of this is it allowed me to explain some basic camera terminology to her.

T = Telephoto

Using a telephoto lens zooms in on the object viewed. “Tele” comes from Greek and means to cover large distances. You might remember it better by relating it to a telescope which certainly zooms in to distant objects.

Here’s an example of the telephoto button used to zoom in:

W = Wide Angle

As the name suggests, this button zooms out to gives a wide field of view. Objects in the frame will appear smaller, but more of the environment can be captured on the image.

Here’s a picture zoomed out using the wide angle button from the same location:

Many digital cameras now are ditching the T and W buttons for plus and minus signs instead.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

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