I am curious what we should do about the how-camera-works tag on the parent site. This is a very oddly worded tag, and I think it is only used by one person. What should we do with it? Keep it and rename them all to use a more useful name, such as "camera-functionality", or just get rid if it?


Some ideas have been formulated. It seems that, rather than replacing this tag with a single tag, a few more precise tags may be appropriate. The tags currently in discussion are:

  • Terminology
    • The "What is flash duration?" and "What is flash sync?" fit well with this tag
  • Technology
    • Some questions have more to do with specific technology, which is ultimately about how something works. This is a good alternative to the [how-camera-works] tab.
  • Theory
    • Other questions, such as "How do spherical lens produce rectangular shots?", are really more about photography theory than anything else. These types of questions might be best tagged with [theory].


It sounds like the [camera-basics] tag has bubbled its way to the top as the ideal first choice for a replacement of [how-camera-works]. It embodies the general concept behind the original tag well, where as the others suggested only partially embody it.

Unless anyone has any objections, in about a day I'll update the [how-camera-works] questions with the [camera-basics] questions, and/or possibly one of the others if it seems more appropriate.


I've gone through and re-tagged questions that used [how-camera-works] with [camera-basics]. I also went through a bunch of existing questions tagged with [beginner], and either added camera-basics, or replaced beginner with camera-basics, as appropriate. A lot of questions were tagged with beginner that fit better under the camera-basics tag.

  • 2
    I really like the camera basics Joanne C suggested below as an alternative to technology. It seems more self-explanatory and less catch-all than technology. E.g., questions about Photoshop aren't technology the same way questions about autofocus are. I think about 75% of the questions on the site so far might be reasonably tagged 'technology' in some sense of the term.
    – ex-ms
    Aug 6, 2010 at 19:35
  • 1
    I think [camera-basics] could be a good alternative when a question is more along the lines of "how it works". I agree that we have a very large base of technological questions...it might be useful to try and split out the "basics" stuff from the "technology" stuff, to help differentiate between simple stuff and more advanced stuff.
    – jrista
    Aug 6, 2010 at 21:43

4 Answers 4


I think it's odd and we should get rid of it, though I think it's fair to ask the user in question what his goals with the tag are. Is there some way to do that?

  • 1
    I've been looking at the questions that use it, and they seem to refer to camera functionality (which is basically asking how something works...its functionals.) I am not sure camera-functionality is the best alternative though...perhaps there is something better.
    – jrista
    Aug 2, 2010 at 20:39

I'd suggest getting rid of it and replacing it with a combination of 'beginner' and something specific, going on the tags right now, 'focus' 'camera' and 'equipment' might each apply to different questions so-tagged right now.

I don't think that the tag encompasses anything particularly special that would need replacing.


I kind of like the idea of the tag myself, although I agree that the exact wording is not good. To play on the theme of chills42 idea:

  • camera-technology
  • technology

Or we could move them to the terminology tag - in some ways the questions seem to be asking what the various terms mean. Then we could have

  • What is flash duration? [flash] [terminology]
  • What is sync speed? [flash] [exposure] [terminology]
  • ...

Would that make more sense to people?

  • I agree, I think the concept behind the tag is usefull, we just need a better wording. I am not sure that terminology really reflects the "how it works" concept behind the current tag. Technology might...I still think "functionality" reflects "how it works" better than either.
    – jrista
    Aug 4, 2010 at 3:51
  • This seems like a good option, both terminology and technology could describe aspects of the questions.
    – chills42
    Aug 4, 2010 at 13:01
  • I think that some sort of [beginner] aspect is implicit in all of these questions, but for a tag that might encapsulate terminology/functionality what about [jargon] in its technical sense of terminology about a particular technology/practice.
    – ex-ms
    Aug 4, 2010 at 18:44
  • I could support [jargon], but [beginner] is far too subjective, everyone has their own idea of what a beginner question would be, so it wouldn't have a clear meaning.
    – chills42
    Aug 5, 2010 at 17:21
  • 1
    I think terminology and/or technology tags could replace the how-camera-works tag. For example, "What is flash duration?" and "What is sync speed?" could both be [flash] and [terminology]. The question "How do spherical lens produce rectangular shots?" could be tagged with [technology], but perhaps [theory] would be better?
    – jrista
    Aug 6, 2010 at 6:57
  • 2
    Terminology is good, though like jrista I'm not entirely sure that it captures the 'how it works' concept completely. Perhaps something like [camera basics] might do it?
    – Joanne C
    Aug 6, 2010 at 19:13
  • I think I like [camera basics] best, actually. It seems the least ambiguous.
    – ex-ms
    Aug 6, 2010 at 19:17

Perhaps replace it with technical-* tags?

We could use technical-camera and technical-lens to differentiate between technology questions.

  • I am not sure technical fully reflects the "how it works" concept that is currently poorly depicted in the tags current form.
    – jrista
    Aug 4, 2010 at 3:52
  • You're probably right, I actually like technology as mentioned by Hamish more.
    – chills42
    Aug 4, 2010 at 13:00

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