How a digital camera works
The digital camera is not something of a magic box that
came out of the blue and made wonders! The digital camera
is very much like the conventional analog camera, but the
technology has been altered. It also contains most of the
associated components that the conventional camera
contains, like lens and a shutter for letting in light,
however instead of reaching a photosensitive film, the
light is made to fall upon array of image sensors or
photosensitive cells. Much of the differences are like
this, yet most of it still remains in oblivion for the
ordinary people. And it order that the digital camera gets
its true respect, it is necessary to explore these areas of
truth and reveal them in light.
Looking a bit more in details about the working of the
fantastic device, the digital camera. As a continuation of
the above lines, it can be further investigated that the
sensor array is basically a microchip about 10 mm across.
Every image sensor is a charged-couple device (CCD)
converting light into electric charges, and is essentially
a silicon chip used to measure light. These charges are
stored as analog data that are then converted to digital
via a device called an analog to digital converter (ADC).
Over the chip are present a collection of very small
light-sensitive diodes, named photosites, or pixels that
convert light (or more scientifically, photons) into
electrical charges called electrons. The pixels are very
much light sensitive, therefore with brighter light
striking them, produces greater build up of electrical
charges. Each 1000 array receptor creates 1 pixel, and
every pixel corresponds to some information stored. The
light enters the digital camera via the lens, which is the
same mechanism as the conventional analog camera. And this
light hits the CCD when the photographer presses the
shutter button. The shutter opens and thereby illuminates
every pixel, however with various intensities.
Taking a look apart, it can be observed that quite a few
digital cameras use CMOS (meaning complementary metal oxide
semiconductor, a technology of manufacturing these
microchips) technology based microchips as image sensors.
The basic advantage is that the CMOS sensors are
appreciably cheaper and simpler to fabricate than CCDs.
Another great advantage from CMOS sensors is that these
take very less power compared to other technology, which
adds up to the fact as to their extensive use, and can thus
even support the implementation of additional circuitry on
the same chip like ADC, some control units etc. Thus it can
be stated that CMOS technology based cameras are small,
light, cheap and also energy efficient, yet at the cost of
some amount of image quality.
However the common trend remains that all cameras of the
mega pixel range and higher up use CCD chips instead of
CMOS. This is because of the fact of picture quality only,
leaving aside the price differences.
This is basically the fact about how digital cameras work!
Having known this much difference would not come in the
photographing expertise of the users, but it always feels a
kind of satisfaction on understanding the inner depths of a
device that is so close to the eyes!
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.snapjunky.com.
Visit his digital camera guide and learn how to take better
pictures with your digicam.
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