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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Understanding Image Sensors

The sensor is the soul of your digital camera and knowing how it works will help you to compose better images

Labels: Learning Center

Of course, the question is, Which sensor is better? It's an impossible question to answer definitively. Obviously, there are pluses and minuses with each technology, but the manufacturers aren't ignoring these differences. For example, CCD designers have gone to different read-out methods such as reading out the entire sensor at once in order to increase speed, while CMOS designers may incorporate special noise-reduction circuitry to reduce photosite noise, or they may add lenses to the individual photosites to increase sensitivity. CMOS chips also are being produced with more on-chip functions that take advantage of the flexibility of CMOS technology.

Although the image sensor is the heart of the digital camera, there's more to a digital camera than just the sensor. The data coming out of the chip needs extensive processing to achieve an image to store on the media card. Image-processing software algorithms are sophisticated custom software embedded into the camera to minimize the minuses and take advantage of the pluses of the image sensors.

Much like you wouldn't buy a car based only on the engine under the hood, you wouldn't want to decide on a camera without considering the whole picture.



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