Camera Sensors

The sensors used in DSLR nowadays are made from either CCD (charge coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor). Both function as converting light into electrons.

CCD is a device specially made to convert the light to electron, it works with the same theory as the solar panel used. The light hits on the surface of the pixel and each will convert from analog to digital before processing. CMOS on the other hand consists of several transistors on each pixel, the same transistor that used for making microprocessors.

The question on whether CMOS sensor is better or CCD sensor has been going for years with no convincing answer yet. CCD has been in produced in our world for years and the technology has been mature and tends to perform better in terms of noise and quality. CMOS has smaller surface hit by the light as it consists of several transistor and part of the photons hitting the transistor instead of the photodiode. However CMOS technology is picking up very fast due to its flexibility usage in different manufacturing. And CMOS is also easier to fabricate and is a lot cheaper than CCD. Other than this, CMOS consume a lot less power compare to CCD. Consuming less power not only saves in batteries life, it also produces less noise. CCD consumes a lot more power and it tends to get hot faster, when photodiode get hot, the noise also goes up.


                An example of camera sensor

In summary, CCD sensor has the better quality and a much mature technology. It is used in high end camera to create the images with great quality and sensitivity. CMOS on the other hand is cheaper and consume low power, the technology of CMOS is ever improving and is currently said to be on par with the quality of CCD sensor and it is still improving. So everyone is expecting CMOS technology in photography quality to overtake CCD soon. And currently CMOS sensor is used in most of the highest end camera.

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