CMOS vs. CCD Technology

  • A Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) is a light-sensitive integrated circuit that stores and displays the data for an image in such a way that each pixel (picture element) in the image is converted into an electrical charge the intensity of which is related to a color in the color spectrum.
  • CCDs are now commonly included in digital still and video cameras.
  • A CCD in a digital camera improves resolution compared with other technologies (such as CMOS).
  • Another asset of the CCD is its high degree of sensitivity. A good CCD can produce an image in extremely dim light, and its resolution does not deteriorate when the illumination intensity is low, as is the case with conventional cameras.

    Pro's & Con's
  • CMOS chips are less expensive to manufacture, and that cost savings translates into lower camera prices.
  • CMOS chips perform better than CCD chips when capturing highlights, such as the sparkle of jewelry or the glint of sunlight reflecting across a lake.
  • The main argument in favor of CCD chips is that they're more sensitive than CMOS chips, so you can get better images in dim lighting.
  • CCD chips tend to deliver cleaner images than CMOS chips, which sometimes have a problem with noise (small defects in the image).
  • CCD chips suffer from blooming, which means creating unwanted halos around very bright highlights, while CMOS sensors do not.


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