Two decades ago, digital cameras belonged to only a chosen few. This made the photo-and-video-taking business to boom because only a few professionals had digital cameras. People had to pay exuberantly thanks to the scarcity of the digital cameras and other paraphernalia. Fast forward to this era, photography prices have, ridiculously, gone down, and most people own professional digital cameras now much more than then. It is because of CMOS image sensors that the prices of digital cameras reduced.
A Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor CMOS camera is a digital video or still camera that uses CMOS image sensors to record photos and videos. An image sensor is a medium for detecting and transmitting information from images. There are two types of image sensors; the CMOS, and the CCD. The Charge Coupling Device (CCD) was used in the first digital cameras, making them expensive to afford. The CCD sensor was then used to convert images from analog light signals to digital pixels’. A special manufacturing process was effectively utilized to make CCD and to allow the conversion to occur in the chip without distortion. Ever since then, the CCD ruled the digital photography world but not until when the CMOS changed the game.
Even with reduced digital camera prices, you will realize that you rarely see many people carrying their cameras to snap at events. Instead, people often opt to use their phone’s cameras (camera phones) which work just equally as well because of the CMOS sensor. The CMOS begin their functionality by converting light into electrons using different technologies. This is then followed by reading the value of each cell in the image. CMOS use transistors at every pixel to move the charge through traditional wires.
CMOS camera sensors are relatively cheaper to manufacture as compared to their counterpart, the CCD sensors. They are popular in mobile phones because of the characteristically beneficial low-power demands that they impose on utility. However, when used in poorly lit areas, CMOS cameras are notorious for producing images with a lot of noise. Nonetheless, CMOS is catching up fast so far. It won’t be long before they match up to CCD’s superior image resolution and high-quality image production.
The only superior difference between these two generations of cameras that makes CCD beat CMOS cameras is the high-quality with minimum noise images that CCD produces. Otherwise, CMOS are just as good. Below are the top 3 advantages which are associated with CMOS image sensors:
1. CMOS require less power to operate – Digital cameras drain battery power a lot due to their many functionality features. Each time you switch a mode, increase or reduce the aperture or shutter speed, reduces your battery charge. CMOS come in handy because they reduce battery drainage and extend the battery life.
2. CMOS are cheaper to manufacture – This is because the same semiconductor fabrication lines that produce billions of microprocessor and static RAM memory chips are the ones used to make CMOS image sensors.
3. CMOS cameras have a faster speed – A CMOS camera has the ability to capture up to 60 images in a second.
Camera manufacturers like Sony have stopped producing CCD sensors. Sadly, CCD hardcore users are only left with an option of switching to CMOS. If you are growing through this transition, start by staying with your standard interface. Then, you can choose a CMOS camera with a similar optical format as the current CCD camera. This leaves only minimal adjustments to the system design.
Integration from CCD to CMOS is easy when working with a standard compliant hardware and software. Some of the factors you need to consider when choosing a CMOS camera are:
● Resolution of the camera
● Define your required camera interface
● Choose the right type of lens and lighting
● Integration effort for software and camera control
Thanks to technology, the digital world is constantly evolving to solve the growing needs of people. It is no surprise that CMOS are gradually turning out to be the most preferred option. It is a great and monumental example of how a steady and technological evolution can change what was once perceived as a cheap and relatively poor-quality image sensor to one of the finest and most preferred image sensors.