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Computer Vision - Camera Sensor Technolgies

The operation of both CMOS and CCD camera sensors can be explained at a crude level, beginning with light entering the camera via the lens being focused onto the sensing device. The sensor is split into a matrix of individual cells and the light which falls onto each cell is converted into an electrical signal. Circuitry organises the signals into a serial waveform and adds timing information to allow decoding in the display equipment.

More information can be found on the two types of sensor technologies by following the links below and a comparison of the main features of each is located in the table at the bottom of this page.

Comparison of CCD and CMOS Sensors

The table below compares the advantages and disadvantages of the performance characteristics of CCD and CMOS Sensors.

Response Moderate Slightly Better
Dynamic Range High Moderate
Uniform Shuttering Fast, Common Limited
Uniformity High Low to Moderate
Speed Moderate to High Higher
Windowing Limited Extensive
Antiblooming High to None High
Biasing and Clocking Multiple, Higher Voltage Single, Low Voltage
Pixel Output Signal Electron Packet Voltage
Chip Output Signal Voltage (Analogue) Bits (Digital)
Camera Output Signal Bits (Digital) Bits (Digital)
Fill Factor High Moderate
Amplifier Mismatch N/A Moderate
System Noise Low Moderate
System Complexity High Low
Sensor Complexity Low High
Camera Components Sensor, Multiple Support Chips, Lens Sensor, Lens possible but additional support chips common
Relative R&D Cost Generally Lower Generally Higher
Relative System Cost Depends on Application Depends on Application
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