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digital cameras

Posted on 1998-05-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I am looking for a good explanation on how digital cmaeras work. I would like it to be as technical and detailed as possibe. Perferably the explanation should be on the net, but if anyone has a paper on it I would be more than happy to recieve a copy.
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Question by:pelegs
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by:jhance
ID: 1135694
I've not seen any writeup on the net but digital cameras are actually quite simple in both conecpt and operation.  They are all based on a device called a CCD.  CCD stands for "charge coupled device".  A CCD is an electronic part not unlike a RAM chip you might find in your PC.  Unlike RAM, however, a CCD is wired up internally so that the memory cells make up a long chain with each cell feeding the next one.  In engineering terms, this is called a shift-register.  As you clock the device, each data bit shifts into the next one and the one on the "end" comes out of the device.  Another interesting characteristic of memory cells is that they are light sensitive.  As I shine light of different color and intensity on a charged memory cell, a portion of the charge will leak off.  In normal memory, this is very undesirable and so RAMs are packaged in light-proof packages so that this doesn't happen.  With a CCD, however, this is what we want.  They make the CCD in a package with a lens over the top of the chip so that as light enters the camera, it falls squarely on the CCD.  Each bit in the CCD becomes one pixel of the finished image.  After the proper exposure, the bits are shifted out of the camera and a data processing circuit in the camera maps each charge level from the CCD to a specific color and intensity for an image.  Now we have (internally) a fully digital image that is stored in a memory device (usually a RAM or FlashMemory) in the camera.  There is only a limited amount of space to store images in the camera, this is why you can only take a few pictures before deleting some or tranferring them out of the camera to your PC.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1135695
I've not seen any writeup on the net but digital cameras are actually quite simple in both conecpt and operation.  They are all based on a device called a CCD.  CCD stands for "charge coupled device".  A CCD is an electronic part not unlike a RAM chip you might find in your PC.  Unlike RAM, however, a CCD is wired up internally so that the memory cells make up a long chain with each cell feeding the next one.  In engineering terms, this is called a shift-register.  As you clock the device, each data bit shifts into the next one and the one on the "end" comes out of the device.  Another interesting characteristic of memory cells is that they are light sensitive.  As I shine light of different color and intensity on a charged memory cell, a portion of the charge will leak off.  In normal memory, this is very undesirable and so RAMs are packaged in light-proof packages so that this doesn't happen.  With a CCD, however, this is what we want.  They make the CCD in a package with a lens over the top of the chip so that as light enters the camera, it falls squarely on the CCD.  Each bit in the CCD becomes one pixel of the finished image.  After the proper exposure, the bits are shifted out of the camera and a data processing circuit in the camera maps each charge level from the CCD to a specific color and intensity for an image.  Now we have (internally) a fully digital image that is stored in a memory device (usually a RAM or FlashMemory) in the camera.  There is only a limited amount of space to store images in the camera, this is why you can only take a few pictures before deleting some or tranferring them out of the camera to your PC.
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by:jhance
ID: 1135696
Is there some part of the above answer that you don't understand?  It's common practice to explain why you reject an answer.
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by:pelegs
ID: 1135697
I need very technical information regarding digital cameras
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jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 1135698
"Very technical" is a relative term.  Define "very technical".
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