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How digital camera works

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Arts and Culture

The working of a digital camera is not dramatically different from the working of a conventional film camera. It is only the technology that is used to capture and store images that is different.

The digital cameras do not use light sensitive film to record images. Instead they use an image sensor to capture the image. The image sensor is a semiconductor device that is triggered by photons. The photons are converted into electrons and stored in the form of electronic data on a fixed or a removable device for being read by a computer.

There are two types of sensors that are commonly used in digital cameras. The first type is the charge coupled device (CCD), which works by reading the amount of charge that is collected in the photodiode, and converting it in a binary format that is easily understood by the computer.

The other type of image sensor that is used in digital cameras is the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor. It works with the help of transistors and converts light into a digital signal. The sensors also filter the light into the three primary colors and then combine them to create the full spectrum.

The amount of light that is allowed to fall on the sensor is controlled by aperture and shutter speed. Since it requires skill to handle these settings several manufacturers automate aperture settings. In professional cameras, the aperture settings can be changed manually. The shutter, however, is set electronically to produce good results.

Almost all digital cameras are equipped with an LCD screen. The LCD screen is much bigger than the traditional viewfinder, and helps the user to frame images more easily.
The images are stored in digital devices called memory card or memory sticks. These cards can be removed from the camera, and the images transferred to a laptop or computer. It is also possible to transfer images directly into the computer without removing the card.

Each card has a limited memory which eventually gets exhausted. Once this happens, you can erase the images from the memory card or memory stick to create fresh space to shoot more pictures. However, it is advisable to carry a couple of spare memory cards when you are shooting deep in the interiors.

The quality of the images captured by a digital camera is expressed in pixels, which are also used to define the resolution of the photographs. Thus, a one megapixel camera will produce images of less resolution as compared to a 5 megapixels camera.

The digital cameras are easy to handle, and can shoot great pictures. They are perfect for beginners and professionals alike. The beginner can put the digital camera on the auto mode and go a shooting spree. The professional, of course, needs to adjust the settings to produce high quality images.

Another advantage with digital cameras is that the images can be improved after shooting. They can be cropped in a computer to remove extraneous elements, and to improve composition. The hues can be changed as also the light effects.