Before the invention of cameras, people could hardly find a way of keeping memories that they came along in life. The rich could get painters who would create images that resembled what was encountered. But, was this enough? Now, thanks to technology, we have digital cameras. The greatest invention of humankind. The digital cameras are now very common, and many people can now afford them. One may wonder how the cameras work and how they have become so prevalent of late. Well, the answer is CMOS. You may be asking yourself what CMOS is. Worry not, we have you covered.
What is CMOS?
Cell phones and digital cameras are now packed with many capture options and other in-camera extra features. We have image sensors that image sensors that utilize less power and still deliver high performance and excellent features. With the improvement in the sensor technology, CMOS sensors (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) were invented. They are now used highly in cameras of today. These sensors can allow a user to shoot 1080p video while applying complex imaging effects with ease.
Unlike CCD sensors that were thought to give high-quality images with less visible noise and distortion, the shift to CMOS can now help us to understand the dramatic evolution of cameras. So what do you need to know about CMOS sensor cameras?
Facts about CMOS Sensor Cameras.
To understand better about CMOS sensors, here are few facts that one can grasp.
1.CMOS sensor can perform onerous tasks.
The fact is that CMOS sensors can perform some of the heavy lifting tasks themselves. Tasks such as image-processing, analog-to-digital conversion, and noise reduction make these sensors greater than their rivals CCD. Also, these sensors are fast when it comes to speed.
2.They have a high sensor speed.
Sensor speed is one of the least things that people ever consider in cameras but are of higher value. Here is why. With the sensor speed and the processor power, the CMOS sensor has helped us to notice features that CCD sensors could meet. With the CMOS sensor, one can now capture very high rates of speed in an instant. An accurate captured picture is one with many photos captured, and this is what CMOS sensor cameras bring on the table.
The CMOS’s high-speed potential was seen in the pioneer camera; 2008’s Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1. This CMOS-based camera can shoot 60 images per second with a full 6-megapixel resolution. It can also shoot 1200 fps at lower resolutions.
Since this invention, many major manufacturers of cameras have been topping up high-speed still- and video-capture features into their CMOS-based cameras. They also feel free to include other features that accelerate the ability of fast capture and data-shuttling speeds.
3.The higher number of readout channels.
CMOS sensor is not limited to the number of readout channels. Therefore, getting data off the CMOS sensor is easy that when it was with the CCD sensor. The CCD sensor limits the users to two readout channels. However, the CMOS sensor has been designed for a higher purpose. The designer has been given the opportunity to decide how many channels they would love to set on there.
An instance is the Canon EOS 1D X a CMOS based camera that has got a 16-channel readout on them. There are also other cameras with eight channel readout. The other compact cameras in the market out here don’t specify the number of readout channels, but they are highly likely to be more than two.
4.Autofocus and Video.
CMOS has a lot to offer when it comes to on-sensor autofocus. These days, for instance, image sensors have a lot to offer than image capture. As the mirrorless cameras and mirrored cameras are shooting videos, the image sensor is left to do a lot more thus being the vital part of the camera-driving system.
The large-scale image sensors in SLRs and small-scale imagers in the point-and-shoot cameras are being beckoned upon for contrast AF calculation. Here is where sensor speed and sensor readout can be realized with CMOS. It would be complicated to do that with CCD sensors.
One can’t reach 60 progressive fps with CCD as it has trouble with progressive scanning first. However, when it comes to giving a full HD video CMOS is quite an enabler.
The brighter side of CMOS is beyond speed. In this world of compact cameras and phones, the development and broad adoption of CMOS sensors have changed the nature of what smaller CMOS-based cameras could do in darker situations. The backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, for instance, moved the light-blocking wires which are ones that also make CMOS sensors highly appreciated in data-readout speed to the back of the chip.
With that, the smaller CMOS sensors are now useful in low-light situations. They also started to reduce the image-noise gap between CMOS and CCD. Currently, the backside-illuminated CMOS sensors designed in quality compact cameras and even the Apple iPhones.
The disadvantage of the CMOS sensor.
One of the setbacks that CMOS sensors have faced is the rolling-shutter effect. This has proven to be a push back more so when it comes to the shooting of videos. It has also shown to be a pain in the head when one is trying to capture fast-moving objects. When one is planning to take a shot, the pixels of the CMOS sensors can only scan images that are direct front of the lens. Every row of the pixel captures what can be seen.
The result becomes some odd images and videos captured by the CMOS sensor. One would see tilted vertical lines, horizontal bands of light, and distorted moving images. This is opposite with the CCD sensors which capture the whole frame at a time with a global shutter.
The CMOS advantages lie outside the circle of image quality. Typically, CMOS chips are associated with cheaper manufacturing costs, excellent energy efficiency, fast readout time, and quicker data-throughput speeds. Also, the on-sensor circuitry can handle many processing tasks. With all the above benefits that one would usually get from a CMOS sensor, it’s essential to appreciate the research being done on improving the industry.