[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Mike guymal.com
My mic to the world...

Home Back to Tech Corner

Difference Between CCD and CMOS

Image-sensor chips -- the chips that capture the image in digital 
cameras -- fall into two main camps: CCD, or charge-coupled 
device, and CMOS (pronounced see-moss), which stands for 
complementary metal-oxide semi-conductor. 

The main argument in favor of CCD chips is that they're more 
sensitive than CMOS chips, so you can get better images in dim 
lighting. CCD chips also tend to deliver cleaner images than CMOS 
chips, which sometimes have a problem with noise -- small defects 
in the image. 

On the other hand, CMOS chips are less expensive to manufacture, 
and that cost savings translates into lower camera prices. In 
addition, CMOS chips are less power-hungry than CCD chips, so you 
can shoot for longer periods of time before replacing the 
camera's batteries. 

CMOS chips also perform better than CCD chips when capturing 
highlights, such as the sparkle of jewelry or the glint of 
sunlight reflecting across a lake. CCD chips suffer from 
blooming, which means creating unwanted halos around very bright 
highlights, while CMOS sensors do not. 

Currently, an overwhelming number of cameras use CCD technology. 
But cameras manufacturers are working to refine CMOS technology, 
and when they do, you can expect to hear more about this type of 

Back to Tech Corner