How digital cameras work


Digital cameras capture images without using film, and all of them work more or less the same way. The lens focuses light on an electronic sensor which consists of an array of light-sensitive spots called photosites. The mosaic-like “image” created by the photosite array is then read by an A/D converter.

The resulting digital image is then processed and “cleaned up” by the digital camera’s on-board computer before being stored in the camera’s memory. At this point the image is available for post-processing, printing, or long-term storage on digital media such as a computer hard drive or CD.

Regardless of price or the number of features, all digital cameras have the afore-mentioned on-board computer. Under the user’s direction (by changing the camera settings), this computer controls every aspect of the photo-taking process.

In short, digital cameras use electricity and computing power to replace the chemical and mechanical photographic processes of film cameras.