The Redeye Complex


Wednesday, February 13, 2008
CCD v CMOS

A comment about CCD v CMOS camera sensors heard on TWIP Episode #2 made me think. The comment by Scott was that CMOS was better than CCD in dSLRs. This opinion was new to me. I really haven't followed the technical development of sensors other than larger sensors are better. It was in a conversation about high ISO and I know that my Pentax K110D gets very noisy at high ISOs when the camera has been running for a while. Searched the specs on my K110D and it discovered that it uses a CCD. If I want better quality at high ISO, should I be using CMOS?

The recently announced new Pentax models K200 and K20D split their sensors with the entry level K200 continuing to use CCD and the higher end model, K20D using CMOS.

Seached the net for some insight and found a blog entry on CCD and CMOS on a Kodak "nerd" site.

It turns out that the issue is far from easily saying that one is better than the other. From the blog post...
The problem, of course, is that the image quality available from CMOS image sensors historically has not been as good as what you can get from CCDs. So you needed to trade off these two points - image quality vs. integration and power. That's why you've tended to see CMOS used in applications like camera phones (where small size and battery life are key) and CCD for other consumer and professional cameras (where image quality is still paramount).
It still comes down to what the camera maker stuffs in the camera to run and support the sensor.

Hmmm.

I guess I'll stick to my idea that larger sensors are the way to go. And continue to read reviews if I decide to upgrade.

Oh and TWIP runs a blog too. Target audience seems to be the prosumer. Should be fun to watch.

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