Effects of CCD Size on an Image

The effects of CCD size on an image are simply that of image quality. A CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) consists of several individual elements which collect, store and transport electrical charge from one element to the next. Combine it with silicon's photosensitive properties, and an image sensor can then be designed. Each of these elements represents a pixel (picture element).

How CCDs Work

When a sensor is exposed to a light pattern, a series of pulses move the charge of a single pixel after another to the amplifier's output, line by line. This amplifier then converts the charges into a voltage. Further processing by other electronics will change the output signal into a viewable image.

Relevance to Digital Photography

In digital cameras, the relationship between the CCD sensor and its number of megapixels is calculated into its pixel sensor size. This size directly influences the camera's sensitivity to light, where the bigger the sensor size, the more light it will be able to gather. In other words, faster shutter speeds are achievable during lower-light conditions, while resulting in less noise. A higher amount of flexibility is also gained with both shutter speed and aperture settings.

Always remember to check not just the megapixel count, but also the CCD sizes. For a given size of CCD, the more pixels it has, the smaller the pixels are. However, if the number of pixels are fixed instead, go for the larger CCD sizes as the pixels are larger.

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