The Inside Picture Of A Digital Camera

The Inside Picture Of A Digital Camera

The Inside Picture of​ a​ Digital Camera
Electronics greatest technological breakthrough in​ this modern age is​ the​ digitization of​ analog signals .​
Digital information, which is​ represented by 1s and​ 0s, is​ formed upon successful conversion of​ analog information, which is​ represented by a​ fluctuating wave .​
This conversion of​ analog to​ digital has made the​ world of​ science and​ technology make great advances into the​ field of​ computers, Internet, satellites, and​ space research.
On the​ consumer domain, the​ benefits of​ this technological breakthrough can be witnessed in​ consumer electronic products like TVs, computers, cameras, camcorders, CDs, DVDs, etc .​
Digitization gave rise to​ microchips, which could be programmed to​ perform any task .​
With the​ utilization of​ the​ microchip, the​ digital camera was born.
In a​ digital camera, the​ lens focuses the​ image, the​ shutter allows the​ entry of​ light reflecting from that image into the​ camera, for​ a​ fraction of​ a​ second, and​ the​ aperture determines the​ quantity of​ light allowed inside the​ camera .​
When the​ light enters the​ camera, it​ does not fall on a​ photographic film as​ it​ does in​ a​ conventional camera, rather it​ falls on an​ image sensor.
The image sensor is​ an​ electronic device, a​ semiconductor, made up of​ photosites that measures the​ light intensity .​
The photosite can only measure the​ intensity of​ light and​ cannot recognize any color .​
To overcome this, each photosite is​ covered with a​ color filter of​ red, or​ a​ green, or​ a​ blue color according to​ a​ pattern known as​ the​ Bayer pattern .​
Since the​ human eye is​ twice sensitive to​ the​ green color, the​ number of​ photosites having green color is​ twice the​ number of​ photosites having red or​ blue color .​
Millions of​ photosites are covered by this Bayer pattern .​
Each color occupies a​ single photosite, which is​ known as​ a​ pixel.
The more the​ number of​ pixels, the​ greater is​ the​ amount of​ detail that can be captured .​
The detail of​ the​ image is​ called as​ resolution, which is​ determined by the​ quality of​ the​ lens and​ the​ number of​ pixels in​ the​ image sensor .​
High-end digital cameras have about 12 million pixels, whereas professional digital cameras have about 20 million pixels.
The information of​ the​ pixels is​ recorded as​ electrical analog signals, is​ amplified, and​ then is​ fed into a​ converter, which converts the​ amplified analog signals into digital binary numbers, with respect to​ the​ color information of​ each pixel .​
These digital binary numbers are then fed into a​ computer chip residing inside the​ camera .​
The computer chip analyzes the​ digital binary numbers that have been made as​ per the​ color of​ individual pixels .​
This information is​ known as​ RAW data .​
For analysis, the​ computer chip subjects this RAW data using a​ technique known as​ demosaicing.
In this technique (demosaicing), the​ pixel color is​ determined as​ per the​ color of​ the​ neighboring pixels .​
For example, if​ a​ red color pixel is​ surrounded by blue and​ green pixels, then that red color pixel is​ treated as​ white color, since the​ color white is​ a​ combination of​ the​ colors, red, blue, and​ green .​
After demosaicing is​ complete, the​ image is​ further subjected to​ the​ photographer`s settings of​ the​ camera, like adjustments made for​ brightness, color saturation, contrast, etc.
High-end digital cameras usually do not do anything more to​ the​ image thus produced .​
However, professional digital cameras have a​ sharpening algorithm, which heighten the​ sharpness and​ clarity of​ the​ demosaiced and​ settings adjusted image .​
Professional digital cameras also have the​ option of​ saving the​ image in​ its RAW data before any demosaicing or​ adjustments are made by the​ computer chip .​
This is​ to​ give control to​ the​ professional photographers to​ make changes to​ the​ RAW data as​ per their own choices.
The image can be saved in​ an​ uncompressed format like TIFF or​ a​ compressed format like JPEG .​
Uncompressed formats preserve greater information; thus, the​ detail of​ the​ photograph is​ much more than a​ compressed format, where detail is​ less, as​ lesser information is​ stored .​
Hence, compressed formats are also known as​ lossy formats, since details are lost .​
An uncompressed format increases the​ file size, whereas a​ compressed format reduces the​ file size .​
Depending upon the​ need, the​ image can be saved either in​ an​ uncompressed or​ a​ compressed image format, as​ bits and​ bytes in​ a​ memory card .​
The stored image can be viewed on the​ digital camera`s display screen as​ a​ digital photo.
This digital photo can then be transferred from the​ digital camera to​ the​ computer`s hard disk via the​ serial port or​ USB port or​ FireWire port or​ Bluetooth wireless using Wi-Fi connectivity .​
RAW data and​ uncompressed data like TIFF take a​ longer time to​ transfer than compressed data like JPEG or​ GIF .​
Once the​ data has been transferred to​ the​ computer`s hard disk, any photo editing software can manipulate and​ adjust it, as​ per the​ individual tastes and​ requirements of​ the​ photographer .​
The digital photo can then be printed on photographic paper, specially coated paper, or​ any other paper via a​ color inkjet or​ laser printer .​
Utilizing a​ plotter, it​ can be printed in​ larger sizes, in​ any other medium like canvas, acrylic, vinyl, etc .​
The digital photo can be saved on a​ hard disk, pen drive or​ a​ CD, for​ archival purposes.
With passing time, more and​ more features are being introduced in​ a​ digital camera .​
Nowadays, audio-video recording is​ also fused with the​ still image capturing capability of​ the​ digital camera, making them small camcorders (camera + recorders).

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