How Digital Cameras Actually Work—And Why They’re So Cheap

By // May 18, 2012 // Posted in Cameras & Lenses, Photography

Chances are you’ve got a digital camera of some sort in your pocket or bag, but you’ve never given too much thought how it really works. Pictures go on computer, not film. Right, well, here’s a simple and straightforward explanation of how that happens, exactly.

Bill Hammack, the Engineer Guy, explains the mechanics of how digital photography works with the charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors found on most point-and-shoot or cellphone cameras, and why that method is both cheap and effective. There are actually some pretty interesting cost-savers and workarounds in place. And while higher end digital cameras today have moved onto MOS or CMOS sensors, CCD is still in a huge number of the actual cameras in actual pockets out there. [YouTube]

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Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rangefinder magazine and the author of Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight From 20 Top Photographers (Amphoto Books, 2009); and The Luminous Portrait (Amphoto Books, 2012). The second-generation native New Yorker cherishes her Sunday mornings hunkered down with The New York Times, fresh bagels and a great cup of coffee.

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