Canon’s purpose-built CMOS sensors are designed, developed and manufactured in-house. Precise control over every aspect of production allows Canon to achieve large sensor sizes, wide dynamic range and minimal noise – key characteristics of EOS image quality.
The CMOS Difference
Canon CMOS sensor technology offers several advantages over traditional CCD sensors. Amplifiers at each pixel site vastly speed up the process of getting the signal to the image processor. Unnecessary charge transfers are avoided, lowering power consumption and prolonging battery life. Low-noise performance means that even at high ISO speeds resolution and quality are not compromised. On-chip circuitry reduces remaining fixed pattern and random noise to enable shooting at speeds as high as ISO 6400 (equivalent). A low-pass filter in front of the sensor suppresses the false colour and moiré that can affect high-resolution images.
Wide Dynamic Range
Large pixels on every Canon CMOS sensor allow for a wide dynamic range. This means that images retain greater contrast and detail in shadow and highlight areas. Subtle nuances in colour and light are accurately reproduced. Large pixels also gather light more efficiently, responding with greater sensitivity in low light conditions.
Both CCD (charge-coupled device) and CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensors start at the same point — they have to convert light into electrons. One simplified way to think about the sensor used in a digital camera is to think of it as having a 2-D array of thousands or millions of tiny solar cells, each of which transforms the light from one small portion of the image into electrons. Both CCD and CMOS devices perform this task using a variety of technologies.
CCDs use a special manufacturing process to create the ability to transport charge across the chip without distortion. This process leads to very high-quality sensors in terms of fidelity and light sensitivity. CMOS chips, on the other hand, use traditional manufacturing processes to create the chip — the same processes used to make most microprocessors. Because of the manufacturing differences, there have been some noticeable differences between CCD and CMOS sensors.
- CCD sensors, as mentioned above, create high-quality, low-noise images. CMOS sensors, traditionally, are more susceptible to noise.
- Because each pixel on a CMOS sensor has several transistors located next to it, the light sensitivity of a CMOS chip tends to be lower. Many of the photons hitting the chip hit the transistors instead of the photodiode.
- CMOS traditionally consumes little power. Implementing a sensor in CMOS yields a low-power sensor.
- CCDs use a process that consumes lots of power. CCDs consume as much as 100 times more power than an equivalent CMOS sensor.
- CMOS chips can be fabricated on just about any standard silicon production line, so they tend to be extremely inexpensive compared to CCD sensors.
- CCD sensors have been mass produced for a longer period of time, so they are more mature. They tend to have higher quality and more pixels.
Thanks to How Stuff Works for some of the information given here. http://www.howstuffworks.com/
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