The Coming Death of CCD
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The Coming Death of CCD

via Spot on Security
Posted by Doug Marman under VideoIQ

I donít mean to suggest that standard resolution CCD cameras are going to disappear anytime soon. But the industry reached some milestones in the advancement of CMOS image technology, and there seems to be consensus that CMOS imagers can now match even the low light performance of CCD.

The word Iíve heard from companies who work in the digital camera world is that as of 2010, all new digital cameras will be using CMOS imagers. Even in the highest end professional digital cameras, where quality is of the utmost importance. You wonít see CCD any more.

Digital cameras and camcorders drive most imager development, so, this makes 2010 a big watershed year for CMOS imagers.

Where this will have the biggest impact will be in megapixel cameras, since CMOS has big advantages on faster frame rates of megapixel images. CCD has always struggled with this.

The other big area is wide dynamic range. Post processing of CMOS images is the best way of getting ultra wide dynamic range Ė which provides a significant improvement in video quality, especially with outdoor scenes.

Another new development that is just starting to show up in very high-end digital cameras that is worth keeping an eye on, is post-processing of the image to improve low light performance. Nikon has a camera, for example, that can now take pictures with an ASA rating of 3,200.

You canít always believe the ASA rating on digital cameras, but what Nikon is doing is adding a lot of extra post processing of each image allowing it to extract the image information out of the noise, making for much better low-light pictures.

The problem is that today the method they are using takes seconds to process one image, so it wonít work real time for video. But Iím sure it is only a matter of time before this can be done in real time, which will represent a huge advancement for security applications.

While Iím on this subject, I think it is also worth mentioning that CMOS imagers also passed another important milestone a few years ago. Industry experts agree that CMOS imagers have now passed the resolution and quality of film.