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How Does a Digital Camera Work?

How Does a Digital Camera Work?

All you have to do to make a digital camera capture the moment – is simply press the button. That’s it. But what happens inside the camera, once you have taken the picture, is an extremely interesting process. In fact, this device has a lot of different parts that have to work hard in order to make sure that you never forget this anniversary, wedding or holiday.

What is the Main Difference between a Digital and a Film Camera?

Both of these types of cameras are lightproof boxes. And all-in-all they look pretty much alike. You press the button and a small aperture in front of the camera opens to let in a portion of light. This process is the same for both of the types.
But what is completely different – is the destination of the light. There is no film in a digital camera. The light rays are captured by a special electronic device that turns them into electrical signals.

Why are Numbers Used in a Digital Camera?

Reflected light from the object that you are taking a picture of travels to the camera lens that zooms it in. Then this newly formed picture hits a sensor chip. This little guy is responsible for breaking the light into millions of small pixels.
What are these pixels?
If you have a really close look at your TV monitor or zoom into a photo on your computer, you will see that all these images are composed of tiny colored squares. These squares are pixels.

Now, back to the sensor chip. It also measures the brightness and the color of each ‘square’. Then every pixel is stored in the memory of the camera as a number. Yes, in digital cameras long numbers describe exactly what you will be seeing on the printed picture.

The Digital World

As soon as the picture is stored in a numeric form, you have the opportunity to edit it, download to other digital devices and so on. These ‘numbers’ are the language of practically all the gadgets that we use nowadays. That’s exactly why they all ‘understand’ each other.
Can you turn ordinary printed photos into digital ones?
Yes, of course. Printed images can easily be stored in the digital world thanks to another device – a scanner. In fact, it works practically like a digital camera. A scanner uses light that ‘scans’ across the image to turn it back into tiny pixels.

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