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Differentiating CCD and CMOS sensors

Differentiating CCD and CMOS sensors

A core component of security cameras, CCD and CMOS image sensors have in the last few years parted ways in terms of applications and characteristics, sensitivity, noise reduction and energy consumption.

At the same number of pixels, CCD sensors have outperformed CMOS sensors in sensitivity; CCD sensors also take in more light than CMOS sensors of the same size. In real-world applications, however, CMOS sensors deliver the same level of performance as their CCD counterparts in low-light cameras. This makes CMOS sensors the preferred image sensor for HD cameras.

What to Look for in a CMOS Sensor
In theory, CCD sensors allow a higher resolution than CMOS sensors of the same size. In practice, image sensor suppliers overcome this simply by making larger image sensors since security cameras do not have space constraints.

Major image sensor suppliers for the security market like Aptina, Omnivision, Sony and Sharp, use this advantage to continue to enhance the performance of CMOS image sensors. Currently, most HD cameras on the market use 1/1.8”, 1/2.5”, 1/2.7” or 1/2.8” image sensors.

By testing IP megapixel cameras on the market, it is possible to find a CMOS sensor that is practical in both price and performance. 6 key factors that could determine the performance include low-light performance, sensitivity, frame rate, energy consumption, resolution and WDR.

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