"Digicam" redirects here. For the military camouflage method using micropatterns, see .Hasselblad 503CW with Ixpress V96C , an example of a professional digital camera system Nikon D810
A digital camera or digicam is a that captures in . Most cameras produced today are digital, and while there are still dedicated digital cameras, many more are now incorporated into devices ranging from to vehicles. However, high-end, high-definition dedicated cameras are still commonly used by professionals.
Digital and share an optical system, typically using a lens with a variable to focus light onto an image pickup device. The diaphragm and admit the correct amount of light to the imager, just as with film but the image pickup device is electronic rather than chemical. However, unlike film cameras, digital cameras can display images on a screen immediately after being recorded, and store and delete images from . Many digital cameras can also record moving videos with . Some digital cameras can and pictures and perform other elementary .
Further information: , , and
The history of the digital camera began with of the , who was thinking about how to use a mosaic photosensor to capture digital images. His 1961 idea was to take pictures of the planets and stars while travelling through space to give information about the astronauts' position. As with employee Willis Adcock's filmless camera (US patent 4,057,830) in 1972, the technology had yet to catch up with the concept.
The was an all-digital camera introduced as a commercial product in 1975. Its design was published as a hobbyist construction project in the February 1975 issue of magazine, and it used a 32×32 sensor.
, an engineer at , invented and built the first self-contained electronic camera that used a image sensor in 1975. Early uses were mainly military and scientific; followed by medical and news applications.
In 1986, Japanese company introduced the first (DSLR) camera, the Nikon SVC. In the mid-to-late 1990s, DSLR cameras became common among consumers. By the mid-2000s, DSLR cameras had largely replaced film cameras.
In 2000, introduced the world's first digital , the , in Japan. By the mid-2000s, higher-end had an integrated digital camera. By the beginning of the 2010s, almost all had an integrated digital camera.
The two major types of digital image sensor are and . A CCD sensor has one amplifier for all the pixels, while each pixel in a CMOS has its own amplifier. Compared to CCDs, CMOS sensors use less power. Cameras with a small sensor use a CMOS (BSI-CMOS) sensor. Overall final image quality is more dependent on the capability of the camera, than on sensor type.
The of a digital camera is often limited by the image sensor that turns light into discrete signals. The brighter the image at a given point on the sensor, the larger the value that is read for that . Depending on the physical structure of the sensor, a may be used, which requires to recreate a full-color image. The number of pixels in the sensor determines the camera's "". In a typical sensor, the pixel count is the product of the number of rows and the number of columns. For example, a 1,000 by 1,000 pixel sensor would have 1,000,000 pixels, or 1 .
Final quality of an image depends on all optical transformations in the chain of producing the image. Carl Zeiss points out that the weakest link in an optical chain determines the final image quality. In case of a digital camera, a simplistic way of expressing it is that the lens determines the maximum sharpness of the image while the image sensor determines the maximum resolution. The illustration on the right can be said to compare a lens with very poor sharpness on a camera with high resolution, to a lens with good sharpness on a camera with lower resolution.
Methods of image captureAt the heart of a digital camera is a CCD or a image sensor. Digital camera, partly disassembled. The lens assembly (bottom right) is partially removed, but the sensor (top right) still captures an image, as seen on the LCD screen (bottom left).
Since the first digital backs were introduced, there have been three main methods of capturing the image, each based on the hardware configuration of the sensor and color filters.
Single-shot capture systems use either one sensor chip with a mosaic, or three separate image sensors (one each for the red, green, and blue) which are exposed to the same image via a beam splitter (see ).
Multi-shot exposes the sensor to the image in a sequence of three or more openings of the lens . There are several methods of application of the multi-shot technique. The most common originally was to use a single image sensor with three filters passed in front of the sensor in sequence to obtain the additive color information. Another multiple shot method is called . This method uses a single sensor chip with a Bayer filter and physically moved the sensor on the focus plane of the lens to construct a higher resolution image than the native resolution of the chip. A third version combined the two methods without a Bayer filter on the chip.
The third method is called scanning because the sensor moves across the focal plane much like the sensor of an . The linear or tri-linear sensors in scanning cameras utilize only a single line of photosensors, or three lines for the three colors. Scanning may be accomplished by moving the sensor (for example, when using ) or by rotating the whole camera. A digital offers images of very high total resolution.
The choice of method for a given capture is determined largely by the subject matter. It is usually inappropriate to attempt to capture a subject that moves with anything but a single-shot system. However, the higher color fidelity and larger file sizes and resolutions available with multi-shot and scanning backs make them attractive for commercial photographers working with stationary subjects and large-format photographs.
Improvements in single-shot cameras and image file processing at the beginning of the 21st century made single shot cameras almost completely dominant, even in high-end commercial photography.
Filter mosaics, interpolation, and aliasingThe Bayer arrangement of color filters on the pixel array of an image sensor.
Most current consumer digital cameras use a in combination with an optical to reduce the aliasing due to the reduced sampling of the different primary-color images. A demosaicing algorithm is used to color information to create a full array of RGB image data.
Cameras that use a beam-splitter single-shot approach, three-filter multi-shot approach, color co-site sampling or do not use anti-aliasing filters, nor demosaicing.
in the camera, or a software in a raw converter program such as , interprets the raw data from the sensor to obtain a full color image, because the requires three intensity values for each pixel: one each for the red, green, and blue (other color models, when used, also require three or more values per pixel). A single sensor element cannot simultaneously record these three intensities, and so a (CFA) must be used to selectively filter a particular color for each pixel.
The Bayer filter pattern is a repeating 2x2 mosaic pattern of light filters, with green ones at opposite corners and red and blue in the other two positions. The high proportion of green takes advantage of properties of the human visual system, which determines brightness mostly from green and is far more sensitive to brightness than to hue or saturation. Sometimes a 4-color filter pattern is used, often involving two different hues of green. This provides potentially more accurate color, but requires a slightly more complicated interpolation process.
The color intensity values not captured for each pixel can be from the values of adjacent pixels which represent the color being calculated.
Sensor size and angle of view
Cameras with digital image sensors that are smaller than the typical 35mm film size have a smaller field or when used with a lens of the same . This is because angle of view is a function of both focal length and the sensor or film size used.
The is relative to the . If a smaller sensor is used, as in most digicams, the field of view is cropped by the sensor to smaller than the 35mm full-frame format's field of view. This narrowing of the field of view may be described as , a factor by which a longer focal length lens would be needed to get the same field of view on a 35mm film camera. utilize a sensor of the same size as a frame of 35mm film.
Common values for field of view crop in DSLRs using include 1.3x for some (APS-H) sensors, 1.5x for APS-C sensors used by , and and for sensors, 1.6 (APS-C) for most Canon sensors, 1.7x for 's sensors and 2x for and 4/3-inch sensors currently used by and Panasonic. Crop factors for non-SLR consumer compact and cameras are larger, frequently 4x or more.
Further information:Relative sizes of sensors used in most current digital cameras. Table of sensor sizes Type Width (mm) Height (mm) Size (mm²) 1/3.6" 4.00 3.00 12.0 1/3.2" 4.54 3.42 15.5 1/3" 4.80 3.60 17.3 1/2.7" 5.37 4.04 21.7 1/2.5" 5.76 4.29 24.7 1/2.3" 6.16 4.62 28.5 1/2" 6.40 4.80 30.7 1/1.8" 7.18 5.32 38.2 1/1.7" 7.60 5.70 43.3 2/3" 8.80 6.60 58.1 1" 12.8 9.6 123 18.0 13.5 243 25.1 16.7 419 36 24 864 Back 48 36 1728
Types of digital cameras
Digital cameras come in a wide range of sizes, prices and capabilities. In addition to general purpose digital cameras, specialized cameras including equipment and are used for scientific, military, medical and other special purposes.
CompactsSubcompact with lens assembly retracted Disassembled compact digital camera
Compact cameras are intended to be portable (pocketable) and are particularly suitable for casual "".
Many incorporate a retractable lens assembly that provides optical zoom. In most models, an auto actuating lens cover protects the lens from elements. Most ruggedized or models do not retract, and most with capability do not retract fully.
Compact cameras are usually designed to be . Almost all include an automatic mode, or "auto mode", which automatically makes all camera settings for the user. Some also have manual controls. Compact digital cameras typically contain a small sensor which trades-off picture quality for compactness and simplicity; images can usually only be stored using (). Most have a built-in usually of low power, sufficient for nearby subjects. A few high end compact digital cameras have a for connecting to an external flash. is almost always used to frame the photo on an integrated LCD. In addition to being able to take still photographs almost all compact cameras have the ability to record .
Compacts often have capability and , but the zoom range (up to 30x) is generally enough for but less than is available on (more than 60x), or the interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras available at a much higher cost. systems in compact digital cameras generally are based on a contrast-detection methodology using the image data from the live preview feed of the main imager. Some compact digital cameras use a hybrid autofocus system similar to what is commonly available on DSLRs.
Typically, compact digital cameras incorporate a nearly silent into the lens but play a simulated camera sound for purposes.
For low cost and small size, these cameras typically use with a diagonal between 6 and 11 mm, corresponding to a crop factor between 7 and 4. This gives them weaker low-light performance, greater , generally closer focusing ability, and smaller components than cameras using larger sensors. Some cameras use a larger sensor including, at the high end, a pricey full-frame sensor compact camera, such as , but have capability near that of a DSLR.
A variety of additional features are available depending on the model of the camera. Such features include , compass, and .
Starting in 2011, some compact digital cameras can take 3D still photos. These 3D compact can capture 3D panoramic photos with dual lens or even single lens for play back on a .
In 2013, Sony released two add-on camera models without display, to be used with a smartphone or tablet, controlled by a via WiFi.
Rugged compact cameras typically include protection against submersion, hot and cold conditions, shock and pressure. Terms used to describe such properties include waterproof, freezeproof, heatproof, shockproof and crushproof, respectively. Nearly all major camera manufacturers have at least one product in this category. Some are waterproof to a considerable depth up to 82 feet (27 m); others only 10 feet (3m), but only a few will float. Ruggeds often lack some of the features of ordinary compact camera, but they have video capability and the majority can record sound. Most have image stabilization and built-in flash. Touchscreen LCD and GPS do not work under water.
Further information: Action camera
and other brands offer action cameras which are rugged, small and can be easily attached to , arm, bicycle, etc. Most have wide angle and fixed focus, and can take still pictures and video, typically with sound.
The rising popularity of action cameras is in line with many people desiring to share photos or videos in . Many competitive manufacturers of action cameras results in many options and lowered, competitive prices, and nowadays, cameras are sold bundled with waterproof housings, accessories, and mountings compatible with the popular GoPro.
The 360-degree camera can take picture or video 360 degrees using two lenses back-to-back and shooting at the same time. Some of the cameras are Ricoh Theta S, Nikon Keymission 360 and Samsung Gear 360. Nico360 was launched in 2016 and claimed as the world's smallest 360-degree camera with size 46 x 46 x 28 mm (1.8 x 1.8 x 1.1 in) and price less than 0. With mode built-in stitching, Wifi, and Bluetooth, live streaming can be done. Due to it also being water resistant, the Nico360 can be used as action camera.
There are tend that action cameras have capabilities to shoot 360 degrees with at least 4K resolution.
Bridge camerasSony DSC-H2
Bridge cameras physically resemble DSLRs, and are sometimes called DSLR-shape or DSLR-like. They provide some similar features but, like compacts, they use a fixed lens and a small sensor. Some compact cameras have also PSAM mode. Most use to frame the image. Their usual autofocus is by the same contrast-detect mechanism as compacts, but many bridge cameras have a mode and some have a separate focus ring for greater control.
Big physical size and small sensor allow and wide . Bridgcams generally include an system to enable longer handheld exposures, sometimes better than DSLR for low light condition.
As of 2014, bridge cameras come in two principal classes in terms of sensor size, firstly the more traditional 1/2.3" sensor (as measured by ) which gives more flexibility in lens design and allows for handholdable zoom from 20 to 24mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle all the way up to over 1000 mm supertele, and secondly a 1" sensor that allows better image quality particularly in low light (higher ISO) but puts greater constraints on lens design, resulting in zoom lenses that stop at 200mm (constant aperture, e.g. Sony RX10) or 400mm (variable aperture, e.g. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000) equivalent, corresponding to an optical zoom factor of roughly 10 to 15.
Some bridge cameras have a lens thread to attach accessories such as wide-angle or as well as filters such as UV or filter and lens hoods. The scene is composed by viewing the display or the (EVF). Most have a slightly longer than a DSLR. Many of these cameras can store images in a raw format in addition to supporting JPEG. The majority have a built-in flash, but only a few have a .
In bright sun, the quality difference between a good compact camera and a digital SLR is minimal but bridge cameras are more portable, cost less and have a greater zoom ability. Thus a bridge camera may better suit outdoor daytime activities, except when seeking professional-quality photos.
Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camerasOlympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II introduced 2016
In late 2008, a new type of camera emerged called mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC), which uses various sensors and offers lens interchangeability. These are simpler and more compact than DSLRs due to not having a lens reflex system. MILC camera models are available with various sensor sizes including: a small 1/2.3 inch sensor, as is commonly used in such as the original (more recent Pentax Q versions have a slightly larger 1/1.7 inch sensor); a 1-inch sensor; a sensor; an APS-C sensor such as the Sony NEX series, , , and ; and some, such as the , use a full frame (35 mm) sensor and even X1D is the first medium format MILC. Some MILC cameras have a separate electronic viewfinder. In other cameras the back display is used as a viewfinder in same way as in compact cameras. A disadvantage of MILC compared to DSLR is battery life due to the energy consumption of the .
Olympus and Panasonic released many Micro Four Thirds cameras with interchangeable lenses which are fully compatible each other without any adapter, while the others have proprietary mounts. In 2014, Kodak released its first Micro Four Third system camera.
As of March 2014, MILC cameras are available which appeal to both amateurs and professionals.
While most digital cameras with interchangeable lenses feature a lens-mount of some kind, there are also a number of modular cameras, where the shutter and sensor are incorporated into the lens module.
The first such modular camera was the in 1996, followed by the in 1998 and the in 1999. In 2009, Ricoh released the modular camera.
At CES 2013, announced the , an 18 MP camera with 1"-sensor with interchangeable sensor-lens. An adapter for , Nikon and K-mount lenses was planned to ship with the camera.
There are also a number of add-on camera modules for called lens-style cameras (lens camera). They contain all components of a digital camera in a module, but lack a viewfinder, display and most of the controls. Instead they can be mounted to a and use its display and controls. Lens-style cameras include:
- Sony SmartShot QX series, announced and released in mid 2013. In January 2014 announced a firmware update for Cyber-shot SmartShot and . In September 2014, Sony announced the Cyber-shot SmartShot as well as the α SmartShot , the latter with instead of a built-in lens.
- smart lens camera series, announced in 2014.
- smart lens camera series from Vivitar/Sakar, announced in 2014.
- Air lens camera, announced in 2014 and released in 2015, the lens camera is open platform using and can detach into 2 parts (sensor part and lens part) and all lenses can be attached to sensor part of the lens camera.
Digital single-lens reflex cameras
Digital (DSLR) use a reflex mirror that can reflect the light and also can swivel from one position to another position and back to initial position. By default, the reflex mirror is set 45 degree from horizontal, blocks the light to the sensor and reflects light from the lens to penta-mirror/prism at the DSLR camera and after some reflections arrives at the viewfinder. The reflex mirror is pulled out horizontally below the penta-mirror/prism when shutter release is fully pressed, so the viewfinder will be dark and the light/image can directly strike the sensor at the time of exposure (speed setting).
Autofocus is accomplished using sensors in the mirror box. Some DSLRs have a "" mode that allows framing using the screen with image from the sensor.
These cameras have much larger sensors than the other types, typically 18 mm to 36 mm on the diagonal (crop factor 2, 1.6, or 1). The larger sensor permits more light to be received by each pixel; this, combined with the relatively large lenses provides superior low-light performance. For the same field of view and the same aperture, a larger sensor gives shallower focus. They use for versatility. Usually some lenses are made for digital SLR use only, but recent trend the lenses can also be used in detachable lens video camera with or without adapter.
Digital Single Lens Translucent (DSLT) cameras
A DSLT uses a fixed mirror instead of a moving reflex mirror as in DSLR. A translucent mirror or transmissive mirror or semi-transparent mirror is a mirror which reflects the light to two things at the same time. It reflects it along the path to a pentaprism/pentamirror which then goes to an optical view finder (OVF) as is done with a reflex mirror in DSLR cameras. The translucent mirror also sends light along a second path to the sensor. The total amount of light is not changed, just some of the light travels one path and some of it travels the other. The consequences are that DSLT cameras should shoot a half stop differently from DSL. One advantage of using a DSLT camera is the blind moments a DSLR user experiences while the reflecting mirror is moved to send the light to the sensor instead of the viewfinder do not exist for DSLT cameras. Because there is no time at which light is not traveling along both paths, DSLT cameras get the benefit of continuous auto-focus tracking. This is especially beneficial for burst mode shooting in low-light conditions and also for tracking when taking video.
Until early 2014, only Sony had released DSLT cameras. By March 2013, Sony had released more DSLTs than DSLRs with a relatively complete lenses line-up.
A rangefinder is a device to measure subject distance, with the intent to adjust the focus of a camera's objective lens accordingly (). The rangefinder and lens focusing mechanism may or may not be coupled. In common parlance, the term "rangefinder camera" is interpreted very narrowly to denote manual-focus cameras with a visually-read out optical rangefinder based on . Most digital cameras achieve focus through analysis of the image captured by the objective lens and distance estimation, if it is provided at all, is only a byproduct of the focusing process ().
Line-scan camera systemsA San Francisco cable car, imaged using an Alkeria Necta N4K2-7C line scan camera with a shutter speed of 250 microseconds, or 4000 frames per second.
A line-scan camera traditionally has a single row of pixel sensors, instead of a matrix of them. The lines are continuously fed to a computer that joins them to each other and makes an image. This is most commonly done by connecting the camera output to a which resides in a of an industrial computer. The frame grabber acts to buffer the image and sometimes provide some processing before delivering to the computer software for processing.
Multiple rows of sensors may be used to make colored images, or to increase sensitivity by TDI ().
Many industrial applications require a wide field of view. Traditionally maintaining consistent light over large 2D areas is quite difficult. With a line scan camera all that is necessary is to provide even illumination across the “line” currently being viewed by the camera. This makes possible sharp pictures of objects that pass the camera at high speed.
Such cameras are also commonly used to make , to determine the winner when multiple competitors cross the finishing line at nearly the same time. They can also be used as industrial instruments for analyzing fast processes.
Linescan cameras are also extensively used in imaging from satellites (see ). In this case the row of sensors is perpendicular to the direction of satellite motion. Linescan cameras are widely used in . In this case, the camera moves horizontally.
Further information: and
Stand alone camera
Stand alone cameras can be used as . One kind weighs 2.31 ounces (65.5 g), with a periscope shape, IPx7 water-resistance and dust-resistance rating and can be enhanced to IPx8 by using a cap. They have no viewfinder or LCD. Lens is a 146 degree wide angle or standard lens, with fixed focus. It can have a microphone and speaker, And it can take photos and video. As a remote camera, a phone app using Android or iOS is needed to send live video, change settings, take photos, or use time lapse.
Integration into other devices
Many devices have a built-in digital camera, including, for example, , mobile phones, PDAs and laptop computers. Built-in cameras generally store the images in the JPEG file format.
Mobile phones incorporating digital cameras were introduced in Japan in 2001 by J-Phone. In 2003 outsold stand-alone digital cameras, and in 2006 they outsold film and digital stand-alone cameras. Five billion camera phones were sold in five years, and by 2007 more than half of the of all mobile phones were camera phones. Sales of separate cameras peaked in 2008.
Market trendsSale of smartphones compared to digital cameras 2009-2013
Sales of traditional digital cameras have declined due to the increasing use of for casual photography, which also enable easier manipulation and sharing of photos through the use of and web-based services. "Bridge cameras", in contrast, have held their ground with functionality that most smartphone cameras lack, such as optical zoom and other advanced features. DSLRs have also lost ground to (MILC)s offering the same sensor size in a smaller camera. A few expensive ones use a full-frame sensor as DSLR professional cameras.
In response to the convenience and flexibility of smartphone cameras, some manufacturers produced "smart" digital cameras that combine features of traditional cameras with those of a smartphone. In 2012, Nikon and Samsung released the and , the first two digital cameras to run the operating system. Since this is used in many smartphones, they can integrate with services (such as , and sites) as smartphones do, and use other Android-compatible software as well.
In an inversion, some phone makers have introduced smartphones with cameras designed to resemble traditional digital cameras. Nokia released the and in 2012 and 2013; the two devices respectively run the and operating systems, and both include a 41-megapixel camera (along with a camera grip attachment for the latter). Similarly, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 Zoom, having a 16-megapixel camera and 10x optical zoom, combining traits from the with the Galaxy Camera. Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 is an Android KitKat 4.4 smartphone with 20MP, 1" sensor, the largest sensor for a smartphone ever, with Leica fixed lens equivalent of 28mm at F2.8, can take RAW image and 4K video, has 21mm thickness. Furthermore, in 2018 Pro is an android Oreo 8.1 has triple Leica lenses in the back of the smartphone with 40MP 1/1.7" sensor as first lens, 20MP 1/2.7" sensor as second lens and 8MP 1/4" RGB sensor with 3x optical zoom as third lens. Combination of first lens and second lens will produce image with larger , whereas combination of first lens and optical zoom will produce maximum 5x without loss of quality by reducing the image size to 8MP.
were introduced in 2013 with one consumer product and several professional ones.
After a big dip of sales in 2012, consumer digital camera sales declined again in 2013 by 36 percent. In 2011, compact digital cameras sold 10 million per month. In 2013, sales fell to about 4 million per month. DSLR and MILC sales also declined in 2013 by 10–15% after almost ten years of double digit growth. Worldwide unit sales of digital cameras is continuously declining from 148 million in 2011 to 58 million in 2015 and tends to decrease more in the following years.
Film camera sold got the peak at 36.671 million units in 1997 and digital camera sold began in 1999. In 2008, film camera market was dead and digital camera sold got the peak by 121.463 million units in 2010. In 2002, cell phone with camera has been introduced and in 2003 the cell phone with camera sold 80 million units per year. In 2011 the cell phone with camera sold hundreds of millions per year, when digital camera sold initialized to decline. In 2015, digital camera sold is 35.395 million units or only less than a third of digital camera sold number in a peak and also slightly less than film camera sold number in a peak.
Many digital cameras can connect directly to a computer to transfer data:-
- Early cameras used the . is now the most widely used method (most cameras are viewable as ), though some have a port. Some cameras use mode for connection instead of USB MSC; some offer both modes.
- Cameras with integrated Wi-Fi or specific Wi-Fi adapters mostly allow camera control, especially release, control and more () from computer or smartphone apps additionally to the transfer of media data.
- Cameraphones and some high-end stand-alone digital cameras also use to connect for sharing images. The most common standard on cellular networks is the MMS , commonly called "picture messaging". The second method with is to send a picture as an . Many old cameraphones, however, do not support email.
A common alternative is the use of a which may be capable of reading several types of storage media, as well as high speed transfer of data to the computer. Use of a card reader also avoids draining the camera battery during the download process. An external card reader allows convenient direct access to the images on a collection of storage media. But if only one storage card is in use, moving it back and forth between the camera and the reader can be inconvenient. Many computers have a card reader built in, at least for SD cards.
Many modern cameras support the standard, which allows them to send data directly to a PictBridge-capable without the need for a computer.
Wireless connectivity can also provide for printing photos without a cable connection.
An instant-print camera, is a digital camera with a built-in . This confers a similar functionality as an which uses to quickly generate a physical photograph. Such non-digital cameras were popularized by in 1972.
Many digital cameras include a video output port. Usually , it sends a standard-definition video signal to a television, allowing the user to show one picture at a time. Buttons or menus on the camera allow the user to select the photo, advance from one to another, or automatically send a "slide show" to the TV.
has been adopted by many high-end digital camera makers, to show photos in their high-resolution quality on an .
In January 2008, announced a new technology for sending video from mobile devices to a television in digital form. sends pictures as a video stream, up to 1080p resolution, and is compatible with HDMI.
Some and television sets can read memory cards used in cameras; alternatively several types of flash card readers have TV output capability.
Weather-sealing and waterproofing
Cameras can be equipped with a varying amount of environmental sealing to provide protection against splashing water, moisture (humidity and fog), dust and sand, or complete waterproofness to a certain depth and for a certain duration. The latter is one of the approaches to allow , the other approach being the use of waterproof housings. Many waterproof digital cameras are also shockproof and resistant to low temperatures.
Some waterproof cameras can be fitted with a waterproof housing to increase the operational depth range. The Olympus 'Tough' range of compact cameras is an example.
Many digital cameras have preset for different applications. Within the constraints of correct exposure various parameters can be changed, including , aperture, , , , and equivalent sensitivity. For example, a might use a wider aperture to render the background out of focus, and would seek out and focus on a human face rather than other image content.
Image data storageA (CF) card, one of many media types used to store digital photographs
Many camera phones and most stand alone digital cameras store image data in flash or other . Most stand-alone cameras use format, while a few use or other types. In January 2012, a faster format was announced. In early 2014, some high end cameras have two hot-swapable memory slots. Photographers can swap one of the memory card with camera-on. Each memory slot can accept either Compact Flash or SD Card. All new Sony cameras also have two memory slots, one for its and one for SD Card, but not hot-swapable.
A few cameras used other removable storage such as (very small ), (185 ), and . Other unusual formats include:
- Onboard flash memory — Cheap cameras and cameras secondary to the device's main use (such as a camera phone)
- hard drives — early professional cameras (discontinued)
- — known only in one model of camera that printed images immediately rather than storing
Most manufacturers of digital cameras do not provide drivers and software to allow their cameras to work with or other . Still, many cameras use the standard protocol, and are thus easily usable. Other cameras are supported by the project.
The Joint Photography Experts Group standard (JPEG) is the most common file format for storing image data. Other file types include Tagged Image File Format () and various .
Many cameras, especially high-end ones, support a . A raw image is the unprocessed set of pixel data directly from the camera's sensor, often saved in a . has released the format, a royalty-free raw image format used by at least 10 camera manufacturers.
Raw files initially had to be processed in specialized image editing programs, but over time many mainstream editing programs, such as Google's , have added support for raw images. Rendering to standard images from raw sensor data allows more flexibility in making major adjustments without losing image quality or retaking the picture.
Formats for movies are , , , (often containing motion JPEG), , and ASF (basically the same as WMV). Recent formats include , which is based on the QuickTime format and uses newer compression algorithms to allow longer recording times in the same space.
Other formats that are used in cameras (but not for pictures) are the Design Rule for Camera Format (), an specification, used in almost all camera since 1998, which defines an internal file structure and naming. Also used is the Digital Print Order Format (), which dictates what order images are to be printed in and how many copies. The DCF 1998 defines a logical file system with and makes the usage of either FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 or exFAT mandatory for its physical layer in order to maximize platform interoperability.
Most cameras include data that provides about the picture. Exif data may include aperture, , focal length, date and time taken, and .
Digital cameras have become smaller over time, resulting in an ongoing need to develop a small enough to fit in the camera and yet able to power it for a reasonable length of time.
Digital cameras utilize either proprietary or standard consumer batteries. As of March 2014, most cameras use proprietary lithium-ion batteries while some use standard AA batteries or primarily use a proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack but have an optional AA battery holder available.
The most common class of battery used in digital cameras is proprietary battery formats. These are built to a manufacturer's custom specifications. Almost all proprietary batteries are lithium-ion. In addition to being available from the , aftermarket replacement batteries are commonly available for most camera models.
Standard consumer batteries
Digital cameras that utilize off-the-shelf batteries are typically designed to be able to use both single-use and , but not with both types in use at the same time. The most common off-the-shelf battery size used is . CR2, batteries, and are also used in some cameras. The CR2 and CR-V3 batteries are , intended for a single use. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are also available as an alternative to non-rechargeable CR-V3 batteries.
Some for DSLRs come with a separate holder to accommodate AA cells as an external power source.
Conversion of film cameras to digital
When digital cameras became common, many photographers asked whether their could be converted to digital. The answer was yes and no. For the majority of 35 mm film cameras the answer is no, the reworking and cost would be too great, especially as lenses have been evolving as well as cameras. For most a conversion to digital, to give enough space for the electronics and allow a liquid crystal display to preview, would require removing the back of the camera and replacing it with a custom built digital unit.
Many early professional SLR cameras, such as the series, were developed from 35 mm film cameras. The technology of the time, however, meant that rather than being digital "backs" the bodies of these cameras were mounted on large, bulky digital units, often bigger than the camera portion itself. These were factory built cameras, however, not conversions.
A notable exception is the and , using additional optics to convert the 35mm format to a 2/3 CCD-sensor.
A few 35 mm cameras have had made by their manufacturer, Leica being a notable example. and cameras (those using film stock greater than 35 mm), have a low unit production, and typical digital backs for them cost over ,000. These cameras also tend to be highly modular, with handgrips, film backs, winders, and lenses available separately to fit various needs.
The very large sensor these backs use leads to enormous image sizes. For example, Phase One's P45 39 MP image back creates a single TIFF image of size up to 224.6 MB, and even greater pixel counts are available. Medium format digitals such as this are geared more towards studio and than their smaller DSLR counterparts; the in particular tends to have a maximum of 400, versus 6400 for some DSLR cameras. (Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and have ISO 12800 plus Hi-3 ISO 102400 with the Canon EOS-1Dx's ISO of 204800)
Digital camera backs
In the industrial and high-end professional photography market, some camera systems use modular (removable) image sensors. For example, some medium format SLR cameras, such as the Mamiya 645D series, allow installation of either a digital camera back or a traditional photographic film back.
- Area array
- Linear array
- CCD (monochrome)
- 3-strip CCD with color filters
Linear array cameras are also called scan backs.
- Multi-shot (three-shot, usually)
Most earlier digital camera backs used linear array sensors, moving vertically to the image. Many of them only capture images. The relatively long exposure times, in the range of seconds or even minutes generally limit scan backs to studio applications, where all aspects of the photographic scene are under the photographer's control.
Some other camera backs use CCD arrays similar to typical cameras. These are called single-shot backs.
Since it is much easier to manufacture a high-quality linear CCD array with only thousands of pixels than a CCD matrix with millions, very high resolution linear CCD camera backs were available much earlier than their CCD matrix counterparts. For example, you could buy an (albeit expensive) camera back with over 7,000 pixel horizontal resolution in the mid-1990s. However, as of 2004, it is still difficult to buy a comparable CCD matrix camera of the same resolution. Rotating line cameras, with about 10,000 color pixels in its sensor line, are able, as of 2005, to capture about 120,000 lines during one full 360 degree rotation, thereby creating a single digital image of 1,200 Megapixels.
Most modern digital camera backs use CCD or CMOS matrix sensors. The matrix sensor captures the entire image frame at once, instead of incrementing scanning the frame area through the prolonged exposure. For example, produces a 39 million pixel digital camera back with a 49.1 x 36.8 mm CCD in 2008. This CCD array is a little smaller than a frame of and much larger than a frame (36 x 24 mm). In comparison, consumer digital cameras use arrays ranging from 36 x 24 mm (full frame on high end consumer DSLRs) to 1.28 x 0.96 mm (on ) CMOS sensor.
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