CMOS vs CCD

If you have ever used, purchased, or even looked at industrial cameras for remote visual inspection (RVI), you’ve probably come across two technical terms: CMOS and CCD.  So, what do they mean? And why do you care?

To answer the second question first, you probably don’t care at all.  But to explain why, we have to answer the first question … 

A CCD, or Charge Coupled Device, is a type of image sensor used in digital and analog cameras. Likewise, CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor; pronounced “see-moss”) technology is also used for image sensors, but there are some distinct differences.  Not too many years ago, CCDs were the de facto standard for almost all industrial cameras – they were generally considered to offer better images and less noise.  But more recently, CMOS imagers have been taking over; they are simpler to produce, easier to miniaturize, and with recent improvements in the technology, they can actually outperform CCDs for many applications (we can thank the smart phone market for those advances!).

Here at Crystal Cam, we utilize CMOS sensors for two of our standard cameras.  At only 7/8” (22mm) diameter, with integrated lighting and a 3,300 ft (1,000 m) depth rating, the Onyx is simply too small to use a traditional CCD; and the new Diamond offers full 1080p HD video resolution with excellent low light performance that can only be found in the new, small CMOS board cameras.

But, as stated above, most divers, ROV operators, inspection contractors, or OEMs probably don’t care.  Specifications like resolution, overall size, and light sensitivity are what really matter for those critical RVI applications.   Contact us today to for more information on our Crystal Cam cameras, crawlers, and accessories, and to learn how CCII can help you see it clearly.

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