The digitization of analog signals is electronic’s greatest technological innovation in modern times. Digital information is represented as 1s and 0, which results from successful conversion of analog information (which is represented as a fluctuating wave). The conversion of analog to digital has allowed science and technology to make significant advances in the fields of computers, Internet and satellites.
Consumer electronics products such as TVs, computers and camcorders, CDs and DVDs are all Worldinsidepictures examples of the technological advances. Microchips were created by digitization, which can be programmed to do any task. The digital camera was created by the use of the microchip.
The digital camera has a lens that focuses the image and a shutter that allows light to enter the camera. For a fraction of second, the aperture controls the amount of light allowed within the camera. The light that enters a camera does not fall on a traditional photographic film, but rather on an image sensor.
An electronic device called a photosite, an image sensor measures light intensity. The photosite cannot detect any color and can only measure the intensity. Each photosite is then covered with a color filter that covers it in red, green or blue according to the Bayer pattern. The human eye is twice as sensitive to green colors, so the number photosites with green colors is twice that of those with red or blue. This Bayer pattern covers millions of photosites. Each color takes up a photosite, also known as a Pixel.
The greater the number of pixels, then the more detail can be captured. Resolution refers to the level of detail in an image. It is determined by both the quality of the lens as well as the number of pixels within the sensor. Professional digital cameras can store approximately 20 million pixels. High-end cameras have 12 million pixels.
The information in the pixels is stored as an electrical analog signal, amplified and fed into a converter. This converts the amplified signals into digital binary numbers with respect to each pixel’s color information. These digital binary numbers are then fed to a chip inside the camera. The computer chip then analyzes the digital binary number that has been generated according to the color of each individual pixel. This information is called raw data. This RAW data is subject to analysis by the computer chip using a technique called demosaicing.
This technique (demosaicing) determines the pixel’s color based on the colors of its neighboring pixels. If a red pixel is enclosed by blue and/or green pixels, it is considered white. This is because the color white is a mixture of red, blue, green and green. Once demosaicing has been completed, the image can be further adjusted by the photographer to adjust the settings of the camera such as brightness, color saturation and contrast.
The image produced by high-end digital cameras is usually not altered in any way. Professional digital cameras come with a sharpening algorithm that increases the clarity and sharpness of the image after it has been demosaiced or adjusted. Professional digital cameras have the option to save the image in the RAW data, before any adjustments or demosaicing are made by their computer chips. Professional photographers can make any changes to the raw data according to their preferences.
You can save the image in either an uncompressed TIFF format or a compressed JPEG format. The uncompressed format preserves more information. A compressed format like JPEG stores less information. Compromised formats are known as lossy formats because details are lost. Uncompressed formats can increase the file size while compressed formats reduce it. The image can be saved in either an uncompressed format or compressed image format depending on the needs. You can view the stored image on your digital camera’s screen as a digital photograph.
The digital photo can then transferred to the computer’s hard drive via the serial port, USB port, FireWire port, or USB port. It takes longer to transfer RAW data than JPEG and GIF.
After the data is transferred to the computer’s hard drive, any photo editing software can modify and adjust it according to the needs and preferences of the photographer. You can print the digital photo on photographic paper, specially coated papers, or any other paper using a laser printer or color inkjet. It can also be printed at larger sizes on any medium, such as canvas, acrylic, vinyl, or with a plotter. For archival purposes, the digital photo can be saved to a pen drive, hard disk or CD.
As digital cameras become more advanced, so do the features. Digital cameras are small camcorders that combine audio-video recording with still image capturing capabilities.
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