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Definition of Term

  • (Charged coupled device) The sensor device used to capture light and convert it to a pixel based image inside a digital camera.



  • To break it down simply, CCD stands for Charged Coupled Device. The CCD is the digital equivalent of film.

  • The CCD is a type of sensor that is used to capture an image by taking the light and translating it into digital data. There are thousands of tiny little pixels that make up the surface of the sensor so that every little facet of light will be caught, converted, and refined into electrical energy, and organized into a digital image. It is through the pixels that the light is translated into electrons, which in turn, become the digital data you need in order to print, edit, or store a picture.

  • Note that the CCD is monochromatic, meaning it works in grayscale. Your camera will also have a color filter where there are pixels for Red Green and Blue light. CCDs are not limited to digital cameras, but are also used in telescopes, camcorders, and scanners–basically anything that takes light and translate it into digital data.


YouTube Video

In this week’s video, FocusEd introduces the photographer to the often-confusing world of digital camera sensor size. We tackle megapixel counts, crop factor, and the crew adds some humor, too!

YouTube Video

In this FocusEd video, we discuss the sometimes confusing aspects and nature of crop factor. This is not about how many bushels of corn an acre of rich soil in Iowa will yield—this is about how your combination of optics and sensor size affects the angle of view of your lens. When you have a camera with a sensor smaller than a full-frame sensor or 35mm film, it effectively changes the focal length of your lens, and therefore, your angle of view. This video explains how to apply the crop factor to figure out the 35mm equivalent of your lenses.