See the difference between the images of a CMOS verses a CCD imaging sensor.

CCD VS CMOS The Differences

The article below is from HubPages and updated to provide some idea of what the differences are. There are many more elements involved but generically this will give you a sense of the differences. The quality of any picture is also determined by the users ability to use a camera and the lighting of the recorded video.

“Today I am exploring the differences between a CCD image sensor and A CMOS image Sensor. All digital cameras have either a CMOS or CCD image sensor.

Image sensors convert light to electrical signals then to pixels inside of a camera. There are two types of image sensors.

A CCD image sensor is normally used in analog cameras even though they turn the light into pixels. CCD means (charge couple device) and uses more power than a CMOS sensor. The best application is in hardwired cameras. A CCD sensor captures light and turns it into an electrical charge. The light is then converted one pixel at a time to an image.

CMOS meaning(Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor is an active pixel sensor.

The CMOS Image sensor is an alternative to a CCD image sensor and is found in all types of cameras including cell phones, portable battery operated cameras and web cameras. Battery life is much longer with a CMOS sensor than a CCD sensor.

Both sensors convert light into pixels just in a different way.

The amount of effective pixels contribute to the clarity of a picture. In other words the more effective pixels the better the picture quality.

Other variables exist as well such as the amount of TV lines. This information is sometimes available with the camera specifications. If not ask the dealer or search the internet to find this information for the camera you are considering to purchase.


A picture tells a thousand words. The top picture is from a wired CMOS security camera. The camera specs show its resolution at 380 TV lines and no information on the effective pixels.

The first picture is from an inexpensive CMOS camera. As you can see it is grainy, sort of like clothes, after they have been washed to many times.

To learn more about image sensors visit Wikipedia.


Right below the CMOS picture is a picture from a wired security camera with a CCD image sensor. The resolution for this camera is 480 TV lines.

As you can see the picture is sharper reflecting the actual colors.”

Leave a comment