Representing and manipulating data in computers
Representing and manipulating data in computers

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Representing and manipulating data in computers

3 Representing data in the digital camera

3.1 Introduction

Figure 6
Figure 6 Digital camera displaying image; a memory card is shown alongside

Digital cameras need to represent still pictures digitally, and this means that I need to introduce you to how still images are represented. I shall do this in Section 3.2.

The representation of still images generates a very large amount of data. In fact, the data is very seldom stored in its ‘raw’ form in a computer; instead the data is ‘compressed’ – that is, made to take up less storage space – before it is stored. I shall discuss the idea of compression in Section 3.3.

Finally, in Section 3.4, I'll look briefly at the ways in which input and output are handled so that the computer can obtain the data it uses and subsequently present the user with appropriate data.

Incidentally, digital cameras also need to represent the state of various true/false quantities, for example whether the user has set the flash on or off. But I shall not discuss true/false quantities further here as you have already done sufficient work on them in Section 2.6.


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