Crossing the boundary - analogue universe, digital worlds
Crossing the boundary - analogue universe, digital worlds

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Crossing the boundary - analogue universe, digital worlds

4.11.1 Digital still cameras and camcorders

These devices are now widely and (fairly) cheaply available. There is no film. You point your camera, take your shot and get a compressed digital image that can be transferred straight onto a computer, where it can be edited or printed. Digital still cameras usually compress their images into JPEG format and store them on a tiny, removable memory card inside the camera; the latest digital camcorders can record in MPEG format, stored on a special tape. Both devices work by means of an electronic chip called a charge-coupled device (CCD).

A CCD is basically an array of tiny cells, vaguely similar to the receptors in the eye, that respond to light by generating a tiny electric charge. The amount of charge depends on the intensity and colour of the light falling on the cell. Each cell then maps onto a pixel in the image being stored, so the CCD behaves just like a bitmap. Obviously then, the larger your array, the higher the definition, and thus better quality, your image will be. The best non-professional digital still cameras now have CCD arrays of 5 million or more cells, giving superb-quality bitmapped images. Software inside the camera converts the bitmap into compressed format.

M150_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371