Digital photography: from sensor to image

This Topic will focus on digital sensors, which are at the heart of modern cameras, by following the path of image formation. It will show the benefits and limitations of digital photography technology and help decipher the true meaning of announcements made by manufacturers about the performance of their devices

In a few years, digital photography has changed the habits of both the public and professionals. This is due to the very rapid progress of the sensors, whose image quality is no longer second to that of the best film and on the approval of use, compared to the inevitable constraints of the use of film.

Digital photography: from sensor to image. Here, a lens

For a very long time, no serious alternative to emulsion with silver salts existed for photography. In the past, there had been concern about the possible scarcity of money resources. It is even said that some maharadjah, no doubt in the grip of financial difficulties (everything is relative), would have sold precious art objects at the weight of metal to film makers. Then the money that was in the development baths was clawed back, and the spectre of scarcity moved away.

The techniques of yesterday’s images

However, aside from undeniable qualities, the film photo has a big defect: You have to have taken all the pictures of a film before you develop it and that’s how some people only saw the last pictures of their summer holidays after they finished their film at Christmas! In just a few years, digital photography has spread at a staggering rate and has completely replaced analog photography.

The techniques of today

Users sometimes draw their images themselves on very good quality printers that have become affordable, even if, in reality, it is much more expensive than having their photos enlarged by a photographer, or one of the multiple online services that have become widespread. Even better, the arrival of “digital frames” allows you to display still images or slide shows on LCD screens that don’t go away in a living room, not to mention tablets that allow you to view or show your photos anywhere. On the professional side, it is also a revolution: for example, press photographers can now immediately send their photographs from the other side of the world via the Internet.

This broad adoption of digital photography has benefited from the miniaturization of electronics, which allowed, among other things, to develop sensors giving images of increasing quality. It is also based on the fact that users appreciate the immediacy of the result by freeing themselves from the practical constraints imposed by the use of film. Not to mention that it is possible to multiply the number of shots without it costing a single cent.

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