digital camera

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digital camera

[′dij·əd·əl ′kam·rə]
A television camera that breaks up a picture into a fixed number of pixels and converts the light intensity (or the intensities of each of the primary colors) in each pixel to one of a finite set of numbers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

digital camera

(graphics, hardware)
A camera that captures and stores still images as digital data instead of on photographic film.

The first digital cameras became available in the early 1990s
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

digital camera

A still camera that records images in digital form. Unlike traditional film cameras that record a light image on film (analog), digital cameras record discrete numbers on a flash memory card. As with all digital devices, there is a fixed, maximum resolution and number of colors that can be represented. Images are transferred to the computer via a USB cable, the memory card or wireless. Earlier digital video cameras used FireWire (see camcorder and FireWire).

Digital Advantages
There are three advantages of digital cameras over their earlier analog counterparts. First, the image is viewable immediately and can be erased. Second, any single picture can be printed without having to develop an entire roll of film. Finally, the memory card "film" is reusable over and over. See film camera.

Chips: The Camera's Film
Digital cameras record color images as intensities of red, green and blue, which are stored as variable (analog) charges on a CCD or CMOS image sensor chip. The charges are converted to digital and stored in flash memory chips on a memory card such as CompactFlash, SD or Memory Stick. Some earlier digital still cameras used optical discs for storage instead of flash memory.

The number of pixels in the sensor chip determines the picture's resolution, but the analog-to-digital conversion establishes the number of colors. See megapixel, A/D converter and color depth.

Digital video cameras use the same image sensing methods as digital still cameras, and they have also used tape, optical discs and hard drives for storage (see DV). See digital camera features, Bayer pattern, flash memory, photo sharing site, photo editor, photo scanner, X3 and DSLR.

Digital Camera
Behind the lens, a CCD or CMOS image sensor chip picks up the image as variable (analog) charges that are turned into digital by an analog-to-digital circuit (see A/D converter). A DSP chip adjusts contrast and detail and compresses the digital data for storage.

Camera and "Film"
A classic now, in 1996, Kodak's DC50 was one of the first digital cameras. Holding 24 images in internal memory, it used CompactFlash for more storage. Actually, Kodak invented the first digital camera in 1975, weighing in at eight pounds and storing 30 images on a digital tape cassette. (Image courtesy of SanDisk Corporation,

Adlake Camera (1897) - Not Exactly Digital
Film chemicals on 4x5" glass plates were placed in light-tight holders (upper left) in a darkroom and stored inside the camera (upper right). To take a picture, an unexposed holder was moved to the front. After the lid was closed, a lever opened the holder exposing it to the lens. Camera and 12 holders sold for $12. (Images courtesy of Bob Schenewolf.)
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References in periodicals archive ?
"But the pictures and videos are not as great and stunning as those taken by digital cameras," he added.
Proliferation of smartphones and tablets have led to the downfall of digital cameras
The NPD Group, which puts together the camera sales reports for the PMA, points out that nearly all the digital cameras sold in November 2008 had resolutions of at least 6 megapixels, and that the resolution of entry-level cameras is moving to above the 10-megapixel mark.
One trend in the digital camera market is the move away from compact cameras and toward dSLRs.
Targeted to ages 5-8, the kit includes a digital camera, software, an album, and scrapbook materials.
"Now that digital cameras are personal items, it is common to have more than one camera per household," says Phil Lubell, director of marketing for digital cameras at Sony Electronics Inc., which recently added four new models to its lineup.
As one of the "three sacred treasures," the digital camera has been critical to the consumer electronics industry, but many DSC makers have started to experience excess inventories and deteriorating profits.
After a shaky start, picture quality - measured by pixels, the number of dots that make up the picture - has improved so much that digital cameras have almost killed off traditional film photography.
Evelyn Woldman of the Massachusetts Elementary School Principal Association emphatically states, "I think the only obstacle to using a digital camera is not having it" (Rivard, 2004, p.
Among the advantages of using a digital camera in the classroom is the "immediacy." Digital cameras allow children to see images within seconds, as opposed to the hours or days required with film photography.
A digital camera works similarly to a film-based model.