How does the camera module work?

December 16, 2023

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The working principle of a camera module involves multiple components and technologies. The following is the basic working principle of a general camera module:

1. Image sensor: Camera modules use image sensors to capture optical images. An image sensor is an integrated circuit chip whose surface is covered with thousands of photosensitive elements (pixels). When light enters the image sensor through the lens, the photosensitive element converts the light into an electrical signal.

2. Analog-to-digital converter (ADC): The electrical signal output by the image sensor is an analog signal, which needs to be converted by an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) to convert it into a digital signal. ADC converts continuous analog voltage signals into discrete digital values for subsequent processing and storage.

3. Image processor: After the digital signal is converted from analog to digital, it is further processed by the image processor. The image processor is responsible for image enhancement, filtering, color correction, denoising and other operations to optimize image quality and details.

4. Storage and transmission: The processed images can be stored in internal memory or transmitted through an interface to a connected device such as a computer, smartphone or other device. Common transmission interfaces include USB, MIPI, Ethernet, etc.

5. Control and configuration: Camera modules usually have configuration and control interfaces, allowing the host device to set camera parameters, such as exposure time, white balance, focus, etc., through software commands.

6. Optical components: Camera modules usually include appropriate optical components such as lenses, filters, and apertures to capture and adjust light. These optical components affect the field of view, focal length, light transmission, and color accuracy of the image.

The above is how the camera module works, involving the image sensor capturing optical images, analog-to-digital conversion, digital image processing, storage and transmission, and control and configuration. The synergy of these key components and technologies enables camera modules to capture, process and transmit image data, thereby enabling the acquisition and application of images and videos.