CMOS v CCD
You will have noticed thet there are two types of miniature camera we build into our products, one goes by the name of CMOS and the other CCD.
Both technologies have their good and bad points. CMOS is actually the name of the manufacturing technology used by most integrated circuit (chip) manufactures these days, the camera manufactures adopted the name simply to differentiate this type of camera from the more specialised CCD technology.
CMOS is basically a digital technology and as such one would assume it must be better than any analogue technology, but the light falling on a camera lens is most definately an analogue signal and is best handled by an analogue circuit and not a digital one.
CMOS camera designers go to great lengths to make their chips convert the varying light levels into a digital number for processing in the digital domain but the end result is usually not as good as a dedicated analogue CCD chip designed from the start to suit the analogue nature of the light falling on the camera lens.
However CMOS does have two distinct advantages one is lower manufacturing cost and the other is lower power consumption, very important for certain battery powered products.
So at MicroSpy development labs we use both types of camera technology in our products, CMOS were space and battery size are restricted and CCD when the available space allows for a larger camera and battery to be fitted. The superior quality of a CCD camera is well worth the extra cost.
So the bottom line is if a particular product is available with a CCD camera fitted and its within your budget then the results will be far superior both in respect of picture clarity and low light level working conditions to the CMOS alternative.
We also fit whenever possible the Sony ExView sensor in our CCD cameras, this sensor has been specially developed by Sony to increase the response in the infra red part of the spectrum so improving the overall response in low light level conditions.
All our CCD products are equiped with the highest quality Sony Ex-View HAD technology colour sensors, if you are looking for the absolute lowest possible light levels we can also fit a black and white camera in most products by special request.
We also as a matter of course replace all standard CMOS camera lens with our own glass version which improves the peripheral focus to an acceptable level.
All our products have a built in microphone for audio reception, if this is particularly important to you then we can often relocate the microphone to a better position and improve the audio pick-up even further.