James May Explains Digital Cameras

Most of us know how to use a camera by now, but it can sometimes get lost on us just how complex the machines we use every day really are. The truth is that every modern camera is packed with complex technology that, for many of us, might as well be actual magic.


Top Gear’s James May, however, stars in this short video that tries to explain the top-level operations of a typical digital camera. There are far more thorough explanations out there, but this is the kind of thing that gives you a base and acts as a nice first stepping stone into truly understanding how these gadgets work.

I do have a few nitpicks about the video, though. 16-megapixels really isn’t even that much anymore. We’re up over 36-megapixels and that will likely only go up. Also, a decade ago, more than 1-megapixel wasn’t that tough to come by. 15 years ago, maybe, but again, I’m nitpicking.

Give yourself a gold star if you knew what CMOS stood for before watching the video.

From: The BBC