Cam broadcasts for adults
Let's just refer to "the image sensor" from now on (and forget about whether it's a CCD and other chips or a CMOS sensor).
First, the image sensor measures how much light is arriving at each pixel.
The lens screws in and out to increase its focal length, controlling the focus of your cam: Now take the lens off and you can see the image sensor (CCD or CMOS chip): it's the square thing in the middle of this circuit.
Only the tiny, green-colored central part is light-sensitive: the rest of the chip is concerned with connecting the light detector to the bigger circuit that surrounds it: Here's a closeup: So the image sensor is the "electronic eye" of a webcam or a digital camera.
Other popular cams are made by Logitech, Creative, Hue, and Teck Net.So it's essentially a digital device where a CCD is an analog one.CMOS chips work faster and are cheaper to make in high volume than CCDs, so they're now used in most low-cost cellphone cameras and webcams.When you take a digital photo or stare into your webcam, light zooms into the lens.
This incoming "picture" hits the image sensor, which breaks it up into individual pixels that are converted into numeric form.
Photo: Unlike the webcam above, which you can focus by twisting its lens, this Microsoft Life Cam VX-800 has a preset focus.