Security Camera Image Quality: CMOS vs CCD Sensor

Security Camera Image Quality: CMOS vs CCD Sensor

Which CCTV Surveillance Image Sensor is better?

This is a topic in which there has been much debate in the past. Typically CCD sensors are considered to have a higher light sensitivity and produce less unwanted noise in comparison to CMOS sensors.  Additionally, CCD sensors were purpose built for use in cameras and have been around for over 30 years. This has naturally made CCD sensors an industry preference for high quality video in comparison to CMOS sensors.

However, in recent years as technology not only in the CCTV industry but in general has advanced so has CMOS chip technology and the problems such as poor low light sensitivity and lower resolution typically associated with CMOS chips have been alleviated. Modern CMOS chips from high quality manufacturers can now offer picture quality that is on par with CCD sensors and have proven to have several benefits in comparison to CCD sensors.

CMOS sensors are capable of integrating with various types of applications as everything is contained on one chip which allows for a smaller size as well as a more versatile chip. CMOS sensors also typically require lower bandwidth as the signal does not have to pass through one or more output amplifiers. CCD sensors on the other hand are analog components and require not only more circuitry inside the sensor itself but external elements for amplification and conversion into a digital signal. This causes CCD sensors to often suffer from heat issues (and hence video quality issues) as their power draw can be as much as 100 greater in comparison to CMOS sensors. Lastly, the increased power consumption and use of additional circuitry results in a much higher cost of production as well as a more negative impact on the environment. Considering all of these factors as well as recent and continuing advancements in CMOS sensors technology its easy to see why high-quality CMOS sensors are becoming industry preferred.

Reflection of light on the sensor of a security camera.
lens and sensor diagram of a cctv camera