Digital Photography 101

Digital photography definition

Digital photography is photography that uses a digital sensor to capture images. Images can then be saved on any digital memory device like memory cards or hard disks.


A digital (imaging) sensor is a sensor that converts the light into currents, thus conveying information about the image. detects and conveys the information that constitutes an image. There are two types of digital sensors: CCD and CMOS ones.

CCD (Charge-Coupled Devices) shift the charge generated by the light hitting the sensor toward a charge-to-voltage converter. CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) sensors, are also called Active Pixels Sensors, are made by an integrated circuit with an array of pixel sensors (so each pixel sensor contains a photodetector and an amplifier).

When a sensor reacts to light generates a RAW file, or as a RGB colour space. RAW files contain almost all non processed data from the sensor and require a transformation in a “digital-positive” file to be used or printed. An RGB colour space is a representation of the information derived from the sensor in a three dimensional space made by Red, Green, and Blue colours as axis, plus a White point and a Gamma correction curve. We will address all these terms in detail in the next posts about digital photography.

A little history

The first digital cameras for the consumer market began appearing at the end of the 90s. Within a few years the vast majority of photographers, professional and amateurs, started switching from film to digital photography, mainly due to the faster work-cycle that digital imaging can guarantee.

Today digital photography is diffused not only through cameras, but also through smartphones, tablets, and so on. The size of the sensors is so small that they allow thin construction and low consumption, factors that are relevant when dealing with a digital device.

Practical use

When a digital camera creates an image file, usually a JPG file, this can be easily and conveniently saved and/or shared. Think about how is simple, today, shoot a photo and have it on a social media, like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it.

Digital cameras are defined by their resolution, the number of pixel a sensor uses to record the image. In a phone, the resolution usually ranges between 5 to 10 MP (Megapixels), while in a camera, the actual pixel count is between 16 to 24 MP.

A larger pixel size generally guarantees a better image quality.


Stay tuned to read more posts about photography.




6 thoughts on “Digital Photography 101

  1. “Think about how is simple, today, shoot a photo and have it on a social media…” that’s why, in this case, I don’t thank the tecnology: everyone belives to be a photographer taking selfies and stupid shots, filling the web of horrible clicks!! That’s awfull! Photograph is an Art, and as every Art one have to study hard and do a lot of practice to realize a decent shot!! Even with a digital camera.
    Anyway, very interesting post, I wait for the following 🙂

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