The Components of a Digital Camera’s Image Sensor

All digital cameras’ image sensors are made up of the same components. These components help determine how your camera’s sensor records light and therefore how your image appears. Each sensor includes these components (shown in this figure):

The image sensor of a digital camera is composed of sensor photosites, color filters, microlenses and an infrared cut-off filter.

Any digital camera image sensor is made up of these components.
  • Color filters: Give the color-blind CCD or CMOS sensor chip the ability to respond to various colors of light.

  • Microlenses: These tiny lenses focus the incoming light onto the photosensitive area in each photosite.

  • A protective transparent layer: This layer contains two filters, including an anti-aliasing filter that smoothes out the incoming light signal by eliminating certain frequencies of light before they can clash and an infrared cutoff filter that removes most of the infrared light from the illumination reaching the sensor (because “IR contamination” can affect image quality and produce off-color colors).