When we see a technical video posted online, purporting to explain some scientific concept that has to do with photography, we typically brace ourselves. More often than not, they fall into two categories: (1) oversimplified, or (2) blatantly incorrect.

That's why this Filmmaker IQ episode on the science of camera sensors is such a breath of fresh air: not only is it factually solid, it goes into more detail and makes that detail easier to understand than just about any other technical breakdown of image sensor science we've seen... and they throw in a great explanation about how film works just to sweeten the pot.

The 13 minute video explains:

  • How photographic film uses a thin coating of silver halide crystals to capture light.
  • The science behind the photodiode that converts light into electrical current for all digital image sensors
  • How a Charged Couple Device (or CCD) sensor works, and its pros and cons.
  • How a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (or CMOS) sensor works, and its pros and cons.

If you've never bothered to dive into the science of image sensors or, every time you tried, the explanation was just too dense, give this video a look and let us know what you think in the comments below.