CCD (Charged Coupled Device)
To break it down simply, CCD stands for Charged Coupled Device. The CCD is the digital equivalent of film.
The CCD is a type of sensor that is used to capture an image by taking the light and translating it into digital data. There are thousands of tiny little pixels that make up the surface of the sensor so that every little facet of light will be caught, converted, and refined into electrical energy, and organized into a digital image. It is through the pixels that the light is translated into electrons, which in turn, become the digital data you need in order to print, edit, or store a picture.
Once the light has become a digital copy of the image it can easily be stored in the camera’s memory.
With a good CCD you will be able to produce high quality images, even when working in low or dim lighting. It is important to know the quality of your digital camera’s CCD in order to know where your camera is effective as well as ineffective. A quality CCD allows you a higher sensitivity to light or ISO. If you are working with a client, you don’t want to waste their time or yours taking shots that won’t turn out because of low light and/or a low quality CCD.
Note that the CCD is monochromatic, meaning it works in grayscale. Your camera will also have a color filter where there are pixels for Red Green and Blue light. CCDs are not limited to digital cameras, but are also used in telescopes, camcorders, and scanners–basically anything that takes light and translate it into digital data.
The Basics of Sensor Size: FocusEd (free video)