Three-CCD camera

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A three-CCD camera is a camera whose imaging system uses three separate charge-coupled devices (CCDs), each one taking a separate measurement of the primary colors, red, green, or blue light. Light coming into the lens is split by a trichroic prism assembly, which directs the appropriate wavelength ranges of light to their respective CCDs. The system is employed by still cameras, telecine systems, professional video cameras and some prosumer video cameras.

Compared to cameras with only one CCD, three-CCD cameras generally provide superior image quality and resolution. By taking separate readings of red, green, and blue values for each pixel, three-CCD cameras achieve much better precision than single-CCD cameras.By contrast, almost all single-CCD cameras use a Bayer filter, which allows them to detect only one-third of the color information for each pixel. The other two-thirds must be interpolated with a demosaicing algorithm to 'fill in the gaps', resulting in a much lower effective resolution.

The combination of the three sensors can be done in the following ways:

  • Composite sampling, where the three sensors are perfectly aligned to avoid any color artifact when recombining the information from the three color planes
  • Pixel shifting, where the three sensors are shifted by a fraction of a pixel. After recombining the information from the three sensors, higher spatial resolution can be achieved. Pixel shifting can be horizontal......
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