CMOS stands for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. A CMOS sensor converts light into electrical signals.
CMOS sensors were first proposed in 1963. In the 1970s and 80s, CMOS sensors were used in the aerospace and car industries, and later appeared in battery-operated consumer products, such as digital watches.
CMOS sensors were not an obvious choice for digital cameras. However, Canon spotted two major advantages:
- a lower manufacturing cost than CCDs
- a much reduced power consumption.
In typical Canon fashion, they made the decision to use CMOS sensors in EOS cameras – starting with the EOS D30 in 2000. Over the years they have improved the quality and performance of the sensor. Canon manufactures its own CMOS sensors, giving it control over every step of the process.« Back to Glossary Index