Drones with cameras have become a useful tool for aerial surveillance, and drones have become one of the important tools for modern photography and video production. To understand the working principle of drone CMOS camera, it is necessary to know the important influence of mechanical shutter and electronic shutter on drone camera imaging.
The role of the camera shutter
First, clarify how the drone imagery is generated. When light enters a drone camera, it is captured by an image sensor made up of millions of tiny pixels. These pixels are made of a material called Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS). When light hits the CMOS, it generates an electrical charge that is used to create an image.
Second, the shutter controls how long the CMOS is exposed to light. If the shutter is open, light enters the camera and hits the CMOS. When the camera takes a picture, the shutter opens briefly, allowing light to hit the CMOS and create the image.
What is a mechanical shutter?
A mechanical shutter is a physical shutter that uses a mechanical device to control when light enters the drone's camera sensor. When the shutter is pressed, the shutter plate opens to expose the sensor, then closes to stop the exposure. The advantage of a mechanical shutter is that it does it inside the camera, so you don't have to deal with lag issues, and you get sharp images when shooting fast-moving subjects.
The mechanical shutter works by exposing the entire frame of the image sensor at once. This means that each pixel represents exactly the same exposure time.
What is an electronic shutter?
An electronic shutter is a type of digital shutter that uses an electronic readout from a sensor to control exposure time. When the shutter is pressed, all pixels of the sensor start reading at the same time, and then stop when the exposure time ends. The advantage of the electronic shutter is that it does not produce mechanical vibration, so you can get a clearer image. Additionally, it enables higher shutter speeds and is capable of better video quality when recording video.
Electronic shutters differ in that they cause the image sensor to expose pixels one row at a time. The electronic shutter uses the camera's sensor to control exposure, gradually exposing pixels from top to bottom. This means that the electronic shutter actually has a short time lag between the top and bottom of the frame.
Mechanical Shutter VS Electronic Shutter
In drone photography, there is not much difference between a drone camera with a mechanical shutter or a drone camera with an electronic shutter when shooting still images or videos, but when shooting high-speed moving objects or scenes that require a higher shutter speed , a drone camera with an electronic shutter will produce a state of blurred and distorted moving scenes.
Therefore, using a drone with a mechanical shutter can help drone photographers capture more vivid, clear, and precise images and videos, bringing more possibilities for photography and video production.