3 Key Similarities Between the Human Eye and the Camera
27th June 2019
540 Million Years of Eye Evolution compared to 180 Years of Camera Evolution
Generally speaking, a camera and a human eye are very similar in the way they operate. If we break down the main components and functionalities of a camera in comparison to the human eye, we can clearly illustrate the similarities.
The camera and the eye capture an image using the same three principles, here are the key facts about capturing an image by camera or the eye.
A camera’s main components are the shutter and aperture, the lens and most importantly a light-sensitive sensor to fix the image, such as a film for analogue cameras or a digital CCD or CMOS sensor. The components of the eye anatomy can be directly compared based on their function:
Controlling the amount of light that enters the lens
The iris together with the pupil act like the shutter and aperture of the camera, controlling how much light filters through.
Focusing the light
The eye’s lens and cornea work on the same principle as the system of lenses in the camera and help to refract and focus light onto the retina or the light-sensitive medium.
Capturing the Image
The most important element for capturing an image is the retina for the human eye or the CCD/ CMOS sensor for the camera. The smaller components that are playing an active role in receiving the fundamental colours (RGB) in the retina are two photoreceptors, the cones and the rods. Similarly, in the camera, the CCD/CMOS single sensors, are appointed in receiving the RGB colours in the same way that cones receive the colours. Whereas the rods are designed to receive the light and shadows in black and white.
This is where things get more complex and the only clear similarity between the two is the size. The retina and the sensor are almost the same sizes, 32mm in diameter for the retina which equates to full frame sensor of 35mm in diameter. The shape of the retina is curved, whereas the sensor is flat which brings a considerable difference in the sharpness of the image at the corners.
In fact, for comparison the human retina would have an equivalent of 576 million megapixels, an impressive number compared to the more advanced prototype envisioned by Canon with only 250 megapixels.
More in-depth comparison on the retina will follow in our next posts.
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