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Several years ago, I tried a CMOS-based webcam and it really sucked. It needed an extremely brightly-lit room to work. Around the same time, I also tried a CCD camera and it worked great. But since then, I've heard that CMOS technology has advanced considerably.

Is it still the case that CCD webcams will give you a better picture, or can CMOS webcams also produce a picture of similar quality at moderate to low light levels? What type of camera is used in modern integrated webcams and cameras? If CMOS cameras actually are competitive these days, how do you tell if a webcam has a newer-generation CMOS sensor instead of one of the older sensors?

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Almost all webcams are CMOS.
CCDs are capable of better uniformity but CMOS is almost as good - the Canon EOS 5 MkII is CMOS.

For a given size of lens and sensor the more pixels you have to cram in the lower the signal to noise, so a $20 webcam that claims to have 5Mega pixels is sacrificing something.

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