The perfect pint and the photodiode: What do they have in common?


posted Monday, April 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM EDT

'Heineken Glass', by Manuel Garcia. This image is Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), from Flickr at and its use does not constitute an endorsement by Manuel Garcia.A blog post from Image Sensors World brings our attention to an interesting slideshow from Dr. Joachim Linkemann, Senior Product Manager at Basler AG. Basler produces industrial and network cameras for everything from food inspection to casino video surveillance, and so Dr. Linkemann has more than a passing acquaintance with image sensor technology. The slideshow was created for the tutorial class "Advanced Camera and Image Sensor Technology", held alongside the Automate 2011 show in March 2011.

Dr. Linkemann's slideshow offers a nice introduction to the basics of image sensor technology, and some of the challenges faced in camera design. What caught Image Sensors World's attention, however, is a particularly handy parallel drawn by Dr. Linkemann, comparing pixels to pints of beer. In a matter of a few slides, and with that frosty, delicious pint as a visual aid, Linkemann nicely explains concepts such as dynamic range, dark current noise, signal to noise ratio, and more. It's both clever and fun, even if it's made us rather thirsty. (Roll on, evening!) :-)

(via Rob Galbraith Digital Photography Insights; image courtesy of Manual Garcia on Flickr used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license)