Sunday, January 13, 2008
Death of a CCD: RIP SD110
About a month ago I turned on my Canon SD110 and could see that something was very wrong. This took me by surprise, as I hadn't dropped it, or even taken it anywhere since the last time I took pictures with it, in my living room. I guess it just died of old age after 3 years (and 7000 pictures). The interesting part is that it was clearly the CCD that was failing. In some ways it actually looked pretty neat.
One way you can tell it's the CCD is the streaks in the images. The way data is read from a CCD is by copying off all the pixels along one edge of the CCD, and then shifting all the pixels in the image one pixel toward that edge. The line read off "falls off" the edge, and now the next line of the image can be read in. Part of the trick with CCDs is reading off each line in this way, without causing artifacts by the repeated pixel shifting. Clearly, something is going wrong with that process in my camera.
Click on the pictures to get full sized images.