TopGear’s James May Explains How Digital Cameras Work

I’m a big fan of the UK car show TopGear, but I never thought I’d see the day when the worlds of TopGear and photography would intersect. Fortunately, I have been proven wrong. So sit back and enjoy as TopGear’s Captain Slow James May goes into detail about how digital cameras actually work.

Of course, many of you reading this know how a digital camera works, or at the very least have a basic idea, but it’s good to get an occasional refresher on what that little light-tight box is doing every time you click the shutter.


Plus, there are a few things in there you might not have known. For example: what CMOS stands for, how exactly a camera interprets the information gathered by each pixel after it’s passed through the bayer array, and why exactly there are twice as many green pixels on a bayer array than red or blue.

If you know all of these things, feel free to skip this one, but it’s still a fun watch and a good primer for beginners, anybody interested in the basic workings of a digital camera and, of course, TopGear fans with a thing for photography.