X

Please Explain: Backlit CMOS

Backlit, or backside-illuminated CMOS sensors are starting to appear on a host of digital cameras. What differentiates it from a standard CMOS sensor?

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables | Smartwatches | Mobile phones | Photography | Health tech | Assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides

Backlit, or backside-illuminated CMOS sensors are starting to appear on a host of digital cameras. What differentiates them from standard CMOS sensors?

Some cameras currently available that use backlit CMOS sensors include Sony's TX1 and WX1, as well as Ricoh's CX3 and Nikon's P100. These cameras purport to have better image quality in low light and faster burst shooting speeds.