Modern processors, such as Canon’s DIGIC II found in EOS D-SLRs, Digital IXUS and the new PowerShot zoom compacts, are fundamental to the performance of the camera, hence the reason why pixel count alone is not the only way to ascertain what the quality
of output will be. For digital still cameras, for example, DIGIC II combines six key elements that are needed to reproduce a digital image into one chip. These are: CCD control, Auto Exposure/Auto Focus/Auto White Balance, Image processing, JPEG
compression, Memory card control and LCD monitor display.
The term ‘processing’ is one that will be familiar to film users, and it’s a stage that is usually carried out by a lab, with negatives and prints being the end result. Images from digital cameras also need to be processed, but in this case it’s
a procedure that can be carried out in a matter of moments in-camera. Choosing a camera that is fitted with a good processor is crucial: this is the element that will dictate how quickly you are ready to shoot your next image, and it will also determine
the quality of the image and a lot more besides.