The theoretical part:
The most common types of Sony CCD used on board cameras are Super HAD CCD II and Exview HAD CCD II. These are available in 1/4” and 1/3” size. The bigger the CCD, more light could be collected. So you should always go for the bigger CCD. The Exview HAD CCD II has an advantage, because the near infrared light region is included by the sensors structure. Those chips are also available with different resolutions. More TVL equals a higher resolution. But if your viewing device just makes 240TVL you won’t see a big difference between a 520TVL and a 700TVL camera.
Both sensors, Super HAD II and Exview HAD II, are available with different DSPs (Digital Signal Processor). DSP is the processor on the board which handles the video signal of the CCD and things like noise reduction and privacy masking for example. There are several DSP on the market like Nextchip, RJ and Sharp, but I will just mention the Sony DSPs.
Both sensors are available with Effio-E, Effio-S and Effio-P (some Super HAD II chips are only available with Effio-P):
E – Entry-Level
- nice privacy masking, no E-Zoom, only 2D-Noise Reduction, no Sense-UP, no WDR
S – Standard model
- E-Zoom, bad privacy masking, 3D-Noise Reduction, Sens-UP, Image Stabilizer, Digital-WDR
P – WDR high-end model
- E-Zoom, bad privacy masking, 3D-Noise Reduction, Sens-UP, Image Stabilizer, real-WDR
As listed above, the first is the DSP with less functions and the last with the best.
Privacy masking is a slight different within the DSPs. With Effio-E you can draw nice lines with numbers. With Effio-S and Effio-P it is more difficult, because you have to paint your reticle by moving the four corners of a rectangular area.
The superior advantage of the Effio-P DSP is the real Wide Dynamic Range.
The Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is a function that it can acquire natural images with fewer blown out highlights and blocked up shadows by combining a multiple number of images, shot at different exposure times, using digital signal processing.
For more information about the different DSPs and their features please visit the Official Sony Website and the DSP Datasheets (Useful links).
Exview HAD CCD II with Effio-P should be the best available board cam of these combinations.
But for a scopeless build it may be of advantage to use one with Effio-E DSP, cause the reticle…
(terry1001 advised to use the camera id for setting reticle with Effio-S and -P)
There is a Super HAD II sensor ICX632/3
It is near 50% more light sensitive than the ICX672/3 (Exview HAD II) and also available with Effio-E.
So on top there are two cameras:
Super HAD CCD II (ICX632/3) with 520TVL
Exview HAD CCD II (ICX672/3) with 700TVL
The CCDs are named with ICX
The three digits after the characters define the type of the chip.
These chips are always available in NTSC and PAL. In Europe PAL is the most common system.
There for the chips are named for example like ICX811 and ICX812. The chip with the higher number is always PAL configuration.
The DSP are named with CXD and don’t care about PAL or NTSC.
CXD4140 = Effio-E
CXD4130 = Effio-S
CXD4129 = Effio-P
The practical experience:
Due to my camera tests with an Exview I with CXD4140, Exview II (ICX673) with CXD4130 and a Super HAD II (ICX633) with CXD3142 I have to say that the latest is not always the best. On top there is the ICX633 chip (thank goes to NonTracked for discovering this awesome chip). The picture is so clear and bright u might think u won’t need any illumination. One little disadvantage with the CXD3142 is you have no OSD, but the chip is also available with CXD4140 (OSD is not needed to adjust picture, it’s so nice, just maybe to make a reticle). About the Exview I camera I don’t have to talk because it’s so worse…
Now to the Exview II (ICX673). The picture is more grainy and dark compared to the ICX633. And if you try to make it brighter by using D-WDR or Sense-up it will become more grainy. To manage the noise there are options like 2D and 3D Noise reduction. But if you use these, the picture becomes blurred by movement. With that picture quality the 700TVL are no advantage compared to the 500TVL of the ICX633. All in all I think there are no real advantages about the Exview II chip. The lack of sensitivity can't be compensated by signal processing. My advice for using Sony Chips is to grab a ICX633 with CXD3142 or CXD4140.
Official Sony Website about CCD and DSP
Improvement of Exview HAD
Comparison Sony CCDs
Remove the IR Filter
ICX633 + CXD4140
ICX673 + CXD4129
ICX673 + CXD4140
ICX633 + CXD3142
But pay attention, there are Exview I and Super HAD I versions around that not even give the same sensivity.
Hope this Sony board cam salad got a bit sorted now.
Information and improvements welcome.