A Human Eye and a Camera Comparison

The camera and the human eye share much more than just conceptual philosophy; the eye captures images in the same way that the camera does. The camera's anatomy is more similar to that of a biological eyeball than many people know, including the lens-like cornea and the film-like retina. These similarities give the camera the appearance of a robotic eye. Despite the fact that cameras and eyes share many similarities, they are not identical.

Cornea and Lens

The cornea is the eye's cap. This transparent (like clear jelly) structure has a spherical curvature and sits in front of the eye. A camera's lens is also transparent (glass) and is located at the front of the body. The lens, like the cornea, has a spherical curvature. Because of the corneal and lens curvature, the eye and camera can see a limited area to the right and left, though not in focus. In other words, without the curve, the eye and camera would only see what is directly in front of them.

Focus in Eyes and Cameras

Both the eye and the camera can focus on a single object while blurring the rest, whether in the foreground with a shallow depth of field or at a distance. Similarly, the eye can focus on a larger image in the same way that a camera with a larger depth of field can focus on and capture a large landscape.

Retina and Film

The retina, which is located at the back of the eye, collects light reflected from the surrounding environment to form the image. The same task is performed in the camera by either film or sensors in digital cameras. This process underpins both the operation of cameras and the operation of the eyes.


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