Eli5 how phone cameras work and how the image is displayed on the screen

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So phone cameras don’t have optical viewfinders so is the sensor always exposed to light since you can see the image on your screen all the time and can screenshot it instead. And if they are exposed for that long how do they keep working even after years of use.

In: Engineering

Digital image sensors aren’t like classical, chemical sensors which rely on light exposure to a chemical to create an image. Chemical sensors can washout easily, since the chemical will get used up on exposure to light. Digital image sensors digitally store the light/image data in a continuous stream; that means that they can continuously display what the image would be if you took the picture now. It also means that it can discard “old” light/image data that would cause the image to washout. This doesn’t make it perfect, but it’s easier for someone who is unfamiliar with camera settings to take an okay picture.