Charge Coupled Device (CCD) barcode readers, also known as LED readers, and camera-based barcode readers are newer technology than the standby pen and laser barcode readers, but have really opened up possibilities for barcode use.

Both CCD and camera barcode readers work in essentially the same way with an array of light sensors that analyzes the intensity of the light emitted from the barcode labels. This is the main difference between the CCD and camera barcode readers and the laser readers, which reader a light frequency reflected off the barcode instead of the light emitted by the barcode. There is really only one main difference between CCD barcode readers and Camera-based barcode readers. While a CCD barcode reader picks up an image of the barcode label, the camera barcode readers can pick up a two dimensional picture of the barcode.

The uses of CCD and camera barcode readers are a little more complex than the applications for the more basic laser scanners. Credit, debit, and gift card payments are commonly swiped through CCD barcode readers that can read the magnetic strip on the backs of such cards. A similar technology is used for employee shift tracking and security purposes at universities and public events.

The advantages of these barcode readers over the laser barcode readers lies in the wider range of applications as well as the more precise readings that these newer barcode readers can provide. The technology behind CCD and camera barcode readers allow smaller barcodes to read with high levels of efficiency, which simplifies the pricing of tiny items and reduces the likelihood that a barcode won't be read.

While the CCD barcode readers can read smaller barcode labels, it has problems reading wider labels, which is a major disadvantage. Another concern is the low range of the scanners, they usually cannot function any further than 3 inches from the barcode.

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