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This paper describes the characterization, modeling, and application of a direct-readout complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) camera in white-light interferometry (WLI). The camera that was used consisted of a direct-readout 1024times1024 pixel logarithmic CMOS sensor. A continuous analog voltage from each pixel was converted to an 8-bit value by an internal analog-to-digital converter and processed with a digital signal processor. A mathematical model relating the input light intensity to the 8-bit digitized output is developed, which is critical in applications where knowledge of the scene intensity is essential to estimating the maximum allowable frame rates. The camera was utilized in WLI, and its application is analyzed in terms of maximum output signal amplitude, imaging speed, and light intensity. The mathematical modeling is implemented with SPICE simulations and verified with experimental data.