Medium Format Camera Sensor Size

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Inside your digital camera is a very important chemical element: the sensor. Camera sensor size is definitely something to consider when renting or purchasing a camera. The paradigm quality and the flexibility of what kinds of images you tin can capture is directly related to your camera’due south sensor. And so how exactly does camera sensor size matter? Let’s accept a closer look.

Camera Sensor Size

Does a photographic camera’southward sensor size matter?

Before we go into a camera sensor size comparison, and the difference betwixt smaller vs larger sensor sizes, nosotros demand to answer a fundamental question: what is a camera sensor? Nosotros should know its main role before we determine annihilation else.


What is a camera sensor?

Acamera sensoris a piece of hardware inside the camera that captures lite and converts information technology into signals which event in an epitome. Sensors consist of millions of photosites, or light-sensitive spots that record what is being seen through the lens. The size of the camera’southward sensor determines how much of this low-cal is used to create the prototype.

Because a sensor stores such valuable data, if there is a largecamera sensor size, more than information tin fit, producing ameliorate quality images than smaller sensors. The size determines what you see through your photographic camera’southward viewfinder.

Smaller sensors utilise cropping to lenses while larger sensors can capture much more of the scene. This full-frame from larger sensors is your traditional 35mm picture. A camera sensor and its size determines image size, depth of field, resolution, depression-light functioning, a camera’south concrete size, and more than.

Photographic camera SENSOR SIZE AFFECTS:

  • Image quality and resolution
  • Depth of field
  • Bending of view
  • Low-light functioning
  • Size of camera and lenses
Quick Overview on Photosites and Megapixels

While megapixels do matter to some degree, they’re not the finish all be all of what creates a crystal articulate image. The sensor size plays quite a role. Permit’s quickly break it downward.

Your photographic camera sensor’s is basically a photo-sensitive site that captures light and color. This sensor has millions of these light-capturing cavities chosen “photosites.” The camera transforms these photosites into pixels which brand up your image.

A pixel is the smallest unit of a digital epitome that tin can be represented in a display device. A meg pixels is the equivalent to one megapixel.
Then your megapixel count refers to how many of these photo-sensitive sites your sensor contains.

If you take a 24-megapixel camera, it means you accept 24 million photosites on your sensor. So, where does a camera sensor size come into play? Go on in mind, a high megapixel doesn’t necessarily mean ameliorate image quality. Why?

Well, if you have a high megapixel count, on a pocket-size sensor, all that ways is the photosites are now smaller. In good calorie-free, this works only fine. Only if there is low lite, the tiny photosites on a smaller sensor don’t work every bit well.

Hopefully, you empathise the coaction of megapixels and sensor size, so at present we can leap into how size affects the quality of each shot. Don’t forget that to maximize the efficacy of your sensor, you’ll need to know how to clean your photographic camera sensor properly.


How does sensor size affect your shot?

Of grade, bigger isn’tever better.

A larger sensor requires a larger lens to cast an image over it. Not to mention, your camera itself might have to be larger to business firm a big sensor. Both of these considerations can exist cumbersome and merely down correct expensive, peculiarly if you’re traveling or if your filmmaking style doesn’t demand it.

How else does a camera’s sensor size affect your images? This video gets into some of the nitty gritty scientific discipline behind camera sensor size.

Camera sensor size explained

Low-Low-cal Capabilities

As mentioned above, while megapixels measure the resolution of your image, a higher count doesn’t necessarily mean they take intendance of everything. A larger sensor allows larger photosites and an ability to capture low light situations compared to a smaller sensor.

Prototype Quality and Resolution

A photographic camera’s resolution is measured in megapixels. The bigger the photographic camera’s sensor, the bigger the photosites are to concord more megapixels, creating a clearer image.

Depth of Field

If you’re interested in a how to capture a shallow depth of field, or blurring the groundwork to make your subject popular, a larger sensor is the way to go. Smaller sensors require more altitude from the subject field to execute this. Or, they’ll demand a very wide angle lens.

Here’southward a video breakup of how discontinuity works to achieve the range of depth of field.

What is Aperture?  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Below is an instance of two sensors from the same altitude that capture the blur very differently. Learn more than nearly the unlike types of camera lenses and how they work.

Notice the quality of the background blur

Angle of View

Angle of view refers to how much of the frame we’ll exist able to run across once we have the picture. Smaller sensors accept a crop gene. Accept a wait below. Yous’ll notice how the total frame (larger sensor) accommodates for much more of the image.

Camera Sensor Size Explained - Angle of View - Image

Sensor size crop factor

Now that we’ve covered the basic considerations between large and pocket-sized photographic camera sensor size, let’s get into more specific item, including technical specs.


A sensor size comparing

Because sensor size is some other way to appraise the quality of your equipment. The next fourth dimension you go camera shopping, remember that the sensor size is a major characteristic. Brand sure you lot understand the unlike types of cameras and types of lenses and how those factors combine with your camera’s sensor size.

Below is a brief guide to a few of the common camera sensor sizes. Besides, Benjamin Jarwoskyj shows us the resulting images from some of these different sized sensors.

Hands-on sensor size comparison

Jarwoskyj reminds u.s.a. that larger sensors are great for capturing more background around your field of study. The downside is that larger sensors don’t perform as well in low-light conditions. In other words, camera sensor size does matter only larger is not ameliorate in every circumstance.

Here’due south a quick sensor size chart with technical specs. We’ll get into how each of these works individually below.

Camera Sensor Size Explained - Sensor Size Chart - Image

Sensor size chart

Full Frame 36mm by 24mm

This is the largest sensor size. As mentioned above, it’due south the aforementioned as a 35mm moving-picture show frame. There is no crop factor, so whatever you lot see in the viewfinder is what you’ll shoot. Images of this size often require larger-bodied cameras, and even larger camera lenses.

If using wide aperture lenses, these sensors can capture very shallow depths of field, often peachy for videography.

APS-H 28.7 mm by 19mm

APS stands for active pixel sensor and it’s super popular for interchangeable lens cameras. It combines a large sensor with a moderate pixel count boosting ISO performance with a 1.3x ingather factor.

APS-C 23.6mm by 15.8mm

Likewise extremely pop, especially amongst major brands. Not all APS-C sensors measure out equally. A Canon APS-C sensor is about 22.2mm by 14.8mm while the Sony is near 23.5mm to 15.6mm.

Four Thirds 17.iii mm past 13mm

Most a quarter of the size of a total frame sensor. Information technology has a 2x crop factor. The four thirds arrangement is used solely by Panasonic and Olympus. It’s nigh xxx-40% smaller than APS-C sensors. MFT or G 4/iii is the Micro Iv Thirds System for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.

1-inch Sensor

This is about a 13.2mm to 8mm sensor with a 2.7x ingather factor.

There are sensors that go
fifty-fifty smaller,
but nosotros won’t talk over them hither as they’re significantly less applied.

Upwards Adjacent

What is depth of field?

This commodity mentioned how larger sensors with wide apertures could create shallow depth of field to help your subjects stand out. Merely a photographic camera’s sensor is merely one contributing cistron when considering depth of field. We’ll not simply define depth of field, we’ll explicate what other camera settings can be manipulated to accomplish amazing images.

Up Side by side: What is depth of field? →