I am looking for a mid-range camcorder which can shoot at least somewhat better videos than a phone (like Samsung S6).

While searching for camcorders, I came across the Panasonic HC-V777 and Sony HDR-CX625. The price for both of them is nearly the same but then I found the difference lies in the sensor size. The Panasonic camcorder has a sensor size of 1/2.3", while the Sony's has a sensor size of 1/5.8". Both the camcorders are for Full HD video recording.

Then I found that a more expensive Sony's camcorder with 4k resolution also has a sensor size of 1/2.3 inches.

And, finally, I checked that Samsung S6 has a sensor size of 1/2.6 inches.

Will a 1/2.3 inches sensor provide better video quality? Do I need to consider any other parameters?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This most certainly is a question for video.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Sep 21, 2018 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @flolilolilo: I just checked the Video Production forum and it seems that it is related to the video production related questions like formats, software, processing etc. My question is related to the basics of photography. Moreover, I did not even find the proper tags for my question in that forum. \$\endgroup\$
    – skm
    Sep 21, 2018 at 11:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Video is not per se related to photography - photo.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/28/… If your question was about the advantages and disadvantages of small vs. larger sensors, then it would apply to this site. If you are asking specifically for video, then no, it is not about photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Sep 21, 2018 at 11:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I am of the opinion that a question about digital sensor info is also a photography-related question. What is digital video but a series of frames passed past our eyes at a certain rate. (As I understand it, this is also why so many consumer still cameras can provide video recording.) So, each frame is a photograph and can be considered in the light of the same issues such as sensor size and resolution. \$\endgroup\$
    – user59085
    Sep 21, 2018 at 12:04
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Alexandra I agree, but videography and photography have different goals. In video, cams are built with small sensors so you get a higher DoF without having to use narrower apertures - something that I rarely hear photographers talking about. FullHD has around 2MP, while an average picture is in the 2-digit-MP-area, so video cams have a different pixel pitch, leading to different low light performance. Or, to put it in another perspective: drums and pianos both produce sound by vibration - yet I wouldn't think that a drummer would be the most qualified person to answer piano-related questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Sep 21, 2018 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


A 1/2.3 inch sensor is about 6.2mm wide x 4.6mm high.

A 1/5.8 inch sensor is about 2.5mm wide x 1.85mm high.

Thus, the 1/2.3 inch sensor is about 2.5X wider and taller, and about 6.15X larger in area.

In general, large sensors are preferred over smaller ones by most camera users. Other things being equal, they give better low light performance. With the same quality lenses and the same number of pixels, they give sharper image details than a comparable smaller sensor.

The biggest caveats of a larger sensor is that one needs longer focal length lenses to get the same angle of view, and after a certain point longer lenses tend to be more expensive. On the other hand, larger sensors give a wider angle of view than smaller sensors with the same focal length, and after a certain point, shorter focal length lenses also tend to be more expensive.

With a 1/2.3 inch sensor, a 6-8mm lens would be considered normal (equivalent to about a 35-45mm lens on a 35mm camera). With a 1/5.8 inch sensor, a 2.5-3mm lens would give the same angle of view.

In the case of a camera with a permanently attached lens, the cost of the lens is already figured into the cost of the camera.

You should also compare the lens' maximum aperture of each camera. A larger maximum aperture allows shooting in lower light at the same ISO and shutter times. It also allows shallower depth of field, although smaller sensors such as either of these don't give extremely shallow DoF the way a larger camera can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In videography, sensor size is about DoF all the time. ENG-cameras have (relatively) small sensors because focussing in (often) handheld, rough, and fast changing conditions is hard and subject separation is not the most important thing, while cameras used to shoot movies usually have 35mm sensors/film or more for better subject separation. As in videography, 3CCD/3CMOS is common and sensel sizes are much bigger, (low light) noise is not so much of a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Sep 21, 2018 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @flolilolilo Videography is specifically off topic here. I have therefore chosen to answer aspects of the question regarding the difference between different sensor sizes that will also relate to still photography. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 28, 2018 at 2:18

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