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The full resolution of the Samsung S23 is 50MP, the sensor has a 1/1.57" format.

If I take a photo in 9:16 format, the resulting images are only 37MP - so far so good, the full sensor isn't used for this format - ok.

In 3:4 format, the result is 50MP, but 3:4 ≠ 1:1.57. How can that be?

Whats also strange: Why do both 9:16 and 1:1 formats have 37MP resolution?

I simply assume that the more the photo format approaches the 1:1.57 ratio, the higher the resolution should actually be(?)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you step back to consider the difference between format and resolution and what makes you think they're at all related? Before anything else, does 'format' mean merely whether the orientation of your picture is landscape or portrait, of how your file is saved; as, for instance whether it's in Large Document Format or BMP, GIF or JPEG, PNG or TIFF or what? How d'you suggest any of those formats influences resolution? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 24 at 21:52

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1/1.57″ is not a height/width ratio, but the diagonal of the sensor measured in inch. For some reason, camera manufacturers tend to define the sensor size as a fraction instead of simply writing 0.64″.

The height/width ratio of your sensor is 3:4. That means that both 1:1 and 9:16 formats can only use 75% of the sensor's area, resulting in a 37MP instead of 50MP image.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If I remember right it came from the size of vacuum tube sensors which supported the same image or something. Here's he link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_format \$\endgroup\$
    – davolfman
    Mar 19 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @davolfman not only that, but the tube couldn't sense over its entire face so the actual image dimensions were smaller than the tube. The official size is only loosely related to modern sensor dimensions. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 at 11:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ The micro 4/3 sensor is the exception to this rule, 4/3 describes both the sensor size and the aspect ratio. The designers were having some fun when they specced that one. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkRansom That is not correct. An M4/3 sensor has a 21.63mm diagonal, while 4/3″ is 33.87mm. Expressed as a fraction, a M4/3 sensor has a diagonal of 1/1.17″. \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Mar 20 at 11:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @jarnbjo did you miss my earlier comment that the official "tube" size is larger than the actual sensor, in all cases? I don't even know if there's a standard fraction. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 20 at 12:02
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You are confusing the size of the sensor (1/1.57") and sensor resolution. These parameters are not related at all. Because your sensor 1/1.57" have 50MP resolution, one 4/3 sensor can have 16MP resolution, fullframe sensor can have 20MP, medium format camera (P21+) can have 18MP, other medium format camera (IQ1 100MP) can have 100MP

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