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I am a newbee to photography and planning to get my hands dirty on DSLR camera, different people come and give difference suggestion. However i am curious about knowing the difference between the APS-C sensor and CMOS sensor type in DSLR camera.

CMOS sensor type camera are prices low as compared with APS-C sensor type camera.

  • APS-C is a sensor size, CMOS is a sensor type. Apples and oranges. – user29608 Dec 30 '16 at 9:36
  • The vast majority of APS-C sensors are CMOS type sensors. I'm not aware of any interchangeable lens camera currently on the market that doesn't have a CMOS type sensor. – Michael C Dec 30 '16 at 10:48
  • So if i need to buy a camera then i should look for APS-C sensor size... – shishir Dec 30 '16 at 11:41
  • Why downvotes??? – shishir Dec 30 '16 at 14:44
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    I think the downvotes are because this is a confusing sort of comparison. Like asking "What is the difference between a carbon-fiber and a 21" bicycle frame?" – mattdm Dec 30 '16 at 15:31
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Those are completely orthogonal concepts.

  • APS-C is a sensor-size. Other sensors for DSLRs are Full-Frame or APS-H.
  • CMOS is a type of sensor. Other sensors are CCD.

One can have an APS-C CMOS sensor, an APS-C CCD, a Full-Frame CMOS or Full-Frame CCD. Any combination is possible.

The discussion is almost moot now because nearly every camera on the market uses CMOS now, since the fabrication process is simpler and those sensors can be read much faster than CCD ones. Among very low-end cameras there are still CCDs, and up to recently, some Medium-Format cameras also used CCD but AFAIK, all current DSLRs and mirrorless cameras use CMOS sensors.

This means that if you buy a new DSLR or one made in at least the last 5 years, it will have a CMOS sensor. The choice which is left between APS-C and Full-Frame. The latter is more expensive but also delivers better image quality, particularly in low-light.

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    Not just APS-C and full-frame — also slightly-smaller but still reasonable formats Four Thirds and 1". – mattdm Dec 30 '16 at 14:51
  • There is also APS-H, Foveon, micro-four-thirds, 1", 2/3" 1/1.8", 1/2.5", 1/1.83", 1/1.2" and many others – wander95 Dec 30 '16 at 15:41
  • @mattdm - The question is tagged DSLR, so I was limiting sensor sizes to what is relevant in recent years. – Itai Dec 30 '16 at 15:54
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    @wander95 Remove Foveon here because that is not a sensor size (difference Foveon and Bayer sensor - it is how the sensor works in terms of pixels and color). That is yet another dimension, with nearly all of them being Bayer sensors. – TomTom Dec 31 '16 at 16:00
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    @wander95 - That is outdated. Foveon used to have a 1.7X crop but has not been produced in a decade at least. They now use APS-C sensors which is less troublesome for lenses. – Itai Dec 31 '16 at 16:54

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