Questions tagged [sensor-size]

This tag refers to to physical size of a camera's sensor.

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118
votes
9answers
49k views

When do the differences between APS-C and full frame sensors matter, and why?

I'm trying to decide on a higher-end digital SLR, and I'm down to choosing between an APS-C model and a full-frame model. I understand that the sensors are of different sizes, and as such have an ...
83
votes
6answers
38k views

What is “angle of view” in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
45
votes
11answers
10k views

What is crop factor and how does it relate to focal length?

I'm reading that a 50mm lens is recommended as a first prime lens for DSLR owners as it's supposed to give a 'natural' perspective, but when used on (most) DSLRs, the view is cropped, as if you were ...
38
votes
3answers
29k views

Why is a 1" sensor actually 13.2 × 8.8mm?

I'm wondering how sensor sizes are calculated. The Sony RX100 reportedly has a sensor size of 1" which is 13.2 x 8.8 mm according to the press release and various sites. How does that work? That's a ...
36
votes
6answers
26k views

Why does a bigger sensor lead to a shallower depth of field?

It has been mentioned at a few places that a larger sensor results in images with a shallower depth of field. Example image: APS-C Canon 30D left, FF Canon 5D right, same lens, same composition, ...
32
votes
14answers
28k views

How do Micro 4/3s cameras compare with DSLR cameras?

What are the major (and perhaps more subtle) differences between the newer Micro 4/3s format in comparison to the well-established DSLR cameras? What are the pros and cons of the Micro 4/3s format, ...
29
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there a difference between taking a far shot on a 50mm lens and a close shot on a 35mm lens?

I am looking for a prime lens to pick up, and I'm wondering if there is any difference between 35mm and 50mm in terms of the end product if I just stand back more with the 50mm. I use the Sony a6000 ...
26
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5answers
21k views

Why and how do “bigger pixels” make a better picture?

This is going off of today's iPhone 5S announcement, when Phil Schiller said that "bigger pixels" is the key to a better picture. What does this mean? Is it true or just a marketing ploy?
25
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9answers
6k views

Are full-frame cameras bad for sports photography?

I was reading about crop factor from various places on the internet, and the general idea that kept building in my mind was that full-frame cameras are good for wide-angle shots but not that good for ...
23
votes
7answers
11k views

Why are larger sensors better at low light?

The top answer of What point and shoots are good in low light conditions? says that (1) a fast lens/wide aperture (2) reasonable ISO 400+ handling and (3) a large sensor when put together are critical ...
23
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9answers
6k views

Can a smaller sensor's “crop factor” be used to calculate the exact increase in depth of field?

If APS-C and similar crop-sensor digital cameras have a focal length multiplying effect such that a 50mm lens has an apparent focal length closer to the field of view of an 80mm on a full frame camera,...
21
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9answers
7k views

Why did they ever make smaller than full-frame sensors?

You will occasionally encounter articles about how awesome full-frame cameras are. Lot of that is probably over-enthusiasm over a new piece of equipment or simple marketing, but it seems to me that at ...
20
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7answers
8k views

How does background blur (bokeh) relate to sensor size?

This is a somewhat theoretical question. Suppose I first take a photo of a subject using a full frame sensor DSLR, with a given lens (say 50mm prime lens at f/3.5). Now suppose I exchange the camera ...
14
votes
11answers
17k views

Is there a noticeable difference in image quality between Micro Four Thirds and APS-C entry-level DSLR cameras?

I am thinking about either buying a Nikon d3400 (APS-C or an Olympus OM-D EM-10 mkii (M4/3). In principle I would prefer the Olympus, as it is much smaller and could fit in a jacket pocket. However ...
14
votes
4answers
8k views

How can a super tiny iPhone 6 Plus lens produce significant DOF?

According to Apple specs the iPhone 6 Plus thickness is 0.28 inch (7.1 mm) and the lens length is only a part of that. And according to an article I found, Depth of Field is a function of "aperture (i....
14
votes
2answers
7k views

What differences between point and shoot zoom versus DSLR zoom cause the price disparity?

I'm just getting into the world of photography, stepping up from a point-and-shoot. I've just purchased a Nikon D3100 and it should be here in a couple of days. I've done lots of research, but ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do some DSLRs have fewer megapixels than some pocket cameras?

Some point and shoot cameras like the Olympus mju range have more megapixel capabilities than many DSLRs. Why is this? Is this because they have larger sensors or more dense ones? What are the trade-...
12
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4answers
2k views

Would it be possible to make a 36×36 mm “full frame” sensor?

since all lenses are round, full frame cameras' sensors can be 36 × 36 millimeters. Correct? Is it possible, and if so, why it has not been done yet? Would that qualify it as medium format?
12
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6answers
34k views

Do I need a full-frame camera for low-light photography?

I primarily shoot low-light photos, and I upgraded from a point-and-shoot to the Sony NEX-5R (which has an APS-C sensor) a few months back. However, I find that the low-light performance of the NEX-...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are 35mm image sensors the standard?

I often hear about sensors being full frame (which I think means 35mm sized) and others being cropped (if they are less than that) such as APS-C sized sensors. My question is what is so special about ...
9
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6answers
1k views

What are the cheap alternatives to DSLRs to get “large sensor image quality”?

In a review of an entry level DSLR, I found this: [this] is an excellent DSLR but make clear that a DSLR is no longer the only way to gain large sensor image quality at this price [around $500] ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Does a larger sensor resolution increase the difficulty of shooting hand-held?

I'm thinking of upgrading to a D800 and I think I read something about the 36MP resolution of the sensor to be a liability when hand-holding the camera at lower shutter speeds. Unfortunately I cannot ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

Would APS-C be better for shooting wildlife?

Considering the magnification effect of APS-C sensors, they theoretically have to extend the zoom range of telephoto lenses. Accordingly, would it be wiser to use an APS-C camera for shooting wildlife ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do depth of field calculators show *more* DOF for larger formats with the same lens parameters?

I thought I had a pretty good seat of the pants understand of DOF. But I've been playing with DOF calculators and it's giving me results that don't line up with my practical experience, so I'm ...
7
votes
3answers
590 views

Fancy technology cropped vs old technology full frame - Which will give better images?

After selling my 1Dmk2 last year the time has come to get myself a new body, all along I'd decided that I wanted to do more "wow" pictures, big landscapes and do some more portait photography (up ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Does sensor size impact the diffraction limit of a lens?

My understanding of diffraction, is that with a small aperture the 'airy disk' (which I understand is the pattern light from a given direction relative to the lens will form on passing through the ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

What's better image quality; full frame with Canon 400mm 5.6L plus 1.4 extender, OR, cropped frame with same lens?

I am about to upgrade to a Canon 7D for my birding using my 400mm 5.6L lens. With the 1.6 crop factor sensor that gives (roughly) a magnification factor equivalent to my other option, a Canon 5D mkII ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is crop or full frame sensor best for macro work

I have been asked to recomend a camera to another person and they mentioned that they would like to do macro photography. Assuming the same lens. Is it best to recomend a full frame or a crop sensor ...
7
votes
3answers
707 views

Is there a “special look” to images from large sensors that can't be replicated with a smaller one?

A popular statement in the world of photography is that there is a "special look" to images captured with larger sensors/film formats that you simply can't get from smaller sensors. I fail to see that ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Where does the price premium of full-frame come from?

Full-frame cameras are much more expensive than APS-C ($2000 vs $500). How does this price difference break down into: The per-unit cost to manufacture an APS-C vs full-frame sensor? Smaller market ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do lenses for larger sensors tend to have shallower angles?

Why do different (mirrorless) cameras + provided lenses all seem to end up with a 24 mm 35-mm-equivalent focal length? The fixed-lens Canon Powershot G5X has a 1" sensor (actually 8.80 mm high) with ...
6
votes
2answers
756 views

Do compact and DSLR cameras have the same sensor size if they have the same number of megapixels?

In the analog camera, I understood the impact of using a 35mm film vs using a 70 mm film. However in digital world, I dont know if the sensor size is the same for compact and DSLRs. In other words, ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Must I allow for crop factor in the viewfinder when shooting with a Nikon DX format camera?

Will a Nikon D5100 (dx format) viewfinder show me what the captured image will be, or do I need to allow for "crop" factor? Will that depend on/alter with using a DX lens or an FX lens? I don't have ...
6
votes
3answers
161 views

How does sensor size affect minimum front element size for a given f-stop and focal length?

Does the sensor size affect the needed size of the front element given a focal length and f-stop? My intuition tells me that a bigger image circle would require a bigger front element to maintain the ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

How do you determine the acceptable Circle of Confusion for a particular photo?

I've noticed that several online and/or downloadable Depth of Field Calculators use different values for the acceptable CoC (Circle of Confusion) for some of the same camera models/sensor sizes. This, ...
6
votes
2answers
826 views

How does sensor size affect the brightness of an image given the same field of view and aperture?

Lets say we have two image sensors, each one with 1MPixel resolution but differing in size. The first sensor has the size 1/3", the other one 1". Each sensor is equipped with a suitable lens (for the ...
5
votes
6answers
4k views

Is small sensor always a bad thing?

I own a DSLR. I want to buy some not-too-expensive compact, and there are a lot of compacts in the range 100-250$ with 1/2.3" sensors. Can such a sensor/camera set give a quality somewhat comparable ...
5
votes
4answers
194 views

Should sensor size trump all other aspects when deciding between cameras?

I'm wrecking my brain trying to decide between a Sony A6000 and an Olympus OM D M10 mark ii. I have been to the shop to check out both of them, and I like the look and feel of the Olympus, and I've ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is the sensor size small in D3100 as compared to D3000?

I thought Nikon D3100 must be more advanced than D3000 (because of the higher number and the increased price). But, the D3000's sensor size is 23.6mm x 15.8mm and the D3100's sensor size is actually ...
5
votes
2answers
552 views

How does a DX-format sensor support FX lenses?

I have a Nikon D3200 camera. I want to buy a prime lens. I read some reviews online and understand that the "Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm F/1.8G" would be a good lens to buy, but this is a FX lens. Can ...
5
votes
1answer
557 views

What limits the magnification of the viewfinder?

I know there are similar questions to this one already asked here, but I think none of them really answers this question. There are a lot of advantages of having a large viewfinder and the general ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

what's the relation between sensor size and image quality (noise, dynamic range)?

I'm reading this description on sensor size: Digital compact cameras have substantially smaller sensors offering a similar number of pixels. As a consequence, the pixels are much smaller, which ...
5
votes
4answers
260 views

Why do small sensor cameras use proportionally larger mounts?

After seeing the Pentax Q which uses a sensor with 5.6X crop factor that is miniature compared to its mount and now the Nikon 1 system with its 2.7X crop factor also looks like its sensor is small ...
5
votes
2answers
557 views

Is “Ultrapixels” just marketing or is there a real benefit?

HTC has branded the sensor in its new phone (the HTC One) to be "Ultra pixels". For the same sensor size it only gives you 4MP where today's standard for top of the line smartphones is 8MP and up. Of ...
5
votes
1answer
445 views

For digital sensors and in terms of imaging medium, is the minimum CoC equal to the size of 1 sensor pixel or 2? And why?

For digital sensors and in terms of imaging medium, is the minimum CoC equal to the size of 1 sensor pixel or 2? And why? For example purposes using a 35mm Full Frame digital sensor where the pixel ...
4
votes
6answers
113k views

So my iPhone 6 camera lens is as wide as my full frame 35mm DSLR lens?

I am trying to understand what is the deal with "full-frame" and what difference it makes, so did a silly test: I sat at my bed and aligned the iPhone 6 camera with the door of the room and took a ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Have cropped digital sensors reached their peak design limits?

APS-C and smaller sensors seem to have plateaued off in terms of their megapixel counts, possibly due to diffraction limits. The ISO performance of these sensors has not increased substantially in the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How does sensor size relate to image resolution?

How is it possible that with a particular sized sensor (say APS-C) it is possible to get different sized image cameras (by this I mean a 10 megapixel camera, a 15 megapixel camera etc)? Where does ...
4
votes
2answers
619 views

How can lenses with different focal lengths have the same angle of view?

I always assumed that there was a fixed relation between focal length and angle of view. But compare the technical data for the following lenses, all from the same manufacturer: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/...
4
votes
4answers
700 views

Why use larger format cameras for studio photography?

Recently, I did a lot of studio photography (read: improvised hobbyist studio) using an APS-C camera (Pentax K-30). I don't see any major limitations due to the body. However, larger formats like ...