Questions tagged [sensor]

A sensor is the digital camera's equivalent to film. It contains millions of tiny light-detecting areas called photosites, which convert light into an electric charge. After exposing the sensor to light, this charge is read from each pixel and converted into a digital image.

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17
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3answers
5k views

RAW files store 3 colors per pixel, or only one?

Ken Rockwell says that camera makers consider the individual R/G/B sensors when they talk about megapixels. So the image below would be a 6x6 pixel camera, not 3x3 as you would imagine. If that's ...
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Can the sun damage the camera sensor? Under what conditions?

I want to experiment taking photos in which the sun appears. I'm afraid of what might happen if I take one with a narrower angle (where sun would be bigger). Can the lens act as a magnifying glass and ...
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8answers
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Do megapixels matter with modern sensor technology?

Are more megapixels good? Are more megapixels bad? Do more megapixels increase detail? Do they make my images sharper? On the other side, is there a point that is too much? Do megapixels cause ...
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15answers
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What is the best way to clean the sensor on a interchangeable lens camera (mirrorless or digital SLR)?

I've got a couple of spots of dust on the sensor of my Canon 20D. A rocket blower isn't shifting them, and I'm ridiculously scared of some of the more direct methods for cleaning sensors — what ...
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6answers
5k views

Does the dpi number reported by camera in JPG have any meaning?

I have two cameras, a 6mpix Panasonic FZ8, and 14mpix Canon A2200. When I compare shots from two cameras, one of differences I notice is dpi number that camera reports in JPG info: FZ8 reports dpi=...
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1answer
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Is it really better to shoot at full-stop ISOs?

The second half of this answer says Notice that I only shot full-stop ISO which is important with Canon DSLRs because the gain to obtain the 1/3 stops in between is applied in software by the ...
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2answers
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Why use a small aperture when trying to see sensor dust?

Here and there I read of people who set their lens to a small aperture while testing their sensor cleanness, supposedly to get the best image of dust speckles. However, the image of the on-sensor dust ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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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, ...
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2answers
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What effect does a UV filter provide?

I know that I should always use a filter on my lens to protect the camera lens, however, exactly what impact to the picture does using a UV filter have — since that is the one most often used? I seem ...
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3answers
2k views

Can all colors be described with RGB?

If one could pick ideal sensitivities for the RGB filters of a camera sensor, would it be possible to capture any color as humans see it?
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Does high reflectiveness of digital sensor lead to poor lens performance?

I Googled film vs dslr and found an article from 2007 that said: Digital sensor has higher reflectiveness than film. The light bouncing back from sensor will cause flare and lead to poor optical ...
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8answers
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What does “expanded ISO” mean?

The ISO specification for the Canon EOS 7D reads as follows: High ISO For handheld shooting in low light, the EOS 7D offers ISO speeds of up to 6400. Expandable to ISO 12800, for low light ...
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5answers
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What's the difference between CCD and CMOS image sensors?

I keep reading articles about CCD vs CMOS image sensors. What is the difference between these two types? What exactly do these sensors do in terms of photography? Is a CCD-based camera going to be ...
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3answers
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Why don't mainstream sensors use CYM filters instead of RGB?

From what I understand most digital cameras have a sensor where each pixel-sensor has three sub-sensors, each one with an R,G and B filter. RGB is obviously the more fundamental colour model since it ...
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4answers
15k views

What are the pros and cons of different Bayer demosaicing algorithms?

Bayer sensors use a pattern of red, green, and blue pixels, and merge those together into a final color image, with one pixel for every single color sensor. This could be done through a "naive" ...
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8answers
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Why are blown highlights particularly bad in digital photography?

I've heard that digital sensors are less "forgiving" of blown highlights than film. Why is this? There's something called "characteristic curves". How does this relate, in film and in digital? Can ...
17
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5answers
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How does taking lower-resolution pictures with a higher-resolution sensor affect image quality?

Does taking a picture with 8 megapixel resolution with my Canon IXUS with a 1/2.3" sensor and 12M max resolution provides the same or worse image quality (particular, noise) as if the picture was ...
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7answers
12k 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 ...
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2answers
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How does automatic sensor cleaning work?

My Canon 5D MKIII DSLR often does sensor cleaning when powered off and occasionally I'll go through the menu and specifically run a sensor clean when I've been shooting in unusually hazardous ...
20
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4answers
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When shooting in mRAW or sRAW, how does the camera generate smaller files?

Most mid- and high-end DLSRs offer two or three sizes for RAW capture. When the camera is generating the medium or small sized RAW files, how does it make them smaller? Does it capture less ...
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5answers
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Why does it seem like large sensors are necessary for good low-light performance?

Phone manufacturers have recently started advertising the size of the photosites on smartphone camera sensors. They argue that larger photosites lead to better low-light performance. I think a good ...
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4answers
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Question About the D600 Dirty Sensor Test - Why Use a High f-Stop? [duplicate]

There is a lot of buzz about the dirty sensor problem on the D600, which is apparently caused by some lubricant splattering onto the sensor and accumulating over time. My question is about the test ...
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5answers
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What *exactly* is white balance?

When setting a white balance configuration, we adjust the temperature and green-magenta shift to a wavelength-intensity distribution of light that correlates most closely with the actual distribution ...
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5answers
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What is meant by the “native ISO” when talking about DSLRs?

The new Nikon D7000 is out, and a lot of previews has touted the "native iso" of D7000 to be 100. What does this actually mean? I'm assuming it means it performs at its best at iso 100, which means ...
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4answers
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Given the same lens, does shooting with FX cameras yield sharper results than DX cameras?

I have a D7000, and I want to buy a D800 sometime next year because of a "foolish idea" that FX cameras yield sharper images over DX cameras. I am quite new to photography and did my research. However,...
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2answers
716 views

What characteristics make a digital sensor good?

Generally, the technical image quality of a digital image (before we get to the post-processing stage) is the product of the characteristics of the lens and the recording medium, with an important ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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How to clean spit off my camera sensor?

A short while ago, I [foolishly] attempted to clean some specs of dust from the sensor of my camera by blowing on it. While this was successful in removing the dust, I inadvertently spat on the ...
10
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1answer
14k views

How to fix an image sensor damaged by long sun exposures?

I took a number of shots of the sun during mid-afternoon and now all my images have pink spot where the sun was. Is there anyway to fix this, or is it permanently damaged? The camera was pointed at ...
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5answers
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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?
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What are differences between Bayer mosaic and Foveon 3 layer sensor?

To filling my appetite on camera things hunger I've came across to Sigma website and found this 3 layer sensor stuff. Can anyone really explain this based on their experience or research about this? ...
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3answers
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Why don't comparisons of aperture take sensor size into account?

When one compares focal length, many times we use the 35mm equivalent length. A 50mm lens on an APS-C sensor camera(1.6x) would be a 80mm equiv. length on a full frame camera. But when we state the ...
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6answers
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Do sensors wear out?

We all know that shutters wear out and they have a limited number of actuation's. The question I have is, do sensors wear out too? Do they suffer any kind of damage after each shot? Should I be ...
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3answers
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Hot, stuck, or dead pixels. What's the difference?

What is the difference between hot, stuck, and dead pixels with regards to a camera's image sensor? What can cause each to occur? What can be done to reduce their influence on a photo?
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2answers
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Why is on sensor PDAF drastically slower than traditional PDAF?

Why is on sensor PDAF drastically slower than traditional PDAF? I assume the technology is the same, doesn't matter if the module is on the sensor or located behind a mirror. But the performance is ...
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What is the Nyquist Limit and what is its significance to photographers?

The Nyquist Limit is frequently mentioned in the context of lens and sensor resolution. What is it and what is its significance to photographers? Here is an example of it being used by DPReview.com ...
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8answers
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Why do cameras use a single exposure rather than integrating across many very quick reads?

I have never understood why cameras need a shutter with a specific speed and why this cannot be adjusted in postprocessing. I think that present sensor works in an integral way: they save the amount ...
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5answers
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Why does BRIGHT red in direct sun come out orange?

I was at the NEC today dropping off a car for an auction, and took this quick photo (no intention to use for anything so no attempt at composition!) This was taken on a LG Nexus 5 mobile phone. I ...
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3answers
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Is Poisson Noise (“Shot Noise”) a significant source of noise for typical photography?

In this answer, @jrista states that even a camera with a perfect, noiseless sensor would still have noise due to "Poisson noise" aka "Photon Shot Noise" - noise caused by the random variations of ...
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4answers
930 views

How much of digital sensor noise is thermal?

Is all digital sensor noise thermal? And what is the relationship between temperature and noise? For example, as we cooled a CMOS towards absolute zero, would we discover that high-ISO images would ...
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4answers
6k views

Shooting 50mm EF vs EF-S

I have a Canon EOS 550D with a APS-C sensor. I have two lenses, (1) Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and the (2) Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II. If I use the 50mm focal length in the first EF-S lens... I ...
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3answers
7k views

Should I clean my camera sensor, or take it to a professional?

Possible Duplicate: Best way to clean the sensor on a digital SLR? Can anyone offer me advice on how to clean my camera's sensor? Should I do this myself, or take the camera to a professional? ...
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3answers
601 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 ...
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2answers
297 views

Do colored LED lights produce less illuminance than traditional spotlights?

I'm shooting theater plays and starting to shoot some alternative fashion shows. Many colored lights these days are LEDs, not white + gel as they used to be. Let's simplify things a bit and consider ...
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2answers
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How to estimate camera sensor size?

I am using a smartphone for capturing photos and I need to estimate the camera sensor size (mm*mm). I have the resolution (in pixels) and the focal length (in pixels). I can also measure the size of ...
19
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3answers
28k views

Are digital sensors sensitive to UV?

Is there any way, shape, or form that ultraviolet light is recorded by a digital sensor? Ideally, this question is related strictly to the sensor, without even a glass lens in between which could cut ...
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2answers
1k views

What are the basic workings of the Lytro light-field camera?

lytro.com describes their new light field camera as being able to capture the entire light field, rather than just one plane of light, thereby allowing for a whole new set of post-processing ...
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2answers
19k views

What are the advantages or disadvantages of a back illuminated CMOS sensor?

The iPhone 4s uses a backlit CMOS sensor, and I have noticed that some other point and shoot cameras do as well. What does that mean for photography, and if it is a benefit why do DSLR cameras not use ...
19
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4answers
35k views

Can a laser pointer damage the sensor in a digital camera?

I once experimented with standing in a dark room and directing a laser pointer towards my digital camera with a long shutter speed while moving the two about. I made a few images that way; one was ...