51

Digital camera sensor format-size names have their roots in television camera tubes. These were measured in inches diagonal, but for various practical reasons, the entire circle isn't used. So, from way back then, there's a concept called "the rule of 16", which says that the usable, actual sensor diagonal for a 1" tube is 16mm. (Yes, it mixes imperial and ...


43

Quick summary Yes, bigger pixels do improve performance all else being equal, and Apple is doing a good thing by focusing on sensor size. However in this case the increase in size is so slight that the difference will be negligible, probably not living up to the level of improvement you may expect from their marketing. What does bigger pixels mean? This ...


41

If you shoot from the same position with both lenses, then taking the 35mm lens and cropping it to the same angle of view of the 50mm lens will give you pretty much the same picture, other than the differences in optical quality between the two lenses and the resolution lost to cropping. But even if you were to shoot with the same lens, shooting from a ...


33

You're right that the angle of view of the iPhone camera is a little bit wider than a 35mm lens on a full-frame film camera. Up until this point, you're not really confused. But the part after that, about the small room and zoom and distance — definitely confused. :) "Zoom" means the ability to change the field of view — it isn't magnification. See What is ...


22

Confusingly, 1" does not refer to the size of the sensor, it is instead a "type designation". The 1" refers to a certain size of TV camera tube, of which the usable image area occupied the inner two thirds. The use of such cameras is completely obsolete now but the sizing system remains. It's arguable whether this is due to doggedly sticking to tradition or ...


22

That's not correct. Look at this picture: The green rectangle is a 36x24 sensor. The green circle, which has a diameter of 43.3mm, is the minimal light spot needed for that size. The blue square is 36x36 sensor. The blue circle, which has a diameter of 50.9mm, is the minimal light spot needed for that size. As you can see a lens suitable for 36x24 does not ...


21

Pocket cameras have significantly smaller sensors than DSLRs, usually in the range of 5mm across as opposed to 22mm across. I'm not familiar with the Olympus mu range however I've seen 12 and 14 megapixel compacts. These have more megapixels than DSLRs produced a few years ago, however it is mostly done for marketing purposes. The lenses in pocket cameras ...


20

The proof is in the pudding – the focal lengths are not exactly the same as yours, but the differences are obvious...


19

A great deal here depends on when you (generally) take pictures. In particular, with bright light, a smaller sensor makes little or no difference in quality. As the light level drops, however, a large sensor (generally) gains a greater advantage. So, if you're mostly taking pictures of the view from a mountain top in broad daylight, chances are that the ...


15

That difference is because the angle of view of the APS-C sensor is smaller than the 35mm Full frame sensor. Basically the change of focal length is only considered as a change of angle of view. APS-C sensor has a crop factor of 1.6 of the full frame sensor. ie Anything viewed with the APS-C sensor will be cropped 1.6 times the Full frame sensor.Hence 300x1....


15

The first mainstream applications for electronic image sensors (be it Image-Orthicons, Vidicons, Plumbicons, or CCDs, or CMOS active pixel sensors, be it analog-electronic or digital workflows) were in video, not in still images. Video followed form factors similar to movie film. In movie film, 35mm (equivalent to full frame still) or even 70mm were ...


14

Essentially, your argument is correct as long as you understand that negligible and high-price are relative terms. You are correct that you get one or at most two stops advantage between a full-frame and an APS-C sensor of the same generation. More importantly so, the advantage is lower at low ISO sensitivities with modern cameras which are essentially ...


14

Thanks to my schwifty skills in Inkscape, the rotation here is slightly off but the following shows exactly what you're comparing. These are the fields of view of a Nikon 35mm (inner) and a Nikon 50mm (outer). So even when you're getting approximately the same stuff in the frame, the 35mm is much wider, focal distances are slightly different too. If you're ...


14

In practice this is not a concern unless you have very demanding needs. Now I would preface this by saying that my view of "image quality" is that many people, particularly beginners, tend to make the mistake of thinking of that in terms of pixel level quality or technical tests of particular parameters (like ISO performance). In practice an "image of ...


13

They're measuring the first on a crop-sensor camera and the second on a full-frame; specifically for a Canon APS-C sensor, 15mm x 1.6 = 24mm. Canon does this in general when referring to EF-S vs. EF lenses; see for example How can a 24-70mm and a 10-22mm both be "wide angle" lenses?, which has the same effective answer. The relationship between ...


13

In theory having more smaller pixels is better than having fewer large pixels. A small pixel will capture fewer photons and thus it's output is noisier, but by taking more samples the noise averages out, by simple resampling you can simulate the result of a sensor with fewer larger pixels. But you can do better than simply matching the result of larger ...


13

Many older or cheaper phone cameras use a "fixed focus" lens. ie it is always set to focus a specific distance away from the camera. This is usually set to the "hyperfocal distance", ie everything from half that distance out to infinity is in focus. This depends on just what is acceptable as 'in focus'. But most photos from these cameras will be sharp ...


13

From the "Recommended For" tab of the Tamron web page for that lens: Tamron Di-II lenses are engineered expressly for digital SLR cameras with image sensors commonly referred to as APS-C, measuring approximately 24mm x 16mm. This means the image circle is sized for the smaller APS-C sensor, and is too small for a full-frame camera like the 6D. This is ...


12

Megapixels are to cameras what top speed is to cars: it's an easy headline figure to boast about when in reality most customers will never need it. Worse still, other features may have been sacrificed in order to meet a price point with that alluring headline figure intact. Put another way, it's a bit like asking why a little Hyundai has a top speed of ...


12

Sensor area doesn't determine resolution in the same way as the film era. Back then simply increasing the area of film would yield a similar increase in the size you could print, and therefore the detail you captured. In the digital world sensors can have different numbers of pixels per cm Both 12MP compact and DSLR will resolve similar levels of detail ...


12

For digital cameras, it's purely due to historical reasons - 35mm was the dominant size for film cameras and cinematography. As for why film cameras ended up with 35mm, I'd suggest 35 mm film and 135 film on Wikipedia as a good place to start. It's also worth noting that "35mm" is not actually the size of the image, which is 36x24 mm, but the width of the ...


12

No, a higher resolution sensor does not increase the difficulty of handheld shooting. It does mean that is is more difficult to realize the full potential of the higher resolution sensor, but that doesn't mean the results are worse than they would be with a lower resolution sensor.


11

The basic answer to "why" is: because it doesn't matter in any practical way. To put it into perspective, this is a 4.8% difference in sensor area. Or, linearly, it's 2.3% difference in crop factor. This is not very much, and generally other measurement tolerances will be less precise. For example, if you measure the actual focal length of, say, a bunch of ...


11

Very Unlikely There is a lot of R&D going on in sensor technology right now, even the examples you give are at best misleading. You only talk about megapixels, there are a lot of improvements that can be done without increasing the pixel count. For example, just compare pictures from a 8MP cell-phone camera from a new model to a 4 year old model. APS-C ...


11

The same way that we can make an HDTV the same size as an old low res TV or even smaller. We make the pixels on the sensor smaller. The sensor size (APS-C, full frame, etc) refers to the size of the area that the light is focused on to. It can be very large in the case of research telescope sensors and digital medium format cameras or very small in the ...


11

It's quite simple: A lens projects what is called an "image circle" onto the sensor. A DX-only lens is designed to project an image circle just big enough to cover that sensor. An FX lens is designed to project an image circle big enough to cover a FX frame. Therefore an FX lens will work on a DX sensor properly. (But it will have an effective "crop ...


11

Many of the frequently touted reasons for larger sensors producing better images, more subject isolation, lower noise, better dynamic range, all assume you keep the f-stop constant, i.e. you use f/2.8 on a smaller sensor and f/2.8 on a larger sensor. However this question is specifically asking about what happens if you keep the DOF the same. This is ...


11

In low-light settings the quality is just not good, blurry. I really just do travel photography so don't have time to mess with settings if I am capturing scenes of people out at night in a busy Chinese pedestrian street, for example. Then get a good phone that does computational photography very well. It will think for you more than and better than any ...


10

Since this question was originally asked, the Micro Four-Thirds system has advanced and some of the earlier answers have become outdated. The latest generation of cameras has fast auto-focus although they still lag behind DSLRs for low-light and continuous tracking (eg birds in flight and sports) due to lack of phase-contrast autofocus. The lens selection is ...


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