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Camera Sensor Sizes and Comparisons

Camera Sensor Size Comparison

There are many different Camera Sensor Sizes. From Medium Format and Full Frame to the tiny but commonplace 1/2.3″.

Large sensors tend to feature in larger, more expensive cameras providing the best image quality. On the other hand, compact camera systems such as smartphones benefit from smaller sensors since small sensors can be paired with smaller, lighter lenses. Jump straight to chart


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Large Camera Sensor Sizes

Enthusiastic and professional photographers tend to prioritize image quality by buying cameras with larger sensors.

Large sensors will always outperform smaller sensors since their increased surface area captures more light in the same way a large bucket captures more rainwater than a smaller bucket. Therefore, expect to find greater dynamic range within your raw files and cleaner image quality at high ISOs. Learn all about ISO

However, large sensors demand large, heavy lenses. Therefore, superior image quality comes at the expense of cost and convenience. Are full-frame cameras better?

Medium Format Sensor Size Comparison Chart

Popular large sensor systems include Micro Four Thirds, APS-C, and Full Frame. Those with special needs, or deep pockets, may go larger still with Medium Format.

Small Camera Sensor Sizes

Small sensors are ideal for integration into small camera systems and smartphones.

Although smaller sensors produce relatively poor image quality, small sensors are optimal for those (most) who crave convenience and accessibility above all else.

Alternatively, small sensors can be exploited to create superzooms.

For example, the tiny 1/2.3″ sensor in Nikon’s P950 extracts an equivalent focal length of 2000mm out of a lens with a physical focal length of 357mm. Find out more about Focal Length

Yet, despite increasing ever-increasing megapixel counts, the potential image quality of small sensors is fundamentally limited. Find out why your smartphone does not need more megapixels.


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Camera Sensor Size Comparison Chart

This sensor size comparison chart includes sensor crop factors based on the Full Frame sensor size.

Furthermore, I have included the equivalent focal length of a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera for each sensor size.

And finally, each sensor size includes its Circle of Confusion (based on the Modern Standard). Ideal for those looking to maximize depth of field. Learn about hyperfocal distance

Camera Sensor Size Comparison

Large Camera Sensor Size Comparison Chart

This camera sensor size comparison chart presents full-frame vs medium format, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds.

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