Size Does Matter, At Least When We’re Talking Camera Sensors

Size Does Matter, At Least When We’re Talking Camera Sensors

That’s what she said.

So, check this out. The folks behind CameraSize, a clever little web site that compares camera specifications with easily viewable images for size comparison, have created SensorSize. Ever wondered what the camera on your iPhone 4S is packing? How about comparing it to other smartphones, point and shoot phones, or – gasp – actual DSLR cameras?

SensorSize will do it all, with a nice little infographic, as you can see above.

A camera’s sensor area is important, as with more surface for photons to bounce off of, the more photographic information can be recorded in a picture. That’s why, when you compare such disparate devices as an iPhone 4S and a high-end DSLR like the Canon EOS 5D you see such a huge difference in sensor area. This is one of the big reasons why high end cameras are, well, so high end.

Comparing smartphones to more compact cameras is another matter, though. Notice how little difference there is between the iPhone 4S and, say, a compact point and shoot like the Canon Powershot A1300. There’s a little bit of difference in sensor area there, but is it enough to warrant purchasing another device and making sure it’s always with you? I’m sure better photographers than I am will argue, but I stopped carrying a separate camera when I got my iPhone 4.

The other thing to note is how amazingly similar the iPhone and other comparable cameras are in terms of sensor size. Makes sense, though, right? There’s only so much you can do with a limited amount of space in a small handheld device, and since most phones have a very similar design spec (*cough* iPhone *cough), it makes sense that they all have about the same size sensor. The iPhone 3GS does have a bit of a smaller sensor, as compared with the iPhone 4 or 4S. It makes me wonder if the iPhone 5 will have an even larger area.

Hop on over to SensorSize, or even CameraSize, for that matter, to check out your own devices. Then you, too, can brag about the size of your sensor.

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  • Reeltime

    The Nikon D800 would need half a web page. Seriously all those extra photo sites also means more noise. I’ve seen incredible images out of a $300 dollar camera– it comes down to lighting, and the guy pushing the button. When you get to the upper echelon cameras, you’re paying for durability and speed as much as anything.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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