The Truth About Sensor Size - what is it?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by maxrockbin, May 27, 2011.

  1. maxrockbin

    maxrockbin New to SC

    2
    May 27, 2011
    Hi. This is a suggestion for a topic that I think would be VERY interesting to a lot of SC readers: Truth about sensor size.
    A LONG time ago dpreview had an article explaining that a sensor size listed as 1/2.3" for example on a compact camera is NOT anywhere near a half an inch but is based on an ancient standard for video tubes. But David Pogue had a recent article where he contradicted that and said that the sensor size is just what you'd guess -- 1/2.3" means 1/2.3" diagonal measure. A new website Sensor-Size: Compare & Convert Digital Cameras keyed off of Pogue. Was dpreview wrong? We're not talking about a minor quibble. We're talking about a difference that can be a factor of 10x in sensor area! Here's the old dpreview article:
    Making (some) sense out of sensor sizes: Digital Photography Review
    EXAMPLE: 1/1.8" - actually a pretty decent sensor qualifying for serious compact status - has a diagonal of less than 9mm.
    If dpreview was right, this has to be one of the biggest SC misconceptions out there.
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    maxrockbin, first of all welcome! If you'd like to start this topic off that's the fastest way to get things going. Let me know, and I'll be happy to move your post and create a new thread with it.

    P.S. Also, please stop by the Welcomes and Introductions forum and tell us a little about yourself, too.
     
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  3. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Sensor size seems to be a sensitive topic around here... :wink:
     
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  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Andrew, it's not the size but how you use it...
     
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  5. maxrockbin

    maxrockbin New to SC

    2
    May 27, 2011
    Sure. If you can move it over to start a new thread, that'd be great.
    Thanks!
     
  6. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    The new thread has now been created, maxrockbin, and is open for continued discussion.
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    This has been well established by a number of reputable sites, and DPR has it correct. Pogue didn't do his homework, incorrectly assumed that 1/2.3" referred to the diagonal, and his reader who made that website assumed him to be correct.
     
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