Camera sensors come in different sizes. The one in your smartphone is a lot smaller than the one in my Canon 5D MKIII, a professional DSLR. For high quality mirrorless and DSLR cameras, there are two main sensor sizes: 35mm (generally referred to as “full frame”) and APS-C (normally called a “crop sensor” or “crop camera”). Let’s look at the difference between the two.
The size of the sensor is just that: the physical size of the sensor. A 35mm sensor is actually 36mm x 24mm. It’s the same size as the 35mm film it replaced. A crop sensor is called that because it’s cropped to a smaller size than a 35mm sensor (or piece of film). Exactly how much smaller and what that means we’ll get to in a minute.
Sensor size has nothing to do with the number of megapixels. You can get 20 megapixel full frame sensors and 20 megapixel crop sensors. A 10 megapixel full frame sensor will still be physically bigger than a 24 megapixel crop sensor. The difference is that on a crop sensor, each individual photosite (the tiny little sensors that detect the light for each pixel) is going to be smaller.Read More...
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