Sensor Size and Quality


How does the sensor size of a digital camera affect picture quality?
Somak Mazumdar, Kolkata

When you shoot a picture, the pixels on the sensor gather to form an image. When the sensor is large, the pixels have more space togather light more efficiently and form an image. In a smaller sensor, the pixels are cramped together, causing problems in recording the image. Thus, the larger the sensor, the better is the quality of the image. You will get a better noise performance and a greater dynamic range in tones and colours with a full frame camera, as compared to a camera phone or acompact camera.

A camera’s internal processing and technology are two other important factors. A newer DSLR like the Nikon D3100 will give far better noise performance than older, fullframe DSLR cameras like the Canon 1D—not because of sensor size, but because technology has moved so far ahead in all these years.

Tags: January 2011, Question of the Day, Image Quality, Sensor Size