Mirrorless Camera Sensor Size Comparison by CameraImageSensor.com

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    The makers of CameraSize.com recently introduced a neat sensor size comparison tool at CameraImageSensor.com.

    I used it to quickly whip up this comparison of a representative group of mirrorless camera sensors:


    Some of the things that stand out to me visually:
    • 2 stops (4X area) separates each of these cameras from the one that follows it: M9 (135 format), OM-D (4/3), X10 (2/3"), iPhone 4S (1/3.2")
    • 4/3 (OM-D E-M5) is a lot closer to APS-C (EOS-M, NEX-7) than APS-C is to 135 format (M9)
    • 4/3 (OM-D E-M5 is roughly halfway between 1" (RX100) and 1.5X APS-C (NEX-7)
    • 1" (RX100) is roughly halfway between "serious" small sensors (S100, X10) and 4/3" (OM-D E-M5)

    It's a lot of fun to play with, and it's even more fun to mix and match the camera sizes...


    ... with the respective sensor sizes:


    Check out both tools for yourself:
    Camera Size Comparison
    Camera Image Sensor Size / Technical Specs Comparison
    • Like Like x 8
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I've looked at some of these charts in the past. What really strikes me here is who small the difference is between APS-C and m4/3 compared to the difference between FF and everything else. Makes me feel stupid for falling in love with the APS-C "look" because I refuse to go full frame (only because DSLRs are not my bag). If I could get a system with a full frame sensor and AF without the mass and form factor of a DSLR, I'd buy it and quit chasing a fictitious ideal.

    DSLRs are ugly and heavy (to me), but I crave uber-IQ and clean, noise-free files at high ISO and wicked shallow DOF. I'm tired of reading that it's impossible. Make a smallish boxy camera with a FF sensor. If you don't screw up everything else, you'll make tons of money. Period. I'd even be happy with a single focal length.

    I'm starting to feel like a complete idiot repeating the same things year after year. Should I build the camera myself?
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    A lot of us felt like idiots asking for the same thing year after year before getting it in the form of the 4/3 and APS-C CSCs. I can't imagine it will be all that much longer before we see the 135 format autofocus mirrorless systems emerge. A couple years off at most I think. Is anyone really still saying it's impossible?

    That said, there's not a whole lot of difference between APS-C and 135 unless you're going with the fastest glass possible on 135. See for example this comparison I posted 5 years ago on the old S.C. blog and republished here: https://www.photographerslounge.org/f42/canon-lenses-full-frame-vs-crop-162/

    Along those lines, the Fuji X-Pro-1 (1.5X) and 35/1.4 is gives you identical DOF control and low light, shutter speed-limited ability to a hypothetical 135 format dream camera with the same sensor technology and a 50mm f/2 lens.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I think I would have been a little more drawn to a canon mirrorless if it were more in the traditional SLR style format. Small body and big lens isn't very ergonomic for me.
  5. serhan

    serhan All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    I was looking at DPR's Sony rx100 preview and I saw that the full frame and aps-c was more than one stop (5.6 is equivalent of 8.7):
    Sony DSC RX100 Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review

    So the m43 and aps-c difference is less then one stop. Also I found interesting that the rx100 lens equivalent f/4.9-13.4 is faster or equal to the Oly OMD kit 12-50 which has approx aperture of f/7-13.4.
  6. KVG

    KVG Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I really want a ff mirrorless with af
    • Like Like x 1
  7. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    4/3 and APS-C are close enough that I wouldn't exclude 4/3 just because of sensor size. In the last few years, however, the budget to mid-level M 4/3 bodies have had inferior sensor tech compared to APS-C, so the difference in sensor size just added to that.

    Hopefully the improved sensors in O-MD and better Panasonic bodies will spread system-wide soon. It's a shame for example that the E-P3 has essentially the same sensor as the E-P1 with just improved processing (in all other aspects it is of course a much improved camera.)
  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I like that the canon mirrorless can still use my ef lenses.. but I want to see more reviews on it. And really as much as I would like to try a Leica, hell film or digital, I am not sure my eyes would appreciate any difference image wise. In fact the M9 has been out for so long other cameras have surpassed it. But I would love to be one of those people that get to try them out and do reviews rather than always just reading.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010

    I posted a bunch of easy to use (just plug into Google) formulas here: https://www.photographerslounge.org...actor-f-stops-equivalent-lenses-google-11338/

    Based on sensor area, there is a 0.6 stop difference between Canon EOS-M and Micro 4/3 and a 1.0 stop difference between Micro 4/3 and Sony RX100.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. serhan

    serhan All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    I was using the easy method of one stop between full frame & aps-c and aps-c & m43. The one stop between sony rx100 and m43 gives rx100 f/2.5-6.3 equivalent lens in m43 level, which is interesting...