Apr 3, 2005

Sensor Size IS Important

Today's Tip-

If you are shopping for a digital camera and have narrowed down your search to a couple of models, you may want to look at the specs for these cameras and check the sensor size. All things being equal otherwise, the camera with the larger sensor is going to produce better images. Here's why: The image sensor is the device that replaces the film in older cameras, it is the device that receives the image. These sensors are made up of millions of photosites (which roughly translates to megapixels). Now, each and every one of these photosites produces a tiny signal which must be amplified to become useful in making up the entire image. Smaller sensors have smaller photosites and larger sensors have larger photosites. A smaller photosite picks up less light because it is smaller in area, and therefore needs more amplification to produce a useful image. This is where the difference in quality occurs. The more amplification required, the more noise is introduced into the image, and noise is bad. Another reason smaller photosites are bad is, they tend to pick up signals from adjacent photosites, causing distortion to the image.

So, if you are comparing two digital cameras in a purchase, dig into the specs and see which one can produce a cleaner, clearer image.