Sensor size is what matters and the trend is for larger, says Aptina










Share:









Consumers need to think about sensor size rather than pixel count, says Aptina’s Sandor Barna, because larger image sensors are likely to appear in all types of devices. Barna, the Vice President and General Manager of sensor maker Aptina’s Consumer Camera Business Unit, spoke to us about the challenges facing compact cameras, the niche that will continue to exist for them, and hints that more large sensor compacts are on their way.

Understanding the effect of sensor size is important for customers, he explains: ‘The analogy between film and optical format is pretty striking. In the film days, everyone was focused on the size of the film (35mm, 120, etc.) – grain vs. sensitivity (film speed) was a tradeoff decision you made each time you bought some film. In digital, optical format [sensor size] is analogous to film size – pixel count is like the minimum grain size, with a similar sensitivity trade-off. If we applied the old film logic to digital cameras, the optical format would be on the side of the box, not the number of megapixels.’

The image quality benefits brought by larger sensor sizes can help ensure there continues to be a market for compact cameras, he says (though he acknowledges the industry needs a better way of describing sensor size than the current obscure ‘inch-type’ naming system.)

Aptina’s Sandor Barna: ‘I believe there’s a market for a compact with noticeably better image quality.’

Challenges for compacts

‘Smartphones are getting better and your snapshot ability now matches your camera’s,’ he says. ‘Then you think about the constant availability of smartphones and their ability to simply upload to Facebook and you see why compact cameras are declining.’ And, he suggests, even the slight sensor size advantage that compacts currently have could soon disappear: ‘Some of the less established smartphone makers will try to make a camera with a larger optical format [sensor size]. Mainstream [compact] cameras are susceptible to that because they offer no real advantage.’

But there’s still a market for a dedicated camera device, he believes – even for people who don’t consider themselves ‘photographers.’ ‘Last time I went on vacation, I wasn’t comfortable shooting with my phone, but a current compact wouldn’t give me the results I wanted, either – I think there’s still a market for people wanting to record planned events – weddings, vacations. I believe there’s a market for a compact with noticeably better IQ and features like zoom that smartphones struggle to offer.’

‘The places camera makers can differentiate are the areas that you can’t introduce those compromises in a phone. Zoom is one of them – smartphone makers don’t like the idea of adding this large, moveable, breakable part and their customers won’t accept the thicker form factor,’ he says: ‘there are also system processing constraints in smartphones – the number of processor cycles that can be dedicated to the camera is restricted.’

‘So you have to go into spaces that the smartphone can’t go,’ he says: ‘and the main one is optical format [sensor size]’

‘But,’ he says, ‘you have to keep the ease-of-use comparable to that of a smartphone camera – and that’s a big challenge. DSLRs aren’t for everybody and they’re not always convenient. People want a smaller device with that automatic mode they can leave it in. And camera makers need to eliminate the painful process of uploading to a computer, then posting to your favorite website.’

Some smartphone makers are already experimenting with larger sensors (the sensor in Nokia’s Lumia 1020 is around 3.5x larger than the ones used in most smartphones)

Go big, or go home

This pressure to offer higher image quality doesn’t just affect compacts, he says: ‘I think the trend is towards larger format – we’ve seen an increasing push towards full-frame in the DSLR market and I see everything pushing towards larger formats.’ But that still leaves room for something between a smartphone and a DSLR, he says: ‘As I said before – I think a 1″ sensor represents such a big gap that I don’t see that smartphones can go there.’

‘For Aptina this trend represents an opportunity to expand – not just with 1″ sensors but right up to APS-C,’ he explains: ‘We’ve had a lot of interest. In terms of 1″, we’ve been working closely with our current customer base and have been having interest beyond the customer currently using them – we expect to see cameras announced at the beginning of next year.’

‘Video is another market opportunity – look at the success GoPro has had,’ he says: ‘even if you’re not using it for action, being able to take a 30 second video clip of your children is very powerful.’ However, despite this enthusiasm for video, Barna is not convinced that higher-resolution video is what’s going to push the market in the short-term: ‘I don’t think it’ll be 4K yet because I don’t think 4K is ready yet – until the point at which people have 4K televisions it’ll be a special application. It’s really useful for cropping at the moment. Once the monitors are common, you’ll start to see it. Home distribution of 4K video will be the breakthrough though – Hollywood is already shooting in 4 – but for user-generated content, 1080 is probably all anyone needs in their pocketable device.’


Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}

Aptina designs and produces sensors for a range of products, from smartphones (for which it’s just introduced the Clarity+ technology), to consumer cameras such as the Nikon 1 and action cameras, such as the GoPro.











Comments


mrdancer

But mfrs have spent the last decade brainwashing consumers that megapixel ratings were the be-all, end-all. Now they have to un-brainwash people to let them know that sensor size is really where it’s at.

I’d like to see a 1″ sensor in the Panny FZ250, but how much will that knock the zoom down to where the lens is still manageable?


mpgxsvcd

The difficult part is not cramming a large sensor into a phone. The hard part is putting a large aperture lens that would work with a larger sensor into a phone.

The sensor will fit. The lens won’t. If you put a larger sensor in with a smaller aperture lens you really haven’t changed anything for lower light shots.


Wally626

Apple had an interesting patent that provides at least some solutions to small cellphone cameras. Given the thickness of cell phones there is a limit to the focal length of the lenses and the sensor sizes. Apple’s patent makes use of multiple cameras then digitally combines the images. One sensor can be B&W, others for various colors, this allows for sensors with not only better efficiency they can also provide a larger total sensor area. The patent had to do with how to treat the background differences from the slight changes in view angle. It would take more area in a phone but not more thickness.


Sergey Kostrov

I regret to see that so high level person uses a Non Scientific term like “… the optical format…”. It doesn’t make sense at all in terms of Optics or Digital Imaging.


falconeyes

The article would have been of value if it contained a hint about the cost to OEM of sensors of varying sizes (smart phone to FF). In its current form, the article contains zero bits of information.

After all, a driving force for “larger” would be the falling cost of large sensors.


falconeyes

> though he acknowledges the industry needs a better way of describing sensor size than the current obscure ‘inch-type’ naming system.

There ALREADY is a better way! Industry simply has to stop the nonsense of mixing equivalent (normalized) focal length with unnormalized aperture and iso ratings. The latter have no meaning whatsoever without taking the sensor size into account. The normalized, equivalent ratings however shine with increasing sensor sizes and bring their benefit to the customers awareness without even talking about the sensor size which, in itself is an impementation detail. It’s not meaning anything without taking the aperture into acoount etc.

E.g., describe the Sony RX100II as 28-100mm F/4.9-13.4 ISO1200+
and everbody will understand immediately what camera it is. No need to mention a cryptic 1″ size …


stevez

I think the last line in the article sums it up – 1080P is all anyone needs in a phone. Going this route would allow the pixels to be larger thus giving better performance in low light which from what I’ve seen and heard is the major complaint of camera phones.


Ulric

Look at the protruding black part on that Nokia. Make that part a lens mount and make a body cap lens that fits it. Now we have a smart phone that doubles as an interchangeable lens body with a 1″ sensor. I would want one.


fastlass

is this article from 2008?


Rbrt

Seems to me both sensor size and pixel count are important. What kind of image are you going to get with a big sensor that has only 10 pixels? On the other hand, how many pixels can you squeeze onto a sensor that is only 1 mm square?

To me, sensor size simply determines how many pixels you’re going to have. The larger the sensor, the more pixels you can squeeze onto it.


Franka T.L.

Right now its not the sensor industry that’s limiting the advance. Its the Camera Mfrs. And their lack of vision to go forth and branch out from established norm and their ( perceived ) comfort zone.


AmateurSnaps

We already know larger sensors are a benefit to image quality/high ISO etc. Guess its a slow news day for photography.


zodiacfml

Hey Oly and Panny, why not a MFT sensor on a fixed lens compact? Remove the AA filter while you’re at it.


Franka T.L.

I’ve been saying that for a long time too, but obviously Pany and Oly think otherwise. Any sane person would see that by adopting the same sensor format they can integrate their fixed lens compact line better with their M4/3 line and benefit for both.


marike6

Because Olympus and Panasonic are running a business, and if they produced a fixed lens m43 camera it would cannibalize their own system cameras and reduce sales on lenses, the items with the highest profit margins.

So while a fixed lens m43 camera might sound good for the end user, it’s not a particularly smart idea from a business perspective.


zodiacfml

I agree with that since there never has been a fixed lens MFT despite it is technically possible.

What I really meant was, I think it’s time to come out with that high quality,fixed lens cam now that many people/reviewers are arguing that MFT has little success in the future due to compact APSC & FF formats with just the right size and IQ. e.g. Ricoh GR and RX1.
Ricoh GR/Coolpix A/X100/RX100 is a nice market to get a piece of…..with a MFT LX OR XZ.


SulfurousBeast

Agree and guess Panny and Oly would soon come up with one. But with a body like the GX1, GX7 or even GF6 and a 14 or 20 mm Pancake you have one closer to what would be a fixed lens compact with u3 sensor….? just don’t change lenses that all !!


zodiacfml

Remove the Fuji x100 due to the lens and VF making it large….but there’s value in a collapsing lens camera. If it can be done on APSC, much more on MFT. I would prefer a very fast, prime lens though, over a moderate aperture 3x zoom.


Kodachrome200

dxomark says the rx100 has 6 real megapixels from a 21 megapuxel sensor. the ricoh GR has 13 from a 16.

seems to make the point clear


zodiacfml

…there are MFT and APSC cameras with zoom lenses with the same or near 6 MP score. huge exception to the Sigma 18-35mm zoom though.
anyway, the RX100 MP count only hurts if shot in RAW due to larger file sizes.


jimread

What a complete idiot.

I use a Panasonic G2 my FF DSLR’s in the the loft. From the G2 I get 16″ x 20″ prints just as good as the DSLR and it’s lighter, smaller and much much easier to use.

Jim


zodiacfml

whatever….he’s just trying to say how camera makers can survive in the future.
‘So you have to go into spaces that the smartphone can’t go,’ he says:


marike6

The G2 is a large sensor camera relative to most of the market.

And what he’s saying actually is right on target, and we are already seeing companies like Sony put larger sensors in smaller form factor cameras.

Not every statement about sensor size is a slight against m43 so whether you agree or not, I’m quite sure he’s not an idiot.


D1N0

Big sensors indeed. The only camera’s for which you can defend the tiny 1/2.3″ sensors are the superzooms. Until people find out how limited the use is of 1200mm equivalent zoom range.


Marla2008

Absolutely, sensor size does matter, a lot ! I do think there is a need for compact, but ONLY equipped with an APS-C chip. Anything below that don’t cut it, at least for what I want. For you guys never heard of Aptina, have you lived under a rock, lol ?


tjbates

I think most would agree. We just don’t need DPR to allow Aptina to tell us like we didn’t know already.
Now Sandor Barna needs to go away and develop something that is significantly better than what we already have and then convince us that “more than good enough” (which we have already) is not good enough. Good luck!


SulfurousBeast

Yes, but not exactly when it comes to keeping the overall size smaller. APS-C would never develop lenses that are any smaller than what is currently available. It is just the function of Sensor size and the image dia and hence the lens size required to cover it. That’s where u3 and 1″ sensors hit the Sweet spot. If now Aptina can focus on improving the performance of these to what current Full Frame and APS-C can do that would be great. BTW I don’t think any of the readers here needed to be told that Sensor size is important….like stating the obvious….


tjbates

A free advertisement for Aptina?


monkeybrain

Yes, I will immediately go and purchase a new Aptina sensor for my old camera.


Kodachrome200

aptina sells to corporate purchasers this isnt that big a deal to them


yonsarh

sensor size dont matter.In the future, image sensor price will be so cheap
which will cost less than a dollar and will be used on everywhere. mdigitial photographyis all about the sensor. Due to advance of technology, sensor price will be worhtless, unless theres new type of photography technology announces.


CameraLabTester

General Manager & Vice President to Executive Board:

“Cowabungah! We manufactured a whole bunch of these wafers and nobody even knows we exist! Even paper clip makers are known to people and… and… what’s that? We got a budget surplus this financial year? How much? Eh?..Really?.. Hmmm…I like those odds… Quick! Call DPR! We need to GET OUR BUTTS…ER, FACES OUT THERE!! Call Terry Richardson to snap my photo! Quickly!”

.


Tape5

Photography used to be a domain of genuine enthusiasts and artists in the bad old days.

Now it is whatever handed down to the consumers after the engineering nerds have fulfilled their designs under the command of the ad boys and men in suits to maximise profit.

Someone has to harvest the trillion shutter movements a day of the global hunger to take photos.


Anastigmat

Enthusiasts and artists who used 110 and disk format cameras. LOL


lightleak

That was disappointing, when I read „large sensor“ I was preparing for 6×7 digital 🙂


jaygeephoto

I guess the word “large” is highly relative and subjective term when it comes to sensors. But yes, a 6X7cm 200 megapixel would surely reign as the camera from hell. That would roughly translate into a 170 MB RAW file of 12,500 X10,000 pixels. Bring it!


yabokkie

because larger the sensor better the profit for Aptina?


realq86

“Optical format” is gonna affect the size of the oval all package of the camera. A FF lens is gonna be that size, says laws of physics. Not everyone wants to carry around a FF lens even if the FF body is the size of a credit card.


nimrod1212

I think even snapshot photographers now realize that pixel count isn’t the Holy Grail – at least in the milieu where I run. This is a non-news item.


dark goob

Of course he says that, it’s what Aptina makes.

How much did they pay you DPReview?

Go back to the gear shop. DPReview SOLD OUT


R Butler

Actually, Aptina has not paid us a penny – I interviewed one of their execs because chip makers has a different perspective from camera makers – one I thought our readers would find interesting.

My understanding is that most of the company’s products are relatively small sensors, so he’s not just pushing his product. But yes, oddly, an executive from a company thinks gos company has something to offer.


Guy Swarbrick

And, of course, it’s self-evidently true.


Camediadude

Larger sensors = Larger profit margins for Aptina


Zamac

When considering the future of fixed-lens cameras outside the enthusiast market one needs to take the prestige factor into account. Nobody NEEDS a Ferrari or a Gucci bag, but the companies making such articles generally remain profitable in spite of increased competition. This applies to cameras as well, especially for important occasions such as weddings, travel, new babies etc. So the compact market will remain, smaller but with higher margins with cameras that LOOK professional and expensive (and I am not referring to certain astronomically named, and priced, bling cameras).


km25

When it comes to sensor size, want is full frame. The 35mm format was created by Leica in the late nineteen twenties. At that time they were using motion picture film. The IQ was light travel or spy camera stuff. The only reason we all wanted FF five to ten years ago was: 1. We all had a lot of lens we did not want to give up. 2. All the camera companies did not want to make new lens. 3. No one liked the crop factor, wide angle side was lacking.
Size of the sessor in 135 land were FF the biggest, is not that much larger. Canon for a long time made a camera with an APS-H, factor 1.3. Leica made the M8 factor, 1.3 or 1.2??. The point is lens are now being made for the APS sensor. The difference in size is not that great. So the bottom line is, bettter low light with larger sensor, but the med format sensor are not made/good in low light. With technology the way it is today. A APS can go toe to toe with a FF, wich is no longer the great factor it once was.


Shamael

you are right, but an APS can only go toe to toe with FF if the price of FF is not made, like it is actullay the case, in a way that only a few can afford it. That a FF body costs a 15 to 20% more is ok, even if we can discuss this. It is not more technology and work, even only just a little bitty more material, in a FF body as there is in an APSC. If we want to be able to chose between APS and FF, the way to go is chosing APS for wider DOF and cheaper glass, and FF for owing good old lenses and shallower DOF. As it is at the moment, FF is a 1% er format in some way. If you select the cheapest gear, like Nikon D600, you have FF with a minimum of comfort, if you go higher, it becomes too expensive. We are here in the same nasty game as we are with Pro material, cameras with solid bodies and twice more weight, 4 to 5 times the price, and that can 3 times less as the consumer model. The market is open for mirrorless FF and we wait for it, but again, not at fancy prices only some can pay


Zamac

With the high (c.90%) quantum efficiency of modern sensors at most wavelengths, there is little room for mobile phones to improve low light performance. Some improvement from software processing, but basically for better low light there must be a bigger lens aperture and that means a bigger overall lens. Mobile phones need to be comfortably portable, a large lens makes that impossible, and I don’t see many people carrying a big clip-on lens for their phone!


PC Wheeler

Umm .. he’s selling product, so what he has is best (of course).


locke_fc

Which is why mFT is doomed…


photo nuts

Huh? But m43 sensor is larger than 1″! 😉


Beat Traveller

Yeah no. It offers a sweet spot between IQ and lens/body size. Sensor tech is still constrained by optics, which is itself currently constrained by physics.


Chekr

What matters is image quality. Not the size of the sensor, not the number of pixels.

IQ is about the sensor, the lens, the software and the ability of the photographer to use these together to create an image.

I understand why he says sensor size is the bees knees though, when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail


CosmoZooo

Until post processing catches up to fake a shallow DOF perfectly a larger sensor matters very much. Even if a smaller sensor could produce as good an image as an APS-C one – the image itself would always be flatter or in case of 1/2.3 just freaking flat which is fine for landscapes and other purposes but not as good for nice people photography.

Not only that but if a small sensor could achieve the quality of today’s APS-C or m43, then same technology would be applied to once again bigger sensors maintaining the gap.

I agree with Aptina 100% – larger sensors in compact and super zooms is what camera manufacturers need to stay alive. I am tired of 1/2.3 or 1/1.7 – those formats have nothing to offer. Each generation of those brings a little better low light, a little better DR way more zoom then most need but no real improvemens that can match even the 1″ sensor from Sony. All those cameras have to come up to 1″ or they will die – maybe the super zooms will survive but I want them with 1″.

But megapixels matter too – just think of the latest Nokia phone. Stick 41mpx and then downsample for better quality. That approach is not to be discarded by the compact camera makers. If I had to buy a super zoom today I would go Sony because 20mpx on a 1/2.3 at least gives me some room to scale down to hide imperfections.


CosmoZooo

Until post processing catches up to fake a shallow DOF perfectly a larger sensor matters very much. Even if a smaller sensor could produce as good an image as an APS-C one – the image itself would always be flatter or in case of 1/2.3 just freaking flat which is fine for landscapes and other purposes but not as good for nice people photography.

Not only that but if a small sensor could achieve the quality of today’s APS-C or m43, then same technology would be applied to once again bigger sensors maintaining the gap.

I agree with Aptina 100% – larger sensors in compact and super zooms is what camera manufacturers need to stay alive. I am tired of 1/2.3 or 1/1.7 – those formats have nothing to offer. Each generation of those brings a little better low light, a little better DR way more zoom then most need but no real improvemens that can match even the 1″ sensor from Sony. All those cameras have to come up to 1″ or they will die – maybe the super zooms will survive but I want them with 1″.

But megapixels matter too – just think of the latest Nokia phone. Stick 41mpx and then downsample for better quality. That approach is not to be discarded by the compact camera makers. If I had to buy a super zoom today I would go Sony because 20mpx on a 1/2.3 at least gives me some room to scale down to hide imperfections.


CosmoZooo

Until post processing catches up to fake a shallow DOF perfectly a larger sensor matters very much. Even if a smaller sensor could produce as good an image as an APS-C one – the image itself would always be flatter or in case of 1/2.3 just freaking flat which is fine for landscapes and other purposes but not as good for nice people photography.

Not only that but if a small sensor could achieve the quality of today’s APS-C or m43, then same technology would be applied to once again bigger sensors maintaining the gap.

I agree with Aptina 100% – larger sensors in compact and super zooms is what camera manufacturers need to stay alive. I am tired of 1/2.3 or 1/1.7 – those formats have nothing to offer. Each generation of those brings a little better low light, a little better DR way more zoom then most need but no real improvemens that can match even the 1″ sensor from Sony. All those cameras have to come up to 1″ or they will die – maybe the super zooms will survive but I want them with 1″.

But megapixels matter too – just think of the latest Nokia phone. Stick 41mpx and then downsample for better quality. That approach is not to be discarded by the compact camera makers. If I had to buy a super zoom today I would go Sony because 20mpx on a 1/2.3 at least gives me some room to scale down to hide imperfections.


Digitall

“Go big, or go home” already summarized and sentenced.

So the future of M43 is a slow death? Well, I think that APS-C and FF is the sensor where people must bet in terms of future, depends on the camera. I say this for years, I’m not Nostradamus, but, things are going in this direction.
It is clear that other systems are to propose some very interesting things, especially M43 regarding the functionality, but that’s not all. Already said here, the M43 to survive has to play with quality, price and portability. The size of M43 cameras are not much smaller than it is now in the APS-C, so, here M43 are losing points. Lens price? some yes they win, some not at all.IQ quality? yes m43 are growing well, but always limited by the mathematics of sensors. Pixels vs size. The build quality is already very good in top models.
Not being thinking about the medium format itself, the FF is the Top dreamed by common mortal. So, Go big, or go home. 😉


Digitall

And seeing by this point, Sony will already be in the future, small bodies and larger sensors. RX100 I/II, RX1/R and maybe the recent arrival of NEX FF. With prices undoubtedly exaggerated, but, why do not other companies are reacting … Sony has studied the market very well and guess well the trends.


Oleg Vinokurov

There is a limit on how big sensor you can make and still expect compact size, size of body alone is not really useful. m43 has quite nice balance for now, if nex can manage somehow to build lenses with better IQ and make them smaller, m43 will have big problems, until then m43 should be safe and doing well.


bcalkins

You have it backwards. Why would APS-C live? Quality is similar to MFT, but bigger in size. Lens selection is poorer (unless you count those heavy full frame things)… MFT is a big improvement over a cell phone. What does an average non-enthusiast gain with APS-C over MFT? MFT is big compared to the sensors he is talking about here, isn’t it?


thx1138

FF mirrorless makes little sense other than for a fixed lens, which is very limiting. FF mirrorless lenses will be little smaller than their IL counterparts, so while the camera may be a little smaller, the whole package won’t be. so mirrorless IL cameras makes more sense in the m4/3 to APS-C range, and even then we see the APS-C mirrorless lenses are hardly small.

Sony is not the only maker with large sensors and in fact they did not set the trend, and were guilty of using tiny sensors in so many of their advanced compacts. Real credit should go to Oly and Panasonic for kicking off the m4/3 which then stimulated others to follow.

To me m4/3 is the best all-round compromise of size and IQ and they make some stunning lenses that a tiny compared even to the APS-C counterparts. IQ is getting so good, even if APS-C always has the edge it won’t really matter except to pixel peepers. I expect m4/3 to survive a long time.


Zdman

To me m43 biggest problem is its 4:3 ratio. All the other sensors are 3:2. If m43 was m32 I would have bought in long ago. The reason for the 4:3 ratio is so they could fit more sensors on a wafer (which are circles) and manufacture them cheaper. So by buying it we’re telling them we accept the compromise so that they can make more money off each device.


Wally626

The 4/3 in micro four thirds is the sensor size not the height to width ratio. It turns out they did use a 4:3 ratio image to maximize the number of pixels from the relatively small sensor. Also 4:3 is closer to the normal 5 x 7, 8 x 10 photo formats than 3:2

4:3 1.333
3:2 1.5
7 x 5 1.4 (delta 0.0667 from 4:3, 0.1 form 3:2)
10 x 8 1.25 (delta 0.083 from 4:3, 0.25 from 3:2)

As far as sensor size diagonals go M4/3 is 1.35X a 1-inch sensor. A APS-C (Nikon, Sony) is 1.31X a M4/3 sensor and a FF sensor is 1.5X a APS-C sensor and the MF (HD5-60) sensor is 1.5X FF

Each step is about the same jump in relative size.

When I was first investigating buying a digital camera a few years back the M4/3 price was too high for the quality, this has since improved, lower prices and higher quality, NEX had too few lenses, this has now improved, Fuji interchangeable did not exist, FF was too expensive, so I ended up at the APS-C level and a DSLR.


davidonformosa

A simple way to designate sensor size would be in percentage terms with 100% being a “full frame” sensor. A diagram with comparison to a full frame sensor would be another way of achieving a similar result.


0MitchAG

Micro Four Thirds – Compact DSLR image quality at only 28.1% of the Sensor Area of a Full Frame camera! They would sell like hot cakes then!


King Penguin

I agree, I don’t think most people realise just how small M43 & APSC sensors are compared to a FF sensor.

I now own a FF sensor, having owned M43 and APSC cameras I know from experience the difference in sensor size they make……….


King Penguin

I agree, I don’t think most people realise just how small M43 & APSC sensors are compared to a FF sensor.

I now own a FF sensor, having owned M43 and APSC cameras I know from experience the difference in sensor size they make……….


King Penguin

I agree, I don’t think most people realise just how small M43 & APSC sensors are compared to a FF sensor.

I now own a FF sensor, having owned M43 and APSC cameras I know from experience the difference in sensor size they make……….


Tower

For 50 years H, who could make a reasonable price MANUAL back will be winner


MarshallG

He’s being misunderstood, because we’re all “big sensor” photographers. And he’s correct that DSLR is gradually moving from APS-C to full-frame.

The market he’s talking about is the compact camera market, which has had over 50% sales drop this year, mostly because of cell phones. He’s telling camera makers: “Market sensor size, not pixel count, because a cell phone can’t compete with you on sensor size.”

Bigger sensor = bigger lens. Smartphones can’t compete on that.


Zdman

Yep you got it. Everyone seems to be taking it as some sort of personal attack on their camera choice when he’s not saying that at all.


MaxTux

> And camera makers need to eliminate the painful process of uploading to a computer, then posting to your favorite website…

This is nonsense. If the purpose of taking a photograph is to post it on some “favourite website”, surely the quality delivered by some mobile phone “camera” will suffice. Why would one need a real camera with a larger sensor – which he seems to be pushing for – if the end product is a snapshot on FB or somesuch?


vFunct

Because the quality of mobile phones is bad enough that they even look bad online.


misolo

Because a lot of what people want to share online is in low light (parties, etc.) where the results from phone cameras are a disaster even at small sizes.


Mescalamba

1″? 😀

Um.. one 4×5″ for me please?

Thats what I call big.

In more reasonable sizes, I would like to see 36×36 multi-aspect (in similar way that GH2 worked). And 6×8 (as back for lets say Fuji GX680 III). That would be nice.

Couldnt care less for 1″.. Thats not sensor size, thats good for post stamps.


CameraLabTester

Of course Aptina will blurt out whatever spin will give it advantage.

Sales wise, Ad wise, Awarness wise.

Before these “Aptina articles” on DPR, did you know they ever existed?

Hmmm…?

*wink*

.


HowaboutRAW

Name the sensor maker for the Nikon D4? (I’ll assume you’ve heard of the camera body. And no, it’s not Sony, nor Aptina.)

Um you do realize that the Nikon 1 system uses Aptina sensors, though I’ll admit that I probably learnt that at this website?


MarkInSF

Well, yes, I did. They make the very interesting, advanced sensors for the Nikon 1 cameras. Aptina included so much processing right on the sensor that Nikon was able to build an electronically simpler camera around it. If they can improve the dynamic range a bit and get the pdaf working in lower light than currently, this will be a lovely sensor. Supposedly next generation Aptina sensors have 4k video and other goodies.


marike6

Of course I knew they existed because DPR is not my only source of camera info and I use the Nikon 1 system all of which use Aptina sensors. They are doing some incredible things with high data rates, the reason my V1 can shoot 60 fps. Camera fans would probably have to be living under a rock not to read something about their advances which incidentally have gotten Sony’s attention. Sony and Aptina have just recently signed a patent cross-licence agreement.

Also checkout any of the “Rumors” websites, and you will have read something about Aptina.

*wink*


zevobh

“Meanwhile, Aptina has also developed its Clarity+ technology, designed to improve the performance of small sensors (though applicable to all sizes, it says).”

what the hell is this, an ad for aptina? sheesh.


HowaboutRAW

It’s a summary of some of Aptina’s ideas for other sensor tech. DPReview has also noted announcements from Fuji and Panasonic.


Mikhail Tal

Lens size is what matters and the trend is smaller, say companies much more relevant than Aptina.


BJL

Agreed: most of the advantages attributed to larger sensors are only realized when larger lenses are also used (same f-stop but longer focal length so larger aperture diameter, and more, heavier glass needed). If keeping the camera compact enough means that the big sensor is used with a slow f/5.6 or f/6.3 lens, you might be netter of with a smaller sensor and shorter, brighter lens that gives equally good low light performance.

But Aptina makes 1″ sensors (for Nikon, etc.); hence the spin here.


rhlpetrus

What? Larger sensors have IQ characteristics that are unrelated to which lens is used. I don’t think I need to waste space listing them


Anastigmat

There are two trends:

1. smaller cameras but sensor size remains the same (APS-C, 4/3 or full frame 35mm)

2. a move towards larger sensors.


BJL

Rhlpetrus, the “large sensor advantage” that is claimed most is better high ISO/low light performance, and that is actually an advantage of lenses with larger aperture diameters gathering light faster from the subject. As in the forever debated “equivalence”. The IQ goals of the vast majority of compact camera users are not much about improving dynamic range at base ISO speed or huge pixel counts for those internet uploads. Big zoom range is probably a more common desire, and that is easier with a smaller sensor if the camera is to stay compact.


Mikhail Tal

rhlpetrus surely you’re aware that lens size for any given focal length and maximum aperture directly correlates to the size of the image circle it must cover, no?


Zdman

@Mikhail
Actually a 50mm F4 full frame and 50m F2 for m43 will have the same size. The full frame will still be able to take a 4 times longer shot at ISO 100 before reaching full well capacity (the m43 would overexpose) which will give a shot with a quarter of the noise. This would be an advantage in good light and for Landscapes. If Rambus gets its binary pixel out there this advantage could dissapear.


TN Args

Interesting comment on the compact sensor market. Not sure it applies to the DSLR market though. Many DSLR buyers, even experienced buyers, are buying on spec-sheet greed-need, rather than meeting their true practical needs. There could be some bounce-back to the good 22-30mm sensor cameras as mirror-less systems mature and a price gap opens between them and DSLR. At some point keen amateurs will ask “why exactly is my camera at home today / my shoulder aching / my standard zoom weighs 800+g and 90mm diameter / I’m hiding receipts from my loved ones / I’m guarding a large bag / everybody looking at me all the time? Where has the fun gone and what am I REALLY getting in return when I look at my final images at normal size, in the format I display them? Maybe I have fallen into an ego-driven techie trap when my real dream is to create beauty and art, and I can better do that when less burdened, in a better state of mind, and freely able to be IN the world, not just watching.”


tripodfan

taken with a pinch of salt; he’s obviously playing the devil’s advocate.


Maverick_

What the Aptina exec is failing to notice is that, today, in 2013, the new Nokia 1020 already ushered in the new age of quality smartphone camera with zoom. Just think what is possible in 3 years from now in smartphones and then in 5 years.

The future will only be smartphones and FF DSLRs. In 3 to 5 years time, just a tiny group of enthusiasts might take a 1″ compact with them, for the rest their smartphone will produce amazing image quality and will be more than sufficient, specially since they can so easily load to FB or Instagram or whatever other future SM platforms.

Granted, there is always a market for niche products. But there is no real future in niche cameras, where they would directly compete with the amazing cellphones of the future.

Your best camera is the one you have with you at all times. And cellphone got that covered. And they are just getting started in taking photography seriously.


HowaboutRAW

The 808 wasn’t particularly impressive (except in really bright daylight) and didn’t record raw data. So the 1010 is not exactly a “new era”, unless it is radically better than the Nokia 808–say the difference between an APSC sensored DSLR from 2003 and one from 2013 better.


Maverick_

Oh, not talking perfect cellphone cameras yet, just mentioned that the new Nokia 1020 has brought us a real solution, with optical zoom, actual glass element and physical stabilization and this is obviously just the beginning. Too bad it’s on a Windows Mobile platform. Who cares about that. But if Samsung works out something similar in a thinner package on the future Galaxy phones would be very cool.


D1N0

Oh just stop the cell phone mantra. Cellphones have very compromised camera’s Big sensors are better for low light, DOF control and sharpness. Photography is a serious business and something else than picture taking.


HowaboutRAW

Mavrick_:

Um, the Nokia 1020 does NOT have optical zoom. The bigger sensor means there’s a lot of cropping allowed for. I think there’s a TV ad running in the US that makes it look like it has optical zoom. If you want a smartphone with optical zoom, Samsung just announced one.

Also I’m pretty sure that the Carl Zeiss lens in the Nokia 1020 is entirely plastic.

Here’s the Amazon/ATT link, which says nothing about a glass lens nor about optical zooming, though uses plenty of other terms of digital zooming:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVRJBE0/ref=amb_link_380391402_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=auto-sparkle&pf_rd_r=913991660C134FCF97BB&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1588832502&pf_rd_i=nokia%201020

And the Nokia.com link which also says nothing about optical zoom and a glass lens:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVRJBE0/ref=amb_link_380391402_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=auto-sparkle&pf_rd_r=913991660C134FCF97BB&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1588832502&pf_rd_i=nokia%201020


Olymore

I’d be careful about judging the market by the people on this forum. The other day I was talking to someone who had never owned a mobile phone (any type) and he was still below retirement age.
I’m well below it and have never owned a smart phone or would want to carry one around with me.
And I’ve no intention of ever using a FF DSLR unless they make the camera and lenses as small as the film SLR systems like the Olympus OM or Pentax MX


John Miles

Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong Wrong.

Are sales going up or down?

Well then you’re wrong.

Sensor size is growing in short focal length cameras, but needs to be shrinking in long focal length cameras. Also supply all sensor sizes with a 28-400 equivalent lens option. Remove video from some dedicated enthusiast small sensor cameras (or make a deep menu hidaway) and concentrate on providing stills optimal designs with manual zoom.

This continual never ending bash on about video is simply disproportionately represented in the camera market. This is rendering too many cameras motor zoomed, and biasing camera selection away from the small sensor, long focal length, stills photographer. Study Fuji’s X-100 and X-S1. And their X20 and HS50. Then provide competition.


IchiroCameraGuy

None of those cameras are in the top of sales numbers – that is what the companies care about, not thumbs up or high fives from photo/gear enthusiasts.

Most people don’t want 28-400 because it is usually bad or huge.

Average consumer (highest profit area) takes as many videos as photos and do so with $100-200 cameras. Video cameras have taken a much bigger hit in the past few years than stills/video cameras. Over $300 is enthusiast realm until lines blend more and more.


beavertown

Canon and Nikon should start professional grade mirrorless/mirrorless size cameras and lenses or they will die in 10 years’ time.


zevobh

…why? they will sell what people want, if that is professional grade mirror less cameras, I guarantee they will make ’em.


Sony A580

Can you adjust the EVF or rear screen for eyeglass wearers like you can an OVF? I tried mirrorless and hated it for that reason.


justinwonnacott

Will there be any professionals left to use them? Professional photographers use the equipment that will give them the best quality/result possible – their clients expect and pay for superior results. This usually means full frame or better, in the film era photographers would work with the biggest negative possible depending on the parameters of the assignment and the end use.


MarkInSF

Well designed mirrorless systems do, poorly designed ones don’t. The issues are very much the same. I have a Nikon V1, very thoughtfully designed for a glasses wearer as the eyepoint lets me see the whole screen and it has a diopter adjustment of sufficient range. Many EVF designs are bad for glasses (Sony NEX among the worst). Some Fujis stupidly omitted the diopter adjustment. This is still a relatively new market. They’re making mistakes that were made (and solved) in the slr world years ago. In this case they should have done better since the problem is no different.


YetiYeti

So many people commenting what professionals use… I disagree that they use best possible equipment. If that would be true, they would all use medium format cams. And they obviously don`t.

What they use is best price / performance equipment for work they do.

And of course – they are highly skilled in what they do…

Source Article from http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/08/02/sensor-size-is-what-matters-and-the-trend-is-for-larger-says-aptina