Friday, 16 March 2012

Sensor Size

Every so often I look up sensor sizes on the interweb. This image is from Wikipedia. It hasn't been updated to include the Canon G1X sensor, which is a new one, slightly bigger than 4/3rds.
 It is interesting that both Nikon and Canon, the two major players in the camera market, brought out two entirely different, new sensor sizes. The Nikon CX, used in their new system cameras J1 and V1, is appreciably smaller  than 4/3rds but much larger than a point and shoot camera, whereas the Canon G1X's sensor is larger than 4/3rds.
Is this going to continue? Are we, the customers, going to find a multiplicity of sensor sizes to choose from in the future? I have to say I find this irritating. Some people say it's the equivalent of choosing different films, as in the past, but that's facile. When choosing a camera, what I'm interested in is image quality, but under normal circumstances I do not have the opportunity to test a camera before purchasing ( I do my purchasing online), so therefore I have to rely on online reviews. Unfortunately these tend to spend a lot of time and effort into ascertaining how good the JPEG in-camera processing is - what sort of art filter effects there are, and it's capabilities in capturing HD video recording. Pardon me while I snort but my abiding concerns are, as I've said, image quality and ease of use for stills photography. But, I don't know if you have noticed, most online reviews will not make a judgment about image quality. So the only thing we have to go by is sensor size (relating to megapixel quantity). Therefore, I know my D700 fullframe 12 MP camera produces superb images even at high ISO, but I have no experience of the Nikon 1 system images, which by all reports, are excellent.
There is a huge difference in the sizes of the sensors involved, so I'm confused.
Anybody else feel this way?

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