Camera Sensor Sizes Explained: What You Need To Know

Are you a beginner photographer looking to expand your knowledge of camera sensor sizes? If so, then this guide is perfect for you! Camera sensors come in different sizes, and it’s important to understand the differences between them.

In this guide, we will discuss the various types of camera sensor sizes available on the market today along with their benefits and drawbacks. We’ll also provide a comparison chart outlining each type’s size, resolution capabilities, crop factor, and more.

camera sensor sizes

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll know exactly which type of camera sensor best meets your needs as a photographer. So let’s dive in and explore all that camera sensor sizes have to offer!

Camera Sensor Sizes

A camera sensor is a device that captures the light from an image and converts it into an electronic signal. It is typically found inside a digital camera, although some cameras may have more than one sensor to offer different levels of performance or functionality.

Camera sensor sizes are typically described in terms of their width and height expressed in millimeters (mm). They range from full-frame sensors which measure 36x24mm, to much smaller 1/2.5” sensors measuring 6.17×4.55 mm.

camera sensor size chart

The main difference between full-frame and other sensor sizes is that the latter produces images with a “cropped” field of view compared to what you would see if using a full-frame camera. Aside from size and field of view, sensor sizes also determine other factors such as the resolution of an image, low-light performance, dynamic range, and more.

In this guide, we will take a look at each type of camera sensor size and provide a comparison chart to help you decide which type is best for your photography needs.

1. Full-Frame Sensors

Full-frame sensors measure 36x24mm, and are the largest image sensor currently available. They offer the widest field of view, the highest resolution images, the best low-light performance, and the greatest dynamic range.

These characteristics make them ideal for professional photographers who need to produce high-quality prints or large display prints like wildlife photographers. Check this guide on Why you need a Wildlife Camera if you are starting out in this field.

2. APS-C Sensors

APS-C sensors are slightly smaller than full-frame with a measurement of 23.6×15.6mm and are commonly found in enthusiast or mid-range DSLR cameras. They offer an improved field of view compared to the smaller sensor sizes but still provide a narrower field of view compared to the full-frame sensors.

3. Micro Four-Thirds Sensors

Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensors are even smaller than APS-C and measure 17.3x13mm. They provide an even narrower field of view compared to APS-C, but also offer a higher resolution and better low-light performance. They are commonly used on mirrorless cameras and can also be found on some DSLR models as well.

4. 1-inch Sensors

1-inch sensors measure 13.2×8.8mm and provide a much narrower field of view compared to the other sensor sizes discussed in this guide, but they offer the best low-light performance of all the sensor sizes. These sensors are common in premium compact cameras, and can also be found on some mirrorless and DSLR models as well.

5. Medium Format Sensors

Medium Format sensors are also commonly found in professional photography and measure 53.7×40.2mm. They offer the best resolution of any sensor size, but also come with a hefty price tag and are much larger than other sensors, making them difficult to use for everyday photography applications.

6.1/2.5 Inch Sensors

1/2.5″ sensors measure 6.17×4.55mm, making them the smallest sensor size on this list. These sensors are primarily found in point-and-shoot cameras and offer the poorest low-light performance, dynamic range, and overall image quality compared to the other sensor sizes discussed.

Check this article: What is the best motion activated wildlife camera

Camera Sensor Sizes Comparison Chart

 camera sensor sizes comparison


That was all about camera sensor sizes. All of the different sizes offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand which type is best for you before making a purchase. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision when shopping around for cameras. Thanks for reading! Get back to Best Wildlife Camera for any queries or to see more related guides.

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