(CLICK HERE or scroll down to see what a camera sensor looks like and the inside of my Samsung Digimax 200)
Here's a great article about sensor size I found on Gizmag.com: http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/.
Basically what it's telling us is the larger the sensor the
better the photo. Here's a graphic I found on the website that
helps sum up the difference in sensor sizes.
A larger sensor captures more "information." You can take the
full photo of the lady above with any sensor size but you'd have to use
a different lens. Snapshot cameras don't have interchangable
lenses. You can zoom with them but but some shots simply can't be
taken unless you move in closer or out away from the subject.
Ever try to take a photo with a snapshot camera of a large group
of people in a small room? You can't get them all in the same
frame, can you? You need a wide angle lens with more capactity to
"zoom out" like those available on more expensive cameras with
interchangable lenses. But if you could change the lens and
capture the shot on an inexpensive camera, would there be enough light
to take the picture?
another reason why a bigger sensor is important. It captures a
more defined image in lower light conditions. So just how small
are sensors in small cameras? You wouldn't believe me if I told
you. The sensor in our Canon DSLR model 30D we bought in 2007 is
about 15mm X 20mm, just under the size of a postage stamp.
Different sites give difference sizes but it's the APS-C size you
see above, just below Full Frame. By contrast, the sensor in my
first digital camera, a little 2.1 Megapixel Samsung, wasn't much
bigger than the head of a pencil eraser.
Samsung 2.1 Megapixel sensor up close and personal
purchased the little Samsung Digimax 2.1 MP camera 12/26/2002 for
$148.64 plus tax. On 01/25/2013 I dug it out of storage. It
wouldn't work. I hadn't used it in years. It was obsolete
technology. Time to trash it. Me being the curious person
that I am, I wanted to see what the inside looked like. Hey, I
was gonna trash it anyway. No harm, right?
I took photos
so I could share the excitement! The first photo is what the
camera looked like before I gutted it. Photo #2 is just after I
took apart the major parts. That's a small, double-ended
screwdriver I used to dismantle it by the white saucer full of parts as
well as the obsolete, wafer-thin card used to store photos. Photo
#3 is the main board with the lens still in place and photo #4 is with
the lens removed exposing the sensor. The sensor is the tiny,
sea-blue object in the center of the main board. As you can see
it's not much bigger than about 1/2 the size of my finger nail.
Hard to believe you could capture an 8 X 10 photo on something
that small, isn't it?
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