Why not a 21.6mm x 21.6mm sensor?

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Great Bustard
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Re: Why not a 21.6mm x 21.6mm sensor?
In reply to Anders W, Jan 23, 2013

Anders W wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

The entire image circle for mFT lenses could fit within such a sensor. While such a sensor would be 25% larger than an APS-C sensor (468 mm² vs 372 mm²), it would still be barely more than half the size of a FF sensor, so I don't imagine the cost of the sensor itself would be an issue.

The advantages of such a sensor, however, are substantial: you would not need to rotate the camera from landscape to portrait orientation (especially convenient if using on-camera bounced flash) and you could crop to any aspect ratio you like with no IQ penalty.

So, what are the downsides that negate the upsides?

The downsides I can think of are manufacturing cost, increased weight (potentially problematic for IBIS), and problems with live view (how is the EVF and the LCD going to handle such a sensor).

A more realistic option, that I have already proposed on a couple of occasions, would be a 18.7 x 15.3 sensor, i.e., a slightly enlarged (higher) multi-aspect ratio sensor than that used in the GH1/GH2 that would make maximal use of the MFT image circle in any aspect ratio from 1:1 to 16:9. This would be only 27 percent bigger than a standard MFT sensor in area terms and signicantly smaller than an APS-C sensor. The only downside compared to the solution you propose is that you would still have to turn the camera for portrait orientation. On the other hand, it would be less expensive, lighter, and cause less of a problem for live view than a 21.6 x 21.6 sensor.

Yeah, but not having to rotate the camera for portrait orientation is a huge bonus (and, incidentally, a circumscribed sensor would be awesome with a FE lens).

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