Sensor sizes and f stops

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: Sensor sizes and f stops
In reply to starlight110, Jan 25, 2014

starlight110 wrote:

Thanks for the answers!

In digitalcameras there´s a great deal of tradeoffs between sensor size, optics and Price. I want to buy a superszoom with a mínimum of 12x to about 420mm eqiv and will use it a lot for videos, in fact, the only reason why I´m considering a digicam instead of a camcorder is the sensor size. After searching I found that the cameras with the proper optics and price usually have 1/2,3´sensors, for instance canon sx510 with 720mm, f/5,8 tele and a smaller but newer sensor. To compare it to my old A630 I wanted to know if the smaller sensor size has a big influence or not, my A630 has f/4,1 tele and the bigger sensor, the sx510 has f/5,8 tele (a whole fstop slower) and the smaller sensor, would in this case be a great difference when using both cameras in tele?

Unfortunately, I'm having a difficult time following you. The f-stop measurement of a lens refers to the size of the lens aperture; this controls how much light the lens captures. The higher the number, the smaller the hole, and the less light you have being captured. Less light means you will have a poorer image quality being recorded. The image will be less sharp, and contain less detail.

The f-stop has nothing to do with the sensor.

Also, I don't think it's possible to equate image quality produced by a still camera with a given sensor size to a video camera with the same size sensor. They are two different systems. Video cameras used in television studios to produce live or taped broadcasts use sensors that are smaller than the sensors used in digital cameras.

In still image cameras, the only real advantage a 24mm x 36mm sensor has over a sensor measuring 16mm x 24mm is when it comes time to print the pictures each captures in enlargements measuring 2 meters x 3 meters. That's where the noise shows up. Print the same images at 24cm x 36cm and you won't be able to tell the two pictures apart.

The bottom line is, if you want to capture real time moving objects moving around you, get a video camera. If you want to take still pictures, get a camera that's built for that purpose. Don't handicap yourself by buying the wrong tool and trying to force it to do what you thought it would.

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