Camera Phone sensor size

Started Jul 19, 2012 | Discussions
husky92
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Camera Phone sensor size
Jul 19, 2012

Why is it impossible to find out how large the sensor is on a camera phone? The pictures are generally awful so I can only imagine, but none of the smart phones list anything but megapixels which goes hand in hand with sensor size.

Menneisyys
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to husky92, Jul 19, 2012

Not impossible, see Nokia 808.

husky92 wrote:

Why is it impossible to find out how large the sensor is on a camera phone? The pictures are generally awful so I can only imagine, but none of the smart phones list anything but megapixels which goes hand in hand with sensor size.

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seeblue
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to husky92, Jul 19, 2012

http://cameraimagesensor.com/

http://gizmodo.com/5926484/how-the-iphone-4s-camera-sensor-compares-with-a-point-and-shoot-and-full-frame-dslr

Also, if you do a search, you can find out a phone's sensor manufacturer and sensor data sheet. But it's all pretty much for entertainment value. The proof is in the images.

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vlad0
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to seeblue, Jul 19, 2012

The 808 is actually quite compact considering the sensor size..

this is an interesting read: http://6mpixel.org/en/

808, typical phone 8Mpix, typical phone 5Mpix

here is a cool graph .. a little old, but still informative

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Damian D
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to husky92, Jul 19, 2012

Current Nokia's are as follows:

Nokia 808 is the largest of all smartphones, around 5x larger than other smartphones with 1/1.2"
Nokia N8 is second largest smartphone sensor with 1/1.83"

Most other current Nokia 8mp smartphones are 1/3" a little larger than their rivals due to the aspect ratio sensor we use to support 16:9 without just cropping the 4:3 aspect area.

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Pixel Peter
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to Damian D, Jul 20, 2012

@Damian

I own the Nokia 808 PureView for 2.5 week now and I am still amazed by the quality of the full res pictures. I don't understand how it is possible to get so many details and so less noise. After all the pixelsize is only 1.4 um. And in full res pics oversampling plays no role. I work with Nikon D300s, Pana G3, and Canon S95 but the sharpness of the Nokia extends in many cases. The lens on the Nokia must do a very good job too.

Here's a link to the 100% view of one of my test pictures with the Nokia 808 PureView. With only little PP done in PS.

Taken at 400 ISO. Only top left there is some noise but this will not spoil the picture (7152x5368 pix @ 240 ppi) which can be printed @ 76x57 cm (30x22 inch).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelpeter/7599316852/sizes/o/in/photostream/
PixelPeter

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9VIII
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to husky92, Jan 12, 2013

I can't wait for some APS-C sensors with a 2 micron pixel pitch (even if they are diffraction limited at f4).

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ryder78
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to 9VIII, Jan 15, 2013

9VIII wrote:

I can't wait for some APS-C sensors with a 2 micron pixel pitch (even if they are diffraction limited at f4).

Although phones with APS-C sensors are technically possible, it wouldn't be practical since nobody would want to carry phones the size of a brick. Perhaps 1" sensors in smartphones would still be possible (the phone won't have a slim profile anymore since the the 1" sensor would introduce a hump or protrusion at the back of the phone due to the requirement of a larger housing to accomodate the size of the sensor).

Look at the Nokia Pureview 808 with a 1/1.2" sensor. Even with this "smallish" sensor the phone fails to retain the slim and sleek profile that is common in most popular smartphones such as the iPhone5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 etc. A phone would look bulkier(and uglier) if it has a larger 1" sensor. I would imagine a phone with APS-C sensors to look ugly borderline hideous.

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wklee
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to ryder78, Jan 15, 2013

I don't disagree with you but Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumoured to have a 6.3" screen size. How big is too big for a phone?

ryder78 wrote:

9VIII wrote:

I can't wait for some APS-C sensors with a 2 micron pixel pitch (even if they are diffraction limited at f4).

Although phones with APS-C sensors are technically possible, it wouldn't be practical since nobody would want to carry phones the size of a brick. Perhaps 1" sensors in smartphones would still be possible (the phone won't have a slim profile anymore since the the 1" sensor would introduce a hump or protrusion at the back of the phone due to the requirement of a larger housing to accomodate the size of the sensor).

Look at the Nokia Pureview 808 with a 1/1.2" sensor. Even with this "smallish" sensor the phone fails to retain the slim and sleek profile that is common in most popular smartphones such as the iPhone5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 etc. A phone would look bulkier(and uglier) if it has a larger 1" sensor. I would imagine a phone with APS-C sensors to look ugly borderline hideous.

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ryder78
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to wklee, Jan 15, 2013

In my view anything that has a screen that is larger than 5.5" isn't too appropriate to be used as a phone unless usage patterns of the device are more toward tablet-based applications such as web-browsing etc., rather than basic phone usage. There are many folks who use the Galaxy Note 2 as a primary phone(my sister is using one) though it still doesn't look too bad when the device is held near to the ears. So the Galaxy Note 3 may have a larger 6.3" screen. Now, that would look awkward when used as a phone unless the user uses a hands-free device when making/receiving calls.

There are two issues with regard to the form of a phone when larger sensors are slapped onto it - 1) the size of the screen, and 2) the thickness. Phones with larger screens can still retain a slim and sleek profile with an average thickness of 10mm, since the sensors in most smart phones are tiny. The thickness of the iPhone5 is only 7.6mm, and the Nokia 808 almost double that figure registering a 13.9mm depth at its thickest section. A thicker phone will contribute to bulkiness more than a thinner phone with a larger screen. In other words, a slimmer 5.5" phone with uniform thickness will appeal more to the masses than a (substantially) thicker or fatter phone with a 4" screen.

The Pureview 808 already measured 13.9mm in thickness with the 1/1.2" sensor. A phone with a 1" sensor would probably require a depth of 20mm (or more). Phones with APS-C sensors would probably take the form of a walkie-talkie.

In summary, I think there is a limit as to how large a sensor a phone can accommodate. There is a reason why compact cameras are still around, though I feel the incorporation of the 1/1.2" sensor in the 808 can already be considered as a remarkable feat by Nokia.

wklee wrote:

I don't disagree with you but Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumoured to have a 6.3" screen size. How big is too big for a phone?

ryder78 wrote:

9VIII wrote:

I can't wait for some APS-C sensors with a 2 micron pixel pitch (even if they are diffraction limited at f4).

Although phones with APS-C sensors are technically possible, it wouldn't be practical since nobody would want to carry phones the size of a brick. Perhaps 1" sensors in smartphones would still be possible (the phone won't have a slim profile anymore since the the 1" sensor would introduce a hump or protrusion at the back of the phone due to the requirement of a larger housing to accomodate the size of the sensor).

Look at the Nokia Pureview 808 with a 1/1.2" sensor. Even with this "smallish" sensor the phone fails to retain the slim and sleek profile that is common in most popular smartphones such as the iPhone5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 etc. A phone would look bulkier(and uglier) if it has a larger 1" sensor. I would imagine a phone with APS-C sensors to look ugly borderline hideous.

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wll
wll
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to 9VIII, Jan 19, 2013

The next generation of iPhone camera will probably use Sony's new 13mp unit, I just hope it is of high quality and low noise.

Real in phone shake reduction would be a major needed item also.

I don't see sensor sizes getting to much bigger for iPhones but technology moves on and who knows what is in store .... maybe a 18mp sensor with extremely low noise and very high DR in a small package, we will see as time goes on.

wll

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stany buyle
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to husky92, Jan 19, 2013

husky92 wrote:

Why is it impossible to find out how large the sensor is on a camera phone? The pictures are generally awful so I can only imagine, but none of the smart phones list anything but megapixels which goes hand in hand with sensor size.

It's clear you never tried a Nokia 808...
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seeblue
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Re: Camera Phone sensor size
In reply to stany buyle, Jan 19, 2013

But to be fair, the Nokia can sometimes struggle with white balance and color accuracy, compared to some other smartphones. There are plenty of examples of this from images in this forum.

IMO, the mistake is comparing smartphone cameras to digital cameras at all. In the right light and composition, maybe little difference.  But with fixed focal length and little control over aperture, touch controls and "soft" handling, no viewfinder, and on and on, they're very different beasts.

The beauty of a smartphone camera is the immediacy, and the on-the-go creative software and file handling ease.  People are doing some wonderful things using photo processing apps.

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