This marketing image might be the only thing more misleading than the 'inch-type' naming system. The numbers indicated on this diagram are not measurements of the sensor diagonal.

It's been nearly twenty years since Phil Askey tried to draw attention to how misleading the industry's naming system for sensor sizes is. Yet the topic still bubbles up from time-to-time, and even manufacturers put out marketing materials that seem confused about it.

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We hope the majority of you already know that a 1"-type sensor isn't one inch in any dimension, but we doubt many people can easily visualize how small a 1/2.3"-type sensor is, or how it compares to, say, a 1/1.28"-type chip. We're certainly not fans of a naming system that combines fractions, decimals and an distinctly obtuse use of a non-metric unit of measurement.

We're not in a position to overturn the industry standard terminology, but what we can do is make sure that we always provide more useful information, alongside the inch-type jargon. What we want to know is: which way of describing sensor size would you find easiest to make sense of?

Which additional piece of information would give you the most useful insight into a sensor's true size?

Please drag-and-drop your two leading choices into their respective positions, then click the 'Vote Now' button.

Have your say

Which method of describing sensor size do you find easiest to understand?
  • Sensor area (eg 116mm²)15.9%
  • Sensor dimensions (eg 13.2 x 8.8mm)44.2%
  • Sensor diagonal (eg 15.9mm)17.4%
  • Crop factor (eg 2.72x)22.5%
Total voters: 2,181

For reference, all the examples given in this poll refer to the dimensions of a 1"-type sensor. Which of these makes it clearest to you that they're describing something a fraction smaller than a Micro SD card?

Following this vote and the accompanying discussion, we opted to use sensor dimensions in future articles, and worked with several leading publications and YouTube channels to adopt this format.

Click here to read the article about our new policy