**Celebrating ‘Pinhead’ Sensor Bridge Cameras**

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Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,522
**Celebrating ‘Pinhead’ Sensor Bridge Cameras**
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When we handle any bridge camera the size of the FZ300, we could be forgiven for thinking that its image sensor is much larger than it actually is. We may even hear the widely bandied term ‘postage stamp’ sensor in relation to these cameras, which again gives the wrong impression of the average size chip found in most. In reality, the postage stamp analogy overeggs things considerably here.

Even when we discover that the sensor in the FZ300 and largely most other bridge models is actually a mere 1/2.3’’ diagonally from corner to opposite corner, or that its dimensions amount to a total of just 6.17 x 4.55 mm, we may still not initially comprehend just how small that is in relation to the full size (35mm) sensors found in overall more expensive DSLRs/ILCs.

Even most illustrations we see don’t really drive home why the tag ‘pinhead’ sensor is actually more appropriate a label than postage stamp.

So, to gain more perspective in visual terms, pop both of your thumbs together end to end, nail to nail (as shown in my illustration below) and imagine the larger rectangle outline depicts the edges of the full frame. Study it for a moment and, as a way of balancing out differences between thumb sizes of small, medium and larger readers, imagine you have an old 35mm film negative covering the whole rectangle. Got it? Yep! That’s how big a full frame digital SLR sensor is.

In comparison, now study your little fingernail and imagine the size of the small rectangle drawn in the same illustration. It equates to no more than half the size of the nail and represents the image recording area of the 1/2.3 sensor. That’s how small the average sized bridge camera sensor is.

Now look at my second illustration and note how many 1/2.3 sensors you could roughly fit into a full frame version (around 30) and you’ll see why the term pinhead is more appropriate than the postage stamp label. You’ll note that I’ve also included outlines of 1inch and M4/3rd sensors for further comparison of size in relation to both full frame and 1/2.3 varieties.

I’d always known these sensors were small since I began using FZs in 2004, but it’s only during the last few years that I’ve paid more attention to their actual physical size and come to appreciate them all the more for it. Since then, my admiration for what they represent as a whole has increased substantially. To me, the pinhead sensor found in most FZ and similar cameras is a marvellous feat of engineering in terms of the image quality it can afford.

In my view, the pinhead sensor should be embraced, appreciated and celebrated as an extraordinary piece of technology often seen to punch well above its weight in terms of output. After all, cameras like the FZ300 can and do churn out some pretty impressive images, the quality of which can be much higher than we might initially anticipate based solely on specification of chip and processor.

So, if you’d care to join in my celebration of the pinhead sensor with either a comment or example images (or both), you’re more than welcome to contribute below.

PLEASE NOTE:If you’re posting photos, remember to change the heading appropriately so we can all see where they’ve been inserted. Note also that as this thread’s specifically in celebration of the 1/2.3 sensor, example photos from any camera donning the pinhead chip would be most appreciated and other makes and models beyond the Panasonic range, whether old or current, are very welcome, too.

Thank you in advance,

Kind regards and happy shooting to all...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300
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