Thread: Numb3rs
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Old 18th October 2008
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terryw terryw is offline
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Numb3rs

I have read yet another article deducing that due to its sensor size 4/3 will never match the performance of larger sensors used by Canikon.

This set me thinking about how a direct comparison might be made between cameras using different size sensors. The one thing that never gets mentioned is pixel density, i.e the number of pixels/sq.mm., so I've done a few calculations that might be of interest, and hopefully up for discussion.

Sensor areas are as follows:-

Full frame = 864 sq.mm
C-size = 332 sq.mm
DX = 375 sq.mm
4/3 = 225 sq.mm

and just out of interest a 1/2.5" compact sensor = 24.7 sq.mm.

The results are as follows when applied to recent models:-

New EOS 5 D (full frame) = 24,884 pixels/sq.mm
Sony 900 (full frame) = 28,472 pixels/sq.mm
EOS 50D (C-size) = 45.897 pixels/sq.mm
D90 (DX size) = 32,976 pixels/sq.mm
E-3 (4/3 size) = 44,889 pixels/sq.mm

and for E-1 users like me the density is 22,222 pixels/sq.mm.

And the compact?
IXUS 800 IS (1/2.5" size) = a staggering 323,756 pixels/sq.mm

It's interesting that an article in one of the photography magazines a while back compared Sony Alpha 200, 350 and 700 models to reach the conclusion that the 6 MP Alpha 200 performed as well, if not better in some instances, than the other two models.

Isn't it about time we stopped going pixel mad and looked for optimal performance rather than size?

Terry
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