In The Digital SLR Sensor Formats

After a short summer break, we return to the load with the special about digital reflex in Engadget.

With one of the most important photography fairs just around the corner, Photokina 2008, in this new series of articles we will try to explain the types of reflex that are on the market, entering each of the current ranges and seeing that it gives us each of the most important brands in what to DSLR refers. Finally, we will try to guide you towards reflex to choose based on what you search for each.

In this first article, we will explain which are the formats and sizes of sensor that currently mounted manufacturers on its reflex, so we can choose who we like or more convince us for the type of photography that we will perform.

Let’s start:

When we talk about sensors, automatically all one thing comes to mind: the megapixel, but as I have said on more than one occasion, not just megapixels live photographer, there are other important features to consider when we choose a system and a particular format.

Currently, and leaving aside lesser-known formats, if we take a look at the market can be used with 3 types of sensor formats in the DSLRs that are, in order according to their size:

Full frame, normally reserved for high-end professional cameras, APS-C, particularly used by Nikon, Canon and Sony a reflex of basic range and range advanced, and finally the 4/3 system, powered by Olympus together with other manufacturers like Panasonic, Leica, and Kodak among others.

It is important to know that size of sensor mounted the reflex that we choose, since it depends on the famous multiplication factor that you may have heard on many occasions. If we speak of Full frame, the multiplication will be factor 1 X, so if mount you a lens of focal length 50mm, we will be talking about 50mm real, as we understood it in analogue photography. If on the other hand talk about sensors APS-C o 4/3 sensor, We will discuss factors of multiplication of 1, 5 x and 2 X respectively, (1, 6 x in Canon) with which we will have to multiply our lens focal for the focal length equivalent in analog.

I.e., a 300mm, mounted on a SLR with 4/3 sensor uphold to a 600mm if we were shooting on a film SLR. This same focal distance, in a lens mounted on a Canon APS-C sensor, is equivalent to a focal 480 mm analogue.

It is important to take this into account on the basis of the picture that we seek to practice. If we are looking for photography with telephoto lenses, perhaps suits us to look for a 4/3 system, but if what we want is great angular, probably another system suits us more. Even so, most brands have an extensive catalogue of objectives, so we will not be difficult to find the focal length that you are looking for in each of them.

And not only the multiplication factor counts, also the image format will be different if we talk about sensors APS-C or talk about sensors 4/3 for example, since photos we make will have proportional dimensions to the sensor that mount the camera, as we see in the image below:

Therefore know that size and sensor format we want is important when choosing a digital SLR. In the following articles, we will see the main characteristics of each of these sensors, and you say that models, current and next, assemble each sensor type, so you seek that most interests you.