What you know about camera Sensor?
By Holaco Publish 26.02.2020 In Camera knowledge

The Sensor is part of the digital camera used to capture light rays to create images. For systems that are not camera Sensor number use there is the same sensor. Like the overlay of the light-up material on the film used for the shoot, the sensor of the digital camera also has cells (cell) that highlight. In this tutorial we will tell you what you need to know about this important ingredient in the camera.

Although there are differences in design and techniques in the sensor of digital cameras, they all work on the same fundamental principle. Each sensor has up to millions of bright cells or photodiod on a silicon plate. Each of these bright cells generates a power when illuminated by a portion of the light rays into the camera through the lens. Color Filter will create the proper color mixing. Then the processing in the camera will convert this to an image and be saved on the memory of the camera or data storage. Each photodiode will create a pixel in the final image that is obtained. This is where the pixel term appears. The pixels are small portions of the information created by the light photodiode. Millions of pixels combined together will create a single photo.

There are two main types of sensor for camera: CCD (Charge Coupled Device) and CMOS (Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor). With each type of sensor there is a difference in technology inside, namely the circuit design, but both do a common task. CMOS processor is easier and more cost-effective in terms of large size production, so they are often used in SLR (Single lens Reflex) cameras in large lenses. CMOS processor uses less power to be used in mobile phones. Most of the cameras are integrated “point-and-shoot” and the camcorders are using more CCD sensors.

Some other types of sensors are also offered in the market but are much less common. Foveon X3 is a new chip, actually a type of CMOS sensor with the special color processing. It is currently only used in a number of Sigma and Polaroid cameras. Fujifilm also produced some of their cameras with a separate sensor called Super CCD. This is a conventional CCD with multiple individual photocells that are sorted by honeycomb diagonal pattern instead of the horizontal/vertical grid pattern used in most of the sensor.


Although similar cameras have a few different movie formats such as medium format or wide format, most popular movie sizes are 35mm films. So the kidney lice, the sensor of today’s digital camera is often compared to 35mm film , in fact, sensors of the same size as 35mm films are called “Full frame” sensors. As to what you can visualize, in the form of processed chips, these sensors are quite large. Therefore, the image sensor in most digital cameras is smaller in size than the 24 mm x 36 mm image area of 35mm full-frame cameras.

There is not a standard measuring system integrated for the sensor. Some manufacturing plants are in inches, however some are in millimeters. Some units are horizontally and vertically in the meanwhile some are in the diagonal line. Most of the sensors should be commensurate with different styles. You’ll hear the term 2/3 “, 1/1.8” and 1/2.7 “. There are typical types used collectively in the CCD in the smaller point-and-shoot cameras. However, SLR cameras with resized lenses may change back using larger sensors. The two most commonly used SLR sizes are model 4/3 “and 1.8” APS-C.

Fractions for we know how the name of the types of sensors. The table below gives you a wide range of size and parameters of horizontal, vertical and diagonal of them. Rate up blinds is the ratio of width to height.

StylesParametersDiagonal measurementScale
2/3” type 8.80 mm x 6.60 mm11.00 mm4:3
1/1.8” type7.18 mm x 5.32 mm9.00 mm4:3
1 /2.7” type5.37 mm x 4.04 mm6.72 mm4:3
4/3” type18.0 mm x 13.5 mm22.5 mm4:3
1.8” (APS-C) type22.7 mm x 15.1 mm45.72 mm3:2
35 mm film36mm x 24 mm43.3 mm3:2

Type a name APS (Active-Pixel Sensor) appears to be a step forward compared to the type fraction. However, it is also less confusing because different manufacturers use different size APS. APS-C type mentioned above is the most common size of the chip, but some chip APS-C Nikon APS larger and some of Canon’s APS-C slightly smaller. Canon also has a larger APS-H sensor.

So you notice the difference on the size of the sensor, observe in Figure 1 compares a size between the largest and smallest size.

The reason the size of the sensor so important can be quite easy to recognize when you see millions of megapixels on the sensor. Manufacturers are still trying to entice photographers purchase their cameras by increasing the number of megapixels in continuous camera. As the number of pixels to millions (megapixel), you can imagine that the need to add some more photodiodes for sensors have certain size to get more megapixels, so the pixels themselves have small than. But the smaller the pixels, the less light. Therefore when the pixels do not get enough light, the result will be born is called “noise” in the image.

So all the other issues here are equal, millions photodiode is integrated into a small sensor will cause inferior image quality and some photodiode so but with a larger sensor. If the sensor is larger or smaller than the number of megapixels, each photodiode may be larger. Therefore, with the same number of pixels, a larger sensor will capture more light on each photodiode compared to the smaller sensor for better image quality.

A small sensor is not necessarily a bad one, in contrast it allows the camera to be smaller in size for handheld. That’s why digital cameras are so much smaller than cameras for filmmakers. The smaller sensor is also more expensive, which can make the individual users can afford to buy them a separate camera.


Each photodiode in a camera sensor detects only the brightness of the light. To produce a variety of colors, each cell in the sensor is covered with a color filter to only emit light with the same wavelength. For example, a blue filter will only generate blue light. A red filter will transmit only the red rays. Filters are created one of the primary colors: red, green and blue. We are born in a form for each photodiode will be able to create all the colors. Most camera sensors today use a filter called a Bayer mask filter. (Named by Dr. Bryce Bayer of Kodak). This filter will generate color in a grid pattern of different colors. Because the human eye is more sensitive to green the Bayer mask has two filter blue filter for red and blue.

With color filters, each photodiode may represent a value red, green or blue. The color values ​​of these cells are combined and interpolated to express the full spectrum of colors, allowing the image processor to create a full color image.

Currently only the Foveon sensor does color difference. Instead of using the filter, the Foveon sensor photodiode placed at different depths within the silicon to detect different colors. This means that each photodiode can detect all the color of the three primary colors without use of a filter. Although it is recommended to create a truer color but still new Foveon sensor and is currently being tested thoroughly.


Sensor is one of the important components of a camera at the number and size of it is one of the most important aspects that we need to pay attention. When choosing a digital camera, you need to remember that these cameras usually have smaller sensors and larger SLR cameras usually have larger sensors. But also pay attention more to the different manufacturers for their products.

Although the smaller sensor allows the camera compact, cheaper and portable, but as the number of megapixels is too high, a small sensor usually leads to more noise into the image. Therefore we recommend that you check the image carefully for small PCs with point-and-shoot 6-megapixel to assert that these images achieve your needs.