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Cameras 101: What is an Image Sensor?


Image sensors convert images into electrical signals that your camera then turns into pixels. Those pixels then become a digital photograph.

Sensors also determine how much light should be taken in during the brief time the shutter is open. Small sensors are found in camera phones, while large sensors can be found in DSLRs. The size of the sensor determines the resolution of the picture. Small sensors produce small resolution images; large sensors create large images.


The image sensor of a camera

Benefits of a Small Image Sensor

  • Available in smaller cameras, such as point-and-shoots.
  • Manufactured small enough to fit in devices with cameras such as smartphones and tablets.
  • Creates a perfect image for internet sharing.

Benefits of a Large Image Sensor

  • Offers both shallow and deep depth-of-field.
  • Creates less image noise.
  • Increases low-light performance.
  • Gives the user a high-resolution image.



Cameras 101: What is an Image Sensor?