Written by Sanne

What is the difference between all image sensors?

Before you buy a camera, it is important to know what type of image sensors exist. The image sensor of the camera largely determines the quality of your photos. Make a well-considered choice here. The most important characteristics are explained below for each most common image sensor.

Full frame

A full frame sensor is the largest possible image sensor. The dimensions of the images are in line with those of an old-fashioned film roll.


  • A full frame sensor ensures better picture quality and sharper pictures.
  • Due to the large number of pixels on the sensor, you reduce the chance of noise, which makes it easier to photograph in low light.
  • With a full frame sensor, you can shoot with a larger angle of view.


  • A full frame sensor makes a camera a lot more expensive, bigger and heavier.


APS-C sensor

A sensor of APS-C format is the most common image sensor for digital cameras. They are a lot bigger than the sensors in small cameras.

** Pros **

  • Thanks to the crop factor, the image is zoomed in so that you need a smaller zoom lens.
  • More lenses are available for APS-C sensors.
  • With an APS-C sensor you have less trouble with distortion and vignetting at the edges of your image.

** Cons **

  • If you use high ISO, you get more noise from your photo.

Micro Four Thirds

Micro Four Thirds sensor

A Micro Four Thirds sensor is a quarter of the size of a full frame sensor. You can often find these sensors in mirrorless cameras.

** Pros **

  • A camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor is often very compact.
  • If you buy a camera with this type of sensor, lenses of many different brands often fit into it.

** Cons **

  • You are much more likely to get noise at a high ISO value.

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1-inch sensor

A 1-inch sensor is the largest sensor among the small sensors, and this type of sensor can be found in compact cameras.


  • Cameras with a 1-inch sensor are compact and lightweight.
  • A 1-sensor provides the best image quality of all small sensor types.


  • The images that a 1-inch sensor makes contain very little detail.


1/2.3-inch sensor

Most compact cameras have a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Other variants of small sensors that occur in compact cameras are: 1/4 inch, 1/3 inch and 1/3.5 inch.


  • A small sensor provides a small and light camera that you take with you everywhere.


  • The image quality of cameras with a 1/2.3-inch sensor or smaller is minimal.

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