Quality and Size of DSLR Camera Digital Sensors - dummies

Quality and Size of DSLR Camera Digital Sensors

By Thomas Clark

Having the right lens for the job provides the image you’re looking for, but what you capture that image with is another story. The quality of your camera works together with the quality of your lens to determine the overall quality of your photographs.

Consider three important factors when determining which DSLR camera is most appropriate for you. Here is a list of what to look for:

  • Digital sensor size. Larger digital sensors contain larger individual pixels, which let in more light and provide images with less digital noise (red, green, and blue artifacts that appear in digital images, similar to film grain).

  • The size of your camera’s digital sensor can also determine the working focal length of the lens you are using. Some cameras that don’t contain full-size digital sensors (equivalent to the size of a 35mm piece of film) can’t capture the entire image provided by a particular lens. This causes your photograph to appear to be taken with a lens of a longer focal length than the actual lens you used. Some lenses are designed to be used with full-frame cameras and some are designed to work specifically with cameras that aren’t full frame. Be sure to research which lenses will work with the camera you have.

  • Megapixel count determines the resolution of images produced by a particular camera. This represents how large your images are perceived on a monitor and what size prints you can make. Cameras these days generally have high megapixel counts. Anything over 10 megapixels is very good, but if you’re looking to make prints that are extremely large you can go with a high-end DSLR camera that has very high megapixel count such as 21.1 or in some cases higher.

  • The features included with a particular digital sensor type should be researched to determine what sensor works best for you. Some cameras offer the ability to shoot at very high ISOs with minimal digital noise. This works great for photographers who prefer to shoot handheld or in low-light situations. Other digital sensors offer self-cleaning features, or a live-view feature that enables you to use the camera’s LCD monitor to view your scene rather than the camera’s viewfinder. This can come in handy when the camera is in a tight space.