Comparing sensor sizes im camcorders

caseybrunet

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Oct 25, 2013
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The Sony FDR-AX1 camcorder is said to have professional quality with 4K capabilities at a prosumer price point ($4,500). The Sony NEX VG-900 and Sony NEX VG-30 are also highly rated Sony camcorders that cap out at 1080P with interchangeable lenses. I am trying to decided between these camcorders but I am really confused about the sensor sizes between them. i know the VG-900 has a full frame sensor, the VG-30 has ~2/3 of a full frame sensor, and the FDR-AX1 has a 1/2.3" cmos sensor (~1/6 the size of a full frame). From what I am reading the AX1 has some of the best video quality on the prosumer market but I am confused as to how that is possible with a sensor so much smaller than its competitors. Could someone explain this to me? Please use plenty of detail, I can generally pick up on technical information pretty easily.

Thanks!
 

Onus

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Jan 27, 2006
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I'd be interested in that explanation too, as my understanding is that a small sensor typically cannot compare to a large one for quality, regardless of the claimed resolution.
 

Ubrales

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Generally speaking, larger sensors produce better quality of pictures. And the cost of larger sensors goes up exponentially. I found some interesting articles.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

http://www.gizmag.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684/

http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/image-sensor-size-matters/#!PJVCx

Good lenses have a great positive influence on digital photography.

Unfortunately, the FTC does permit manufacturers to claim that their products are the best. A good example is the automobile industry. Every manufacturer claims to make the best cars. The FTC allows such manufacturers' claims because no one believes such claims. Hence it is permitted by law.

For me, everything else being equal, larger sensors make better pictures!
 

caseybrunet

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Oct 25, 2013
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Well, from the research I have been doing I have come to a couple conclusions. The AX1 sensor is incredibly small, but it is a back lit cmos sensor which simply means the wiring for the sensor is located behind the sensor, giving more surface area to absorb light. This is only about 1.6 - 1.8x more surface area though. The AX1 advantage is the incredible lens and processing powers it possesses. a 20x lens with the capability to reliably record 4K video at 60p (that is an accomplishment at that price point). Unfortunately the small size packed with massive amounts of pixels means each pixel is quite small and will work poorly in low light, the AX1's only real drawback.

I have not decided which camera will be best for me, lots more research and hopefully some hands on experience will help me decide one day.
 
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