|This marketing image might be the only thing more misleading than the ‘inch-type’ naming system. The numbers indicated on this diagram are not measurements of the sensor diagonal.|
It’s been nearly twenty years since Phil Askey tried to draw attention to how misleading the industry’s naming system for sensor sizes is. Yet the topic still bubbles up from time-to-time, and even manufacturers put out marketing materials that seem confused about it.
We hope the majority of you already know that a 1″-type sensor isn’t one inch in any dimension, but we doubt many people can easily visualize how small a 1/2.3″-type sensor is, or how it compares to, say, a 1/1.28″-type chip. We’re certainly not fans of a naming system that combines fractions, decimals and an distinctly obtuse use of a non-metric unit of measurement.
We’re not in a position to overturn the industry standard terminology, but what we can do is make sure that we always provide more useful information, alongside the inch-type jargon. What we want to know is: which way of describing sensor size would you find easiest to make sense of?
Which additional piece of information would give you the most useful insight into a sensor’s true size?
For reference, all the examples given in this poll refer to the dimensions of a 1″-type sensor. Which of these makes it clearest to you that they’re describing something a fraction smaller than a Micro SD card?
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