Sony 1"

There is load of twaddle talked out there on the interweb about digital camera sensor size where in real life you can't actually tell any significant differences in the end real world results - the actual viewed photographs.

When I am not doing film photography with my lovely Contax G2 outfit, I more often than not carry and use my little Sony RX100 VII compact digital camera with its Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-200mm f2.8-4.5 lens (crop factor equivalent). This is equipped with Sony's own 1" imaging sensor, more on this later.

In the the endless and pointless sensor size (and indeed related megapixel) wars that rage on unchecked on the many vlog, blog and review sites on the web, then the smallest sized sensor for serious consideration is MFT (Micro Four Thirds) though this is much sneered at by the "bigger is better" crowd. Then comes the compromise or intermediate APS-C sensor and then the king of the hill Full Frame chip which most closely matches that of the traditional 35mm film frame dimensions. There are also bigger sensors, often referred to as medium format sensors, but these are usually seen as specialist chips for use in studio cameras for example.

Sensors smaller than MFT are seen as too small to be relevant and inferior, reserved for compact cameras and smart phones and the like. Well... enter my Sony RX100 VII with its 1" sensor even smaller than the much despised so called minimum MFT format. Turns out it can do things like this:

and this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

Getting to the point, comparing these images to others made on digital cameras with bigger sensors you will only see the differences if you start to magnify them to really silly sizes like 200%. Show actual pictures to people taken on this camera, along side those taken on cameras with bigger sensors including those with FF 35mm and no-one can tell which came from which. In reality no-one cares, beyond a certain (very low) minimum level of iQ, a good picture is a good picture.

Turns out a camera with a high tech 1" sensor combined with a very high quality Zeiss lens, a powerful processor and advanced processing algorithms can really do the business. Oh and if you might think that to gain all of this, it has to sacrifice performance in the action AF stakes, not so, it has professional level autofocus with real time subject tracking. It also has excellent image quality even when used in pretty low light just to confound expectations of such a small sensor. It also does 4K videos and makes for a super Vlogging camera for creatives.

Now if you could shoehorn all this tech into a smart phone with a 1" sensor that really would put the cat amongst the pigeons! Watch this space.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.