Photgraphic sensors – Pittaluga Photography

As we explained in our blog previous entries, there are many questions and doubts that arise about photographic cameras, their features and utilities. That is why, in our new post for Pittaluga Photography, we have decided to tackle a topic on which often arise many doubts: the photographic sensor.

Photgraphic sensor features

The sensor is a device that captures the light that passes through the lens.

As we said in a previous article, in a sensor is important the number of pixels, a larger number will allow us to make bigger enlargements, but it is not the most important.

The most important thing is: pixel quality, sensor size and pixel density per square centimeter.

Pixel quality is directly related to the size of the sensor.

It is easy to think that the number of photons that affect a pixel cell is proportional to its surface. This means that a cell of a larger size will capture more photons than another smaller of the same architecture. And the light photons are what will form the image we are photographing.

In terms of size, the different sizes of sensors are plotted below graphically. This difference in size tell us that at the same number of pixels in a Full Frame sensor and a mobile phone, which is 40 times smaller, the construction of the photosensitive cells of a SmartPhone will always be less precise and the information that it provides will be less real than other larger cells.

The density is the number of pixels per cm2. The number of pixels of a sensor is obtained by multiplying the ones that are wide by those that are high. For example, 12 megapixels equals 4,251 pixels wide x 2,823 pixels high.

In short, a mobile phone camera with a small sensor and therefore a smaller size photosensitive cells, can never have the quality image of a SLR camera.

We can imagine how important the size of the sensor will be to be able to build the components of each of the cells.


In summary, as we have said, the quality of the image will be reduced in a smaller sensor because the same number of Megapixels, for example 12 Mpx = 12 million pixels (cells). A sensor the size of a SLR Camera can not capture the same number of photons than a sensor the size of a compact or a phone because it is smaller. Each pixel takes the light of a very small part of the image that we are going to photograph.

A sensor, composed of millions of pixels (cells), is responsible for transforming the light of the image into electricity, the place of a digital file using the electronics of the camera and the processor. Each cell has a photodiode that captures the intensity of the light, not the color. To capture the color besides the pixel (cell), the sensor has filters that break down the light into red, green and blue (RGB). In addition, each of them incorporates a small lens to focus the light on the sensitive element.

If with all this information that we have just provided you still have doubts and want a personalized advice, do not hesitate to contact us, we are at your disposal in our studio in Alicante – Pittaluga Photography.