Performance difference between different size sensors?

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Troy, NY
The announcement of the Canon G1X MkIII got me to thinking: how big a jump in performance is it from, say, a one-inch sensor to 4/3, and then again from 4/3 to APS-C?

Cheers, Jock


Hall of Famer
See the dxo reports:
Canon EOS M6 vs Olympus PEN-F vs Canon PowerShot G7 X | DxOMark

Only the high iso matters and the slower kit lenses will not give you any advantage over say original g7x... That is why 1" cameras reduced my m43/apsc camera usage except when I go for shallow dof where the bigger sensor helps... Sony rx100 v/rx 10 IV have the latest 1" sensors with fast af sensors/4K video which I have not used, but the 1" sensor performance mostly has not changed much since first Rx100. If you are going for apsc, Nikon, Sony, Fuji are better choices with higher dynamic range sensors...
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In good light, where you can stay at base ISO regardless of lens speed, the larger sensor should provide more color depth and better dynamic range - if it has comparable efficiency per amount of square mm as the smaller sensor. Canon's sensor tech seems less efficient, as it appears to do considerably worse at DR than sony-based sensors of the same size, undoing some of the size advantage compared to 1" and m43. Other apsc cameras have a more obvious advantage here.

In lower light, where you need a fast lens to maintain low iso's as long as possible, the lens speed / sensor size combo (aka equivalent aperture) becomes more important, and a 1" sensor with faster lens might beat an apsc with slower lens, even if that apsc sensor is one of sony's efficient designs.

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