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Friday, July 20, 2012

Size Me Up

You may have read my post about the Canon S95 and what I look for in a camera. In that post, I made a brief reference to the website Camera Size, but didn't talk about it further. I’d just like to use this short post to specifically call some attention to the fantastic tool I use whenever I am looking for a new camera, as well as mention another great tool that has just been released by the same developer, Sensor Size.

Camera Size

I’ve found Camera Size to be useful for a number of different purposes, but most notably have been comparing the size of point-and-shoot cameras where compactness is a key concern, and also for comparing the size of DSLR camera lenses (some of which can be downright enormous).

One of the features I really love about Camera Size, is that it allows me to generate custom URLs that I can send to others so they can see the same comparison I’ve generated. For example, take a look at the URL below comparing my existing S95 and the newly announced and alluringly low-light capable Lumix DMC-LX7:

On the DSLR lens front, take a look at why I would find it important to compare the size of lenses that compete for space in my camera bag:

Okay, so that last one probably isn’t one I would use or try to stuff into any bag other than one dedicated just for that, but you get the idea. You can also hover over a particular camera or camera/lens combo and get more detailed data like this:

Amusingly, you can even insert an “average adult male hand” to see how a camera would fit in your palm:

I strongly recommend adding Camera Size to your arsenal of tools when researching new cameras.

Sensor Size

My S95 post also mentioned the vast importance of paying attention to sensor size when selecting a camera. For this reason, I am infinitely grateful for the new Sensor Size tool. It allows me to quickly compare various sensor sizes used in specific camera models.

Take a look at the wide range of sensor sizes below, ranging from the popular iPhone 4S sensor on the far left, to the pro-level Canon 5D Mark III sensor on the far right:
Another great feature of Sensor Size is the table of information for each sensor with details ranging from max resolution, to the all-important crop factor. It is essential to consider crop factor is essential when lens shopping. For example, the popular 50mm focal length isn’t 50mm at all when mated to an APS-C sensor in a camera like the Canon T2i. Because of the size of the sensor, and the resulting 1.6x crop factor, you’ll end up with an 80mm lens (which might be a lot more zoom than you wanted for indoor shots).

I'm closely watching the rumors of an upcoming mirrorless camera from Canon. For those that aren't familiar with them, they usually pack a lot of the punch of a DSLR-sized sensor in a body size closer to a point-and-shoot.You can bet that Camera Size and Sensor Size will be some of my first stops after it's announced. 

Does anyone have any other great tools for camera research? Let me know! Check out my photography work at: