Smartphones with inch sensor

A brief addition to my notes about 'the impact of smartphones on the photography market'and'what's next? (Answer: Smartphone Supremacy).

Sony Xperia PRO-i

Sony Xperia PRO-I phone sensor

There are not so many smartphones with an inch sensor:

  1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1, 20 MP, with LEICA DC optics ELMARIT 1: 2.8 / 10.2 ASPH.
  2. Sharp Aquos R6, 20 MP, with LEICA Summicron optics 1: 1.9 / 19 ASPH.
  3. Leica Leitz Phone 1, 20 MP, with LEICA Summicron 1: 1.9 / 19 ASPH., Rebranding Sharp Aquos R6
  4. Sony Xperia PRO-i, 12 MP, with ZEISS Tessar T* optics, EGF 24 mm, F/2.0 + F/4.0 (mechanical aperture, but only two fixed values), however, the working area is around 1/1.31″ (diagonal is about 12.1 mm)

But over time, such 'big' sensors will migrate to more and more budget solutions, and in a few years, inch sensors in smartphones are likely to become commonplace.

The 'inch' sensors of these smartphones have a diagonal length of about 16 mm, the width of such a sensor is 12.8 mm, height 9.3 mm... This is larger than the sensor sizes in many digital compact cameras (with sensor sizes 2/3 ″, 1 / 1.63 ″, 1 / 1.7 ″, 1 / 1.8 ″, 1/2 ″, 1 / 2.3 ″, 1 / 2.33 ″, 1 / 2.5 ″, 1 / 2.7 ″, 1 / 2.8 ″, 1/3 ″, 1 / 3.2 ″, 1 / 3.6 ″, 1/4 ″, 1/6 ″, 1/8 ″, etc.) ... For example, in a modern, not cheap Nikon Coolpix P950 a 1/2.3 ″ sensor is used, which is smaller than in these smartphones.

The area of ​​an inch sensor is only 7 times smaller than the area of ​​a classic full-frame sensor with dimensions of 36 X 24 mm. Crop factor of such a sensor is Kf = 2.7X.

Approximately the same inch sensors used in interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras Nikon 1: J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, S1, S2, V1, V2, V3 и AW 1... Inch sensors are used by some of today's advanced digital compacts like Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX15, Canon Powershot G7, SONY Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Mark III etc.

The next step after the inch sensor can be considered the Micro 4/3 format (1.9 times larger in area).

In parallel with the increase in computing / processing power, such smartphones will increasingly displace digital compacts and the amateur segment of interchangeable-lens cameras from the market.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 18, on the topic: Smartphones with an inch sensor

  • Rodion

    Why is an inch - 16 mm?

  • Joe

    There is a nuance - according to DPReview, this 20MP inch sensor uses only the central part (60% of the sensor) to obtain 12MP images.
    That is, in fact, this is the equivalent of a 1 / 1.31 ″ sensor, since the rest is simply not used.
    Link to original article on DPReview website:

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks, added

    • Sergei

      sleepyheads would not be sleepyheads without such nuances

  • someone RH

    inch used in digital photography and video - the so-called. videoconov - 17 mm, as opposed to English 25.4 mm or French - 27 mm

  • Sergei

    Yes, put, finally, slots for SIM cards in the DSLRs. And no sensor race is needed.

    • Podyrio

      there you will not get off with one slot.

  • Gladkovsky

    What annoys me and does not suit me in mobile photography is the wide 24-22mm focal length ... The faces are skewed, the figures are disproportionate, the architecture is curved / oblique, the landscapes are sad / trouble ... ...

    • UstasFritZZZ

      Well, for a long time already they have been shoving several modules with different focal lengths. From super-widths to 100mm + equivalent, they do not distort and are quite suitable for shooting

      • Ghostx

        Not in all models. Usually the focal length of the main camera is 24-26mm, which is a perversion for me.
        In running models (like redmi note), they shove a couple of useless chambers such as shirik and makrika, which are useless like a goat of milk. I don’t see any reason to overpay only for a telephoto camera, it’s better to spend money on a camera.

  • AC

    I expect a breakthrough from SONY competitor - Samsung ISOCELL GN2
    50M Dual Pixel Pro

  • Alexander

    Arkady, Nikon Coolpix P950 has a sensor size of 1 / 2.3, not 2/3

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, that's right, ochapat. Fixed

  • Vlad

    Explain what is the point of putting the sensor on 1 "and using only half of its area (I'm talking about Sonya)

    • Serge

      The point is that if you use it at 100%, the smartphone will “slightly” become thicker, like the size of the lens of a mirrorless camera divided by 3.

  • Vadim

    "I blinded him from what was."
    We took a ready-made sensor, ready-made optics .. The thickness of the smartphone, again, limits, and competitors need a response faster ..

  • Pawel

    In my youth there were telephones that looked like a photographic camera from the back, now I need to do something similar without giving a damn about the thickness of the device, and if the quality of the photo is not inferior to 4: 3 and there is a removable lens, then it will be a bestzeller

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