Canon PowerShot A530 vs. Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS

Comparison

PowerShot A530 image
vs.
PowerShot Pro90 IS image

 

Canon PowerShot A530 Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
Megapixels
5.00 2.60
Max. resolution
2592 x 1944 1856 x 1392
Price
Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD CCD
Sensor size
1/2.5" (~ 5.75 x 4.32 mm) 1/1.8" (~ 7.11 x 5.33 mm)
Sensor resolution
2579 x 1939  1859 x 1398 
Diagonal
7.19 mm  8.89 mm 
Surface area
24.84 mm²  37.90 mm² 
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective, because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »
Actual sensor sizes:
Canon PowerShot A530
vs.
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
 
Surface area:
Canon PowerShot A530
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
Difference: 13.06 mm² (53%)
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS has approx. 53% more surface area than Canon PowerShot A530.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 5 year gap between Canon PowerShot A530 (2006) and Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS (2001). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
2.23 µm  3.82 µm 
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Pixel pitch
Canon PowerShot A530
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
Difference: 1.59 µm (71%)
Pixel pitch of Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS is approx. 71% higher than pixel pitch of Canon PowerShot A530.
Pixel area
4.97 µm²  14.59 µm² 
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
Canon PowerShot A530
vs.
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
Pixel area difference: 9.62 µm² (194%)
A pixel on Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS sensor is approx. 194% bigger than a pixel on Canon PowerShot A530.
Pixel density
20.12 MP/cm²  6.84 MP/cm² 
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Pixel density
Canon PowerShot A530
Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
Difference: 13.28 MP/cm² (194%)
Canon PowerShot A530 has approx. 194% higher pixel density than Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Other specifications

Crop factor
6.02  4.87 
Total megapixels
5.30 3.30
Effective megapixels
5.00 2.60
Optical zoom
4x 10x
Digital zoom
Yes Yes
Iso
Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800 50, 100, 200, 400
Auto focus
Yes Yes
Manual focus
Yes Yes
Normal focus range
45 cm 10 cm
Macro focus range
5 cm 10 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
35 - 140 mm 37 - 370 mm
Aperture priority
No Yes
Aperture
f2.6 - f5.5 f2.8 - f3.5
Aperture (35mm equiv.)
f15.7 - f33.1  f13.6 - f17 
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps) ±2 EV (at 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No Yes
Min. shutter speed
15 sec 8 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/2000 sec 1/1000 sec
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Manual (Red Eye On/Off) Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Off
Built-in flash
Yes Yes
External flash
No Yes
Viewfinder
Optical (tunnel) Electronic
White balance presets
5 6
LCD display
Yes Yes
LCD size
1.8" 1.8"
LCD resolution
77,000 120,000
Min. image resolution
640 x 480 640 x 480
Selftimer
Yes Yes
Storage types
SD/MMC card Compact Flash (Type I or II)
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec)
Batteries
AA (2) batteries (NiMH recommended) Canon Lithium-Ion & charger
Weight
220g 680g
Dimensions
90x64x43 mm 127x84x140 mm
Year
2006 2001



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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Canon PowerShot A530 diagonal

The diagonal of Canon PowerShot A530 image sensor is not 1/2.5 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 5.75 mm
h = 4.32 mm
Diagonal =  5.75² + 4.32²   = 7.19 mm

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS diagonal

The diagonal of Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS image sensor is not 1/1.8 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 7.11 mm
h = 5.33 mm
Diagonal =  7.11² + 5.33²   = 8.89 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

Canon PowerShot A530 surface area

Width = 5.75 mm
Height = 4.32 mm

Surface area = 5.75 × 4.32 = 24.84 mm²

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS surface area

Width = 7.11 mm
Height = 5.33 mm

Surface area = 7.11 × 5.33 = 37.90 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

Canon PowerShot A530 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 5.75 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2579 pixels
Pixel pitch =   5.75  × 1000  = 2.23 µm
2579

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS pixel pitch

Sensor width = 7.11 mm
Sensor resolution width = 1859 pixels
Pixel pitch =   7.11  × 1000  = 3.82 µm
1859


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

Canon PowerShot A530 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 2.23 µm

Pixel area = 2.23² = 4.97 µm²

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS pixel area

Pixel pitch = 3.82 µm

Pixel area = 3.82² = 14.59 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

You could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

Canon PowerShot A530 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2579 pixels
Sensor width = 0.575 cm

Pixel density = (2579 / 0.575)² / 1000000 = 20.12 MP/cm²

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 1859 pixels
Sensor width = 0.711 cm

Pixel density = (1859 / 0.711)² / 1000000 = 6.84 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always. 22.8 × 15.5 sensor for example has a ratio of 1.47.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

Canon PowerShot A530 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 5.75 mm
Sensor height = 4.32 mm
Effective megapixels = 5.00
r = 5.75/4.32 = 1.33
X =  5.00 × 1000000  = 1939
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1939 × 1.33 = 2579
Resolution vertical: X = 1939

Sensor resolution = 2579 x 1939

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS sensor resolution

Sensor width = 7.11 mm
Sensor height = 5.33 mm
Effective megapixels = 2.60
r = 7.11/5.33 = 1.33
X =  2.60 × 1000000  = 1398
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1398 × 1.33 = 1859
Resolution vertical: X = 1398

Sensor resolution = 1859 x 1398


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


Canon PowerShot A530 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.19 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 6.02
7.19

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 8.89 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 4.87
8.89

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

Canon PowerShot A530 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 6.02
Aperture = f2.6 - f5.5

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.6 - f5.5) × 6.02 = f15.7 - f33.1

Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 4.87
Aperture = f2.8 - f3.5

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8 - f3.5) × 4.87 = f13.6 - f17


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