Nikon Coolpix L820 vs. Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

Comparison

Coolpix L820 image
vs.
PowerShot SX280 HS image

 

Nikon Coolpix L820 Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Megapixels
16.00 12.10
Max. resolution
4608 x 3456 4000 x 3000
Price
Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama Amazon, B&H Photo, Adorama

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS BSI CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm) 1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
4612 x 3468  4011 x 3016 
Diagonal
7.70 mm  7.70 mm 
Surface area
28.46 mm²  28.46 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:
Nikon Coolpix L820
vs.
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
 
Surface area:
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Difference: 0 mm² (0%)
Nikon Coolpix L820 and Canon PowerShot SX280 HS have the same surface area.
Pixel pitch
1.34 µm  1.54 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
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Difference: 0.2 µm (15%)
Pixel pitch of Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is approx. 15% higher than pixel pitch of Nikon Coolpix L820.
Pixel area
1.8 µm²  2.37 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:
Nikon Coolpix L820
vs.
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Pixel area difference: 0.57 µm² (32%)
A pixel on Canon PowerShot SX280 HS sensor is approx. 32% bigger than a pixel on Nikon Coolpix L820.
Pixel density
56.06 MP/cm²  42.4 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
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Difference: 13.66 MP/cm² (32%)
Nikon Coolpix L820 has approx. 32% higher pixel density than Canon PowerShot SX280 HS.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Other specifications

Crop factor
5.62  5.62 
Total megapixels
16.79 12.80
Effective megapixels
16.00 12.10
Optical zoom
30x 20x
Digital zoom
Yes Yes
Iso
Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 Auto 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
Auto focus
Yes Yes
Manual focus
n/a Yes
Normal focus range
50 cm n/a
Macro focus range
1 cm 5 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
22.5 - 675 mm 25 -€“ 500 mm
Aperture priority
No Yes
Aperture
f3 - f5.8 f3.5 - f6.8
Aperture (35mm equiv.)
f16.9 - f32.6  f19.7 - f38.2 
Metering
Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
± 2 EV in steps of 1/3 ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No Yes
Min. shutter speed
4 sec 15 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/4000 sec 1/3200 sec
Flash modes
n/a Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Built-in flash
Yes Yes
External flash
No Yes
Viewfinder
None None
White balance presets
6 6
LCD display
Yes Yes
LCD size
3" 3"
LCD resolution
921,000 461,000
Min. image resolution
640 x 480 640 x 480
Selftimer
Yes Yes
Storage types
SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Batteries
4 x AA Alkaline, NiMH, or Lithium batteries Battery Pack NB-6L
Weight
470 g 233 g
Dimensions
111.0 x 76.3 x 84.5 mm 106.4 x 62.8 x 32.6 mm
Year
2013 2013



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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

Nikon Coolpix L820 diagonal

The diagonal of Nikon Coolpix L820 image sensor is not 1/2.3 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS diagonal

The diagonal of Canon PowerShot SX280 HS image sensor is not 1/2.3 inch as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm


Surface area

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

Nikon Coolpix L820 surface area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS surface area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 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

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.34 µm
4612

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4011 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.54 µm
4011


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

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.34 µm

Pixel area = 1.34² = 1.8 µm²

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.54 µm

Pixel area = 1.54² = 2.37 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

Nikon Coolpix L820 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4612 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 56.06 MP/cm²

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4011 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4011 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 42.4 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

Nikon Coolpix L820 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 16.00
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  16.00 × 1000000  = 3468
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3468 × 1.33 = 4612
Resolution vertical: X = 3468

Sensor resolution = 4612 x 3468

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 12.10
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  12.10 × 1000000  = 3016
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3016 × 1.33 = 4011
Resolution vertical: X = 3016

Sensor resolution = 4011 x 3016


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


Nikon Coolpix L820 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

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).

Nikon Coolpix L820 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3 - f5.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3 - f5.8) × 5.62 = f16.9 - f32.6

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3.5 - f6.8

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3.5 - f6.8) × 5.62 = f19.7 - f38.2


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