Canon IXY 120 vs. Sigma SD1 Merrill

Comparison

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IXY 120 image
vs
SD1 Merrill image
Canon IXY 120 Sigma SD1 Merrill
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Megapixels
16.00
15.40
Max. image resolution
4608 x 3456
4800 x 3200
Note: Sigma SD1 Merrill uses Foveon X3 image sensor, which is a new type of sensor that has 3 layers of photoelements stacked together in 1 pixel location. Traditional CCD/CMOS sensors have 1 pixel for 1 color, whereas Foveon sensor captures all 3 colors (blue, green, and red) at every pixel.

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
Foveon
Sensor size
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
24 x 16 mm
Sensor resolution
4612 x 3468
4806 x 3204
Diagonal
7.70 mm
28.84 mm
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 size

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vs
1 : 13.49
(ratio)
Canon IXY 120 Sigma SD1 Merrill
Surface area:
28.46 mm² vs 384.00 mm²
Difference: 355.54 mm² (1249%)
SD1 Merrill sensor is approx. 13.49x bigger than IXY 120 sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 2 year gap between Canon IXY 120 (2014) and Sigma SD1 Merrill (2012). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
1.34 µm
4.99 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.
Difference: 3.65 µm (272%)
Pixel pitch of SD1 Merrill is approx. 272% higher than pixel pitch of IXY 120.
Pixel area
1.8 µm²
24.9 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:
vs
Pixel area difference: 23.1 µm² (1283%)
A pixel on Sigma SD1 Merrill sensor is approx. 1283% bigger than a pixel on Canon IXY 120.
Pixel density
56.06 MP/cm²
4.01 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.
Difference: 52.05 µm (1298%)
Canon IXY 120 has approx. 1298% higher pixel density than Sigma SD1 Merrill.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Canon IXY 120
Sigma SD1 Merrill
Crop factor
5.62
1.5
Total megapixels
16.60
15.40
Effective megapixels
16.00
15.40
Optical zoom
8x
Digital zoom
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100-1600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
5 cm
Macro focus range
1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
28 - 224 mm
Aperture priority
No
Yes
Max. aperture
f3.2 - f6.9
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f18 - f38.8
n/a
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Average
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No
Yes
Min. shutter speed
15 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/2000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
None
Optical (pentaprism)
White balance presets
5
Screen size
2.7"
3"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
460,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1280x720 (25p)
Storage types
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Compact Flash (Type I, UDMA compatible)
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Battery Pack NB-11L/NB-11LH
Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Weight
127 g
330 g
Dimensions
95.2 x 54.3 x 22.1 mm
146 x 113 x 80 mm
Year
2014
2012




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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 IXY 120 diagonal

The diagonal of IXY 120 sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. 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

Sigma SD1 Merrill diagonal

w = 24.00 mm
h = 16.00 mm
Diagonal =  24.00² + 16.00²   = 28.84 mm


Surface area

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

IXY 120 sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²

SD1 Merrill sensor area

Width = 24.00 mm
Height = 16.00 mm

Surface area = 24.00 × 16.00 = 384.00 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

IXY 120 pixel pitch

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

SD1 Merrill pixel pitch

Sensor width = 24.00 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4806 pixels
Pixel pitch =   24.00  × 1000  = 4.99 µm
4806


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

IXY 120 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.34 µm

Pixel area = 1.34² = 1.8 µm²

SD1 Merrill pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.99 µm

Pixel area = 4.99² = 24.9 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

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

IXY 120 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4612 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

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

SD1 Merrill pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4806 pixels
Sensor width = 2.4 cm

Pixel density = (4806 / 2.4)² / 1000000 = 4.01 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.

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

IXY 120 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

SD1 Merrill sensor resolution

Sensor width = 24.00 mm
Sensor height = 16.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 15.40
r = 24.00/16.00 = 1.5
X =  15.40 × 1000000  = 3204
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3204 × 1.5 = 4806
Resolution vertical: X = 3204

Sensor resolution = 4806 x 3204


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


IXY 120 crop factor

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

SD1 Merrill crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 28.84 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.5
28.84

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).

IXY 120 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3.2 - f6.9

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3.2 - f6.9) × 5.62 = f18 - f38.8

SD1 Merrill equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Sigma SD1 Merrill, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sigma SD1 Merrill is 1.5

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