Canon PowerShot S300 DIGITAL ELPH vs. Canon PowerShot A480

Comparison

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PowerShot S300 DIGITAL ELPH image
vs
PowerShot A480 image
Canon PowerShot S300 DIGITAL ELPH Canon PowerShot A480
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Megapixels
2.02
10.00
Max. image resolution
1600 x 1200
3648 x 2736

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
CCD
Sensor size
1/2.7" (~ 5.33 x 4 mm)
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
1639 x 1232
3647 x 2742
Diagonal
6.66 mm
7.70 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

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 1.33
(ratio)
Canon PowerShot S300 DIGITAL ELPH Canon PowerShot A480
Surface area:
21.32 mm² vs 28.46 mm²
Difference: 7.14 mm² (33%)
A480 sensor is approx. 1.33x bigger than S300 DIGITAL ELPH sensor.
Note: You are comparing sensors of very different generations. There is a gap of 8 years between Canon S300 DIGITAL ELPH (2001) and Canon A480 (2009). Eight years is a lot of time in terms of technology, meaning newer sensors are overall much more efficient than the older ones.
Pixel pitch
3.25 µm
1.69 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: 1.56 µm (92%)
Pixel pitch of S300 DIGITAL ELPH is approx. 92% higher than pixel pitch of A480.
Pixel area
10.56 µm²
2.86 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: 7.7 µm² (269%)
A pixel on Canon S300 DIGITAL ELPH sensor is approx. 269% bigger than a pixel on Canon A480.
Pixel density
9.46 MP/cm²
35.05 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: 25.59 µm (271%)
Canon A480 has approx. 271% higher pixel density than Canon S300 DIGITAL ELPH.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Canon S300 DIGITAL ELPH
Canon A480
Crop factor
6.5
5.62
Total megapixels
2.11
Effective megapixels
2.02
10.00
Optical zoom
3x
3.3x
Digital zoom
Yes
Yes
ISO sensitivity
100
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
76 cm
50 cm
Macro focus range
16 cm
1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
35 - 105 mm
37 - 122 mm
Aperture priority
No
No
Max. aperture
f2.7 - f4.7
f3 - f5.8
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f17.6 - f30.6
f16.9 - f32.6
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Centre weighted, Evaluative, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No
No
Min. shutter speed
1 sec
15 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/1500 sec
1/2000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (tunnel)
None
White balance presets
5
7
Screen size
1.5"
2.5"
Screen resolution
120,000 dots
115,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
Compact Flash (Type I)
SDHC, Secure Digital
USB
USB 1.0
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Canon NB-L1 680 mAh Lithium-Ion
2 x AA Alkaline or NiMH Batteries (Alkalines supplied)
Weight
270 g
140 g
Dimensions
95 x 63 x 30 mm
92 x 62 x 31 mm
Year
2001
2009




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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 S300 DIGITAL ELPH diagonal

The diagonal of S300 DIGITAL ELPH sensor is not 1/2.7 or 0.37" (9.4 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 6.66 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 5.33 mm
h = 4.00 mm
Diagonal =  5.33² + 4.00²   = 6.66 mm

Canon A480 diagonal

The diagonal of A480 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


Surface area

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

S300 DIGITAL ELPH sensor area

Width = 5.33 mm
Height = 4.00 mm

Surface area = 5.33 × 4.00 = 21.32 mm²

A480 sensor 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

S300 DIGITAL ELPH pixel pitch

Sensor width = 5.33 mm
Sensor resolution width = 1639 pixels
Pixel pitch =   5.33  × 1000  = 3.25 µm
1639

A480 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 3647 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.69 µm
3647


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

S300 DIGITAL ELPH pixel area

Pixel pitch = 3.25 µm

Pixel area = 3.25² = 10.56 µm²

A480 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.69 µm

Pixel area = 1.69² = 2.86 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

S300 DIGITAL ELPH pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 1639 pixels
Sensor width = 0.533 cm

Pixel density = (1639 / 0.533)² / 1000000 = 9.46 MP/cm²

A480 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 3647 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (3647 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 35.05 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

S300 DIGITAL ELPH sensor resolution

Sensor width = 5.33 mm
Sensor height = 4.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 2.02
r = 5.33/4.00 = 1.33
X =  2.02 × 1000000  = 1232
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1232 × 1.33 = 1639
Resolution vertical: X = 1232

Sensor resolution = 1639 x 1232

A480 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 10.00
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  10.00 × 1000000  = 2742
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 2742 × 1.33 = 3647
Resolution vertical: X = 2742

Sensor resolution = 3647 x 2742


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


S300 DIGITAL ELPH crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 6.66 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 6.5
6.66

A480 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).

S300 DIGITAL ELPH equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 6.5
Aperture = f2.7 - f4.7

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.7 - f4.7) × 6.5 = f17.6 - f30.6

A480 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3 - f5.8

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

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