Canon PowerShot SD940 IS vs. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

Comparison

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PowerShot SD940 IS image
vs
Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 image
Canon PowerShot SD940 IS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
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Megapixels
12.10
20.20
Max. image resolution
4000 x 3000
5472 x 3648

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
13.2 x 8.8 mm
Sensor resolution
4011 x 3016
5505 x 3670
Diagonal
7.70 mm
15.86 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 : 4.08
(ratio)
Canon PowerShot SD940 IS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
Surface area:
28.46 mm² vs 116.16 mm²
Difference: 87.7 mm² (308%)
RX100 sensor is approx. 4.08x bigger than SD940 IS sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 3 year gap between Canon SD940 IS (2009) and Sony RX100 (2012). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
1.54 µm
2.4 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: 0.86 µm (56%)
Pixel pitch of RX100 is approx. 56% higher than pixel pitch of SD940 IS.
Pixel area
2.37 µm²
5.76 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: 3.39 µm² (143%)
A pixel on Sony RX100 sensor is approx. 143% bigger than a pixel on Canon SD940 IS.
Pixel density
42.4 MP/cm²
17.39 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: 25.01 µm (144%)
Canon SD940 IS has approx. 144% higher pixel density than Sony RX100.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Canon SD940 IS
Sony RX100
Crop factor
5.62
2.73
Total megapixels
20.90
Effective megapixels
12.10
20.20
Optical zoom
4x
3.6x
Digital zoom
Yes
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Auto, 80, 100, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
50 cm
Macro focus range
3 cm
5 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
28 - 112 mm
28 - 100 mm
Aperture priority
No
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.8 - f5.9
f1.8 - f4.9
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f15.7 - f33.2
f4.9 - f13.4
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No
Yes
Min. shutter speed
15 sec
30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/1500 sec
1/2000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
None
None
White balance presets
6
9
Screen size
2.7"
3"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
1,228,800 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1920x1080 (60p)
Storage types
SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion NB-4L rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion NP-BX1 battery
Weight
120 g
213 g
Dimensions
89 x 55 x 20 mm
102 x 59 x 36 mm
Year
2009
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 SD940 IS diagonal

The diagonal of SD940 IS 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

Sony RX100 diagonal

w = 13.20 mm
h = 8.80 mm
Diagonal =  13.20² + 8.80²   = 15.86 mm


Surface area

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

SD940 IS sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²

RX100 sensor area

Width = 13.20 mm
Height = 8.80 mm

Surface area = 13.20 × 8.80 = 116.16 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

SD940 IS pixel pitch

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

RX100 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 13.20 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5505 pixels
Pixel pitch =   13.20  × 1000  = 2.4 µm
5505


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

SD940 IS pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.54 µm

Pixel area = 1.54² = 2.37 µm²

RX100 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 2.4 µm

Pixel area = 2.4² = 5.76 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

SD940 IS pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4011 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4011 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 42.4 MP/cm²

RX100 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 5505 pixels
Sensor width = 1.32 cm

Pixel density = (5505 / 1.32)² / 1000000 = 17.39 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

SD940 IS 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

RX100 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 13.20 mm
Sensor height = 8.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.20
r = 13.20/8.80 = 1.5
X =  20.20 × 1000000  = 3670
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3670 × 1.5 = 5505
Resolution vertical: X = 3670

Sensor resolution = 5505 x 3670


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


SD940 IS crop factor

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

RX100 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 15.86 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 2.73
15.86

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).

SD940 IS equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f2.8 - f5.9

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8 - f5.9) × 5.62 = f15.7 - f33.2

RX100 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 2.73
Aperture = f1.8 - f4.9

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f1.8 - f4.9) × 2.73 = f4.9 - f13.4

More comparisons of Canon SD940 IS:

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