Sigma DP1 vs. Sony Alpha NEX-6

Comparison

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DP1 image
vs
Alpha NEX-6 image
Sigma DP1 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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Megapixels
4.70
16.10
Max. image resolution
2640 x 1760 x 3
4912 x 3264
Note: Sigma DP1 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
Foveon
CMOS
Sensor size
20.7 x 13.8 mm
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor resolution
2655 x 1770
4930 x 3265
Diagonal
24.88 mm
28.21 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 : 1.28
(ratio)
Sigma DP1 Sony Alpha NEX-6
Surface area:
285.66 mm² vs 366.60 mm²
Difference: 80.94 mm² (28%)
Alpha NEX-6 sensor is approx. 1.28x bigger than DP1 sensor.
Note: You are comparing sensors of very different generations. There is a gap of 6 years between Sigma DP1 (2006) and Sony Alpha NEX-6 (2012). Six years is a lot of time in terms of technology, meaning newer sensors are overall much more efficient than the older ones.
Pixel pitch
7.8 µm
4.77 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: 3.03 µm (64%)
Pixel pitch of DP1 is approx. 64% higher than pixel pitch of Alpha NEX-6.
Pixel area
60.84 µm²
22.75 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: 38.09 µm² (167%)
A pixel on Sigma DP1 sensor is approx. 167% bigger than a pixel on Sony Alpha NEX-6.
Pixel density
1.65 MP/cm²
4.4 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.
Difference: 2.75 µm (167%)
Sony Alpha NEX-6 has approx. 167% higher pixel density than Sigma DP1.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Sigma DP1
Sony Alpha NEX-6
Crop factor
1.74
1.53
Total megapixels
4.70
16.70
Effective megapixels
4.70
16.10
Optical zoom
1x
Digital zoom
No
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
28 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
n/a
Metering
Centre weighted, Matrix, Multi-segment
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/4000 sec
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
None
Electronic
White balance presets
6
6
Screen size
2.5"
3"
Screen resolution
230,000 dots
921,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
SDHC, Secure Digital
SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
USB
USB 1.0
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion NP-FW50 rechargeable battery
Weight
270 g
287 g
Dimensions
113 x 60 x 50 mm
120 x 67 x 43 mm
Year
2006
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

Sigma DP1 diagonal

w = 20.70 mm
h = 13.80 mm
Diagonal =  20.70² + 13.80²   = 24.88 mm

Sony Alpha NEX-6 diagonal

w = 23.50 mm
h = 15.60 mm
Diagonal =  23.50² + 15.60²   = 28.21 mm


Surface area

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

DP1 sensor area

Width = 20.70 mm
Height = 13.80 mm

Surface area = 20.70 × 13.80 = 285.66 mm²

Alpha NEX-6 sensor area

Width = 23.50 mm
Height = 15.60 mm

Surface area = 23.50 × 15.60 = 366.60 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

DP1 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Pixel pitch =   20.70  × 1000  = 7.8 µm
2655

Alpha NEX-6 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4930 pixels
Pixel pitch =   23.50  × 1000  = 4.77 µm
4930


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

DP1 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 7.8 µm

Pixel area = 7.8² = 60.84 µm²

Alpha NEX-6 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.77 µm

Pixel area = 4.77² = 22.75 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

DP1 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2655 pixels
Sensor width = 2.07 cm

Pixel density = (2655 / 2.07)² / 1000000 = 1.65 MP/cm²

Alpha NEX-6 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4930 pixels
Sensor width = 2.35 cm

Pixel density = (4930 / 2.35)² / 1000000 = 4.4 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.

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

DP1 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 20.70 mm
Sensor height = 13.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 4.70
r = 20.70/13.80 = 1.5
X =  4.70 × 1000000  = 1770
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1770 × 1.5 = 2655
Resolution vertical: X = 1770

Sensor resolution = 2655 x 1770

Alpha NEX-6 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor height = 15.60 mm
Effective megapixels = 16.10
r = 23.50/15.60 = 1.51
X =  16.10 × 1000000  = 3265
1.51
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3265 × 1.51 = 4930
Resolution vertical: X = 3265

Sensor resolution = 4930 x 3265


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


DP1 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 24.88 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.74
24.88

Alpha NEX-6 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 28.21 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.53
28.21

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).

DP1 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 DP1, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sigma DP1 is 1.74

Alpha NEX-6 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 Sony Alpha NEX-6, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sony Alpha NEX-6 is 1.53

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