Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV vs. Nikon D5500

Comparison

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Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV image
vs
D5500 image
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV Nikon D5500
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Megapixels
20.10
24.20
Max. image resolution
5472 x 3648
6000 x 4000

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
13.2 x 8.8 mm
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor resolution
5492 x 3661
6045 x 4003
Diagonal
15.86 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 : 3.16
(ratio)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV Nikon D5500
Surface area:
116.16 mm² vs 366.60 mm²
Difference: 250.44 mm² (216%)
D5500 sensor is approx. 3.16x bigger than RX10 IV sensor.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 2 year gap between Sony RX10 IV (2017) and Nikon D5500 (2015). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
2.4 µm
3.89 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: 1.49 µm (62%)
Pixel pitch of D5500 is approx. 62% higher than pixel pitch of RX10 IV.
Pixel area
5.76 µm²
15.13 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: 9.37 µm² (163%)
A pixel on Nikon D5500 sensor is approx. 163% bigger than a pixel on Sony RX10 IV.
Pixel density
17.31 MP/cm²
6.62 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: 10.69 µm (161%)
Sony RX10 IV has approx. 161% higher pixel density than Nikon D5500.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Specs

Sony RX10 IV
Nikon D5500
Crop factor
2.73
1.53
Total megapixels
21.00
24.78
Effective megapixels
20.10
24.20
Optical zoom
25x
Digital zoom
Yes
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100 - 12800 (extends to 64-25600)
Auto, 100 - 25600
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
3 cm
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
24 - 600 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.4 - f4
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f6.6 - f10.9
n/a
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/2000 sec
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Electronic
Optical (pentamirror)
White balance presets
9
12
Screen size
3"
3.2"
Screen resolution
1,440,000 dots
1,037,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
3840x2160 (30p/25p/24p)
1920x1080 (60p/50p/30p/25p/24p)
Storage types
SD/SDHC/SDXC, MS Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
NP-FW50 lithium-ion battery
EN-EL14a / EN-EL14
Weight
1095 g
420 g
Dimensions
132.5 x 94 x 127.4 mm
124 x 97 x 70 mm
Year
2017
2015



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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

Sony RX10 IV diagonal

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

Nikon D5500 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.

RX10 IV sensor area

Width = 13.20 mm
Height = 8.80 mm

Surface area = 13.20 × 8.80 = 116.16 mm²

D5500 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

RX10 IV pixel pitch

Sensor width = 13.20 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5492 pixels
Pixel pitch =   13.20  × 1000  = 2.4 µm
5492

D5500 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor resolution width = 6045 pixels
Pixel pitch =   23.50  × 1000  = 3.89 µm
6045


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

RX10 IV pixel area

Pixel pitch = 2.4 µm

Pixel area = 2.4² = 5.76 µm²

D5500 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 3.89 µm

Pixel area = 3.89² = 15.13 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

RX10 IV pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 5492 pixels
Sensor width = 1.32 cm

Pixel density = (5492 / 1.32)² / 1000000 = 17.31 MP/cm²

D5500 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 6045 pixels
Sensor width = 2.35 cm

Pixel density = (6045 / 2.35)² / 1000000 = 6.62 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

RX10 IV sensor resolution

Sensor width = 13.20 mm
Sensor height = 8.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.10
r = 13.20/8.80 = 1.5
X =  20.10 × 1000000  = 3661
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3661 × 1.5 = 5492
Resolution vertical: X = 3661

Sensor resolution = 5492 x 3661

D5500 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 23.50 mm
Sensor height = 15.60 mm
Effective megapixels = 24.20
r = 23.50/15.60 = 1.51
X =  24.20 × 1000000  = 4003
1.51
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4003 × 1.51 = 6045
Resolution vertical: X = 4003

Sensor resolution = 6045 x 4003


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


RX10 IV crop factor

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

D5500 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).

RX10 IV equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 2.73
Aperture = f2.4 - f4

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.4 - f4) × 2.73 = f6.6 - f10.9

D5500 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 Nikon D5500, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Nikon D5500 is 1.53

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