Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 vs. Canon PowerShot G1

Comparison

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Cyber-shot DSC-W270 image
vs
PowerShot G1 image
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 Canon PowerShot G1
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Megapixels
12.20
3.10
Max. image resolution
4000 x 3000
2048 x 1536

Sensor

Sensor type
CCD
CCD
Sensor size
1/1.7" (~ 7.53 x 5.64 mm)
1/1.8" (~ 7.11 x 5.33 mm)
Sensor resolution
4043 x 3017
2031 x 1527
Diagonal
9.41 mm
8.89 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
1.12 : 1
(ratio)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W270 Canon PowerShot G1
Surface area:
42.47 mm² vs 37.90 mm²
Difference: 4.57 mm² (12%)
W270 sensor is approx. 1.12x bigger than G1 sensor.
Note: You are comparing sensors of very different generations. There is a gap of 9 years between Sony W270 (2009) and Canon G1 (2000). Nine years is a lot of time in terms of technology, meaning newer sensors are overall much more efficient than the older ones.
Pixel pitch
1.86 µm
3.5 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: 1.64 µm (88%)
Pixel pitch of G1 is approx. 88% higher than pixel pitch of W270.
Pixel area
3.46 µm²
12.25 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: 8.79 µm² (254%)
A pixel on Canon G1 sensor is approx. 254% bigger than a pixel on Sony W270.
Pixel density
28.83 MP/cm²
8.16 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: 20.67 µm (253%)
Sony W270 has approx. 253% higher pixel density than Canon G1.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Sony W270
Canon G1
Crop factor
4.6
4.87
Total megapixels
3.30
Effective megapixels
3.10
Optical zoom
Yes
3x
Digital zoom
Yes
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
50 cm
70 cm
Macro focus range
10 cm
6 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
28 - 140 mm
34 - 102 mm
Aperture priority
No
Yes
Max. aperture
f3.3 - f5.2
f2.0 - f2.5
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f15.2 - f23.9
f9.7 - f12.2
Metering
Centre weighted, Matrix, Spot
Centre weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
No
Yes
Min. shutter speed
2 sec
8 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/1600 sec
1/1000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
None
Optical (tunnel)
White balance presets
7
6
Screen size
2.7"
1.8"
Screen resolution
234.000 dots
113,578 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro Duo
CompactFlash type I, CompactFlash type II, Microdrive
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 1.0
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Li-Ion
Canon Lithium-Ion
Weight
164 g
490 g
Dimensions
98 x 57 x 23 mm
120 x 77 x 64 mm
Year
2009
2000




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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 W270 diagonal

The diagonal of W270 sensor is not 1/1.7 or 0.59" (14.9 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 9.41 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 7.53 mm
h = 5.64 mm
Diagonal =  7.53² + 5.64²   = 9.41 mm

Canon G1 diagonal

The diagonal of G1 sensor is not 1/1.8 or 0.56" (14.1 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 8.89 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 7.11 mm
h = 5.33 mm
Diagonal =  7.11² + 5.33²   = 8.89 mm


Surface area

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

W270 sensor area

Width = 7.53 mm
Height = 5.64 mm

Surface area = 7.53 × 5.64 = 42.47 mm²

G1 sensor area

Width = 7.11 mm
Height = 5.33 mm

Surface area = 7.11 × 5.33 = 37.90 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

W270 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 7.53 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4043 pixels
Pixel pitch =   7.53  × 1000  = 1.86 µm
4043

G1 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 7.11 mm
Sensor resolution width = 2031 pixels
Pixel pitch =   7.11  × 1000  = 3.5 µm
2031


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

W270 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.86 µm

Pixel area = 1.86² = 3.46 µm²

G1 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 3.5 µm

Pixel area = 3.5² = 12.25 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

W270 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4043 pixels
Sensor width = 0.753 cm

Pixel density = (4043 / 0.753)² / 1000000 = 28.83 MP/cm²

G1 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 2031 pixels
Sensor width = 0.711 cm

Pixel density = (2031 / 0.711)² / 1000000 = 8.16 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

W270 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 7.53 mm
Sensor height = 5.64 mm
Effective megapixels = 12.20
r = 7.53/5.64 = 1.34
X =  12.20 × 1000000  = 3017
1.34
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3017 × 1.34 = 4043
Resolution vertical: X = 3017

Sensor resolution = 4043 x 3017

G1 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 7.11 mm
Sensor height = 5.33 mm
Effective megapixels = 3.10
r = 7.11/5.33 = 1.33
X =  3.10 × 1000000  = 1527
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 1527 × 1.33 = 2031
Resolution vertical: X = 1527

Sensor resolution = 2031 x 1527


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


W270 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 9.41 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 4.6
9.41

G1 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 8.89 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 4.87
8.89

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).

W270 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 4.6
Aperture = f3.3 - f5.2

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3.3 - f5.2) × 4.6 = f15.2 - f23.9

G1 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 4.87
Aperture = f2.0 - f2.5

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.0 - f2.5) × 4.87 = f9.7 - f12.2

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