Zeiss ZX1 vs. Sony Alpha 7S

Comparison

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ZX1 image
vs
Alpha 7S image
Zeiss ZX1 Sony Alpha 7S
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Megapixels
37.40
12.20
Max. image resolution
7488 x 4992
4240 x 2832

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
36 x 24 mm
35.6 x 23.8 mm
Sensor resolution
7490 x 4993
4278 x 2852
Diagonal
43.27 mm
42.82 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
1.02 : 1
(ratio)
Zeiss ZX1 Sony Alpha 7S
Surface area:
864.00 mm² vs 847.28 mm²
Difference: 16.72 mm² (2%)
ZX1 sensor is slightly bigger than Alpha 7S sensor (only 2% difference).
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 4 year gap between Zeiss ZX1 (2018) and Sony Alpha 7S (2014). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
4.81 µm
8.32 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: 3.51 µm (73%)
Pixel pitch of Alpha 7S is approx. 73% higher than pixel pitch of ZX1.
Pixel area
23.14 µm²
69.22 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: 46.08 µm² (199%)
A pixel on Sony Alpha 7S sensor is approx. 199% bigger than a pixel on Zeiss ZX1.
Pixel density
4.33 MP/cm²
1.44 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: 2.89 µm (201%)
Zeiss ZX1 has approx. 201% higher pixel density than Sony Alpha 7S.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Zeiss ZX1
Sony Alpha 7S
Crop factor
1
1.01
Total megapixels
39.50
12.40
Effective megapixels
37.40
12.20
Optical zoom
Digital zoom
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 80-51200
Auto, 100 - 102,400 (expandable to 50 - 409,600)
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
30 cm
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
35 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
f2
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f2
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
1/8000 sec
1/8000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Electronic
Electronic
White balance presets
7
10
Screen size
4.3"
3"
Screen resolution
921,600 dots
921,600 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
3840x2160 (30p)
1920x1080 (60p/60i/50p/50i/30p/25p/24p)
Storage types
512GB internal
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo
USB
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Li-ion Battery Pack
Rechargeable battery pack NP-FW50
Weight
813 g
489 g
Dimensions
142 x 93 x 94 mm
126.9 x 94.4 x 48.2 mm
Year
2018
2014




Choose cameras to compare

vs

Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Zeiss ZX1 diagonal

w = 36.00 mm
h = 24.00 mm
Diagonal =  36.00² + 24.00²   = 43.27 mm

Sony Alpha 7S diagonal

w = 35.60 mm
h = 23.80 mm
Diagonal =  35.60² + 23.80²   = 42.82 mm


Surface area

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

ZX1 sensor area

Width = 36.00 mm
Height = 24.00 mm

Surface area = 36.00 × 24.00 = 864.00 mm²

Alpha 7S sensor area

Width = 35.60 mm
Height = 23.80 mm

Surface area = 35.60 × 23.80 = 847.28 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

ZX1 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 36.00 mm
Sensor resolution width = 7490 pixels
Pixel pitch =   36.00  × 1000  = 4.81 µm
7490

Alpha 7S pixel pitch

Sensor width = 35.60 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4278 pixels
Pixel pitch =   35.60  × 1000  = 8.32 µm
4278


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

ZX1 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.81 µm

Pixel area = 4.81² = 23.14 µm²

Alpha 7S pixel area

Pixel pitch = 8.32 µm

Pixel area = 8.32² = 69.22 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

ZX1 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 7490 pixels
Sensor width = 3.6 cm

Pixel density = (7490 / 3.6)² / 1000000 = 4.33 MP/cm²

Alpha 7S pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4278 pixels
Sensor width = 3.56 cm

Pixel density = (4278 / 3.56)² / 1000000 = 1.44 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

ZX1 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 36.00 mm
Sensor height = 24.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 37.40
r = 36.00/24.00 = 1.5
X =  37.40 × 1000000  = 4993
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4993 × 1.5 = 7490
Resolution vertical: X = 4993

Sensor resolution = 7490 x 4993

Alpha 7S sensor resolution

Sensor width = 35.60 mm
Sensor height = 23.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 12.20
r = 35.60/23.80 = 1.5
X =  12.20 × 1000000  = 2852
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 2852 × 1.5 = 4278
Resolution vertical: X = 2852

Sensor resolution = 4278 x 2852


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


ZX1 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 43.27 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1
43.27

Alpha 7S crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 42.82 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.01
42.82

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).

ZX1 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 1
Aperture = f2

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2) × 1 = f2

Alpha 7S 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 7S, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sony Alpha 7S is 1.01

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