Canon PowerShot ELPH 170 IS


Brand: Canon
Model: PowerShot ELPH 170 IS
Megapixels: 20.00
Sensor: 1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Price: check here »

Sensor info

Canon ELPH 170 IS comes with a 1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm) CCD sensor, which has a diagonal of 7.70 mm (0.3") and a surface area of 28.46 mm².
7.70 mm
Surface area
28.5 mm²
Pixel pitch
1.19 µm
Pixel area
1.42 µm²
Pixel density
70.11 MP/cm²
If you want to know about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
This is the actual size of the ELPH 170 IS sensor: ~6.16 x 4.62 mm
The sensor has a surface area of 28.5 mm². There are approx. 20,000,000 photosites (pixels) on this area. Pixel pitch, which is a measure of the distance between pixels, is 1.19 µm. Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next.

Pixel or photosite area is 1.42 µm². The larger the photosite, the more light it can capture and the more information can be recorded.

Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor. Canon ELPH 170 IS has a pixel density of 70.11 MP/cm².

These numbers are important in terms of assessing the overall quality of a digital camera. Generally, the bigger (and newer) the sensor, pixel pitch and photosite area, and the smaller the pixel density, the better the camera. If you want to see how ELPH 170 IS compares to other cameras, click here.


Brand: Canon
Model: PowerShot ELPH 170 IS
Also known as: IXUS 170, IXY 170 (Japan)
Effective megapixels: 20.00
Total megapixels: 20.50
Sensor size: 1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor type: CCD
Sensor resolution: 5158 x 3878
Max. image resolution: 5152 x 3864
Crop factor: 5.62
Optical zoom: 12x
Digital zoom: Yes
ISO: Auto, 100-1600
RAW support:
Manual focus:
Normal focus range: 5 cm
Macro focus range: 1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 25 - 300 mm
Aperture priority: No
Max aperture: f3.6 - f7.0
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.): f20.2 - f39.3
Depth of field: simulate →
Metering: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation: ±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority: No
Min. shutter speed: 15 sec
Max. shutter speed: 1/2000 sec
Built-in flash:
External flash:
Viewfinder: None
White balance presets: 5
Screen size: 2.7"
Screen resolution: 230,000 dots
Video capture:
Max. video resolution: 1280x720 (25p)
Storage types: SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Battery: Li-ion Battery NB-11L/ NB-11LH
Weight: 141 g
Dimensions: 99.6 x 57.6 x 22.6 mm
Year: 2015

Compare ELPH 170 IS with another camera



The diagonal of ELPH 170 IS sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 0.3" (7.7 mm). If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

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

Canon ELPH 170 IS diagonal:

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm

Surface area

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

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 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

Canon ELPH 170 IS pixel pitch:

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5158 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.19 µm

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

Canon ELPH 170 IS pixel area:

Pixel pitch = 1.19 µm

Pixel area = 1.19² = 1.42 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

You could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

Canon ELPH 170 IS pixel density:

Sensor resolution width = 5158 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (5158 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 70.11 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
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

Canon PowerShot ELPH 170 IS sensor resolution:

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.00
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  20.00 × 1000000  = 3878
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3878 × 1.33 = 5158
Resolution vertical: X = 3878

Sensor resolution = 5158 x 3878

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

Canon ELPH 170 IS crop factor:

Sensor diagonal = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62

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).

Canon PowerShot ELPH 170 IS equivalent aperture:

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3.6 - f7.0

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3.6 - f7.0) × 5.62 = f20.2 - f39.3

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