Light enters the camera through the lens and then hits the sensor, which translates the light into an electronic signal, which the image processor uses to actually create the image. The larger the sensor, the bigger the pixels, and the bigger the pixels, the more light they can collect (and the better your photos can be). A camera with a larger sensor will take better images than a camera with a smaller sensor even if they feature the same number of megapixels.
If you compare two cameras, both with the same number of megapixels but one with a larger sensor, you’ll get about the same number of pixels, but the pixels on the bigger sensor will be larger, and let in more light, which will yield images with a better dynamic range and less noise. If you’re concerned about the quality of your images, whether you want to share them online or make prints, the sensor will be more important than the number of megapixels, since the size of the sensor determines the size of the pixels.
2. Not considering the size of the sensor
When shopping for a camera, many people make the mistake of not considering the size of the sensor | Source: Thinkstock
Cameras use different types of sensors, including charged-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS), but thanks to advances in the camera industry, you shouldn’t need to pay much attention to choosing between the two. Instead, you should familiarize yourself with the different size standards that manufacturers use when creating camera sensors. In both DSLRs and mirrorless or compact system cameras (CSC), sensor sizes are full-frame, APS-C, APS-H, Four Thirds, and Micro Four Thirds.