In digital photography, the image sensor format is the shape and size of the image sensor.
The image sensor format of a digital camera determines the angle of view of a particular lens when used with a particular camera. In particular, image sensors in digital SLR cameras tend to be smaller than the 24 mm × 36 mm image area of full-frame 35 mm cameras, and therefore lead to a narrower angle of view.
Lenses produced for 35 mm film cameras may mount well on the digital bodies, but the larger image circle of the 35 mm system lens allows unwanted light into the camera body, and the smaller size of the image sensor compared to 35 mm format results in cropping of the image compared to the results produced on the film camera. This latter effect is known as field-of-view crop; the format size ratio is known as the field of view crop factor, crop factor for short, or focal-length multiplier.
Read more about Image Sensor Format: Sensor Size and Depth of Field, Sensor Size, Noise and Dynamic Range, Sensor Size and Diffraction, Sensor Format and Lens Size, Sensor Size and Shading Effects, Bridging The Gap in Sensor Sizes
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... in producing medium-sized cameras with large sensors but without the moving mirror systems, and consequently the bulk, typical of DSLR camera bodies ... with at least two notable differences a sensor in most cases of the size found in digital SLRs, and interchangeable lenses ... was incorporated in at least one small-sensor camera as well (Pentax Q, announced in June 2011) ...
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