We hear it all the time: bigger imager means better low light performance. But is it really true? In this note we compare imager size to low light performance from our industry leading testing in order to settle this once and for all.
1/3" inch imagers are by far most common in our tests (and in IP cameras), followed by the marginally larger 1/2.8" and 1/2.7" sensors. Cameras with these imager sizes, similar resolution, and F stop ranged from best to worst, and everywhere in between, illustrating the point: better gain control, noise removal, and other image improvements resulting from increased processor performance in recent cameras far outweigh simple imager size.
Here is our test chart with highlights showing how the same hardware specs (such as imager size) delivered radically different low light performance: