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Sensor sizes

Camera sensor sizes are quoted in imperial units, although this does not directly give the physical dimensions of the sensor. They are strictly a 'format size' which is a legacy from the pre-digital era, when many cameras used vacuum tubes.

When selecting a lens, it is very important to ensure that it has been designed to be used with a sensor of the same size or larger than the one being specified. It is also possible to use a camera with a smaller sensor than the lens size. The maximum sensor size is always part of the description of a lens. Sometimes the maximum image circle diameter is also indicated. This is a circle with the sensor diagonal as diameter.