The Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a large port mixed with its claimed huge 1″ Sony image sensor. It was the biggest leap forward in the industry, a cornerstone of mobile photography. What I hope everyone is aware of is that the bigger a sensor is, the more light it can capture and the better the image. But of course you need the right lens and software, which Leica has provided for Xiaomi. But the question is, is the 1″ sensor a scam or not?
This is how the 1″ Sony IMX 989 sensor of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra phone was greeted at the phone's launch and in the posters that preceded it. Anyone who has even a little faith in the company will have swallowed that. But unfortunately, after taking the phone apart, it turns out that this is not entirely true.
The sensor looks like this in real life! It's not even similar to what Xiaomi has been showing off. Moreover, whoever thought it was 1″ in diameter or edge-to-edge, that's not true either. Jerry Rig ripped the phone apart the other day because he too suspected the size and he was right. A Sony IMX 989 does not have a diagonal of 1″, and none of its dimensions are smaller.
The left side of the paper sheet is each side of 1″, the right side of the paper is diameter, 16:9 ratio included. As you can clearly see in the picture, it is neither. However, there is a perfectly understandable explanation for this one, which Xiaomi has not communicated to fans.
Back then, the size of sensors was not determined by their physical size, but by the size of the circle that could be drawn around them. In the old cameras, vacuum tubes were still used and the size of the tube around the sensor was used. 1″ sensor means that the diameter of the tube is actually 1″, but the sensor is actually only 0.63″ in diameter. This is nothing new, it's just that no one has explained it or held any of the manufacturers accountable. This is a very old custom, almost 80 years old, and it is still used to determine the size of a sensor.
So no hoax, the sensor on previous phones is not then physically as you described. None! Although the designers, manufacturers and photographers knew this full well, mere mortals had no idea. But now you know, if you've made it this far.
In the full video, Jerry also shows the other camera modules, how the periscope works, the size of the sensors, etc. It's painful to watch such a fantastic phone being "trashed" by our favorite tester Youtuber.
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