Sony Alpha a9 II vs Nikon D5 Comparison

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Alpha a9 II image
vs
D5 image
Sony Alpha a9 II Nikon D5
Megapixels
24.20
20.80
Image resolution
6000 x 4000
5568 x 3712

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
35.6 x 23.8 mm
35.8 x 23.9 mm
Sensor resolution
6026 x 4017
5586 x 3724
Diagonal
42.82 mm
43.04 mm
Compare sensor size:

Sensor Size

Actual size is set to screen
vs
1:1.01
(ratio)
Sony Alpha a9 II Nikon D5
Surface area:
847.28 mm² vs 855.62 mm²
Difference: 8.34 mm² (1%)
D5 sensor is slightly bigger than Alpha a9 II sensor (only 1% difference).
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 3 year gap between Sony Alpha a9 II (2019) and Nikon D5 (2016). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
5.91 µm
6.41 µm
Difference: 0.5 µm (8%)
Pixel pitch of D5 is ~8% higher than Alpha a9 II's.
Pixel area
34.93 µm²
41.09 µm²
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 6.16 µm² (18%)
Pixel on Nikon D5 sensor is ~18% bigger than Sony Alpha a9 II's.
Pixel density
2.87 MP/cm²
2.43 MP/cm²
Difference: 0.44 µm (18%)
Sony Alpha a9 II has ~18% higher pixel density than Nikon D5's.

Specs

Sony Alpha a9 II
Nikon D5
Crop factor
1.01
1.01
Megapixels
28.30
21.33
Optical zoom
 
 
Digital zoom
ISO range
Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)
Auto, 100-102400 (expands to 50-3280000)
RAW support
Manual focus
Focus range
n/a
Macro focus range
n/a
Focal length
n/a
Aperture priority
Max. aperture
n/a
Metering types
Multi, Center-weighted, Highlight-weighted, Average, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Highlight-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Shutter speed (min)
30s
30s
Shutter speed (max)
1/32000s
1/8000s
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder type
Electronic
Optical (tunnel)
White balance
9
12
Screen size
3"
3.2"
Screen resolution
1,440,000 dots
2,359,000 dots
Video available
Max. video resolution
3840x2160 (30p/​25p/​24p)
3840x2160 (30p/25p/24p)
Storage type
SD/SDHC/SDXC
CF1 / XQD
USB
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless support
GPS
Battery model
NP-FZ100
EN-EL18a
Battery type
lithium-ion
lithium-ion
Weight
678g
1415g
Body size
128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5 mm
160 x 158.5 x 92 mm
Released
2019
2016


Compare various cameras

vs

Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Sony Alpha a9 II diagonal

w = 35.60 mm
h = 23.80 mm
Diagonal =  35.60² + 23.80²   = 42.82 mm

Nikon D5 diagonal

w = 35.80 mm
h = 23.90 mm
Diagonal =  35.80² + 23.90²   = 43.04 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

Alpha a9 II sensor area

Width = 35.60 mm
Height = 23.80 mm

Surface area = 35.60 × 23.80 = 847.28 mm²

D5 sensor area

Width = 35.80 mm
Height = 23.90 mm

Surface area = 35.80 × 23.90 = 855.62 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

Alpha a9 II pixel pitch

Sensor width = 35.60 mm
Sensor resolution width = 6026 pixels
Pixel pitch =   35.60  × 1000  = 5.91 µm
6026

D5 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 35.80 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5586 pixels
Pixel pitch =   35.80  × 1000  = 6.41 µm
5586


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

Alpha a9 II pixel area

Pixel pitch = 5.91 µm

Pixel area = 5.91² = 34.93 µm²

D5 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 6.41 µm

Pixel area = 6.41² = 41.09 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels)² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000 / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

Alpha a9 II pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 6026 pixels
Sensor width = 3.56 cm

Pixel density = (6026 / 3.56)² / 1000000 = 2.87 MP/cm²

D5 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 5586 pixels
Sensor width = 3.58 cm

Pixel density = (5586 / 3.58)² / 1000000 = 2.43 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

Alpha a9 II sensor resolution

Sensor width = 35.60 mm
Sensor height = 23.80 mm
Effective megapixels = 24.20
r = 35.60/23.80 = 1.5
X =  24.20 × 1000000  = 4017
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4017 × 1.5 = 6026
Resolution vertical: X = 4017

Sensor resolution = 6026 x 4017

D5 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 35.80 mm
Sensor height = 23.90 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.80
r = 35.80/23.90 = 1.5
X =  20.80 × 1000000  = 3724
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3724 × 1.5 = 5586
Resolution vertical: X = 3724

Sensor resolution = 5586 x 3724


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


Alpha a9 II crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 42.82 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.01
42.82

D5 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 43.04 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1.01
43.04

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

Alpha a9 II equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Sony Alpha a9 II, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Sony Alpha a9 II is 1.01

D5 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D5, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Crop factor for Nikon D5 is 1.01

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