Are crop cameras going to disappear?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by photohns, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Just wanted to hear some thoughts as the 5D is available used now for around 1100-1400. I have read opinions of
    the 5D having nicer image quality and nicer to use than a new 40d or 50d. Since the prices are not so far apart from
    crop and full frame, do you think crop cameras will start slowing down? Or, maybe crop cameras will always be
    around for wildlife work as you gain 1.6 with lenses? Do you think in 5 years, it will be mostly full frame?
  2. Crop sensor has an advantage in wildlife photography. In crop-sensor, focal-length is multiplied by 1.6, which means 400mm lens will be 620mm, and with 1.4x converter it will be 868mm. Imagine how much one can save on the glass.
    If crop-sensor bodies are going to give a comparable ISO performance and high frames per-second (I think 50D and D90 already does this to a good extent), then, IMHO, crop bodies will be the best choice for wildlife and sport photography.
  3. Not for a long time if ever. If you work with prime lenses, you will appreciate the lenses working the way they are
    supposed to work. Wides are truely wide and the 85/105 mid range lenses work for portraits the way they are
    supposed to work and the way I have come to expect.

    There is a really large quality difference my D200 crop and D700 full frame Nikons specially at higher iso.
    There is still a quality difference between a D300 crop and the D700 although both are almost the same MP.

    Unless the manufactures are willing to forsake the high price they get for full frame and the price to manufacture a full
    size chip comes down and they are will to pass the savings on, there will be small sensor cameras.

    I don`t consider them junk and if I was not ingrained from film camera lens expectations, I would be happy with small
  4. I doubt it - they're cheaper to make and you can use smaller lenses, both things facilitating mass sales. After all, not everyone wants to lug large lenses around, so the EF-S lenses and correspondingly smaller bodies are more attractive to the masses who don't really need full frame.... all IMHO of course.
  5. I doubt it. I would expect them to become the norm as sensors improve to the point where full frame is overkill for most neds. Probably full frame will remain as the top level digital camera. Instead I think as sensor technolgy mproves there might be a shift to still smaller sensors suchas are now found in compact cameras. But there is some way to go to improve noise levels before that happens.
  6. Other advantage over full-frame sensors is for macro photography: don't forget the 1.6x amplification factor
    which might bring the wow factor to your picture. Most of the final macro shots we see obtained from full-frame
    sensors resulted from cropping during post-processing.
  7. david_henderson


    First , most people don't want to buy a used camera. They want to buy a new one.

    Second, the price difference between entry level crop sensor and a full frame new camera is very significant. Far too great to be accepted by most people that want a basic dslr

    Third. The mainstream manufacturers need to make offers at the bottom/entry level as well as at the advanced level. If you were running Canon or Nikon, you would want to provide reasons why users should pay more for a higher specification. Full frame is an important link in that "upgrade" or "professional" chain.

    Four. The ability to compete successfully at the bottom of the market is arguably much more important than competing at the top. I can't see Canon or Nikon prejudicing that by increasing costs and prices more than they have to at the lower end of their ranges- especially when it would also mean major risk from downtrading.

    All speculation of course. Years in business taught me that second guessing is rarely right; that what companies do and what they should logically do are often very different, and that their motives are often different from those we assume. Still I think the assessment above is more likely to be predictive than the fact that for a number of applications and a minority of people, crop sensor has advantages that outweigh those from full frame.
  8. It really is much cheaper to manufacture smaller sensors as the fabrication plants use the same size silicon wafer, apparently about 20 FF sensors on a standard 8 inch wafer, vs. 200 APS-C sensors. Other issues relating to standard lithography stepping sizes also complicates matters and is a burden on FF area sensors rather than the smaller APS-C size. Here is a link to an interesting article on sensor manufacturing. link
    While sensor cost is not the major manufacturing expense in a camera body, there is till a differential not only in the manufacture, but also R&D to consider. Depending on improved techniques, increased yields, and acceptable profit margins, the price differential of a FF camera may decrease, but is unlikely to be competitive against APS-C, certainly on low or mid end models. Henry
  9. Short answer IMHO NEVER.
  10. Can we be absolutely certain that Canon will develop a new 16-18 MP (or whatever) crop sensor for their 60D or 70D rather than tweaking the 16 MP full-frame sensor that they already have? I am not so sure.
  11. Chinmaya Sn,

    The tele advantage is now a myth, resolution is limited by diffraction now and not pixel numbers, effectively there is no difference between cropping a FF image and using a crop image to start with.

    In response to Tim's original question, i very much doubt it, with the successful EF-S range of lenses Canon would be mad to disenfranchise all those lens owners. It is more likely that it will just fade away within ten years as FF gets cheaper.

    Take care, Scott.
  12. I think not. Crop is here to stay. From a product differentiation standpoint at least, it makes sense to retain two formats.
  13. it


    Not too soon. A lot of PJs like the high end ones, especially for sports.
  14. If it does go away it will not be for a while, I would certainly not worry about it.
  15. No. Canon have actually said that they don't see APS-C disappearing from the consumer market.

    "Consumer" will stay crop, "Pro" will go to full frame (if it's not there already). The two will co-exist.
  16. At least for now the 40D can do 6.5 fps while the 5D mkII is almost 4fps, that's 40% slower rate for the full frame. So for sports shooter the crop still have an advantage for now.
  17. How about a FF that also have 1.6 crop mode? I know the D3 has that function but the resolution of the its DX mode is only 6mpx so folks rarely use it because it's low. Imagine a 5D Mark III or 1Ds Mark IV with sensor in the range of 30-35 mpx and with 1.6 crop mode in 15-20 mpx. We will have the best of both worlds. Sorry I'm just day dreaming in class right now, please correct me.
  18. You can put a crop mode on a full frame camera, but what's the point? You can just crop the image in photoshop. In
    camera cropping saves you a bit of memory space, but that's all.With Canon you couldn't mount an EF-S lens
    anyway because even if you could physically mount it (which you can't), the mirror would hit the back of the lens at
    some focal length and focus positions.
  19. Scott,

    I think there is *still* a reach advantage, shooting telephotos with crop bodies, with the current dslr's available, and I think this advantage will continue. The link you posted is by no means conclusive.
  20. I think Canon (and probably Nikon as well) makes much more money from the sale of APS-C camera's than they do from the FFs. Besides as many have already pointed out its easier to fabricate the sensor for a cropped body ... at least from the marketing perspective I don't see any reason why the cropped bodies would vanish.
  21. Mendel,

    Not really, there is no real advantage to having lots more smaller pixels now that diffraction limits can be resolved, they have been able to be resolved for a good while in 1.6 crop cameras, now the ff ones can do it easily, the only advantage the crop cameras have is fps, interesting to see what the 1DS MkIV brings. I do shoot with 1.3 crop bodies but next year will upgrade to ff and will crop if needed.

    Take care, Scott.
  22. jbm


    Crop factor sensors will be around for a long time. There are scads of them being used, proprietary lenses (DX,
    AF-S, 4/3), and, as stated, they keep the initial investment required for an entry level DSLR reasonable.

    As far as resolution goes, they are unlikely to really improve much more by adding megapixels. Lenses can't
    really resolve things a whole lot better than 12MP packed onto a crop factor lens. For this reason, the 50D is
    not really a massive improvement in image quality over the 40D (looking at the lab tests done on and My hope is that the manufacturers start to pay attention to the image quality and leave
    the megapixel race behind. I would love to see increases in dynamic range and better tonal response and
    gradation in a 12MP camera. The ultimate would be a Canon X0D/Nikon DX00 that has 15 stops dynamic range
    producing true 16-bit files. That is where there is room to improve the crop factor sensors.


    (Happy owner of a D300 and formerly a Canon Digital Rebel XT guy...both amazing cameras)
  23. If you look at the issue like a photographer then yeah, crop sensors will fall off the face of the earth and it will be as if
    it never happened in the first place.

    If you look at it from the business standpoint then never, you sell more crop sensor bodies then full frame bodies, a
    lot more.

    From the novice point of view: Huh? What's a crop frame mean? Never mind. What's the cheapest dSLR that I can
    buy and start shooting in under an hour? ~~~ That would be a crop frame sensor camera.

    2 to 1 they stay.
  24. size is a major factor for many amateur enthusiasts who abhor the idea of carrying something large. the smaller bodies and wonderful depth of field advantages should ensure that there should be a market.
  25. Maybe eventually.. like in 10 years or something.
  26. >> "You can put a crop mode on a full frame camera, but what's the point?"

    In that case, you'll lose the high pixle density offered by regular crop sensor bodies. That's probably good for high ISO shooting and would allow less noise, but then it's not going to effectively replace crop sensor bodies for certain applications (such as wildlife).

    The decrease in price and increase in availability of FF DSLRs doesn't mean crop sensor DSLRs will disappear, instead it means that the crop sensor bodies will become even more widely available at even cheaper prices. Chances are the price of crop sensor bodies would decrease at increasingly greater rate than their FF counterparts.

    When the FF DSLR become available for under $1000, you can probably buy a crop sensor DSLR for $250. I wouldn't hesitate getting one of those; and I would in fact pick a APS-C sensor compact DSLR over something like the G10 any day. Afterall, the APS-C sized sensor is proportionally much larger than their compact counterparts than the way it is with FF and APS-C. The crop sensor concept is probably less perfect and ideal than FF, but it's more cost efficient, and it's more of a sweet spot concept. The fact that they are widely used by everyone from the casual consumer to pros just simply validate this point.
  27. What if manufactures with a smaller market share say like sigma /Fuji/Pentax etc made FF cameras and priced them below canon and Nikon to grab sales from 5d mk11 nikon700 etc his may also take sales from 50D D300etc which may mean that canon/nik produce cheaper FF so have a expanding FF market at the cost of the upper cropped cameras. but entry level will be cropped for a long time Dave
  28. My 20D is still here and showing no sign of even transparency. The answer is no.
  29. I agree with Scott that the "tele-advantage" of the 1.6x crop is slowly decreasing as models progress. Although there is still some left at present (looking fwd to Bob's upcoming tests of the 50D and 5D M2 to settle much of this question).
    But the size advantage (smaller size for the smaller format) wil not go away. In fact it is likely to increase as new body (and likely even lens) minituarization technology improves. Theoretically, and ergonomics aside for a moment, an APS-C camera & lens assembly should be a 1/4 of the weight (and volume) of an equivalent angle-of-view-coverage 35mm camera. This is simply because 1.6 ^ 3 = 4!
    I suspect that current APS-C are so large (almost the same size as ff ones) because of various legacy issues and ergonomics, mostly.
    My personal prediction (worth little more than 2c probably) is that APS-C will evolve towards minituarization and ease-of-use rather than pixel density.
  30. They'll always be there in point-and-shoots. The only reason they might stay around for DSLRs is for tiny D40 or smaller size cameras. As Bob pointed out, in all other respects they don't do anything for you that cropping a FF image won't do.
  31. I predict yes as it seems to be a favorable trend with most pros.
  32. Masaya Maeda, Director and Chief Executive of Canon's Image Communication Products Operations, has an answer to
    this question - October 3rd, 2008 -

    dpreview: "Are we likely to see EF-S - and APS-C cameras in general - moving to the entry level, with full frame
    moving towards the mid-range / EOS 40D/50D sector of the market? Is there any danger that EF-S will be pushed out
    of the market altogether long term?"

    Masaya Maeda: "We don't think so; EF-S is perhaps more appealing to the younger market and female market, who
    appreciate the light weight. So EF-S is not going to be pushed out. At this moment we don't believe the 50D
    sector of the market will be going to full frame either, and we will continue to provide EF-S cameras and lenses
    to that segment."
  33. Mr. Maeda doesn't "think so", therefore, he is not sure. Now, if Mr. Maeda isn't sure, who can be sure?
  34. [[You can put a crop mode on a full frame camera, but what's the point? You can just crop the image in photoshop. In camera cropping saves you a bit of memory space, but that's all]]

    Doesn't Nikon already do this?
  35. "As Bob pointed out, in all other respects they don't do anything for you that cropping a FF image won't do."- Does this mean that a photo from a 5D cropped will look the same as a 40D with a 400mm lens?
  36. Not soon but I think that the higher end will migrate to full frame. Both Sony and Nikon are following Canon's lead in this area. The simple reality appears to be that pixel size and lens resolution are becomming the limiting quality factors. While I have not even yet seen the 50D test results sugest that it does not have great images as it exceeds the resolution of most lenses - a full frame sensor has a much lower pixel density and does not result in the same issues as mega pixels increase. Despite this the APS-C sensors and smaller will continue as many casual users cannot perceive quality well and focus on price, size and megapixel count. How else can you justify the sales of 10+x ratio zooms on DSLRs.
  37. My wild guess is that 1.3X crop will disappear in a few years, and 1.6X crop will be around for a long time.
  38. The APS-C sensors are here to stay for a long time. However, at Photokina 2008, a Canon President (or CEO) stated that the cameras would continue to get more and more megapixels instead of fewer photosites that are larger and less noisy in order to give the consumers a chance to crop. To continue to increase the megapixel count tells me that eventually the APS-C sensors are going to hit a level where they are moving backwards in acceptable noise levels and they will move to a different crop factor where there is more room. Perhaps it is at 1.3x where the 1D Mark III is now, or perhaps it will be full-frame. Pretty soon we will all have Medium Format cameras in our back pockets: )

    In reference to the crop factor being a myth, it's not. The limitations of what pixels can resolve are going to be limited, but it's a precise formula that balances several important factors that go into the final resolving power of the system. The f-stop of the lens, the print/viewing size, the viewing distance, the pixel size, etc. And as of right now, none of the systems being produced are diffraction limited at f/5.6 as long as your print size is less than 100" and you are 3' from it. So, as long as you are using the crop factor, you are in fact, getting more zoom (for now).
  39. >> ""As Bob pointed out, in all other respects they don't do anything for you that cropping a FF image won't do."- Does this mean that a photo from a 5D cropped will look the same as a 40D with a 400mm lens?"

    It won't look the same, because the FF camera has lower pixel density. For example, Nikon's D3 and D700 both have their DX crop mode, which essentially use the center portion of their FF sensors as a 1.5x sensor. I think in that mode they have only 5 MP, while their top of the line crop body, the D300 has 12 in the same area. Canon's 50D has even more (15MP). This advantage is very obvious for the dedicated long tele shooter.
  40. The whole idea of crop factor is a transitional thing and is dependent on older users recalling their 35mm film frame size. As time goes by, more and more new users will buy into dSLR systems from scratch and will use them as what they are, without reference to an old film format. Factors like pixel count and pixel density will change with time, and of course a bigger sensor will always have some advantage, but this was always the case with film, but that didn't mean everyone aspired to medium format film cameras.
  41. From where I am, crop cameras are selling like 50 is to 1 compared to FF. That's only my estimate as I see nobody really care for FF. So, why would crop go when they are more "sellable"?
  42. My forecast: Two years ahead we'll have full frame DSLRs at about 1000$/1000 Euros, body only. I'm going to bookmark
    this page now as a pointer for the future.
  43. I have no idea whether APS-sensor cameras will disappear, but--as one who likes short, fast primes--crop cameras have no appeal for me. Whatever folks think we've gained in terms of smaller, lighter APS-DSLR's mostly goes out the window when you start thinking about the size and weight of quality wide-angle-to-normal lens options. The exception is, of course, Pentax (and perhaps Four Thirds), though I still think the lens choices are much, much better for full-frame.
  44. crop equals smaller segment of the image not a zoom the whole crop/zoom thing is a marketing myth that the camera makers like to take advantage of. The amount of space in the final image taken up by the subject may be greater on a crop sensor but pixel for pixel a full frame camera image would be croppable in photoshop to the same degree. The degree of effect of the 1.6x crop depends on how many pixels end up in that cropped segment in one vs the other.

    Weight and size wise the new crops have something going for them, what I'd like to see if larger than 35mm sensors that are in the current price ranges of full frames. The downside of this is the camera makers would have to revamp all their lens ranges and compatability goes out the window.
  45. Full frame chips have a number of advantages, including larger pixels for less noise. But to me, the biggest complaint
    about crop cameras is that I'm used to putting a specific lens on the camera and knowing what the picture will look
    like. Having to do the mental gymnastics to know that a 50 will "turn into" a 75 and a 200 into a 300, etc., is a pain.
    But I'm 48 years old and have been using full frame lenses on full frame cameras for almost 40 years. The younger
    people coming into photography today who have never shot with anything but a crop camera will have a different idea
    in their heads of what lens to use for a certain effect. To them, a 50 is aleady a short portrait length lens, and they
    dont' see anything unusual about having to go to 14mm to get wide angle coverage I used to get with a 21. They're
    just growing up with a separate set of numbers than us old geezers, so this issue for me isn't an issue for them. In
    the end, it's all arbitrary -- medium format shooters use a different set of focal lengths than 35mm shooters, as do
    those shooting large format. What is 645 medium format but a "crop" camera if you're used to 6x6?
  46. Take a Nikon D700 and a 300mm lens, cropped to the same size compared with D300. There ARE advantages for the D300. Your pre-cropped D300 image will have greater pixel density, and very importantly, your framing is done in the field, on the spot. Done and probably over with, not later on a computer. Retakes can then be done according to assessment. And if you later wish to do further cropping, there will again be be less pixel loss in the final result.

    Full frame, OTOH, has advantages for the wide-to-normal focal lengths. Just one example- you cannot obtain a full-frame 28mm field of view in an 18mm prime lens on an aps size camera that will be as small and inexpensive, and have as low distortion as the traditional high-quality 28mm f/2.8 prime on a full frame camera.

    My full frame needs are met very inexpensively- I just shoot some 35mm film!
  47. Yes crop cameras are going to disappear. Full frame cameras will start becoming cheaper and will have much better definition and will become available for advanced amateurs and pros for cheaper prices. APS sensors will also give fantastic results in the future but will probably lose their reflex mirrors and maybe even shutters, similar to the Micro 4/3 system. Then manufacturers will be able to make lenses and cameras much smaller for the APS format. They will launch specific lenses for these cameras and we will see distinct FF lenses and Micro APS lenses. Then there will be no more crops but two distinct formats. One for amateurs and people who like smaller cameras and another for Pros who do studio and landscape, etc. Mind you, the image quality of the APS formats, in the future will rival the best quality films of the old days.My 2 sense.
  48. Michael,

    Get over the pixel numbers and density, they don't mean much now. Any advantages the crop cameras have, size, weight, cost, fps etc do not relate to image quality just look at the links.

    Take care, Scott.
  49. I'm gonna predict YES.
    The 50D proves that APS sensors have reached the limits of lens resolution.
    If Canon can't improve image quality between the 450D and 50D,
    and apparently they have not, then what are they going to do for the 60D?
    Make it full-frame, is the obvious answer.

    Crop-frame DSLR combines the worst of both worlds:
    terribly high weight and bulk, with image quality not significantly better than P&S
    (except in low light) and in some cases, e.g. with the 18-55 kit lens versus G9, worse.

    If I'm still a member in 5 years and the trend isn't already evident,
    I'll eat my words. If the trend is obvious, I will gloat about all you suckers
    who bought EFS/DX/DA/DT/Di2/DC lenses.
  50. I really doubt that crop frame cameras will disappear from any market segment with the possible exception of wedding and portrait
    photographers who do not benefit a lot from a crop-factor camera, in fact sometimes wedding photographers needing a wide-angle view
    are hurt by using a crop-factor camera. From my experience working with newspapers, an incredibly high megapixel count really isn't
    necessary for either print or web publication. It is possible that high-end cameras will go to full-frame with a crop-factor option (ie. Nikon
    D3) in which case you would really have the best of both worlds. When you needed a wide-angle shot you would use the FF view, but
    when you needed more frames per second or need more reach on your telephoto you can use the crop-factor side of the camera. I
    agree with the above posters who have mentioned that continually pushing the mega-pixels ever higher isn't really a benefit. I, as
    someone who has shot high school girls basketball in gyms with the worst possible lighting, would much rather have a 6mp camera that
    could shoot almost noise free at 6400+ ISO rather than a camera with 50mp that cannot make acceptable noise images above ISO 400.
    With that being said I am looking forward to my new 5D Mark II whenever it finally ships (hopefully late November, early December), but
    I will continue to use my crop factor cameras when I need that extra reach. Just FYI, the 5DII will be used primarily for landscape work
    when I need/want big prints so noise quality isn't a major concern like it is on the 1DMKIII and 40-50D.
  51. I can foresee the APS-C camera body for many years, the major players have lens sets to accommodate those needs. I have read in this thread about the need for primes on FF bodies and a certain mindset of how a particular lens "looks" after years of shooting, makes sense, but many enthusiasts now use zooms, exclusively. The camera manufactures recognize the far greater popularity of this type of lens and most cropped-body optics are zooms.

    Not long ago, the APS-C format didn't have a lot of true wide-angle lenses to cover the bases, but that has changed.

    Both formats can co-exist, the market forces will control the destiny of APS-C.
  52. Eventually yes, they may disappear. As Mp counts reach there maximum for APS and FF 35mm chips, currently
    with the new FF 21-24 MP cameras prices will come down to a point in a year or two that one may be able to crop a
    FF 24MP image to 12 MP and still have good quality for most objectives. Tied in with lower noise, etc, the APS
    cameras will no longer have an advantage in pixel density if they max out at 12-15mp which they seem to
    have...maybe a leap in technology will eventually lead to APS 24mp cameras, but for the near future this seems to
    be not likely. Even if that occurs there are limits to the needs most photographers need beyond 20+ mp, as most are
    happy for now with 12mp. There are plenty of other factors that can be improved aside from resolution. Time will tell
    for sure, but I don't see much advantage of a 24mp APS camera over a FF model with the same mp count. Most of
    us do not need 39+mp in our daily lives, else we would shoot MF. Those that do, will seek out whatever products
    fullfill their needs. Personally I would like to carry lighter smaller equipment, but a 50D or D300 size camera is fine. A
    P&S with a good APS or FF chip would be nice for real, with a good zoom lens range would make a fine backup at
    that point. At some point as camera sales trail off, technology not able to continually improving in leaps and bounds,
    I am sure camera prices will decrease and eventually a few years down the road, a FF 24MP camera will be sold in
    the $500-1000 range just like 12mp models do today....sorry for the rant...
  53. Crop dSLRs will always be favorable to "pocket shooters" wanting to move up from P&S cameras. Two points: on-camera flash, and no shutter lag. So cheap, light weight, crop cameras I think will always have a home.
  54. When I D&P`d 1/2 frame film years back it was a PITA and never caught on much enlarging was not good, But 1/2 frame digital does work and folks are getting great prints from them, So no reason to cut em out, IMO XXXXd and XXXd will remain while XXd will move on to FF to join Xd, this gives a full market for manufacturers while keeping the majority happy. just hope this megapixel war is nearly over :) tho won`t be long and have to learn HD editing...
  55. I don't think there is a real danger for crop cameras to disappear. They are accessible for most amateurs and/or low budget professionals, they give an advantage in macro photography, as well as in portraits, so I think that their lifespan won't end soon. Besides, the produsction of crop sensors is much cheaper for the companies than that of full frame sensors. Otherwise the crop cameras should have been disappeared for long.
  56. OMG! This is absolutely Hilarious!
  57. nrb


    The decision to produce crop sensor cameras was commercial. Much will depend on the preferences of leading
    users as to the end of its commercial cycle. Even if these sensors are cheaper to build and sell trade has never
    turned its back to the percieved gains a new full frame euphoria could generate.
  58. when silicon wafers start costing as much as a chocolate wafer.

    maybe in next decade ?

    its ridiculous what Masaya Maeda said : "We don't think so; EF-S is perhaps more appealing to the younger market and female market, who appreciate the light weight. So EF-S is not going to be pushed out. At this moment we don't believe the 50D sector of the market will be going to full frame either, and we will continue to provide EF-S cameras and lenses to that segment."

    Didn't we have small and lightweight cameras in film era? the weight can be reduced.

    Canon engineers also said that In body stabilizations is impossible on FF camera. Well is it ? ask Sony engineers how to do it.

    I am positive, crop cameras will disapper but not as easily as those APS film cameras. But eventually it will when sensor get really cheap.
  59. I have several Canon "crop" digitals (10D, 30D and 40D), which all come in handy for the sports photography I shoot on a somewhat regular basis. But for wide angle and landscape shots I've had to use a 14mm lens, as the 17-40 L I own didn't cut it with the crop factor. Which makes the FF ones like the 5D appealing for that type of photography, but only if the price point goes down a bit (and perhaps the weight of it as well), as I'd really like to own both.

    Price-wise, the SLR crop factor cameras wil be more accssible to the shooting public to buy for a long time.

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