full frame dof advantage/disadvantage

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by william_bray|1, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Hi I needed to get my head around the dof issue.
    As far as I'm aware a full frame sensor like the 5d mkii doesn't actually
    give less DOF because l a lenses focal length doesn't change, whether
    you use it on a FF or cropped camera. It's just that you have to
    physically move closer to the subject with a FF so as to have the same
    field of view as a cropped camera. And when you move closer you
    naturally get less DOF.
    So that being the case when you use a FF camera you have to increase
    the the aperture, thus losing more light, and increasing the threat of
    diffraction. I know that FF camera operate better at high iso but if more
    DOF is required eg, macro or landscapes doesn't it make this a mute
    point.
    Please could you let me know if I'm right about this assumption or I'm
    barking up the wrong tree.
    Thanks.
     
  2. I wrote a long explanation of DOF issues related to format size and digital. You can read it at:
    http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/digitaldof.html
    Don't forget that you can stop down more with full frame than with APS-C before diffraction becomes a serious limiting factor on sharpness. You get around the same degree of diffaction blurring at f22 on full frame that you do at f16 on APS-C, so you can stop down an extra stop. This assumes both images will be displayed (printed) at the same physical size (so the APS-C image has to me enlarged more than the full frame image).
    This calculator might also be of some use:
    http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/bokeh_background_blur.html
     
  3. Thanks very much for responding so soon
    I know that FF gives better iq and I'm 90%
    sure this is the way to go for me. I'm just
    trying to weigh up everything before I
    part with my cash.
    Thanks again.
     
  4. To me, this is a somewhat "technical feature" that may be of consideration, but not the primary one in the FF vs Crop decision process. I would consider what type of photography you plan to do and what range of lenses you will be using, to me that is more important overall than the potential "more/better" DOF.....
    What are your other criteria and/or reasoning towards this end?
     
  5. IMHO it depends on what you're using. For example, I have a 50mm F1.4 lens that I use for portraits on my APS-C sensor and shoot 90% of the time at F3.2 as I've found the subject distance typically I have to be at for good portraits with a 50mm, along with the crop factor, the aperture ends up being perfect at F3.2 and that lens is incredibly sharp at that aperture. If I shoot faster the DOF is too narrow I start to get things like ears and/or nose blurry. So in that situation an FF would probably not make much difference. The situations F1.4 would be good, I find my subject is too far away.
    When I put on my 70-200 F2.8 it's another story. I have step back too far with my APS-C that even at F2.8 I wish I could go faster... I'm shooting my 70-200 F2.8 at F2.8 about 85% of the time, and most often wishing I could zoom out even more... and it is because of this I want a FF.
    Will the DOF make a difference on my wide angles and 50mm... probably not in my case. My 70-200 F2.8, absolutely. The 70-200 F2.8 is such a portraiture lens, and when it can work on my APS-C the results are stunning but most of the time I have the 50mm on my APS-C instead because currently with my shooting style and such it's more useful.
     
  6. I think for the case you suggest, where you use the same lens and shoot from different distances to get the same framing, the crop sensor camera has the greater DOF if you shoot at the same aperture in both cases, but the FF camera has a slight advantage (slightly more DOF) if you shoot it at 1 stop smaller than in the crop sensor case. You can get often away with the smaller aperture because the larger format isn't as sensitive to diffraction blurring because the image need to be enlarged less to get it to the print.
    Of course this doesn't take into account the resolution of the FF sensor vs. the APS-C sensor , noise issues etc. It gets a bit complex if you factor in everything! You'd have to anyalyze the actual case (what lens, what shooting distance, what aperture etc.) to get the hard numbers. I think the bottom line is that the difference isn't huge and if you want a crop sensor camera for other reasons, go with crop. If you want a full frame camera for other reasons, go with FF.
     
  7. William said:
    Thanks very much for responding so soon I know that FF gives better iq and I'm 90% sure this is the way to go for me. I'm just trying to weigh up everything before I part with my cash. Thanks again.​
    Well, I own the 5D2 and think it's an excellent camera, but your blanket statement that FF "gives better IQ" is not correct in all circumstances. If, for example, you use a crop-sensor body like the 7D to take a base image and then you crop it further, the 7D may actually yield higher Detail than a 5D2 with the same final crop. The finer pixel-pitch of the 7D can yield superior detail that noticeable, particularly when cropped. The 5D2 will generally be more resistant to noise than the 7D, but that's only one element of IQ. For macro and nature photography, you may or may not prefer the 7D's better detail. I use my 7D for nature and images that I plan to crop or where I need speedy handling and I use my 5D2 for everything else.
    There is no absolute preferable camera. Your personal choice should be based on how you plan to use it, which you haven't really told us about in this thread.
     
  8. When I took photography seriously I about 8 years ago I bought into the canon system.
    One of the biggest reasons for this is that I always wanted a FF camera and NIKON at
    the time weren't making FF cameras. So I decided to by into a company that were
    already designing lenses to be used on FF digital cameras. So over the years I only
    bought EF lenses.
    I have a 28-135, sigma 105 macro, canon 24-70 , canon 70-200 2.8 is, even my wide
    angle lens a Tokina 12-24 one of the reasons I bought it was that its a EF fitting so I
    could use the long end of it on a FF camera.
    I want the iq benefits of a FF , but mainly so I can use my lenses the way they were
    ment to be.
    I'm always having to change between my 24-70 and my 12-24, my 70-200 doesn't get
    as much use as I would like because I'm too close to use it, the time I use it the most is
    for concerts, and the zoo, I don't do a lot of that but when I do I think how would I
    survive with a FF because I'll be losing the magnification.
    As I said when I started I wanted a FF camera, I thought crop cameras would fade out,
    but after years of using one I don't think they ever will because there a lot of benifits,
    except the build quality of the EFS lenses when you can be paying the same for a L lens
    ( another reason I stuck with EF lenses ) .
    But after years of using a crop camera I feel it's time for a change.
    Because I love all photography in a few years I'll properly buy a better crop camera.
    At the moment I'm trying to hold off from buying a 5d mkii and wait for the 5dmk iii, if
    its a lot better I'll get that or I'll get a mkii because the prices will drop.
    Thanks for all of your responses It's nice to hear from balanced people who appreciate
    the benefits of both FF and cropped cameras.
     
  9. william,
    For a very lengthy and detailed article on the issue, read this. Like Bob Atkins says, one, you can't take dof in isolation when making comparisons across sensor sizes, and two, both 1.6 and "FF" sensor sizes are capable of very good results, and bad ones. As an aside there are far more lens options that you can get for "FF" that you cannot get true equivalents for on crop cameras, if that is important to you then it might make a difference.
    But yes, you are barking up the wrong tree assessing the situation as you are. :)
     
  10. Well, you answered my question when you said you didn't use your 70-200mm much because you're usually too close. Clearly you're not cropping your crop-sensor images, so I think that you're likely to enjoy an IQ increase by going to a FF camear and using your excellent lenses.
    I love my 5D2. To anyone buying one, I'd encourage you to explore its high-ISO capacities to the fullest extent possible. for example, I'm pleased and amazed with my results at ISO 6400 shooting night street scenes. Good luck and enjoy. (Keep your crop-body for macros and the occasional sports shooting).
     
  11. I don't want to start a thread within a thread but I would like to ask
    David this as he owns a 7d and a 5d mkii. While I have been testing
    these two cameras I seemed to notice that the 7d produced slightly
    darker images about half a stop, I was using manual and exactly the
    same settings. At the time I was testing the 7d against my old 20d.
    Hope you don't mind me asking.
     
  12. No problem William.
    I shoot only in RAW and tend to "expose right" (to the right of the histogram) so I don't notice this. I have read others saying something similar to what you're saying, but only when they compared in-camera jpegs. Also, you should know that I do my RAW conversion with DxO's Optics Pro, which automatically compensates for differences in camera bodies.
     
  13. Now you mention it, the images were jpeg.
    Thanks
     
  14. Different explanations work for different people. Here's what I've written on the subject:
    http://www.graphic-fusion.com/fullframe.htm#dof
    Sections following this one might also be of interest. It might be clear, and it might not. YMMV. ;-)
     
  15. So that being the case when you use a FF camera you have to increase the the aperture, thus losing more light, and increasing the threat of diffraction.
    Diffraction does not impact any format more than another for a given FoV / DoF.
    Yes, you will have to stop down more on FF to match the FoV / DoF of a crop body. Yes, this will cost you light and mitigate the high ISO noise advantage of the FF sensor assuming, of course, that you are confined to said FoV / DoF. But most real life situations don't work out quite like this because people do not target a specific, measured DoF. They just want a generic "blurred" or "in focus" background, and there's some play there for most scenes.
    I know that FF camera operate better at high iso but if more DOF is required eg, macro or landscapes doesn't it make this a mute point.
    It's a moot point for the most part any way given said subject matter. Landscape and macro are generally shot from tripods at low to mid ISO.
    I know that FF gives better iq and I'm 90% sure this is the way to go for me. I'm just trying to weigh up everything before I part with my cash.
    FF only gives better IQ at higher ISOs against an APS-C sensor of comparable resolution / technology level, with the exception of dynamic range which is roughly 1 stop greater for FF in the current Canon lineup.
    All that said, your lens collection is arranged around FF. But I would honestly wait to see what Canon releases over the next 6 months. There has to be a 5D mkIII some where in their pipeline.
     
  16. Unfortunately for someone who wants to understand all this prior to making a buying decision, you likely need to do some real shooting with different size formats, up to medium format and beyond, in order to see for yourself how DOF considerations in practice are going to be affected by the "size of the box." All of the theory in the world is not likely to emblazon itself on your memory quite like the simple practical difficulty of getting the proper DOF in actual photography. There is no universal solution, but in my opinion full-frame is more versatile--but there are important exceptions.
    After you see what actually tends to happen, you can go back and re-examine your theories to see if they explain the difficulties. (You will get empirical feedback that will challenge your present assumptions, but that is alright. You will likely be pleasantly surprised at what happens with full frame cameras. If not, picking up a refurbished crop sensor camera is not going to set you back very much. Having both will turn out to be advantageous over the long haul, even if it seems outrageously expensive at the outset--fortunately, not everything has to be bought at the outset, if ever.)
    I realize that the above does not really address the question in your case, since you want to be able to understand the physics of it before you make the purchase. Rest assured that there are good theoretical reasons why larger formats tend to give shallower depth of field, whether it currently makes sense or not.
    I personally like the ease of getting shallow DOF with full frame, and, for my purposes, having to stop down to get a longer DOF (when I do need it) does not typically cause diffraction problems.
    --Lannie
     
  17. In my experience, full-frame cameras have the advantage that for a given level of image quality, if you do not require the highest resolution and print at more modest sizes (i.e. A4/letter) you have the option of choosing almost any aperture and get a good result (with the exception of f/22 and smaller). You will still get better quality at or near the optimum aperture of the lens but for acceptable quality the range of apertures is broad. With small-sensor cameras you really have to hit the best aperture of the lens to get adequate detail in the smaller frame (assuming your final print is of the same size). You also have to limit your ISO down, and finally any focusing errors will be magnified.
    For your application though, tripod based, base ISO macro and landscape photography, it is easier to achieve these optimal settings (ISO 100, f/5.6, live view manual focus) and get a good result. However, on the other hand many people like to use wide angle for landscape photography and in my experience, wide angles perform better on full frame cameras (my experience is with Nikon). On the other hand while a crop camera allows you to record finer details at a given working distance, again you need to stop down many macro lenses to get good results with crop cameras whereas a decent quality can be achieved wide open with many lenses on full frame.
    Still regarding the depth of field thing ... if you always want the most depth of field you can get, then crop cameras work well. But if you want the option of blowing out your background (sometimes to get a really clean background e.g. at 1:2 you may need to use a wide aperture) and I find the quality is retained better if you use a full-frame camera at wide aperture. I think for macro a crop camera is a very useful asset to have in your bag, but it would never be my primary camera.
     
  18. Ilkka, pixel-pitch is more important the sensor size in determining the limit of detail. Because of this, some crop-sensor cameras with more dense pixels can actually resolve more detail than their FF brothers, particularly if a crop-sensor image is further cropped in PP. The 7D vs. the 5D2 is such a case. Remember, detail and noise are just two measures of IQ, but you need to understand where one might be an advantage for your intended uses.
    I suspect that the next generation of FF cameras will have even denser pixels and will match the detail of the best crop-sensor bodies, but then the crop-sensors will get denser and then the FF sensors will get denser and... you get the idea.
     
  19. Still regarding the depth of field thing ... if you always want the most depth of field you can get, then crop cameras work well.​
    ... except that you can use an extra stop smaller an aperture on a FF camera without diffraction being a problem, so really the upper usable limit of depth of field is about the same, regardless of formats. FF does give you an extra stop on the shallow DoF end.
     
  20. "Because of this, some crop-sensor cameras with more dense pixels can actually resolve more detail than their FF brothers, particularly if a crop-sensor image is further cropped in PP. The 7D vs. the 5D2 is such a case."
    I keep seeing this written and it makes no real world image sense, as a technical exercise it does, but in actual use it doesn't. If you use the correct lens to frame your subject, ie a 70-200, at 100 on the crop camera and at 160 on the ff camera, how does 5,184 pixels along the long side (7D) translate to better resolution than 5,616 pixels along the long side (5D MkII)? It doesn't.
    This is just yet another example of people reading tests that just don't translate to real world use. Yes the 7D has more outright lpmm resolution than the 5D MkII, but it needs to it captures images considerably smaller, its system resolution is still lower than the 5D MkII. In correctly framed real world images where neither is cropped the 5D MkII system resolution, what you actually get on paper, is higher.
    So frame your landscape image with a 10mm lens on the 7D, and a 16mm lens on the 5D MkII, the 7D puts 18 million pixels on the subject, the 5D MkII puts 21 million pixels on the subject.
    If you do not have a lens long enough then a crop camera with higher pixel density might, with good technique, realise a higher resolution than a cropped ff image, all the rest of the time it will not.
    It is like asking how far a car can go on a tankful of gas and being told it does 30mpg, without knowing how big the fuel tank is that figure is irrelevant, the 7D does 35mpg but has a 10 gallon tank (350 miles per tank), the 5D MkII does 30mpg but has a 15 gallon tank (450 miles per tank).
     
  21. Scott, re-read what you quoted from me. I'm speaking of cropping a crop-sensor image. So, in your example, I'd be shooting out at 200mm on the 70-200mm and then doing a 20% to 50% crop to get the composition that I want. This is quite common with birds and wildlife photography. I use my 500mm with a 1.4x TC on my crop-sensor 7D and still end up cropping many of those images further. I'm not talking about landscape vs. landscape, where you use the whole image.
    Anyway, if you take the same image on FF and crop it all the way down to about 30% to try to get the subject the same size on a print as the 7D image, the 7D will exhibit more detail. It'll also be more subject to noise, which is an issue to consider when deciding on the best compromise for your subjects.
    Here's a 209% crop of a 7D image taken with a 500mm lens, with no extra sharpening:
    [​IMG]
     
  22. David,
    I did read your quote, the key word is "particularly", my point is that cropping to match is the only situation where a crop camera puts more pixels on the subject.
    " pixel-pitch is more important [than] the sensor size in determining the limit of detail"
    Taken in isolation pixel pitch is meaningless. That is the main issue I was debunking. It is not true. The number of pixels on the subject and the quality of those pixels and your technique all contribute to, or destroy, your resolution.
     
  23. If you agree with me, why are you arguing about pixel-pitch? Pixel-pitch DOES matter when you crop a crop-sensor and then try to get same size subject from a FF camera with the same reach-limited lens. The number of pixels AND the size of the pixels both matter. Finer pixels can render finer detail, assuming competent technique.
    I think we agree, but you seem threatened that I think there's a circumstance where a crop-sensor might be superior to a FF sensor for a particular task. There's a reason that I own and use both a 7D and a 5D MkII.
     
  24. I'm sure I'll get a FF, for wildlife I find 200mm to short on a crop
    camera, and as David said he uses a 500mm lens and a 1.4 converter,
    I can't see me getting a 500mm lens.
    A few things crossed my mind about FF and cropped.
    1, if I got a 1.4 converter this would make up for what I'll be missing
    from losing the reach of a cropped, I know I could use it on the crop
    camera and get even more reach but it should help.
    2, FF cameras are better at high iso and there's a lot of talk that you
    won't see the different between cropped and FF at low iso . But
    wouldn't you have more shadow detail at low iso on a FF then a crop
    camera.
    3, Even if you crop a 5d mkii to match a 7d, you will get less pixels but
    the remaining pixels will be physical larger then the ones on the 7d
    and thus be able to gather more information. This must count for
    something.
    4, after reading, I think it was Sarah's article, am I right in assuming
    that the best EFS lenses are optical made better then EF lenses so they
    can cope with the extra magnification a cropped camera would put on
    it and any imperfections would be more obvious.
    What is pixel pitch I've never heard that term before.
     
  25. Well, you answered my question when you said you didn't use your 70-200mm much because you're usually too close. Clearly you're not cropping your crop-sensor images, so I think that you're likely to enjoy an IQ increase by going to a FF camear and using your excellent lenses​
    David I'd like to know how you take pictures of people indoors in rooms that are typically 12 x 12 using a 70-200 F2.8 on a crop factor and tell us we need IQ improvement it's not the lens that's limiting. I sense you're getting confused between IQ and physics. Go take portraits of someone using your 500mm in a typical bathroom (with door shut) and come back and tell us it's the IQ of the person not physics... Clearly :)
    I find a 70-200 F2.8 on a crop factor is very limiting, was never that way when I used it on my film camera. Once I got a crop factor, that's the first time I started using a 50mm for portraits & candids instead of the 70-200 and I hated to give up the zoom and stabilization... I can't back up enough and felt silly telling people to stand on the other side of the room. I still use it outside, in churches, but I'm going to get an FF so it will be like when I used it with film as I do enjoy zoom and stabilization over a fixed prime.
     
  26. Matt, you quoted me saying that I thought he'd enjoy the benefits of going to a FF camera. I never suggested using a 70-200mm lens in a 12x12 room on a crop sensor camera.
     
  27. I'm arguing about pixel pitch because you said
    " pixel-pitch is more important [than] the sensor size in determining the limit of detail"
    It is not. A 5D MkII has a lower pixel pitch than a 7D but has a higher system resolution. The one instance where the 7D can display that potential theoretical resolution advantage is when you crop the 5D MkII to match. You tried to make a broad statement but it was wrong.
    Here is a 7D and a 1Ds MkIII comparison. This set up demonstrates your scenario and totally favours the 7D, It is optimal conditions and technique, a situation hardly ever realisable in real world images. I forget the crop ratios, but they are both very well over 100%. The only processing was to resample the FF capture to match the crop capture pixel for pixel. Like I said, this is the only situation where the extra pixel density of the 7D potentially shows an advantage. As the crops show, it does, but not significantly even in totally optimal conditions.
    Both images were shot on a very sturdy tripod with a 300mm f2.8 at f5.6 and iso 200, I used remote flash and mirror lock up and 10x live view manual focus. This all adds greatly to the sharpness and resolution of both images but is a totally impractical way of working outside the studio.
    00ZMK8-400067584.jpg
     
  28. William, pixel-pitch is really the measure of the density of the pixels on the sensor. Smaller pixels, tightly packed are denser and have the potential to yield more detail. As for whether this is going to matter to you in your own shooting, I think it's unlikely, based on what you've said so far.
    How likely are you to want a frame filling hawk's head (like above) from 20-yards? I'm thinking that's pretty unlikely for you. If you do shoot some wildlife you'll put a 1.4x TC on your 70-200mm and call it good, or maybe step up to a 2x TC. This set up on a FF body will cover lots of territory. If the bug bit you, then you could step up to the 300/2.8 plus a TC and/or buy the latest and greatest crop-sensor body at that point. (When lenses get this long, bodies start looking cheap).
    DOF differences and image detail differences are all pretty small for your planned shooting. There's no "perfect" camera in every respect, but I think you'll be very happy with a FF camera. With the right lenses you'll also be happy with a crop-sensor body. Don't worry about the differences in IQ of EF-S lenses and EF lenses, because those are very, very small and Canon's very best lenses, generally but not always, are designed for EF mounts. Mine are all EF L-series and I have no qualms at all about putting them on my crop-sensor body.
     
  29. 2, FF cameras are better at high iso and there's a lot of talk that you won't see the different between cropped and FF at low iso . But wouldn't you have more shadow detail at low iso on a FF then a crop camera.
    You will get more DR by about a stop, as noted.
    3, Even if you crop a 5d mkii to match a 7d, you will get less pixels but the remaining pixels will be physical larger then the ones on the 7d and thus be able to gather more information. This must count for something.
    There's no mystical "information" there. What the large pixels allow for is greater DR.
    4, after reading, I think it was Sarah's article, am I right in assuming that the best EFS lenses are optical made better then EF lenses so they can cope with the extra magnification a cropped camera would put on it and any imperfections would be more obvious.
    I don't think that's a fair general conclusion. It is easier to design and manufacture a lens with smaller pieces of glass. So there are examples of crop lenses which are better optically for a given price point.
     
  30. Scott, great comparison of a $7,000 camera to an $1,800 camera. The 7D stands up amazingly well in this little contrived test. In the real world, I often shoot images like the 209% hawk crop further up this thread. That was hand-held, mirror slapping, in-the-field shooting that still shows great detail to rival your little "test."
    Also everyone should realize that unadjusted comparisons are meaningless these days, since that's not how we use our digital equipment. Most of us seeking the best that our equipment has to offer use RAW conversion and PP software that adjusts for the differences in each of our camera bodies and lenses. Difference are getting smaller and smaller.
     
  31. In my experience, full-frame cameras have the advantage that for a given level of image quality, if you do not require the highest resolution and print at more modest sizes (i.e. A4/letter) you have the option of choosing almost any aperture and get a good result (with the exception of f/22 and smaller). You will still get better quality at or near the optimum aperture of the lens but for acceptable quality the range of apertures is broad. With small-sensor cameras you really have to hit the best aperture of the lens to get adequate detail in the smaller frame (assuming your final print is of the same size). You also have to limit your ISO down, and finally any focusing errors will be magnified.
    I've never even heard these claims before. They are completely off the wall.
    It's true that you don't want to stop down too far due to diffraction, and that you don't need to due to greater DoF for a given aperture. But with good glass anything from wide open to f/11 is usable for any print size within the range of the sensor / subject matter. I will use f/16 on occasion though I consider this less than optimal and in need of additional sharpening in post. Even then you start to lose fine detail in larger prints at f/16, but for letter sized? Fire away.
    I use fast primes all the time, including a Sigma 50 f/1.4, Canon 85 f/1.8, and Canon 300 f/4L IS, and wide open looks great on all of them. My Tokina 11-16 isn't a prime, but f/2.8 works great. I'm not sure I agree with the theory that focusing is more critical on crop (greater DoF), but regardless in practice I find no difference between the two formats. Fast lenses require some care to put the focus where you want, otherwise it's just not that big of a deal.
    If we're talking letter size, well...from a 7D I can make letter sized ISO 3200 prints which have tighter / finer grain than slow speed 35mm portrait film prints. That's being critical. Most people would look at prints from either and say they see no noise. If we're talking letter size then ISO 6400 is usable, f/16 is fine, and f/22 can probably be put to use as well. Letter sized just isn't very demanding.
    To put some perspective on the "everything must be optimum for crop" claim...
    * Using my 300 f/4L IS I've made multiple 16x20 prints of surfers from cropped, 8-10 MP sections of 7D files shot wide open. They are tack sharp, still retain plenty of fine detail for the subject matter, and are clean. Incidentally, this demonstrates David's claim. I'm focal length limited during these shoots and if I were using 21 MP FF to achieve the same magnification I would be cropped down to 3-4 MP, insufficient for the desired print size.
    * I've also made multiple 16x20 portrait / candid prints from 7D files made using my Sigma 50 f/1.4 and Canon 85 f/1.8, at or near wide open. Lots of background blur but eyes, skin, and hair in the plane of focus are tack sharp.
    It's amazing to me the differences people claim for these two formats. You would think the discussion was small vs. medium format. The difference in sensor size is small which is why both formats use the same bodies and, for the most part, same lenses. Differences are also going to be small.
     
  32. I wasn't expecting a lot of the responses I got on this thread. I
    remember talking to people about comparing cropped to FF and it
    seemed blasphemous to them , it seems It's not that cut and dry
    anymore. Ideally I'd like to have a FF and a good cropped but I can't
    stretch to that now.
    I came across this
    http://rolandlim.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/canon-eos-7d-review/
    It shows the 5d mkii to deliver significant sharper results how can this
    be if as some have said that the difference is small and you only get 1
    stop of noise extra and a little bit of DR.
    Thinking about it I always hear people trying to decide about going FF
    I've never heard anyone trying to decide about going FF to cropped. I
    spoke to a few shops today all said as soon as they got a 5dmkii in it
    sold. The 5dmkii always out sold the 7d.
    I didn't wasn't to start a 5d vs 7d thread, that's why I tried to keep
    referring to FF or cropped.
    But as I said some of the responses surprised me and even made me
    rethink going FF , but I think I'll stick with FF ........for now.
    Thanks to everyone.
     
  33. I think you'll be very happy with a FF, William.
     
  34. I came across this http://rolandlim.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/canon-eos-7d-review/ It shows the 5d mkii to deliver significant sharper results how can this be if as some have said that the difference is small and you only get 1 stop of noise extra and a little bit of DR.
    One can only speculate as to why he got the results he did. They are not consistent with professional reviews from other sites. There are a couple blog reviews out there that show the expected difference when using identical sharpening, and the answer is to simply up the sharpening a bit on the 7D file. But at this site the difference appears greater. No idea why.
    There was one other review being passed around a while back like this one where the 7D files were sub par. I forget the site but I remember his files were worse and his review was heavily criticized. What strikes me as odd is why these reviewers don't think to isolate the problem. They will spend hours testing equipment but not 5 minutes checking reviews from their peers? If everyone else is getting better results then you are, it's not the camera, or at least not the camera model. (Individual bodies might need warranty work.)
    Thinking about it I always hear people trying to decide about going FF I've never heard anyone trying to decide about going FF to cropped.
    Of course not. The 7D offers superior AF and features at a $900 discount. The 60D offers comparable AF, still better features, at a $1,500 discount. Crop has always been cheaper and is therefore the 'default' position.
     
  35. So if both cameras were priced the same and both had the same features , do you
    think anyone would buy the 7d for the extra reach for telephoto lenses instead of the
    FF sensor?
    Because the impression I seemed to be getting from some comments was if that was
    the case the difference in IQ is so small they would buy the 7d .
    Are you saying that the 5d mkii images look better then they should or are you saying
    the 7d images look look worse then they should in the Roland lim comparison?
     
  36. Thinking about it I always hear people trying to decide about going FF I've never heard anyone trying to decide about going FF to cropped.​
    Because people too easily buy into the "FF is better in every way"/"serious photographers only use FF" propaganda.
    As has been unequivocally demonstrated here and on other forums time and time again, the IQ differences between FF and the best current crop cameras is so trivial as to be irrelevant (certainly nobody has succeeded in showing the opposite position to be true - we're still waiting to see proof of FF's undenbiable "superiority") and can easily be eliminated, as Daniel suggests, simply by pushing the sharpening slider up a notch, or adding a click of NR.
    DOF? Grab your crop camera, and take a couple of steps closer to the subject...
     
  37. >>> Thinking about it I always hear people trying to decide about going FF I've never heard anyone trying
    to decide about going FF to cropped.

    Probably because once you experience the superior image quality, larger dynamic range, more robust
    files, etc, it's too tough going back. Some people need the extra performance/quality. Others don't. That's why canon
    and nikon offer performance options tiered to price.

    Kind of like comparing the 35/1.4 and the 35/2. I'd never go back, despite the $1,000 discount for not
    having that extra stop and quality, even putting up with the extra weight. A couple of friends have
    upgraded from the f/2 to the f/1.4. After using the f/1.4, even though the f/2 is a great lens, they're never going back either.
     
  38. William asked:
    So if both cameras were priced the same and both had the same features , do you think anyone would buy the 7d for the extra reach for telephoto lenses instead of the FF sensor? Because the impression I seemed to be getting from some comments was if that was the case the difference in IQ is so small they would buy the 7d . Are you saying that the 5d mkii images look better then they should or are you saying the 7d images look look worse then they should in the Roland lim comparison?
    I owned the 5D2 before I bought my 7D. At first I bought the 7D for it's 8-fps burst rate and more flexible AF programs. Those are still the main reasons, but in my case, using my RAW conversion software (DxO Optics Pro) I also find that I get finer detail in my cropped images. I use the 5D2 for scenics, portraits, night street photography, archetecture and everything other than wildlife and outdoor sports.
    Despite my great success with the 7D, I wouldn't recommend it to a 5D2 owner unless they're going to be shooting birds, wildlife and outdoor sports.
    The people that say things like "it's too tough going back" (to a crop sensor) or "FF is better in every way" probably just haven't stressed their FF in the same ways that I have. Also, I compare my crop-sensor results to my prior film results and I'm have worlds more success at much less cost.
     
  39. >>> The people that say things like "it's too tough going back" (to a crop sensor) or "FF is better in every
    way" probably just haven't stressed their FF in the same ways that I have.


    Now that's funny! Especially not knowing who these people are, what they shoot, or even what their
    requirements are...
     
  40. After reading all of these answers and replies -- most of them pretty good!
    I come to my own conclusions about the real advantages of FF over APS-C sensor after reading this and being an EOS DSLR aficionado since 2003:
    1. Increase in DR
    2. Lower noise at ISO 800+ (my baseline for crop is the 7D)
    3. Wide angle is really WIDE angle! (I use only EF lenses)
    4. Larger viewfinder
    Nothing else. To me the bokeh issue is trivial to non-existent.
     
  41. Brad, you forget that I own a FF. There are times to use FF and times to use crop-sensor. Use the best tool for the job. FF and crop-sensor will certainly change over time and there is likely to be a FF that works as well as my 7D for the jobs where I use it, but, for now, the 5D2 is NOT better than the 7D in every way. If that were true, I'd use my 5D2 for everything, but I don't, even though they sit side by side and it's just as easy for me to pick up one as the other.
     
  42. >>> Brad, you forget that I own a FF.

    No, I didn't forget as it was mentioned up above. Perhaps you forgot I owned a 7D. And other crop-body
    cameras.

    In any event, I was commenting on your sweeping statement, that only *you* (and not others you don't
    even know) have stressed your equipment, suggesting that you somehow know *their* needs and
    requirements. And *they* just don't know any better.

    I'm glad your 7D meets *your* needs. It didn't with respect to mine. And many other photographers
    whose requirements are different and/or more demanding.
     
  43. Brad, I'm sorry to read that your needs are so lofty that one of the best cameras in the world can't satisfy them. It must be tough at the top of your mountain.
     
  44. The 7D is a superb camera, I don't know how many times I have said that. I have never said it can't take great pictures handheld at high iso that print superbly. Though the bird picture has had so much noise reduction there is zero detail.
    However, as a reality check to those who don't believe how much 1 stop is worth to some people, actually quite a lot of people.
    • EF 200 f2.8L $ 789
    • EF 200 f2 L IS $ 5,699 =$4,910 more for one stop and IS.
    • EF 300 f4 L IS $ 1,376
    • EF 300 f2.8 L IS II $ 7,299 =$5,923 more for one stop difference.
    • EF 400 f4 DO IS $ 6,145
    • EF 400 f2.8 L IS II $11,499 =$5,354 more for one stop difference.
    If you are in that group you can often see a difference, sometimes 67% of the time, though just once might be enough. :)
     
  45. >>> Brad, I'm sorry to read that your needs are so lofty that one of the best cameras in the world can't
    satisfy them. It must be tough at the top of your mountain.

    Huh? Lofty? Cheap shot. And funny. I was commenting on *your* statement saying no one else stresses
    their cameras like you do.

    With respect to myself, I said the 7D did not meet my requirements. And the 5DII does, Ditto with many
    other photographers. Pretty simple. Ascribing anything more into that is bs...
     
  46. >>> Though the bird picture has had so much noise reduction there is zero detail.

    I myself was wondering why that was put out as an exemplar of great performance. Seems nothing is sharp...
     
  47. So if both cameras were priced the same and both had the same features , do you think anyone would buy the 7d for the extra reach for telephoto lenses instead of the FF sensor?
    I would. However, in practice this only matters if you're cropping in quite a bit beyond the 1.6x crop of APS-C and making large prints.
    Are you saying that the 5d mkii images look better then they should or are you saying the 7d images look look worse then they should in the Roland lim comparison?
    The 7D images are softer then I would expect them to be.
     
  48. In any event, I was commenting on your sweeping statement, that only *you* (and not others you don't even know) have stressed your equipment, suggesting that you somehow know *their* needs and requirements. And *they* just don't know any better.
    LOL! Didn't you, just a couple posts earlier, state: Some people need the extra performance/quality. Others don't. Having played the snowflake card I don't think you're in any position to judge David's comments.
     
  49. >>> LOL! Didn't you, just a couple posts earlier, state: Some people need the extra performance/quality.
    Others don't. Having played the snowflake card I don't think you're in any position to judge David's
    comments.


    Is it your position then, that everybody should have the same requirements and therefore your camera
    choice is right for all?

    And that only David has stressed his gear to sufficient levels, beyond anyone else, supporting that same conclusion.
     
  50. I gave this some more thought today the 5dmkii has older technology,
    we're not just comparing FF vs cropped, you're also comparing 2 years old tech against the latest Canon has to offer.For me its not a case of shall I
    get FF I think now is not the time with the 5dmkii getting on a bit
    especially when you're talking about parting with a lot of money.
     
  51. Hi I needed to get my head around the dof issue. As far as I'm aware a full frame sensor like the 5d mkii doesn't actually give less DOF because l a lenses focal length doesn't change, whether you use it on a FF or cropped camera. It's just that you have to physically move closer to the subject with a FF so as to have the same field of view as a cropped camera. And when you move closer you naturally get less DOF. So that being the case when you use a FF camera you have to increase the the aperture, thus losing more light, and increasing the threat of diffraction. I know that FF camera operate better at high iso but if more DOF is required eg, macro or landscapes doesn't it make this a mute point. Please could you let me know if I'm right about this assumption or I'm barking up the wrong tree. Thanks.​
    You forget that full frame cameras have on average two stops iso advantage over apsc. When needing a smaller aperture, you stop down the lens and you increase iso.
    However, when you need shallow dof, you cannot open up the aperture past its maximum on small sensor. With shallow dof, full frame has almost two stops advantage over cropped. For deep dof it's a toss up between full and cropped frame.
    So you're never worse off with full frame, at least not for dof.
    PS: there's no such thing as "increasing" an aperture. Increasing would actually mean "to open up".
     
  52. A simple way to think about it is that you can get any DOF value from a full frame body that you can get from a cropped sensor body by using a smaller aperture at the expense of higher ISO or longer exposure.
    You'll gave a greater range of control over DOF with full frame since you can generally stop down roughly two stops more on the FF body before diffraction blur might become an issue. For example, if you feel that f/8 is about as far as you would stop down on crop, you'll get roughly the same level of diffraction blur (expressed as a percent of frame width) at f/16 on FF. Thus you get two additional useful apertures on FF.
    Disclaimer: I am not claiming that FF is "better" than crop, just pointing out one difference that might or might not be relevant to a particular photographer.
    Dan
     

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