Full frame vs. Cropped

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by marco_de_biasi, May 9, 2010.

  1. From what I'm reading around it seems that the main difference it's *simply* bigger area in the full frame choice. Said that, for film and photograph stuff, is there any other big deal using a cropped frame sensor?
    I'm using a 7D right now, just wondering what I'm missing, besides the skills needed despite what camera one is using :)
  2. At this stage of the game, I'd say you're not missing anything. If there's something that a full-frame sensor could do for you, and which by not having it right now you're missing shots or specific quality in your results ... you'd know what that is.

    You don't mention what lenses you have, or what sort of subject matter you shoot (and under what conditions, including lighting), so it's a little hard to be specific. But unless you need very wide angle shooting using some specific lenses, or are working under extremely challenging lighting conditions, you're fine.
  3. You're right... I've got the bundled one, the Canon EF 28-135mm IS lens. Currently I don't have any specific subject in mind while I shoot, since I'm learning and whatever I find interesting I usually shoot. Besides that, I'm also interested in shooting videos and get some camera tracking from that.
  4. you wont be using std slr lenses to their full potential with smaller chips
  5. Beware of snob opinions in other forums! You are fine with the cop sensor.
  6. Your camera greater sensor pixel density (crop factor 1.6X) provides additional magnification by 1.6X of the image center that is produced by your lens.
    However narrower (cropped) angle of view makes your lens less wide. If your lens 28 mm is wide enough for what you shoot, otherwise you would know if you need a wider lens.
  7. This site was linked by another poster here on PN in a different thread about FX vs. DX.
    Compare your camera to the 5D Mk II and you'll see that it fares pretty well in the image quality factors that they tested. I tried it for my camera and was pleasantly surprised at how well my D50 fared against the 5d mk II and the D3s through it's meager range of ISO, other than dynamic range at high ISO, where I'm really missing out. (Don't even think about reading this as me saying that my camera is comparable to the top of the line cameras. I'm not a moron. I'm just talking about the factors that they tested.)
    If you plan on doing posters or wall-sized prints or doing A LOT of post processing, cropping, etc. you might need the extra pixels. Otherwise, probably not. However, on a personal note, it would be nice for my wide angle lenses to be wide again, instead of just almost-wide.
  8. Thanks for your replies. The comparison web site looks handy.
    Now, if I understand the point here, basically the principle is with a cropped sensor just in case I would need a wider view I could simply move to a wider lens. If this is the solution it sounds pretty straight forward...
  9. Here is what you basically get with a full frame. Shallower DOF, a sharper image, less noise and true wide angles. If you want a funny side affect of the digital cropped sensor, was 50mm lenses becoming the rage. 50mm were the blaw and boring kit lenses in the film days. I suspect that cropped sensor gave this less new life as a protrait lense. Making it about a 70-80mm range depending on the sensor which is an okay range for portraits, although I am not a huge fan of 50mm.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Have a read of this: http://www.graphic-fusion.com/fullframe.htm
    She (Sarah), like me, employs the leverage of having both formats . . .
    I mention this so if in the future you consider buying, you consider buying "as well as" as opposed to "replacing with".
    The 7D is a great camera.
  11. you wont be using std slr lenses to their full potential with smaller chips​
    And what would that "full potential" be?
  12. To me the difference is like comparing a perfectly exposed, perfectly cropped 35mm picture against a perfectly exposed perfectly cropped Medium Format. The Medium Format always wins.
  13. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    With cropped sensors a better analogy would be comparing a perfectly cropped 35mm picture against a picture made from 24 x 36mm section from a medium format film.
  14. "Here is what you basically get with a full frame. Shallower DOF, a sharper image, less noise and true wide angles."
    I basically agree with 'Shallower DOF' and 'less noise' but am wondering what 'true wide angles' means, and why 'sharper image' should be attributed to full-frame. There are plenty of good, modern, ultra-wide lenses available for smaller APS-C-sized sensors. The original poster doesn't appear to be someone looking to mount their legacy film lens collection. Not to say that some very sharp images might come from FF kits, how are they inherently sharper? There are a lot of variables involved--including loss of depth-of-field, and relying on the lower-performing corners of FF lenses that may hurt perceived sharpness. Not looking to invoke any sort of format holy war but don't think the advantages should be overblown.
    "you wont be using std slr lenses to their full potential with smaller chips"
    On the other hand, when using a smaller sensor you are taking advantage of the lens "sweet spot", avoiding the generally lower-performing borders & corners.
    Marco, you already own one of the very best APS-C D-SLRs. Unless there's a very specific area you're looking to improve on, it seems unlikely that a new FF body is called for, unless you have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket. And if you do, I'd suggest considering better lenses first.
  15. Original 5D is a hobbyist's dream toy now that the prices are quite reasonable.
    You can mount pretty much anything on that thing with an adapter, be it old and obscure or current high-end Nikon (and retain original field of view in good and bad). Fisheyes are good to go, there's more to choose from than with aps-c, especially if you want a circular one. Medium format lenses can be turned into a T/S frankenstein. Wide angles - with speed, have you seen an aps-c replacement of 24/1.4? Perhaps even 28/2 would do? Whups. Eye-piercing quality of Zeiss 21/2.8? Nada. Cheap 14/2.8? No. How about 17 and 24mm T/S? Nope. Well, ok, 17mm could be fun on crop, insanely expensive though.
    And of course image quality isn't half bad even in 2010 standards.
    But if this sort of thing doesn't interest you and you don't need the extreme high-ISO performance of current gen FF sensors then be happy with your 7D. :)
  16. Theoretically, a larger sensor can give you better resolution, all things being equal. Cropped sensors have a built in "kind
    of" magnification that can be useful for telephotos and less than useful when you need wideangles because your
    wideangles become less so.
  17. Thank you guys for all your replies. Of course I was aware of the differences between the 5D and the 7D when I decided to buy my 7D. My budget didn't allowed me to spend more than that and so far I'm more than happy with the 7D. Mainly I wanted to buy a good camera for two reasons: learn photography and having the chance to shoot good videos as well.
    Probably the next step, after having spent enough time on the learning side, would be by another lens.
  18. Some of the worlds best pictures are made on cropped sensors and some of the worlds best pictures are made on ff sensors.....
  19. Just my 0.02 cents for what its worth and it pretty much has already been said:
    "you wont be using std slr lenses to their full potential with smaller chips"
    I say true but this lacks any context IMO - a diluted response with all due respect.
    While this is technically correct - photography is not always a science - its an art - its about capturing moments, light, perspective, texture, color, mood - to me there is a clear benefit to going full frame - it would have an impact for sure on what you are framing up - but there are no rules IMO - great photography is not diluted down to an all or none type of statement - cameras, lenses, flashes, etc are simply tools - and they all have their specifications - it is up to the person operating to capture the photo - the art - the meaning - I honestly believe wonderful photos can be taken that have meaning with a point and shoot to a full frame pro dSLR - medium format, etc etc....
    But to be more to the point - a crop sensor in my view can create art worthy of awards and inspiration (has it not already?). Will you be sacraficing something - yes - will still have the ability to take wonderful photos with the crop sensor? yes - should you buy a full frame sesor - sure - again - these are TOOLS in my view - The "best" tool used by a mediocre artist is still produces mediocre art - a creative mind filled with potential behind less than "ideal" equipment can produce wonderful inspiration.
    Take Care...

Share This Page