Full frame cameras - what are positives

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mystwalker, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    I am asking this out of ignorance because to me if cropped cameras had same technology as FFs, crops seem to be better deal.

    I am reading a lot of positives about the 5D, but is all that due to it's advanced technology? Or does being full frame allow it to have the superior IQ (and stuff) in first place?

    If you put the technology behind the 5D into a cropped camera (let's say an imaginery 90D), will this cropped camera take same photos as 5D?

    Or the question can be, what if you move a crop sensor into the 5D? Will it take the same quality photos?
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    It's nothing more than dollars. The cost of manufacturing a sensor increases exponentially with sensor detection area. A DX sensor has 1/4 the area of an FX sensor and, quite simply, is much less expensive to manufacture. Another factor is sensor material. I cannot confirm this from personal experience but I've been told that, at hihg ISO values, CMOS sensors have less electrical noise than CCD sensors.

    The sensor itself is but one factor (of a great many) that contribute to photo quality. However, the size of the detection area does not affect quality unless you're making some really major enlargements.

    Personally, I wish that I could afford a body with an FX sensor. I don't have any noise problem but I've got too many years of 35mm usage and I'm very used to the many applicable guidelines. My D80 has a DX sensor and I frequently need to hesitate and rethink my situation.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Size matters.

    A bigger sensor can have less photo-sites per area, which can make for less noise. That's one reason why the 5D has some of the lowest noise levels.

    There is also the field of view issue. On a 5D, 24mm is wide and 17mm is ultra wide. On a crop camera like the 40D, 17mm is wide and 10mm is ultra wide.

    You do have a point though. Given the same technology, the image quality from a crop camera can be just as good as that of a full frame camera. The full frame gives you more pixels though.

    From what I've heard, the 5D and the 40D are pretty close, in terms of image quality. The 5D has a larger sensor but the 40D has newer technology.

    A lot of photographers believe that 12MP, 10MP or even 8MP is enough for what 90% of us need. More mega pixels just makes for larger files which are harder to work with and store.

    So ideally, a large sensor with limited MP would give you a lower pixel pitch and less noise. The more MP they try to cram into those sensors...the harder it is to control noise...but remember than noise control is getting better as well.
     
  4. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I agree in principle but...
    It's my belief that the DX-sized sensors are large enough that pixel size is not an issue (unlike the dinky pixels with PhD cameras). However, CCD vs. CMOS is an issue and I suspect that that's the more significant factor. Also, I'm ignoring the camera software.

    In case you're wondering, "PhD" is "Push here, Dummy."
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I thought that CCD sensors were on the outs. Canon has always used CMOS and Nikon has switched from CCD to CMOS (Sony made) sensors.

    I think that camera firmware has a lot to do with noise, which is a big factor of IQ for a lot of people.
     
  6. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    • Yes, CCDs are on the way out and I've been told that the reason is noise at high ISO values but I'm unable to personally confirm that as fact.
    • I'm not certain but I suspect that Canon led Nikon because they have their own manufacturing facility.
    • Certainly firmware has a lot to do with noise control but there are too many variables for me to address in any detail.
     
  7. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    With a larger sensor, ceteris parabus, there will be less noise at high ISOs. Which is why the Nikon D3 has such incredible high ISO performance - Nikon FX sensor with only 12MP on it. Many believe that there is no point in cramming more than 6MP on a DX format sensor anyway.

    If you're anything but a pro or very enthusiastic amateur, there's no real need to go full frame.
     
  8. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

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    I bought a 5D for two main reasons.

    1. I want all my lenses to behave just like my old 35mm camera, that is with no crop factor.

    2. I wanted to be able to produce larger images.
     
  9. GwagDesigns

    GwagDesigns TPF Noob!

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    It is true, CCD require more processing thatn a CMOS sensor, and in turn CCDs produce more hear which in turn creates more noise with longer exposures.
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    That certainly sounds logical.
     
  11. gendarmee

    gendarmee TPF Noob!

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    People can you name a few full frame camera's..
    5D is what i read here, thats canon.
    What about Nikon and the others?

    I was planning on getting a D300 in august, but if A full frame is better, i wouldn't mind getting a used one instead.
     
  12. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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