Full Frame vs. APS-C Sensor - Do you really need to upgrade to Full Frame?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jens Heidler, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. beagle100

    beagle100 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I remain with APS-C ... until full frame is cheaper
    www.flickr.com/photos/mmirrorless


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's not about cost for me. I'd pay more to keep my APS-C if that's what it took.

    Joe
     
  3. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I did this in reverse, sort of. I got rid of my low end crop sensor for a full frame and love it. But I also wanted a second body and it only made sense to get a crop sensor to have the broadest range of capabilities.

    When heading out, if I am only going to take one, I ask myself a number of questions:

    -will I be traveling with limited baggage - the APS-C is much smaller
    -will there be low light situations - the full frame is better at high ISO
    -will I be shooting sports or wildlife outside - the crop sensor has better reach with the same glass
    -will I be shooting landscapes - my best glass for this is Canon L and wider on the full frame
    -will I be shooting in weather - the full frame is weather sealed

    There are other considerations and given the choice I would always prefer the full frame but it is not always the right tool for the mission.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  4. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I didn't need to go FF but I found the options of the A7ii added nicely to my existing systems.
    It's currently my most used camera but I sometimes take a MFT or APSC model along as well for telephoto use.
     
  5. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is a question I ask myself do I really need ff. I get the urge to go ff then I look at the spec and at what I do. And the answer is still the same, for what I would gain the move to ff is not worth it. For me. Better to upgrade some glass instead if I had that sort of money. Maybe a ff will come up stupidly cheap, I dream of course
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I shot crop frame from 2001 until roughly 2006, when I bought a Canon 5D. At that time the difference between aps-c and full frame was significant in terms of quality and ISO range. The original Canon 5D had. extremely good quality across a wide range of ISO values. Today's full frame cameras offer extreme image quality, and a APS-C cameras typically offer pretty good performance in terms of image quality, but still are a slight bit below full frame in terms of total image quality. However, I think that toda's better crop cameras offer ample image quality. Image quality really comes down to lens and post processing capability and technique of the photographer... yeah you read that right, the photographer and his or her abilities and working methods still play a part in the image quality. In terms of wide-angle use, the full frame has a slight advantage today,I think.

    there is no denying the absolute image quality advantage of certain high megapixel sensors such as Sony's new 47 megapixel sensor… There is no crop sensor that can give such a beautiful image quality, especially at elevated ISO settings. I am currently in awe of what Sony's highest resolution full frame sensors are showing me on a daily basis at various sites around the web. currently manufacturers are working on super rapidfire crop sensor cameras, such as the Nikon D 500. Canon's new 90Dhas been announced and it is a 10 frame per second rapidfire wonder… A few years ago that kind of firing rate was about $7999...Here we are in 2019 and within days you'll be able to buy a 90D for roughly $1200!
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a FF, a crop and 1 inch super zoom. If the light condition is not going to be ideal and I am planning to raise the ISO, the FF camera to have it's advantage. When light is not an issue then the crop or even the 1 inch sensor camera is not bad at all and most of the time, you can tell the difference.

    I bet when technology get to a point that even ISO 6400 on a 1 inch (or smaller) sensor is very clean, I may not need the FF that much. Of course, shallow DoF is one advantage with the FF, but look at all those f/1.8 zoom lens Sigma made for the crop sensor camera. On top of that, with a decent telephoto fast lens, the crop or even the 1 inch sensor camera can produce beautiful shallow DoF images.

    As of right now, I kind of think (my personal opinion) FF camera is more of less a status symbol for some people (not all of course) especially for hobby shooters.
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Works for me now -- 1 inch sensor ISO 6400: Dropbox - ISO_6400_inch.jpg - Simplify your life Look at it at 50% res.

    Joe
     
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  9. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nikon D850 for my portrait and fun shoots because I love the lens range and dynamic range.
    Canon 5D Mk III for my architecture and real estate shot because that's what the company issued me.
    Olympus EM10 III for my travel photography because it is light and convenient.

    Why do you need to choose one?
     
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  10. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot various formats
    In digital it is BOTH micro 4/3 mirrorless and APS-C dSLR. I almost got a FF camera, but went the other way to m4/3.
    Which camera gets selected to use depends on the requirements of the shoot.
    There are times when I will take my Nikon D7200 DX/APS-C, and other times when I will take one of my Olympus m4/3 cameras. Examples:
    • For FAST sports, none of my Olympus cameras matches the Nikon D7200 for viewfinder performance.
    • For challenging lighting, the EVF of the Olympus trumps the OVF of the Nikon. I can adjust exposure setting and see the result real time on the EVF, vs. shoot, chimp, adjust, repeat on the dSLR.
      • Same for all/most of the other mirrorless cameras, regardless of sensor format.
    • For shooting at a concert, the electronic shutter of the Olympus is SILENT.
      • Same for all/most of the other mirrorless cameras, regardless of sensor format.
    • For small size/weight for travel, the m4/3 kit is significantly smaller and 45% lighter than my dSLR kit.
    As for resolution, the new APS-C Canon 90D has a 32MP sensor. That size sensor used to be only available in FF cameras.

    The place that FF beats APS-C is native lenses. Both Nikon and Canon treat the APS-C camera line as beginner/amateur/consumer cameras, and there are few GOOD native APS-C lenses. If you want a GOOD lens for your APS-C camera, you have to get a FF lens.
    However, there are other brands such as Fuji, that ONLY have APS-C. Because they only have APS-C, they do not treat APS-C as a poor cousin to the FF cameras as Nikon and Canon do.
     
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  11. Dacaur

    Dacaur TPF Noob!

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    As to the lenses thing, you are thinking about it backwards. It's not that they DON'T make top of the line lenses for aps-c cameras. They do. Those lenses just happen to be the same ones they make for FF cameras...
    No one is treating crop bodies like red headed step children.
    I, and obviously the mfgs agree, see no point in duplicating FF lenses for aps-c. Canon (and Nikon) has its top of the line lenses with a mount which works on both full frame and aps-c. You don't lose anything by using a FF lense on a crop body.
    Imo, I would make zero sense for them to make a top of the line lense that ONLY fits a crop body. The top reason people buy crop bodies is because they are affordable. Top of the line glass is not affordable, So they make affordable lenses specially for aps-c. If you don't want an "affordable" lense, buy a FF lense.
    Not to say crop lenses are crap. There are definitely crop sensor lenses that will beat the pants off some FF lenses.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    True to a point.
    The point is the crop factor effect.

    Yes, both Nikon and Canon have good APS-C short standard lenses in the 17-55 range, approx equal to the 24-70 on a FF camera.

    But the next step is missing. There is NO APS-C camera equivalent to the classic FF 70-200/2.8.
    On an APS-C camera it would be a 45-135.
    The closest ones are
    - the discontinued Sigma 50-150/2.8
    - the new Tamron 35-150/2.8-4 full frame lens.
    I shoot a 70-200 on my APS-C camera, and the 70mm short end is too long on an APS-C camera. That is like a 105mm on a FF camera. My options at the time were either the full frame 24-120/4 or 70-200.

    35mm is the "normal" lens for an APS-C camera. Here I was looking at "affordable."
    But only Nikon makes a 35mm APS-C DX lens.
    Canon does NOT make a 35mm APS-C EF-S lens. You have to buy the significantly more expensive full frame EF lens, rather than a less expensive APS-C EF-S lens. Or get the Yongnuo 35/2 EF-S lens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019

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