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APS-C or Full frame

Graywolf 12 1.0k United Kingdom
28 Nov 2009 9:08PM
Given the 1.6 crop factor of an APS-C sensor, which would give you the better quality image all other things being equal.

An image taken on an APS-C camera, uncropped
an image taken on a full frame camera (say a 5D MKII or a 1Ds Mk III) and cropped to an equivalent sized image?

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User_Removed 10 1.4k England
28 Nov 2009 9:10PM
The full frame sensor.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2009 9:12PM
It depends on the camera. A 5D MKII copped to APS-C size is @ 8mp from memory, so should be comparable to a 30D for example with the later 7D offering a bit more resolution, providing the lens is up to it. But the 5D MKII pixel is bigger so should have better high ISO performance.

So I would revise it to, A4 print image 5D MKII better or at worst equal.
A3 image at Low ISO advantage Crop camera (7D)
A3 image high ISO advantage 5D MKII

Its why I feel if the 5D MKIII had the current sensor and the 7D AF module (and the other nice features like wireless flash) you would have a very capable and flexible camera, even if it stopped at 3fps I would live with it.
User_Removed 10 1.4k England
28 Nov 2009 9:16PM
You also have to account for photosensor density and bayer filter associated with that.
ckristoff 15 994 Wales
28 Nov 2009 9:23PM

I was thinking the same thing, some time ago.

Is it fair to compare these 2 systems? What I'm trying to say, do these systems have an advantage over the other system?

I agree that full frame cameras such as the 5D, have wonderful resolution. Then along comes the 7D, which Canon has shown, there's still life in the smaller sensor.

For most of us enthusiasts, the main factor would be budget - how much a new piece of equipment costs.

At the end of the day, we all would love to own the best piece of kit. Yet, I still believe that manufacturers work hard at producing equipment that can do the job, suitable for most people.

strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2009 9:28PM
Yes I agree but the resolution advantage of the 7D for example allows a lot of room for processing. And it get clouded by the processing of camera files.

5D II has 156 pixels per mm of sensor and 7D has 232. So crop the 5D II to APS-C size and you get 3478 x 2324 pixels while the 7D has 5184 x 3456. Even allowing for different filters the 7D should have the resolution advantage, while the 5D II should have the high ISO advantage.

Let the 5D II go full frame and you get both.
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2009 9:34PM
Frank the problem, or advantage, is that each camera has its strength or weakness, so your end use will determine which to pick.

7D more complex AF module, wireless flash handy, and crop factor an advantage for wildlife work on a budget (relative term).

5D II better resolution (but only worth it if you print above A3), better dynamic range and better performance in low light/high ISO.

Hence my comments that put the enhanced features of the 7D in a 5D and it would fill all my needs, and offer me an 8mp crop camera for wildlife, and a 21mp full frame camera for everything else. Personally 3fps still feels fast enough for me. (not everyone will agree)

But give the price and features, I think a 7D would be better for me. But its a personal choice.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
28 Nov 2009 10:09PM
FF = larger photosites within the sensor.

Therefore for an equivelant resolution the FF will in most cases produce images with less noise at higher ISO speeds.

At base IQ, ISO or low ISO ( given the resolution is the same ) there is little or no discernable difference.

Full frame or Crop, As John has said have advantages & disadvantages, Which one is for you will depend on your general requirements, I switch between both types, Saves having to choose....Wink
Dave_Canon 13 1.6k United Kingdom
29 Nov 2009 10:16PM
The comparison of cropped FF and APS-C would be relevant if you are stuck with a limited focal length lens. With my longest being 200mm this situation would certainly arise for me in that I have a EOS 20D and EOS 5D MkII. I have compared and not surprisingly the cropped output of the 5D2 outperforms the 20D by a good margin.

However, if I was regularly taking shot at 200mm, the answer would be to buy 300+mm lens (or a multiplier) and not have to crop thus gaining the full benefit from the FF camera. If you are a sports or wildlife photographer the longer focal length and fast frame rates may be the highest priority. On the other hand, if a landscape and portrait photographer you may fimd the shorter focal lengths and higher image quality the highest priority.

If I did everything from sports, architecture, landscapes, portraits and wildlife equally, I guess I would want an EOS 7D to compement my 5D2.

photofrenzy 13 424 2 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2009 9:02AM
Well you could if you have plenty of cash , And you must have if your tempting yourself with full frame, Is go with both in one body.

Nikon D3, D3s, D3x instead of carrying two formats around which quite a few people do, Do it with one and get the instant crop rather than messing around cropping later.

For instance the D3x has a 24mp full frame fx sensor, by setting the cameras custom functions you can use the function button to change from FX to DX instantly and gives you the 1.5 x crop factor through the viewfinder.

What your left with is a respectable 10.1 megapixel aps-c crop then change back to the FX 24 megapixels at the touch of a button.

This is just one of the superb ideas that Nikon came up with on thier FX sensor .

You have the best of both worlds Smile
discreetphoton Plus
15 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2009 8:07PM
And a bargain at 5000 Wink
photofrenzy 13 424 2 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2009 9:55PM

Quote:And a bargain at 5000

You only get what you pay for , Afterall 5,000 for something that will last a lifetime .

The average P**S Head Brit spends that in a year on booze Smile
strawman 16 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2009 10:11PM
Photofrenzy I think you swallowed that bit of marketing far too well. Why bother with in-camera DX crop when you can have better.

The Sony A850/A900 offers the same resolution and same crop trick at a fraction of the price. The 5D MKII is near as dam it the same also.

All you do is crop in computer when you get home. Making a crop sensor output from a full frame camera is easy, why do it in camera, suppose you want a 1.3x crop etc.

And lasting a lifetime, nope. There is too much development to come. Plus @ 10 years from a sensor is about correct.
Leif 14 777
7 Dec 2009 10:01AM

All you do is crop in computer when you get home.

It's not the same. Why fart about at home with 100's or even 1000's of photos, when you can get an instant crop and a viewfinder mask that allows you to compose correctly at the time of capture.

And lasting a lifetime, nope. There is too much development to come. Plus @ 10 years from a sensor is about correct.

Sadly, very true. At least the owner can in effect recoup the cost of the camera over time from the savings on film, processing and scanning.
KatieR 15 6.2k 6
7 Dec 2009 10:33AM
Apart from the price (!) I find the weight and size of the FF cameras undesirable. If I had the cash for FF I would be really torn, for this reason - I'd love the low-light capability but could I handle the weight?

Is there any reason preventing lighter/ simpler versions of FF coming forward in the future?

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