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APS-C versus Full Frame

MFaria 5 5 Portugal
12 Mar 2013 6:18PM
My question is simple, but I never found a simple and clear answer for it:
What am I going to experience when I upgrade from APS-C to Full Frame? I'm mainly interested in image quality and sharpness...
Apreciate answers from experienced users! Wink

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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
12 Mar 2013 6:30PM

Quote:What am I going to experience when I upgrade from APS-C to Full Frame?

Sheer magic! Grin

Seriously not much, unless you regularly print to wall-poster size or larger (say A1 size). Most of the photos hanging on my wall were taken on APS-C rather than the FF cameras I later switched to.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 6:31PM
You can see a difference but it is often hard. If you put two pictures side by side and compared them the differences will not be stellar with recent models but you can tell the difference. Looking at an image in isolation I doubt most people (including very experienced) could say whether a picture was taken with APS-C or 35mm - the conditions, technique and processing will have a much greater effect. Differences are more clear at high ISOs and/or large prints (larger than A3). The latest round of cameras (Nikon D800 and Canon 5DIII seem to be opening the gap consdierably again.
If you take the same picture with APS-C and 35mm, with APS-C you will in general be using a wider lens or standing further away , both of which mean you will have greater depth of field. This doesn't always apply but is a good rule of thumb.

As for sharpness, the big manufacturers will spend premium quality on lenses for 35mm sensors but there are some excellent quality APS-C lenses out there.

I would say upgrade the glass first then the body.
MFaria 5 5 Portugal
12 Mar 2013 6:42PM
Yes, I think that is the point: to upgrade the glass first, then the body!
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
12 Mar 2013 6:57PM
In combination with fast lenses I think the full-frame 'look' can be pretty distinctive; whether it's desirable or not is obviously subjective.

For instance, these family snaps on Flickr are fairly well known.
Graysta 13 1.1k England
12 Mar 2013 7:39PM
Maybe it's just me but I got some great stuff from APS-C sensors. But when i went FF or FX as we say perspective seemed to be more life like, I still think there is room for both in a camera bag if fund's permit, then wouldn't we all like everything if possible?
And as mentioned I went glass first seem's like the best route.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 8:09PM
Without knowing more about your photographic aims it is difficult to give complete to reply.
You mention sharpness. This is mainly to do with the lens, how steady you hold the camera and quality of the lighting; and is very little to do with the sensor. Looking at the small number of the images in your portfolio you are unlikely to do better if you change to full frame.
More MP on a sensor can increase resolution and can give better separation between tones and colours in a very big print. You do not necessarily need to go full frame to get more MP. FF sensors tend to be a little better at high ISO noise, but you do not need high ISO for the images in your portfolio.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
12 Mar 2013 8:16PM

Quote:What am I going to experience when I upgrade from APS-C to Full Frame

A great big whole in your pocket, not a lot else.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
12 Mar 2013 8:20PM

Quote:I upgrade from APS-C to Full Frame?

It is not an upgrade so much as a change of format, You need to take stunning images to upgrade the quality though, They do not need to be sharp either.....Wink

In all honesty full frame or FX whatever is a waste of money for day to day snapping purposes.

The choice is your though, Try blagging some test shots with a full frame model in a camera store using your own memory card, Then do the same shots with a decent APS-C model.

Compare the results at home later.

Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
12 Mar 2013 8:25PM

Quote:In all honesty full frame or FX whatever is a waste of money for day to day snapping purposes

It is for most things including professional work, but some people believe all the hype.
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 8:49PM
Well I have both, A canon 7D and a Canon 5D MKIII, 7D is cropped sensor and 5D mkiii is full frame.
In my opinion the 5D mkiii gives much better results and being the latest ff sensor it is much better on image quality than my 7D.
The ff has bigger pixels on the 5Dmkiii and that means more information per pixel which means better image quality and i have compared both my 7d and 5d and there is a significant differnce when using the same lens, Funnily enough i was testing these 2 cameras today on flying owls and found the 5d mk iii came on top all the way for image quality.
Personally I love the 5D mkiii for its IQ and low Noise capability.

Just a note to say i do think there's a difference and this test i was doing was not a lab test but a field test, you know, a real test in the field lol, done with a canon 600mm f4 l is usm lens.
My findings were that the full frame was sharper pretty much all the time but then this could well be the fact that the 5D MKIII has a better focusing system than the 7D, but more than this is the quality of image even at high ISO with the 5D I believe the IQ is a big part to do with it's sensor.

Saying all that the sensor on the 5D mkiii is the latest in technology and the 1DX has this sensor too and that costs 5 k.
The other benefit to ff is the fact that when you add a lens you know your getting what the lens is, great for tight spaces and portraits where you are limited for space to take the shots, I use this camera for Kitchens shots, portraits and landscapes, where space can be a premium other than landscapes of course.

This is the quality you can expect if you pay the Money, and to be fare I can produce this quality and a hit rate much higher than the 7D.

This Image was taken using the 5D MKIII and a canon 600mm f4 l is usm lens

This Image was taken using the canon 5D MKIII and a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 os and a 2x converter for a reach of 600mm
redsnappa 15 2.0k United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 10:09PM

Quote:I'm mainly interested in image quality and sharpness...
I think you looking in the wrong place. Try the 36MP Nikon D800 I hear it is great for the number crunchers, calibrationists and test bench geeks.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
12 Mar 2013 11:09PM
Perhaps the OP would like to tell us what the end product of his photos is, e.g. prints (in which case how large) or web.

If I'm not mistaken he has a Canon 550D with a Tamron zoom. Perhaps he could also so why he is finding this a limitation. Looking at his pf, perhaps investing in a macro prime lens might help more than change of camera body.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2013 11:26PM
I think it very personal and it depends on many choices. Go try out the cameras and see if you can decide. If you do not know then perhaps the answer is to not buy a new camera but stick with the old one for longer. CB has given some good advice, as in identify what you feel in the existing kit holds you back.
MFaria 5 5 Portugal
12 Mar 2013 11:29PM
I'm new here at epz (that's why I've only 3 pictures in my pf) and also new in DSLR. I got my 550D in 2011 and still learning... A lot everyday! I'm just an enthusiast and will not ever be a pro. This will be my hobby forever. I started my pf with macro, but I love landscape photography. And as far as I am concerned, full frame wil give better image quality, but how much is that diference? It's allways good to hear from experienced people. I am not...

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