amfoto1 wrote in post #14132505
Well, with the right lens you certainly can get a much wider view even with a crop camera. On the other hand full frame cameras are desirable for landscape photography, if that's what you shoot a lot. There are several reasons for this...
1. Landscape photographers might be more inclined to make big prints from their images, compared to some other types of photography. A FF camera will retain more fine detail and image quality when the image is printed really large. If you never print larger than 13x19, 16x24 or perhaps even 18x24, using a crop camera with a good lens you won't see a great deal of benefit from a FF camera. If you are making 18x24", 20x30" and larger prints, a FF camera starts to make more sense.
2. Wide angle lenses are popular with landscape photographers. As you know, a full frame camera will render any given focal length wider than a crop camera will... For example, a 20mm lens on a crop camera is only moderately wide, but the same 20mm is pretty darned wide on a FF camera. This means that lenses for full frame don't need to be as radical design, so potentially may have less distortion.
On the other hand, a kit of crop camera and lenses can be smaller and lighter, not to mention less expensive. Someone who is hiking a lot to get their landscape shots might want a crop camera for this reason. However, the greatest savings of size, weight and cost are among the longer telephoto lenses. You didn't tell us what camera you're using now. But the 18MP Canon crop cameras are pretty darned capable (they use strong anti-alias filters, so their images need more sharpening, but there is a lot of detail in them once that's done). Several of the earlier 15MP crop sensor models are also very good. The 60D is 18MP and the 50D 15MP, for example.
EDIT: Whoops! My mistake... I just noticed you did
tell us you're using a T3i... That's a current, 18MP model with a lot of potential image quality. It's also somewhat compact and a bit lighter than some of the other models.
So, considering what you shoot, you might want full frame... Mostly I'd suggest FF if you plan to make big prints. Or, there may be good reasons to stick with crop.
Now if a full frame Canon does make the most sense for you, next you need to decide which one.
Unless you shoot sports/action too, or often need to work in really low light conditions and want very high ISO capabilities, or have need of in-camera HDR and multiple exposures and some of the Mark III's other key features... There might not be a whole lot of reason to get the 5D Mark III. The 5D Mark II might serve just fine and you could save a lot of money to put toward lenses and such.
The latest Canon 5D Mark III, the earlier Mark II (still a very capable landscape camera!), or perhaps another or even a Nikon model. (Sony has some nice FF models, too... but has far less lens selection than either Canon or Nikon.)
It's a bit heretical I know, but if you print really, really big, need all the resolution you can get, and don't have a lot tied up in Canon gear yet, it might be worth considering the 36MP Nikon D800. It's full frame and
$500 cheaper than the Canon 22MP 5D Mark III. This might not make sense, though, if you already have a lot invested in Canon gear. And, I would wager we'll see a higher resolution model from Canon eventually, too (they really don't have much choice, if they want to stay competitve).
Just as a point of comparison - full frame vs crop sensor - see the images below. (I've put these up here on POTN before and regulars will forgive the repetition).
Can you tell which shot was made with a crop sensor 15MP 50D and which was made with a full frame 21MP 5D Mark II? Both were taken with the same lens (Canon EF 20mm f2.8) and the same filter (a 72mm B+W Kaesemann Circular Polarizer). The lens was stopped down a bit in both cases, though slightly different apertures were used... Morro Bay harbor Pigeon Point lighthouse
I know it's hard to tell the FF image from the crop camera image at Internet resolutions, even with some tighter crops alongside. You'll just have to take my word that 11x14" prints are equally hard to tell apart. That's the largest I've printed either one so far. But I think either would be fine 16x20" too, possibly even larger.
My point, you have to print big before you start to see very much difference between FF and recent crop cameras. There is some slight advantage of wide lenses on FF cameras possibly having a little less distortion because they can be less radical designs.
Conversely, a crop kit can be less costly overall, or the lower cost of the camera might allow you to put more into good lenses. Plus it might be smaller and lighter, so a little more pleasant to take on long hikes or travelling.
Incidentally, it's a Canon 5D
Mark II or Mark III, not a D5
(Nikon designates their cameras D3, D4 and such). But we knew what you meant, anyway.