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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Vs. Camera 
Thread started 15 Jul 2016 (Friday) 12:33
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Is a full frame really worth it?

 
aladyforty
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Jul 18, 2016 10:51 |  #16

while my full frame and crop camera can both do a great job and I tend to be using my crop a lot more these days I have to say if I was given a choice of only keeping one it would be the full frame. There is something about the files that seems to have more depth or something. I prefer the look of the files. Its pretty handy to have both formats if you can


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Bassat
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Jul 18, 2016 12:06 |  #17

I don't have an aps-c (1.6x) crop anymore. But I did recently acquire an aps-h (1.3x, 1DIV) crop. So far, it seems like the best of both worlds. Better high-ISO noise performance than aps-c, and less vignetting from the slightly smaller than full frame sensor. Also, a bit more reach with my long lenses.




  
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Wilt
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Jul 18, 2016 12:17 |  #18

Bassat wrote in post #18070582 (external link)
I don't have an aps-c (1.6x) crop anymore. But I did recently acquire an aps-h (1.3x, 1DIV) crop. So far, it seems like the best of both worlds. Better high-ISO noise performance than aps-c, and less vignetting from the slightly smaller than full frame sensor. Also, a bit more reach with my long lenses.

Such an ideal compromise that Canon made it go away like the dodo bird?!  :p


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JeffreyG
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Jul 18, 2016 12:36 |  #19

Bassat wrote in post #18070582 (external link)
I don't have an aps-c (1.6x) crop anymore. But I did recently acquire an aps-h (1.3x, 1DIV) crop. So far, it seems like the best of both worlds. Better high-ISO noise performance than aps-c, and less vignetting from the slightly smaller than full frame sensor. Also, a bit more reach with my long lenses.

My only issue with the 1.3X sensor is in having a good match for a wide angle zoom. I really like 24-xx zooms on 35mm format cameras because the range is just perfect for me.

1.6X is not quite as nice, but there are choices that are wide enough and slow (15-85) or at least close (17-50) and fast.

On 1.3X you pretty much either have to live with a 24-xx zoom (which has the AOV of a 32mm lens on FF at the wide end, or you use an UWA zoom like the 16-35/2.8, which is kind of OK but really lacks reach on the long end even compared to a 24-70 on FF (70mm vs. about a 46mm equivalent AOV).


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Bassat
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Jul 18, 2016 12:50 |  #20

JeffreyG wrote in post #18070604 (external link)
My only issue with the 1.3X sensor is in having a good match for a wide angle zoom. I really like 24-xx zooms on 35mm format cameras because the range is just perfect for me.

1.6X is not quite as nice, but there are choices that are wide enough and slow (15-85) or at least close (17-50) and fast.

On 1.3X you pretty much either have to live with a 24-xx zoom (which has the AOV of a 32mm lens on FF at the wide end, or you use an UWA zoom like the 16-35/2.8, which is kind of OK but really lacks reach on the long end even compared to a 24-70 on FF (70mm vs. about a 46mm equivalent AOV).

I've got a 6D for the wide stuff, which I like. Wide gear includes Sigma 15 FE, Rok 12 FE, and 17-40.




  
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Copidosoma
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Jul 19, 2016 11:27 |  #21

The difference in image quality between 'FF' and aps-c is MUCH less than it used to be.

Zack sums it up here pretty well...

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=PHYidejT3KY (external link)


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Wilt
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Jul 19, 2016 12:38 |  #22

Copidosoma wrote in post #18071490 (external link)
The difference in image quality between 'FF' and aps-c is MUCH less than it used to be.

Zack sums it up here pretty well...

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=PHYidejT3KY (external link)

He maintains that s/n is improved in both FF and APS-C, and the difference 'is small'. Consider that the area of a pixel, if both have same number of pixels in their frames, then the area of a single pixel computes as...

  • FF: 1mm x 1mm (ficitious)
  • APS-C: 0.625mm x 0.625mm (relative to FF pixel)
  • or 1 sq.mm vs. 0.39 sq.mm
  • or the FF pixel is 2.56X larger in area than the APS-C pixel

So if both sensors have the same fundamental noise levels, the FF pixel is gathering 2.56X more photons per unit of time than the APS-C sensor, so the FF sensor has more SIGNAL than APS-C, and the FF sensor's signal:noise ratio is therefore better. And if we apply the same noise reduction software to both images, there is no advantage to either sensor from the noise reduction. Methinks he is diminishing the difference between the sensors when in fact the difference remains.

He states that 'both cameras will do the job', and I do NOT dispute the quality of APS-C. APS-C is certainly 'good enough' for most of my own shooting...for my own (no longer professional) uses, I find no fundamental reason to have to use FF, apart from
  • the fact that my 24mm shift lens on FF gives a wider FOV than 17mm shift lens on APS-C so I prefer to shoot FF with shift for architectural shots with a shift lens.
  • I don't routinely make prints larger than 13x19" so I have no real reason to need a larger format which requires less enlargement for the same final print size.

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Copidosoma
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Jul 19, 2016 19:24 |  #23

Wilt wrote in post #18071547 (external link)
He maintains that s/n is improved in both FF and APS-C, and the difference 'is small'. Consider that the area of a pixel, if both have same number of pixels in their frames, then the area of a single pixel computes as...
  • FF: 1mm x 1mm (ficitious)
  • APS-C: 0.625mm x 0.625mm (relative to FF pixel)
  • or 1 sq.mm vs. 0.39 sq.mm
  • or the FF pixel is 2.56X larger in area than the APS-C pixel

So if both sensors have the same fundamental noise levels, the FF pixel is gathering 2.56X more photons per unit of time than the APS-C sensor, so the FF sensor has more SIGNAL than APS-C, and the FF sensor's signal:noise ratio is therefore better. And if we apply the same noise reduction software to both images, there is no advantage to either sensor from the noise reduction. Methinks he is diminishing the difference between the sensors when in fact the difference remains.

He states that 'both cameras will do the job', and I do NOT dispute the quality of APS-C. APS-C is certainly 'good enough' for most of my own shooting...for my own (no longer professional) uses, I find no fundamental reason to have to use FF, apart from
  • the fact that my 24mm shift lens on FF gives a wider FOV than 17mm shift lens on APS-C so I prefer to shoot FF with shift for architectural shots with a shift lens.
  • I don't routinely make prints larger than 13x19" so I have no real reason to need a larger format which requires less enlargement for the same final print size.

He isn't saying (and neither am I) that there is no difference. He is pointing out that many people make way too big of a deal out of the small (getting smaller but will always be there) difference in IQ between the formats.

I've made prints 24" plus on the short edge and the image quality is every bit as good as it would have been with a 35mm format camera. You simply can't tell what sensor made the image (even with side by side images made with ff vs. crop you would unlikely see any 'real' difference (if you could see any at all).
I simply think that people put waaaay too much emphasis of the whole notion that there is somethīng 'magic' in a 35mm sensor and that if someone will only upgrade from their inherently inferior aps-c camera their images will substantially īmprove. May have been true in the early years of dslrs. Not anymore.


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dalto
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Jul 19, 2016 21:18 |  #24

For me, part of it has to do with lens availability. Using Canon as an example almost all of the best glass is in a range more appropriate to FF, at least on the wide-to-normal side, especially if we are talking about zooms. Of course you can put any of these lenses on an APS-C body but they are not as useful, at least for what I shoot most often. For example, the venerable 24-105L has an effective focal length of 38-168. Speaking personally, I shoot in the range of 105-168 far less often than in the range of 24-37. Of course, the situation is reversed on the telephoto side so it depends what you care about most.

If you consider a system like Fuji that is more focused on APS-C and has quality lenses in a appropriate focal ranges this is a non-issue.

I originally switched to FF because, at that time, the current Canon FF body was obviously superior in my opinion. Things have changed a lot since then from a sensor perspective but I wouldn't switch back to crop. This is because, in addition to some of the reasons already mentioned here, most of my lens collection would make less sense for my use.




  
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rebelsimon
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Jul 19, 2016 21:59 |  #25

dalto wrote in post #18072033 (external link)
For me, part of it has to do with lens availability.

Ditto. My 18-35 f1.8 was awesome on my 70D, but it's basically a 29-56mm f2.8 equivalent. It would have to be 15-43mm f1.8 to give me the same flexibility as my 24-70 on full frame. There are also very few wide, fast prime options for APS-C.


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Jul 24, 2016 15:29 |  #26

JacobL wrote in post #18069240 (external link)
I use a FF (Canon 6D) for a few years now, and the biggest difference for me is the wide angle (less than 16mm) as well as the MUCH better low ISO performance.
If you don't shoot at high ISO, don't need to go very wide and use tele most of the time, don't need the shallower DOG of open aperture lenses - stick with crop.

FF - big lens investment, much bigger lens investment than the body itself.
If you go FF and have the budget to go big - go for the 810 because of DR, shutter life, etc.

This is an issue relating to lenses, not sensor formats. If the lens equivalents are available, they perform just as well on APS-C. As for the "MUCH" better ISO performance... that's simply not true anymore, it was a couple of years ago maybe, but modern APS-C sensors are as near as makes no difference in ISO performance all the way up to (and often beyond) ISO1600.

Here's an example of a very sharp, very wide angle shot and yet it still has a relatively shallow DOF... again, the issue is lenses, not formats.

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PJmak wrote in post #18069508 (external link)
One could get outstanding images with either.

This.

Copidosoma wrote in post #18071490 (external link)
The difference in image quality between 'FF' and aps-c is MUCH less than it used to be.

Zack sums it up here pretty well...

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=PHYidejT3KY (external link)

THIS. I didn't want to believe it either (and kinda still don't) after I switched to FF, but it's simply true. The more I use my X-E2, the less I feel compelled to use my a7S or any other FF camera.


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welshwizard1971
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Jul 24, 2016 15:45 |  #27

Full frame? If you need range for sports or wildlife, no, you can get great shots with a crop and better range, but for everything else, yes, but you need to invest in the glass, which aint cheap, far from it. But if you can afford it, I built it up over a few years, then the difference is there straight away in my experience.


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Jul 25, 2016 05:55 |  #28

In my experience, and for my uses - definitely. Having moved from the 7D to the 5D3 I preferred the look of the files, they seemed a little richer, a little more detailed.
But then one is comparing 18MPS with 23MPS, and its a leter generarion camera; so it should be more advanced. But overall That was a nice improvement.

I did miss the reach of a crop now and then, and the planned sale of the 70-300L evaporated as it was quite handy to have. If one did a lot of BIF or similar work (which I dont ) then I guess unless you are seriously rich ... Lens wise. Then a crop Camera has some major advantages, and my friend loves his 7D2 and the new 70-400L II.

For studio work ( most of my work) , the 5DS R to me is a game changer. Massive improvement. It also does Landscape stuff perfectly (for me) despite the highly critisisied lack of DR. For me this is not a big issue, but then its not my main focus. And I do really see the point made by those needing it, to take brilliant Landscapes etc. My stuff is not in that league so doesnt hold me back.

So in summary, for portrait and studio work I love the file detail of the 53MPS sensor, and its the next best thing to a similar quality sony sensor. For location portraits, it is perfect for me, so no complaints.

Overall no regrets going full frame. A definite thumbs up.
Would I feel the same if I did a lot of sports stuff, maybe not!
But then I was very pleasantly surprised by its ability to nail some of the dressage and horse stuff I do, I was expecting a total failure and they all seemed pretty good enough for me.

If I had the money for a decent backupmthen Imwould probably buy the 7D2, formthe flexibility and bang for the buck ... And the reach.


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Jul 25, 2016 06:28 |  #29

Yes.

...It's the only way to shoot a 200 F2 or 400 2.8 or 11mm on the 11-24 or 20mm F1.4 or 24mm at F1.4

Sorry croppers... just some things don't equal on Full Frame.


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Jul 25, 2016 08:20 |  #30

I would love to see a difference between a FF 20 1.4 vs a 13 f2.8 on a cropper (granted that is 2 stops which can be huge DOF wise)... what scenarios produce a result on a FF that simply is spectacular and very different than anything on a cropper. I keep seeing these comments, but never see back to back comparisons.

As to a 200 f2, Sigma offers a 50-100 f1.8 for a cropper that would get very close to the results. For a 400 2.8, just use a 300 2.8 on the cropper, actually giving you 480mm for an equivalent view.

I think the only arguments can be made around the wide angle super fast primes. Croppers can get very, very wide, and obviously get the reach. I just think using a total of about 2-3 different lenses as the leading reason a FF is better isn't enough fodder for an argument personally.

Also if I wanted a wider view with more DOF using the same lens as on the FF, I would probably try to use the brenizer method. That would widen the shot and give me that DOF if not less. Give me a 20 1.4 and a cropper, and I can give you a FF view using about 6-9 shots. :) More hassle (shoot in manual, merge the images, then crop), but then I go back to the first paragraph on what the scenarios are.

I still think the same generation crop compared to the same generation FF will show that the FF still holds at least a 1 stop advantage for ISO, a bit more sharpness, better colors, more creativity with DOF control, etc. This is where I choose to use FF. An 80D isn't going to be "almost indistinguishable" to a 5D4 or 6D2 should one come out this year. Low ISOs, sure, but at higher ISOs, I think you will see this 1 stop difference, especially if you have to crop in any on both and then compare.


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Is a full frame really worth it?
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