Higgs Boson wrote in post #13178073
It's not anyone's job except the buyer to decide if they have enough money.
If everyone says full frame is better, maybe that's because there is scientific/empirical evidence for that.....
The characteristic differences between full frame and crop are well known. That's not the problem.
The problem is that many who encourage the buyer to go full frame do so by saying things like "full frame image quality blows crop image quality out of the water!" and other nonsense like that.
But the fact of the matter is:
- Full frame has about a stop shallower depth of field for a given aperture, distance to subject, and angle of view.
- Full frame gives you about a stop better high ISO performance as long as you're willing to use a shallower depth of field to get it.
- Full frame gives you sharper images out of the camera in some (perhaps many) conditions -- this depends greatly on the lens being used on each camera. The sensor, primarily through its resolution, places a hard upper bound on the amount of detail that can be recorded. The rest depends on the lens.
- Full frame will give you creamier tones at low ISO, probably by about a stop (I don't know if anyone has actually tested this, but the physics of it all suggests that this will be the amount of difference).
Now, the question of the year is: how much of a difference to the buyer
do those differences make? This is the point Lloyd (Picturecrazy) is making, and he is right on the money.
People have to make choices for "next best" every day due to lack of funds. If you want to convince yourself that "next best" is actually best and anything more is overkill to justify your own personal decisions and abilities, that's fine, but that is opinion and is not motivated or based in proof, only feeling and should not be considered as anything but personal anectdote by potential buyers.
If "best" were always considered independent of cost and independent of the needs of the individual, and you full frame advocates who claim to want maximum image quality really meant what you say, then you wouldn't be shooting full frame, you'd be shooting medium format or large format. You'd be shooting with cameras that cost, at a minimum, $50K.
"Best" always has to account for the individual's situation. If you want to eliminate that and ask which camera gives you the "best" image quality, then that quite obviously has to go to large format. There can be no disagreement on that.
I dare say that none of you guys who spout the advantages of full frame because it has the "best" image quality are shooting large format. Why not? Simple: because it does not suit your actual needs. Which is to say: image quality is not really the thing you care about most. It is merely one of many attributes that you care about, not the least of which is cost (for if cost really weren't a consideration then you'd be willing to plunk $100K down on a medium format system for your landscapes and such, right?).
Now that we've dispensed with that, we can get back to the real discussion, which is: at what point do the advantages of full frame outweigh the disadvantages? Make no mistake, full frame, most especially as implemented by Canon in the 5D series, does have disadvantages relative to their crop offerings. All of those things have to be carefully considered when making a gear change if one is to acquire a setup that optimally meets his needs.