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Thread: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

  1. #1

    Default Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Would like to ask what's the point of getting a full-frame DSLR.

    I'm currently using a Nikon FM2 and will get a DSLR in time to come.
    I feel that if I'm to get a DSLR, I'm most likely to take advantage of the DX 1.5x crop factor to let my lens have a longer focal range.

    A full-frame camera would have a sensor size to equivalate that of the 35mm film camera.

    Some of my friends say that to blow up a photo from a full-frame camera will have a sharper picture than that of a 1.5x crop.
    This I'm not too sure and would like to know from you guys how true it is.

    Some also advised me to get a full-frame camera coz' I'm used to my Nikon FM2 and it's perspective.
    Thus, my dilemma about DSLRs versus Full-Frame DSLRS.

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinty View Post
    Would like to ask what's the point of getting a full-frame DSLR.

    I'm currently using a Nikon FM2 and will get a DSLR in time to come.
    I feel that if I'm to get a DSLR, I'm most likely to take advantage of the DX 1.5x crop factor to let my lens have a longer focal range.

    A full-frame camera would have a sensor size to equivalate that of the 35mm film camera.

    Some of my friends say that to blow up a photo from a full-frame camera will have a sharper picture than that of a 1.5x crop.
    This I'm not too sure and would like to know from you guys how true it is.

    Some also advised me to get a full-frame camera coz' I'm used to my Nikon FM2 and it's perspective.
    Thus, my dilemma about DSLRs versus Full-Frame DSLRS.
    The point to getting a full frame sensor is for the larger pixel pitch aka bigger surface area for 1 pixel=less noise.

    Perspective is also important. If you have a APC-C sensor, your focal length is cropped but your perspective reamins the same. Some ppl dun like this, including me, it just looks weird.

    Whether a image from a full frame sensor is sharper or not, i'm not sure, but a APS-C sensor, due to its smaller size, only uses the center of the lens, hence achieves max. sharpness and min. vignetting though this can be acheive on a FF sensor via cropping.

    Some people like the 1.5x crop factor becos they like the tele advantage, but others like me, dislike it because I like the wide angle.

    Its a matter of preference, but if u got the money, get a FF cos FF can emulate an APC-C, but a APS-C cannot emulate a FF^^

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Please tell me what's APC-C and what's APS-C.
    I feel that since I've a Nikon FM2 which is a 35mm film camera and is a full-frame camera,
    I should be going for a DX 1.5x crop to take advantage of the telescopic end.
    Full-frame DSLR seems to be bulky as well as expensive.

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by kgston View Post
    The point to getting a full frame sensor is for the larger pixel pitch aka bigger surface area for 1 pixel=less noise.

    Perspective is also important. If you have a APC-C sensor, your focal length is cropped but your perspective reamins the same. Some ppl dun like this, including me, it just looks weird.

    Whether a image from a full frame sensor is sharper or not, i'm not sure, but a APS-C sensor, due to its smaller size, only uses the center of the lens, hence achieves max. sharpness and min. vignetting though this can be acheive on a FF sensor via cropping.

    Some people like the 1.5x crop factor becos they like the tele advantage, but others like me, dislike it because I like the wide angle.

    Its a matter of preference, but if u got the money, get a FF cos FF can emulate an APC-C, but a APS-C cannot emulate a FF^^

    Very good and balance view but I have a comment about the perspective.

    Perspective is a function of the relative postion between the camera and the subject. Once you get the perspective you want, you can then select the appropriate focal length to provide the FOV you want at that perspective.

    In other words I believe you can get the same perpective and FOV for FF and 1.5x cropped sensor....just need to maintain the same camera-subject relative position and then use different focal length to achieve the same FOV.

    Another consideration is the DOF. Keeping final viewing size, perspective, FOV and f-number constant, larger sensor means shorter DOF. In theory a full frame sensor will have shorter DOF than 1.5x cropped sensor, but I am not sure how big a difference there is.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinty View Post
    Please tell me what's APC-C and what's APS-C.
    I feel that since I've a Nikon FM2 which is a 35mm film camera and is a full-frame camera,
    I should be going for a DX 1.5x crop to take advantage of the telescopic end.
    Full-frame DSLR seems to be bulky as well as expensive.

    You should look at the cropped sensor as a limitation than as an advantage.

    If you get a FF sensor you can still crop the image to get the same tele advantage a cropped sensor gives you. The main question is, does the equivalent area on the FF sensor gives you equivalent resolution and noise performance of the cropped sensor?
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    You can read about the advantage here... (written by the Nikon troll KRW)

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/full...-advantage.htm

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    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Looks like you are more looking towards tele end, if that is the case and it was me I would select DX body, offers you more distant on cheaper DX body if compared to FX body.

    FX would be good for those who prefers wides. Just my viewpoint.

    ../azul123

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    FF and crop sensor depends on your usage.

    I like the crop sensor too for the "longer reach". However do take note of the pixel density. Higher pixel density = "sharper" photo in a sense because more details are capture. check this article on pixel density.

    http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/dslrs...slrsensors.htm

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    DX is Nikon APS-C sensor format that has 1.5x crop factor.
    It is great as it makes lenses longer and more to the tele side. But it makes wide lenses to tele as well. Thus, wide lenses film is no more as wide in DX DSLR anymore.

    In the film days, it is believe and a fact if the film size is bigger, ones can enlarger bigger prints; i.e. a good image on a medium format 6x6 cm film can enlarge to 5 story building size. Thus, a bigger sensor means bigger enlargement is possible as it can capture more details.

    Since you use film, like me for over 20 years, DX format is very strange format but camera can be cheaper and smaller. If you have not play film, a DX DSLR would not confuse you too much. Once you play film, you may wonder things like why my viewfinder so small, why my wide becomes a tele and so on. Though great pictures are produced by DX format, much Photoshop or post processing works are needed. On film, if you get it, you get it. If not try again and not much post processing can be done.

    FX is more expensive than DX format DSLR now but since every vendor have a full frame soon, price will comes down one day. Like the cheapest Full Frame DSLR Canon 5D is aroung 4K. Meanwhile enjoy DX format and buy very wide lenses that can be used in FX.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    What's the dilemma?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by frederickykfoo View Post
    DX is Nikon APS-C sensor format that has 1.5x crop factor.
    It is great as it makes lenses longer and more to the tele side. But it makes wide lenses to tele as well. Thus, wide lenses film is no more as wide in DX DSLR anymore.

    In the film days, it is believe and a fact if the film size is bigger, ones can enlarger bigger prints; i.e. a good image on a medium format 6x6 cm film can enlarge to 5 story building size. Thus, a bigger sensor means bigger enlargement is possible as it can capture more details.

    Since you use film, like me for over 20 years, DX format is very strange format but camera can be cheaper and smaller. If you have not play film, a DX DSLR would not confuse you too much. Once you play film, you may wonder things like why my viewfinder so small, why my wide becomes a tele and so on. Though great pictures are produced by DX format, much Photoshop or post processing works are needed. On film, if you get it, you get it. If not try again and not much post processing can be done.

    FX is more expensive than DX format DSLR now but since every vendor have a full frame soon, price will comes down one day. Like the cheapest Full Frame DSLR Canon 5D is aroung 4K. Meanwhile enjoy DX format and buy very wide lenses that can be used in FX.

    What you have said fascinates me and is logical in every aspect and makes
    me consider the full-frame DSLR now; as well as my love for wide-angles.

    I've been taking photos for about a year now with my
    Nikon FM2 and 50mm f/1.4 (my one and only manual lens)and I still like the feel of film better than digital;
    yet, digital is the way to go now.
    If I'm to do events in the future, several frames per shot might be needed as and when.

    Somehow, still feel that the full-frame camera, Nikon D3, is really bulky.

    I would like to know if the full-frame DSLRs can ever become smaller in size
    due to it's bigger sensor, coz' the size and weight irks me quite a bit.

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinty View Post
    Please tell me what's APC-C and what's APS-C.
    I feel that since I've a Nikon FM2 which is a 35mm film camera and is a full-frame camera,
    I should be going for a DX 1.5x crop to take advantage of the telescopic end.
    Full-frame DSLR seems to be bulky as well as expensive.
    APC-C is a typo error, APS-C is the name which they give to 1.5x crop sensor. I've been using a FM2 and when i'm gonna upgrade to digital, I'm surely gonna get a FF camera. Agreed they are expensive and bulky, I predict that its gonna flow down to the mid range and low end DSLR in 3-5 years time. In 10 years, I reckon 1.5x crop sensors is gonna go out the window. In any case, its true that 1.5x crop give you pseudo telescopic advantage, but that can also be acheived on a FF sensor. The reason is because of a smaller sensor, the field of view is smaller and hence the longer apparent focal length. If you can understand this, then you should be able to understand why a FF sensor is somewhat superior to a DX sensor. Just get whatever that suit your needs^^

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    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by kgston View Post
    APC-C is a typo error, APS-C is the name which they give to 1.5x crop sensor. I've been using a FM2 and when i'm gonna upgrade to digital, I'm surely gonna get a FF camera. Agreed they are expensive and bulky, I predict that its gonna flow down to the mid range and low end DSLR in 3-5 years time. In 10 years, I reckon 1.5x crop sensors is gonna go out the window. In any case, its true that 1.5x crop give you pseudo telescopic advantage, but that can also be acheived on a FF sensor. The reason is because of a smaller sensor, the field of view is smaller and hence the longer apparent focal length. If you can understand this, then you should be able to understand why a FF sensor is somewhat superior to a DX sensor. Just get whatever that suit your needs^^
    Finally...someone hit the concept of FF vs Crop factor right on the nail!. The telescopic effect is "perceptual" and not physically real.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    theres definitely a great difference bet a 1.5crop (aps-c) and ff cam. its rather similar to compaing a entry-level dslr and a PnS. obviously, a pns with say 12+ megapixels would produce larger images than a 6.1 megapixel dslr, but the quality is much lower (5x crop compared to 1.5x crop)
    check out nikon's global site for pics of the d3. even though the image size is smaller than some cams at 1.5 or 1.3 crop, the detail is much better, and can me resized without much loss in quality.

    if u can afford, get a ff cam. abt the focal length, the perspective, or angle of view is the same, but not the focal length. so although u may get sth like 105-300mm on a 70-200 with a 1.5 crop, what u r getting is actually 'fake'.

    ff cams produce much more realistic images in terms of focal length to angle of view, and in terms of quality

    but after using a 1.5 crop for quite a while now, im quite used to it so no plans upgrading to a ff cam just yet. after all, i cant afford 1 either

  15. #15

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Thanks for all the comments on this thread.
    Will surely look into getting a full-frame DSLR.

    Don't mind if I ask a totally different question from the topic..

    Would like to know if this set-up of lenses that I'm planning to get will cover a good scope of range. They are:

    AF 50mm f/1.4D
    AF 14mm f/2.8D ED
    AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
    AF-S 80-200 f/2.8 IF-ED
    (D3 don't seem to be able to use all functions with the last lens as it ain't a D lens.
    Wonder if I should go for the AF 80-200 f/2.8D ED and forsake the Silent Wave Motor so to be able to use D3's full functions..
    After all, this lens is cheaper and lighter too..)

    Please tell me what do you guys think.
    Thanks once again.

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinty View Post
    AF-S 80-200 f/2.8 IF-ED
    (D3 don't seem to be able to use all functions with the last lens as it ain't a D lens.
    Wonder if I should go for the AF 80-200 f/2.8D ED and forsake the Silent Wave Motor so to be able to use D3's full functions..
    After all, this lens is cheaper and lighter too..)
    Huh ? What function will the be missed out by the D3 if it's not a D lense?

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    Finally...someone hit the concept of FF vs Crop factor right on the nail!. The telescopic effect is "perceptual" and not physically real.
    This will be true only if they can give us FF sensor with the same/better pixel density as the cropped sensor. Now they are shortcharging us. If what we want is only the center portion of the image since we will be cropping it away to get the section that we want, what matters id the details in that section so teh pixel density is important. Same reason why ppl go for higher resolution scanner and printers.

    using Canon example below.

    The 1Ds Mark II's 16.7 megapixel sensor is 'full frame' (same size as 35mm film) at 24X36mm. The sensor is about 1.41 inches wide with resolution of 4992 x 3328 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3540 ppi (Pixels Per linear Inch) on this camera's sensor. Canon's DSLR cameras produce pixels with an equal height and width, square pixels.

    The Canon 1D Mark II's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.3 crop factor and a sensor size of 19.1X28.7mm. The sensor is about 1.13 inches wide with a pixel resolution of 3504 x 2336. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3100 ppi on this camera's sensor.

    The Canon 20D's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.6 crop factor and a sensor size of 15X22.5. The sensor is about .89 inches wide with resolution of 3504 x 2336 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3937 ppi on this camera's sensor.


    As yu can see, in this comparison, the 20D will be a better deal for ppl who uses telephoto lens. This is only comparing the sensor, not the other features of the cameras since TS ask for FF vs Cropped sensors.

    I had not get te details of the latest cameras as I dont have the need. may be using the same maths calculation, I would say the 1Dsmk3 will fare batter.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkyfoot17 View Post
    Huh ? What function will the be missed out by the D3 if it's not a D lense?
    As found in the Micro-Site that I've highlighted in purple:

    Compatible Lenses*1
    1) Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All functions supported
    2) DX AF NIKKOR: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
    3) AF NIKKOR other than type G or D*2: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
    4) AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
    5) Non-CPU AI NIKKOR: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster;
    Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data
    *1. IX NIKKOR lenses cannot be used
    *2. Excluding lenses for F3AF
    Last edited by Quinty; 16th September 2007 at 10:27 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by DeSwitch View Post
    This will be true only if they can give us FF sensor with the same/better pixel density as the cropped sensor. Now they are shortcharging us. If what we want is only the center portion of the image since we will be cropping it away to get the section that we want, what matters id the details in that section so teh pixel density is important. Same reason why ppl go for higher resolution scanner and printers.

    using Canon example below.

    The 1Ds Mark II's 16.7 megapixel sensor is 'full frame' (same size as 35mm film) at 24X36mm. The sensor is about 1.41 inches wide with resolution of 4992 x 3328 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3540 ppi (Pixels Per linear Inch) on this camera's sensor. Canon's DSLR cameras produce pixels with an equal height and width, square pixels.

    The Canon 1D Mark II's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.3 crop factor and a sensor size of 19.1X28.7mm. The sensor is about 1.13 inches wide with a pixel resolution of 3504 x 2336. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3100 ppi on this camera's sensor.

    The Canon 20D's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.6 crop factor and a sensor size of 15X22.5. The sensor is about .89 inches wide with resolution of 3504 x 2336 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3937 ppi on this camera's sensor.


    As yu can see, in this comparison, the 20D will be a better deal for ppl who uses telephoto lens. This is only comparing the sensor, not the other features of the cameras since TS ask for FF vs Cropped sensors.

    I had not get te details of the latest cameras as I dont have the need. may be using the same maths calculation, I would say the 1Dsmk3 will fare batter.
    I'm not sure what do all of you mean by pixel density as I'm not a DSLR user as of yet.
    Apparently, it seems to be how much pixels you can cram into a certain space if I'm not wrong.

    One of the main focus that I'm looking into would be printing large prints in the future.

    To date, while checking out the specifications of the D3 which is a full-frame DSLR..
    It's able to provide both DX as well as FX functions which means that if I'm to purchase such a camera,
    it will give me both the telephoto benefit of the 1.5x crop factor cum the wide-angle view of the 35mm format.

    Another point is that I'm pretty used to running on film.
    The full-frame DSLR, as purported by my friends would be that I'll have ease of use, if I purchase it due to the similarities of that of a 35mm SLR.

    I'd like to know if these 'Pixels per Linear Inch'..
    They're the thing that causes 'Grain' ?
    What's the difference by counting in 'Dots per inch' versus 'Pixels per Linear Inch' ?

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    Default Re: Question on Full-Frame DSLRs

    Quote Originally Posted by DeSwitch View Post
    This will be true only if they can give us FF sensor with the same/better pixel density as the cropped sensor. Now they are shortcharging us. If what we want is only the center portion of the image since we will be cropping it away to get the section that we want, what matters id the details in that section so teh pixel density is important. Same reason why ppl go for higher resolution scanner and printers.

    using Canon example below.

    The 1Ds Mark II's 16.7 megapixel sensor is 'full frame' (same size as 35mm film) at 24X36mm. The sensor is about 1.41 inches wide with resolution of 4992 x 3328 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3540 ppi (Pixels Per linear Inch) on this camera's sensor. Canon's DSLR cameras produce pixels with an equal height and width, square pixels.

    The Canon 1D Mark II's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.3 crop factor and a sensor size of 19.1X28.7mm. The sensor is about 1.13 inches wide with a pixel resolution of 3504 x 2336. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3100 ppi on this camera's sensor.

    The Canon 20D's 8 megapixel sensor has a 1.6 crop factor and a sensor size of 15X22.5. The sensor is about .89 inches wide with resolution of 3504 x 2336 pixels. Dividing the width resolution by the width of the sensor in inches shows us that we have about 3937 ppi on this camera's sensor.


    As yu can see, in this comparison, the 20D will be a better deal for ppl who uses telephoto lens. This is only comparing the sensor, not the other features of the cameras since TS ask for FF vs Cropped sensors.

    I had not get te details of the latest cameras as I dont have the need. may be using the same maths calculation, I would say the 1Dsmk3 will fare batter.
    Wa.. chim, i think the TS is a little confused. Allow me to summarise your points, point me out if i'm wrong. What your trying to say that on a DX sensor has more pixles/area a.k.a. pixel density; which is true, and that if we are just going to use the cropped center portion of the frame, we're going to lose pixles if we use a FF sensor. E.g. if I have a FF 12mp pic and I crop it to DX format, I'm only left with 6mp. In this respect, I agree the DX format has an advantage. However, this increase in pixel density has an added disadvantage - which is more noise at higher ISO - the digital version of grain.

    I'll leave it to the TS to decide whether an increased pixel density is an advantage or disadvantage.^^

    As for the D3, it does have a DX mode, however it just only ultilizes the center portion of the sensor and results in images of 6mp only. It is the same as cropping a FF image.

    DPI is onli used for printers as they produce coloured dots, sensors don't have dots, they have pixles..hehe
    Last edited by kgston; 16th September 2007 at 05:50 PM.

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