Thoughts on FF versus APS-C

Started Jul 27, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Nordstjernen
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Thoughts on FF versus APS-C
Jul 27, 2010

When I got my A900 I made some tests with 100 x 70 cm prints (40 x 30 inches) from the A900 and the A700. The cameras were placed on a sturdy Gitzo tripod, I used the Sony 70-200 mm f:2.8 zoom lens at f:8 to get exactly the same crop, and set the cameras to manual. All other settings was as close to each other as possible, like white balance and mirror lock-up. To avoid vibrations I used a cable release.

When making the prints I adjusted contrast (shadow/mid tone/highlights) and color so that the prints should match each other. Also, the images where sharpened individually before printing with an Epson 9880 large format printer.

More than 50 photographers, many professionals, have inspected the prints very closely, and nobody are able to point out for sure which is taken with which camera. Much larger prints would be needed to notice differences when it comes to fine detail.

So for most photographers I think APS-C is sufficient when it comes to detail.

Why FF over APS-C?

Bigger and brighter viewfinder. Ability to crop tighter. The feeling

The downside of FF

Weight, bulk, cost, vignetting

What about DOF?

DOF is more a question about lenses than APS-C vs FF sensor size

After using FF for a while I am really thinking of downsizing to APS-C format, or rightsizing. Of cause I will use my A900 in the years to come, but I will for sure also follow Sony with interest to see what they will offer advanced amateurs/professionals who already are into the A mount.

My conclusion is that APS-C is sufficient for all my work. Staying with APS-C means lower priced lenses and bodies, less weight and bulk -- and more time to make my own photographs instead of doing commercial work to pay for high priced FF gear.

What do you think?

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