Full frame even better for macro shooting?

Started Aug 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Einstein333
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Full frame even better for macro shooting?
Aug 10, 2012

When looking at the sample pictures and the image quality of the new 5dmk3 I feel that my 40d is getting old and needs to be replaced. The 5Dmk3 looks very tempting to me especially because image quality and AF are obviously much better.

There's one thing though that makes me hesitate. About 1/3 of my pictures are macro pictures, the rest mainly landscapes. I'have found several sites/forums on the internet explaining some advantages and disadvantages of full frame/crop cameras for macro picture taking (expecially as far as DOF is concerned). This has led me to the conclusion that if you take into account all the different arguments, full frame cameras should even be a little better for macro shooting than crop cameras (or at least as good). I'm not sure though if my reasoning is correct. If I got it right then things should be like this:

1.) Crop cameras give you more DOF (about 1 stop) for the same FOV because you can move further away from your subject. At first glance this seems to be an advantage for crop cameras.

2.) Full frame cameras let you use smaller apertures though (about 1 stop) before diffraction effects start kicking in. So you can easily compensate the DOF disadvantage for the same field of view by chosing a smaller aperture.

3.) A smaller aperture means you need more light. If a flash isn't your only light source you will usually need about 1 stop higher ISO on the full frame camera in ordert to get the same DOF (still for the same FOV and a smaller aperture). Looking at the sample images of the 5dmk3 / 7d it seems to me that the image quality of the 5dmk3 with one stop higher ISO is still better than the one of the 7d with one stop lower ISO. Hence the 5dmk3 is image quality wise better for macro shooting than the 7d.

Please let me know what you think about this reasoning!

Of course I'm aware of the greater working distance when using a crop camera but I would like to discuss image quality and DOF here.

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