Accurately comparing FF vs APS-C sensor performance? An open discussion.

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
VirtualMirage
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Re: Accurately comparing FF vs APS-C sensor performance? An open discussion.
In reply to Glenn, Apr 8, 2013

Glenn wrote:

why would yo want to shoot ff to match what you get from APS-C? Use APS-C for your long FL stuff and FF for everything else. it sounds like your trying to pick one too to do both when each has a clear advantage. constraining one to lessen the advantage it has doesn't create an argument does it?

I think you are missing the point.  The point isn't constraining one type to meet the needs of the other, but to accurately compare the use of one to the other on equal grounds.

Many people are thinking of making the jump from APS-C to Full Frame for its advantages in noise control and depth of field but may not be aware of what other challenges that may bring.  They may only be thinking about larger sensor, better performance, and a 1:1 in focal length instead of 1.5 times focal length.  They might not be thinking about everything else that is tied to that.

You are probably thinking about using the advantage of APS-C purely for it's multiplication factor to focal lengths, where as Full Frames can shoot wider.  If that is the case, then you are limiting the capabilities that each format has to offer.

What you have to ask yourself is, what about just shooting?

If you have a full frame and want a walk around using just a prime, you may choose the popular 35mm or 50mm to get pictures that better fit your natural view.  For someone to do the same with the APS-C, they may choose a 24mm or 35mm to get similar views.  Yet, to capture the same kind of imagery and depth of field you can't use identical apertures.  On the Full Frame, you would need to stop down more, which will slow down your shutter speed unless you up your ISO.  And if you up your ISO to counter the slower shutter speed, you start to lose some of your advantage the Full Frame usually holds when it comes to noise.

Of course, if you don't mind shooting the same picture with a shallower depth of field, then it is a non-issue and the Full Frame has all the advantages and then some.  Again, at the end of the day the Full Frame at its worst will look no worse than an APS-C when it comes to noise.  But in the majority of the situations, it will come out better.

This isn't a knock against Full Frames.  I, myself, have been even looking at doing the jump.  But before that, I wanted to clearly understand what it all entails.

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Paul

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