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 Alan_S, Apr 11, 2013

Alan_S wrote:

I'm in the same 85% (actually higher) camp with you. I've read the OP several times and, while I appreciate all the time and effort, am still scratching my head, as the concluding paragraph sums it up

"...when trying to capture the pictures to identically match the look of an APS-C, it should look no worse than APS-C.  But it only goes up from there.  If you can afford a shallower depth of field or can afford a longer shutter speed, then the Full Frame will shine."

I keep wondering why in the world I would want to try to match the look of APS-C, other than the rare instance that I want the deeper DOF. While it is sometimes desired, my eye sees a consistently deep DOF as a P&S trait (one that I seldom strive to match -- which seems to be what the OP is all about?). Again, at least to my eye, a shallow DOF produces a more life-like 3-dimensional image, which I usually strive for whether shooting FF or APS-C, so the piece seems geared backward to me.

I guess the conclusion I'm reading here is that "Full Frame will shine" vs APS-C in virtually all of my shooting situations?

I have both the 77 and the 99. As others have mentioned my initial intent was to keep the 77 for the "extra reach" (as, for wildlife, the 70-400G never seems to have enough reach). However, I'm finding that the 77's perceived advantage, except in the brightest of light (which is almost never the "best" light) is really an illusion. The "advantage" evaporates quickly when the sky is cloudy or twilight approaches; 400mm demands fast shutter, meaning higher ISO (so I want the 400mm on the 99). Even after cropping the a99 files to "match" the APS-C reach, the improved dynamic range and cleaner FF image more than outweighs the APS-C crop factor.

So, and again I do appreciate the time and effort that went into the OP, but at least for my shooting style, whether shooting portraits (where the shallow DOF is usually most desirable), or shooting wildlife/telephoto (where higher shutter speeds and best/lower light requires large apertures and elevated ISO), side-by-side, the full frame wins hands-down, at least for my needs nearly 100% of the time.

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- AlanS

That is a very good response that pretty much checks all the boxes.

My only response to that is that I am not all about deep DoF.  And the keyword should be deeper, not necessarily deep.  Maybe less shallow DoF would be more appropriate?

I do agree that proper use of DoF helps produce a more three dimensional look, and I always strive to get that right balance in my shots.  I love it when I can get a great shot with some buttery smooth bokeh providing a nice separation of the the subject from the foreground and background.

The difference here can be shooting at F/2.8 on an APS-C while Full Frame may need an F/4.5 or if shooting at F/1.4 or an APS-C a Full Frame might need an F/2.2 to get just that little extra DoF that you get on the APS-C is when shooting at the same equivalent focal length.  It might only be making a difference of only an inch or less, but sometimes when shooting with such a shallow DoF an extra inch (or fraction) may be all you need.  Meanwhile you are trying to keep your shutter speed up for one reason or another, whether it be due to available light or a moving subject.

Thanks again for your insight.

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Paul

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