Putting the full frame myth to bed

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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Lumixdude
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Putting the full frame myth to bed
8 months ago

Enough people out there have a freak out when they here the sentence "That's not a full frame camera!"

What exactly is a full frame then?

That depends, a full frame can be anything from 8mm film to 100mm large format film and beyond, it is any full frame. It refers to a full film frame, but what film frame?

The clever marketing gurus who came up with this idea would like you to believe that means a 35 photo film frame and because of this having a 35mm photo film frame equivalent is somehow, some sort of distinct advantage.

BUT SAY IT IS SO!

Perhaps... if you're talking specifically about 35mm film equivalency, but then what about medium and large format sensor equivalency. They are "full frame" because they are equivalent to their respective film size standards.

Full frame means nothing more than frame equivalent. Crop sensor is a marker there of... This is where all hell breaks loose. Black Magic makes a full frame 16mm video recorder on the Micro Four Thirds format that is also full frame called the Black Magic Pocket Cinema, it is Full Frame equivalent to super 16mm film.

Where does that leave Micro Four Thirds? Micro Four Thirds is not a crop sensor as it does not have a smaller form factor. It's its own distinct frame size, Black Magic actually use a cropped Micro Four Thirds sensor to achieve super 16 full frame

APS-C while being close to Super 35 is not directly equivalent and is a crop factor sensor of "full frame" 35mm (photo film) equivalent sensors.

So there you go... You can go on and do your own comparisons to other film formats but full frame may not be exactly what you thought it was and just because something is full frame, by the definition of that word it doesn't actually make it better than the next camera that is a "crop factor" camera.

Clever marketing, but easy enough not to fall for.

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