The Crop Sensor Myths

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The Crop Sensor Myths
2 months ago

As Crop Sensor systems develop the once "underpowered" Crop Sensor digital camera is now suitable for the use of many hobbyists. Floating in the internet, the number one place novice and buyers are looking for information, are the many Crop Sensor Myths, they pop up every time someone asks if which Crop Sensor camera they should buy, or if they should even consider a Crop Sensor instead of a Full Frame. The people who repeat these myths have differing motives; some are merely innocently uninformed trying to be helpful, some have a despite need to validate their own purchase choice, some may have even more sinister motives which I will not waste time divulging. In this post I will examine and explain the these common myths around Crop Sensors

Myth Number One : Crop Sensor cameras cannot attain shallow DOF

This myth argues that since Crop Sensor cameras have smaller sensors they can not produce a shallow enough DoF when required. The level of its ludicracy is genuinely bizarre. Almost all Crop Sensor systems now contain plenty of fast primes which are often very sharp wide open. Suffice to say you will be able to get sufficient DoF 99.9% of the time. For the rest 0.1% time you can simply slightly reframe, or the desired DoF is so impossible even larger format will not do. The best solution is usually the Brenizer Method.

Fuji 56mm f/1.2

Myth Number Two : Crop Sensor cameras are too expensive

The issue with this statement is the definition of worth. To many people Crop Sensor cameras do cost more than they deem them to be worth. As is shown however by their success in the market crop sensor cameras to some people clearly cost exactly what they are worth or less. Therefore if they are being successful as cameras pretty much by definition they cannot be too expensive. Of course some people might find them too expensive, but imposing that viewpoint as a fact is simply illogical.

Myth Number Three : Crop Sensor cameras are worse at wide angles than Full Frame

I guess ten years ago this might have been true. It however still seems to get flung around on a regular basis. With lenses such as the fuji 10-24mm, sigma 8-16mm and panasonic 7-14mm it is simply no longer true.

Myth Number Four : Crop Sensor cameras will always be worse in low light

If you have no care for control over your DoF then yes, Full Frame cameras will often do better in low light. However many times when you want to for instance shoot scenes when tripods are not allowed and your subject spans a greater depth the small sensor cameras will often do better. Although the technology in FF cameras is now catching up again, small sensors are usually more efficient, causing equivalent shots to be less noisy. This coupled with the greater range of stabilised lenses, either due to in body stabilisation or due to the greater range of stabilised primes can result in much cleaner images.

Final word

This post does not seek to prove that Crop Sensor is the right choice for everyone, this point must be made clear. Rather it is addressing some of the myths/misinformation floating around that tries to dissuade people from considering Crop Sensors. Photography for us, the hobbyists, is that just that, a hobby. We derive pleasure from generating better looking pictures. People in this forum often ask about whether they should buy Crop Sensor cameras, or whether image quality will suffer. The short and simple answer is no, provided he is more competent than a complete novice Crop Sensors will by and large be able to produce images of similar quality to Full Frame.

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