The real advantage of Full Frame.

Started May 17, 2008 | Discussions thread
monte12345 Senior Member • Posts: 2,672
The actual advantage is actually quite basic.

The simple fact is that for any given print size the larger the format, the less magnification will be required in the final print.

Consider an 8 x 10 inch print. With the DX format a magnification of 12.7 X will be required to make the print if you don't crop anything except the excess width. With the FX format that total magnification will be 8.5 X. With an 8 x 10 inch large format camera, the total magnification will be 1.0 X.

So, why does the magnification matter. It matters because you are magnifying any defect along with your image, be it noise, lens softness, you name it. Which means that if your pushing the limits by making a very large print, the larger format will produce a better looking print. BTW, my experience is that the DX format will make a great looking 16 x 24 inch print, the FX format will go to 24 x 36 inches. If you need prints larger than this, well that explains why you can still buy medium format digitals and scanning backs as large as 4 x 5 inches.

As for the crop factor issues, I expect that in time that will disappear. Currently you can get a 10mm focal lenth for the DX format an I expect that within 2 or 3 years we will see an 8mm rectilinear lens available for the DX format. So the wide advantage to the FX format will basically vanish. However, if you need to shoot long, the DX format will always have a cost advantage. The DX cameras will cost less and I don't see that ever changing.

So, in the long run it will eventually boil down to just one question, how large do you need to print and how much quality will your require?

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