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

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Alan_S Senior Member • Posts: 1,802
Re: Accurately comparing FF vs APS-C sensor performance? An open discussion.

Clayton1985 wrote:

For me at least I'm either shooting on a tripod, shooting in A mode and have room to move shutter speed down with no adverse effects, or shooting in situations where shallower DoF is preferred.  This probably covers at least 85% of what I do.  The other 15% would potentially benefit from the scenarios that you show in your comparison resulting in the diminished advantage of FF.  I'm sure many others would have a very different percentage based on their typical use, and if so, they may find that APS-C is a better fit for their needs.

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

 Alan_S's gear list:Alan_S's gear list
Sony a99 II Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II +4 more
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