Nikon FF v APS-C image comparison

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic Senior Member • Posts: 2,639
FF by default has *MORE* depth of field (DoF)

bkpix wrote:

For an interesting comparison of image quality between similar 24-meg FF and crop cameras (D600 and D7100) take a look at this.

In comparing the two cameras, he finds virtually identical color and sharpness in low ISO images -- to his own surprise. The D600, as expected, has better high ISO image quality and shorter depth of field for the same aperture.

It's a common mistake. Check the DoF calculator.

At a same focal length(*), same aperture and same distance, the DoF available to a FF camera is 50% longer. FF has more available DoF.

Say subject is 10 ft away, focal length is 55mm, aperture is f1.4. (we are using same DA*55 lens, that works on FF and APS-C)
An APS-C camera calculation:
Depth of field

  • Near limit 9.73 ft
  • Far limit 10.3 ft
  • Total 0.56 ft 
  • In front of subject 0.27 ft (49%)
  • Behind subject 0.29 ft (51%)

An FF camera calculation:
Depth of field

  • Near limit 9.6 ft
  • Far limit 10.4 ft
  • Total 0.84 ft 
  • In front of subject 0.4 ft (48%)
  • Behind subject 0.44 ft (52%)

0.84/0.56 = (voila!) 1.5

However, the OoF characteristics is different in an FF camera, producing an illusion that its DoF looks shallower, albeit it isn't.

(*) actual focal length written on a lens

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Zvonimir Tosic
“A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

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