Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor for Amateur Sports Photography

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
Gregh42 Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor for Amateur Sports Photography

Edward NJ wrote:

Although I am an amateur, I have taken photography seriously in the past year. I mostly shoot sporting events such as races (5K, 10K, Half-Marathons, Marathons) also Spartan Races and some Tough Mudders for the local chapter of a non-profit organization called Team RWB that helps veterans to connect with their communities through physical and social activities. One of my pictures is being use to advertise their new Nike T-shirts

I have used different L lenses with my modest T4i; I have also used a 6D which I loved, although I wasn’t too thrilled about its autofocus. To make the story short, I was wondering how much are you gaining in image quality if you have to crop your images to compensate for the ‘wider’ angle in a full frame? Is it worth it if am losing some resolution?

I know that ultimately full frame is the way to go but I really like my 70-200 2.8 IS II, I feel that I will lose some reach switching to a full frame, and like I said I do not make money with my photography so a 300mm or 400mm prime are not an option. One of the main reasons why I am asking is because I refuse to buy the Sigma 18-35 1.8 since it’s a non-full frame lens.

Thanks in advance,


P.S. I just recently started using Flikr, constructive criticism is welcome!


I recently made the switch from a 7D (also a crop sensor) to a 5d iii and just shot a few soccer games. I am shooting with the 70-200 non-IS, so it is similar to your situation.

My initial impressions:

1) I do miss the reach. I'm going to purchase a 1.4x converter. 50-75% of my shots were at the max end of the lens. For me this is more of a "shooting style" thing. It depends on the type of shots you are trying to get. I am also adjusting my style to have more shots that are a little wider.

2) This may be a little subjective, but I think the image quality is quite a bit better on my 5d iii with the same lens. The bokeh is "creamier" than what it was before.

3) The AF is also really solid on the FF 5diii (and also good on the 6D from what I've heard). On my recent shoot I only had a few pictures that were out of focus, mostly due to the Servo mode I was running and other players jumping in front. In the past on the 7D I was also impressed with the AF, but I think the 5d iii is better.

4) I miss the FPS of the 7D... It's not quite as good as the 7D.

For me, the balance of FF vs. Crop is between getting the shots (where FPS/reach is important) and balancing the better image quality. If you're going for mostly sports I think you'd be happier with a 7D. Either way you'd have a significant step up from your T4i. Unless you are selling your photos, or really finicky, the better IQ may not be worth the premium.

 Gregh42's gear list:Gregh42's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sony Alpha NEX-6 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM +8 more
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