Any Advantage to Full Frame?

Started Aug 26, 2014 | Questions thread
Matsu Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
When do the differences become visible?

Sometimes the test chart doesn't show the differences.  At base ISO, at a moderate aperture, using a largely 2 dimensional test target, and cameras with moderate resolutions, you will not see much if any difference.

The test chart used above is very instructive.  The D610 uses an AA filter and shows a hint of moire in that sample.  The D7100 has no AA filter, but doesn't seem worse off for it.  What's happening can be partially explained by diffraction.

A 24MP DX sensor begins to be diffraction limited at f/7.4.  You can just see start to see it softening the image.

See this link: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

A 24MP FX sensor begins to be diffraction limited at f/11.3

The DX sensor is closer to the edge where it will start returning less real resolution.  Nikon has balanced things out by removing the AA filter, but as sensors become more densely packed, real world resolution will not scale as well in DX as in FX.

For example, for an FX sensor to be diffraction limited at f/7.4, it would have to have 56MP.

We don't have those sensors yet, but they will start to take us to the edge of practical limits.  Such a density in DX would be limited at only f/4.9.  Often f/5.6 to f/8 are needed to keep an adequate amount of the subject area in focus, so we will see diminishing returns from both, but we will see them more rapidly on DX.

It might not matter for common print sizes in terms of strict resolution, but the output will look different .

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