Advantages of shooting a Full Frame Sensor Camera.

August 04, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone! Hope your having a great week. Last week I talked about the advantages of shooting a crop sensor camera which kind of highlighted the disadvantages of shooting a Full Frame Sensor camera. So this week I wanted to highlight the advantages of shooting a full frame sensor camera.  A disclaimer I am not a professional photographer although I have been paid to shoot things like weddings , portraits , events etc… but I do have 45 years experience of playing with and obsessing with cameras.  From film to Digital. I have owned several Full Frame cameras and currently have a Sony A7III in my camera bag. My first full frame camera was a Nikon D800 a fantastic camera with a 36MP sensor on it and it made great images.  The main difference between the crop sensor camera’s and the full frame sensor camera is of course the Sensor Size. Not in Mega-Pixels but is surface area.  So here goes some advantages of shooting a full sensor camera.

1- Low Light capability. The surface area of the sensor of a full frame is larger than a crop sensor  and catches more light. Bodie Island StarsBodie Island StarsMax Stansell Photography If you had a 24 MP crop sensor and a 24mp full frame sensor the size of each of the pixels of the full frame is 1.5 or more larger than that of the crop sensor.  The surface area allows it to catch that much more light which makes the full frame sensor better in low light shooting situations. Say Astro photography, Wedding photography or anything that is in low light. The images with have more detail and less noise than that of a crop sensor in the same situation.

2- Shallower Depth of Field.  The depth of field is how much of your frame is in GardeniaGardenia focus. A shallow depth of field is great when taking portraits or isolating your subject with a busy background. This is maybe the biggest plus for me. I love that blurry background or Bokeh.  This makes full frame camera’s great for weddings, portraits sessions or almost anything that shallow depth of field is wanted.

3.- More resolution.  Mega-Pixels wars!  These full frame sensors can be from 12mp to 60 plus MP.  This comes into play when cropping in. So in post production maybe you took a shot of a scene but only liked one corner of the image with a large MP sensor you can crop in and not hurt the quality of the shot.  This can make this great landscape or wildlife shooters.  For example if you had a 42mp sensor camera and you cropped in 1.5 times you now have a 19mp image. Which is still great for printing. 

4. - Dynamic Range.  With a larger sensor you have a greater dynamic range. What does this mean? I’ll give Antietam National CemeteryAntietam National Cemetery you an example now the numbers I’m using are made up and are just used to make the point. If I use a crop sensor camera at 24mp and shoot a shot lets say between total black and blown out white there are 1000 shades of grey or color.  With that same 24mp in a full frame sensor maybe you would have 2000 shades of grey or color.  Normally you can’t see this unless you zoom in and look at a certain point of the photo and compare side by side but it is there and it is an advantage of full frame cameras. So the transition between colors will be more fluid with the full frame and more pixelated with the crop sensor.

5. - Larger Camera and lenses. For those that have large hands this can be a plus and I hate to say it but if your shooting professionally customers like to see a photographer with a larger camera. For some reason they think that you have to have that large camera to shoot professional.  And that’s not so. But it can be an advantage if your shooting professionally. So there’s that.

There you have it 5 advantages to shooting full frame sensor camera’s. They are great camera’s and I shoot both crop and full frame and I love them both.  And if you took photo’s from both camera’s and mixed them up and showed them to someone they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference of which camera took them. Believe me I have done it.  Well that’s enough of that until next week.  Keep shooting no matter what camera you have and get outside!


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