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Author Topic: Major IQ advantage of FF?  (Read 11312 times)

Cory

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Major IQ advantage of FF?
« on: November 06, 2013, 09:46:40 PM »
I know that you get a more shallow DOF and better high ISO performance with a full frame over a crop, but with good lenses on either is there really much of an IQ difference all other things being equal.  I do get great results with my T1i, but I do see some ultra-great results out there that my camera just isn't capable of.  The sensible option is to remain with my crop-inspired lenses and maybe go to a 70D or the next Rebel, but the 6D seems pretty cool. 
I agonize over this stuff because I'm the opposite of a gear-hound.  I'm a minimalist who tries to do the most with the least so it's quality over quantity.  Thank you in advance for your wisdom.
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Major IQ advantage of FF?
« on: November 06, 2013, 09:46:40 PM »

BozillaNZ

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 10:07:11 PM »
Not a gear hound? Then don't even ask this question, stick to what you have and be happy! APS-C more than good enough.
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Don Haines

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 10:11:50 PM »
That's not an easy question to answer....

There are a few good rules of thumb to consider....

1) Nobody cares about the IQ of an out of focus picture (get a good AF system for YOUR needs)
2) FF works better in poor light...
3) FF gives less distortion with wide angles while crop gives more pixels on target for distant objects.
4) FF is more forgiving of lens limitations than crop. (Kit lenses on a crop camera give poor sharpness, but a quality lens is good on FF and crop)
5) Crop is lighter and less expensive.
6) Most important.... good image editing software!!!!!!

So much depends on how and what you shoot... If you are shooting indoors and with wide angles FF is hard to beat.... If you are trying to track fast moving objects, AF is the most important thing to have. If you are shooting distant wildlife, and can not afford a $10,000 super-telephoto, crop is great... We all have a different set of requirements so everyone's answer will be different. Whichever route you take, there is one constant, decent image editing software will have the most "bang for the buck".
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 10:15:20 PM »
I was amazed at the amount of detail when I went from a 30D to a 5D several years back.  The 30D was a good camera of the day.
 
That said, at ISO 100 you will not see a huge difference in IQ.  But for difficult lighting, a FF pulls away.
 
You generally do not need as good of a lens on FF as you do on a crop due to the larger photosites.  Pretty much any lens will have more resolution in the center on a FF body, but usually the edges won't be quite as good.
 
I use crop and FF both, I'm not worried about the IQ of either, but in difficult lighting, I always use the FF body.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 10:21:01 PM »
Can you link to an image that your 500D isn't capable of, but 135/leica/minature format DSLR is before I comment.

If its brids in flight, ok.

It its a sprinter running straight at you.  Ok.

If it's astrophotography.  Ok.

For everything else, 500D should be a good companion.  But if you have the full frame termites in your brain, maybe better to make sure that any new lenses you buy are EF.

Don Haines

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 10:35:04 PM »
About software having more of an effect than bodies or lenses.... Same picture, taken with a crop camera and a 12mm lens.... This picture has overexposed areas and dark areas, because of the wide angle lens used, note the distortion.... the fellow in the bottom right is walking at quite an angle.


Using lightroom, adjust the white balance (#1 reason to shoot in RAW), drop down the brightness of the overexposed area and bring up the detail in the shadows. Enable the lens profile and the vignetting and some of the distortion goes away, then tweak the manual adjustments for distortion and our friend can now walk upright again :)

Seriously, software like lightroom and shooting in RAW will have more of an impact on your pictures than a $3000 camera and $5000 of lenses...
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docholliday

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 11:34:12 PM »
There's a huge difference between being a gearhead and having the right tools for the situation. There's a difference with spending the right money in the right places for the right items vs being cheap. And, there's a difference with trying to "improvise" with less than optimal gear and learning to use the right gear correctly.

Learning to control light, use PP tools well, and the stopping at/overcoming/removing the limitations of the tools at hand will do more than upgrading any body or lens. Well, that is until you find the limitation to be that piece of gear...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 11:36:01 PM by docholliday »

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 11:34:12 PM »

duydaniel

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 12:02:17 AM »
I went from Nikon D5100 to Canon 5D3
and I saw about 10% improvement in IQ over all.

Stick with DX

TexPhoto

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 12:21:23 AM »
In many things the more you get into something the more you understand and perceive the complexities.  I am not a wine guy and $100 a bottle wine does not taste much different to me than $10.  So while I'm not going to buy $100 bottles of wine, I'm not going to sit and debate the guy who does.

FF has some advantages as does crop.  If you can afford it and enjoy it, buy what suits you, heck buy both.

The wonderful thing about photography is while many debate FF/crop, RAW vs. Jpeg, and on and on, others will produce, display and sell quality images.

Woody

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 12:40:10 AM »
Image details. Use the ISO 12233 Sample Crops in The Digital Pictures to see the difference.

Woody

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 12:47:44 AM »
In many things the more you get into something the more you understand and perceive the complexities.  I am not a wine guy and $100 a bottle wine does not taste much different to me than $10.  So while I'm not going to buy $100 bottles of wine, I'm not going to sit and debate the guy who does.

FF has some advantages as does crop.  If you can afford it and enjoy it, buy what suits you, heck buy both.

The wonderful thing about photography is while many debate FF/crop, RAW vs. Jpeg, and on and on, others will produce, display and sell quality images.

Well said!

David_in_Seattle

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 12:48:18 AM »
I know that you get a more shallow DOF and better high ISO performance with a full frame over a crop, but with good lenses on either is there really much of an IQ difference all other things being equal.  I do get great results with my T1i, but I do see some ultra-great results out there that my camera just isn't capable of.  The sensible option is to remain with my crop-inspired lenses and maybe go to a 70D or the next Rebel, but the 6D seems pretty cool. 
I agonize over this stuff because I'm the opposite of a gear-hound.  I'm a minimalist who tries to do the most with the least so it's quality over quantity.  Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

The points you stated are very good reasons for why someone would transition from crop to full frame cameras.  I'd add the notion that if you buy a really nice lens, like the 50mm f1.2, then what's the point of using it on a crop sensor camera when you will not be able to utilize the key feature of this lens (super shallow DOF)?  On a crop sensor camera f1.2 is close to the visual DOF equivalent of f1.8 on a full frame.  In addition, the lens now becomes 80mm due to the crop so you'll never be able to utilize the true focal perspective in combination to its DOF. 

Another thing I'll mention is that I notice much more contrast and saturation on my 5Dmk3 vs 60D when using the same lens.  I figured the sensor and processor on the 5Dmk3 is able to capture more color detail even though both cameras capture 14bit RAW images.

I still keep my 60D with the 17-55 lens (and will upgrade to the 70D) because it's much lighter than my 5Dmk3 and still takes great photos and records excellent video.
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gmrza

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 01:19:51 AM »
I know that you get a more shallow DOF and better high ISO performance with a full frame over a crop, but with good lenses on either is there really much of an IQ difference all other things being equal.  I do get great results with my T1i, but I do see some ultra-great results out there that my camera just isn't capable of.  The sensible option is to remain with my crop-inspired lenses and maybe go to a 70D or the next Rebel, but the 6D seems pretty cool. 
I agonize over this stuff because I'm the opposite of a gear-hound.  I'm a minimalist who tries to do the most with the least so it's quality over quantity.  Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

This is not a scientific analysis, because the two frames below were shot under different conditions, but it gives some illustration.  The first frame was taken with a 5D3 using a 24-70 f/2.8II and the second with a 7D using the 50mm f/1.4.  Both are good lenses, but the 24-70 is stellar - it is visibly better, so take sharpness and contrast between the images with a bit of a grain of salt.

The lighting between the shots is different - the image with the 5D3 was shot with flash at ISO1250, while the shot taken with the 7D is using ambient light at ISO 100.  Still, look at the shadow detail, it is very different.

Most importantly - take this comparison for what it is - I just pulled 100% crops from 2 existing images, shot with different lighting, using different lenses, at different ISOs - this is not a well-controlled experiment.
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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 01:19:51 AM »

pulseimages

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2013, 01:28:16 AM »
I know that you get a more shallow DOF and better high ISO performance with a full frame over a crop, but with good lenses on either is there really much of an IQ difference all other things being equal.  I do get great results with my T1i, but I do see some ultra-great results out there that my camera just isn't capable of.  The sensible option is to remain with my crop-inspired lenses and maybe go to a 70D or the next Rebel, but the 6D seems pretty cool. 
I agonize over this stuff because I'm the opposite of a gear-hound.  I'm a minimalist who tries to do the most with the least so it's quality over quantity.  Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

This is not a scientific analysis, because the two frames below were shot under different conditions, but it gives some illustration.  The first frame was taken with a 5D3 using a 24-70 f/2.8II and the second with a 7D using the 50mm f/1.4.  Both are good lenses, but the 24-70 is stellar - it is visibly better, so take sharpness and contrast between the images with a bit of a grain of salt.

The lighting between the shots is different - the image with the 5D3 was shot with flash at ISO1250, while the shot taken with the 7D is using ambient light at ISO 100.  Still, look at the shadow detail, it is very different.

Most importantly - take this comparison for what it is - I just pulled 100% crops from 2 existing images, shot with different lighting, using different lenses, at different ISOs - this is not a well-controlled experiment.

Good examples! While they are somewhat close the 5D3 image has way more pop. :)

wayno

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 01:29:58 AM »
When I moved to FF I noticed the shallow DOF thing immediately. But also, I found my F8 landscapes etc had a subtly more cinematic and dimensional quality. It might be a perception/subjective thing but for me, it was noticable. There is something lush about FF at any aperture that ordinarily is not the case with crop. That could well be blamed on lens differences but I think it's more profound. Just my personal take.

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Re: Major IQ advantage of FF?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 01:29:58 AM »