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Author Topic: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor  (Read 98209 times)

verysimplejason

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2014, 09:04:57 AM »
I've used the a Yashica SLR film camera before getting a 500D then after 3 years, went for a 6D.  I won't go back to APS-C again after that.  The shots I get from an FF and an APS-C is too different.  Aside from that, high ISO capability for an FF is too amazing compared to APS-C.  For events, an FF is really a joy to have.

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #75 on: February 22, 2014, 09:04:57 AM »

tiger82

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #76 on: February 22, 2014, 09:15:04 AM »
I've used the a Yashica SLR film camera before getting a 500D then after 3 years, went for a 6D.  I won't go back to APS-C again after that.  The shots I get from an FF and an APS-C is too different.  Aside from that, high ISO capability for an FF is too amazing compared to APS-C.  For events, an FF is really a joy to have.

You are comparing a current camera with 3+ year old technology.  The ISO capability has no connection to full frame or APS-C, it's a function of sensor age.  The 70D would have given you as big a bump in ISO capability at nearly half the price and allow you to continue using your APS-C lenses.  I could compare a 5D classic with a 7D and conclude that APs-C is superior in many ways.
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verysimplejason

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #77 on: February 22, 2014, 09:43:52 AM »
I've used the a Yashica SLR film camera before getting a 500D then after 3 years, went for a 6D.  I won't go back to APS-C again after that.  The shots I get from an FF and an APS-C is too different.  Aside from that, high ISO capability for an FF is too amazing compared to APS-C.  For events, an FF is really a joy to have.

You are comparing a current camera with 3+ year old technology.  The ISO capability has no connection to full frame or APS-C, it's a function of sensor age.  The 70D would have given you as big a bump in ISO capability at nearly half the price and allow you to continue using your APS-C lenses.  I could compare a 5D classic with a 7D and conclude that APs-C is superior in many ways.

Hmmm... 70D against 500D?  If you are talking of RAW, I'd say there's not much improvement in terms of ISO performance.  Comparing 5D with 7D is just comparing apples with oranges.  5D will beat 7D anytime if the target isn't moving.  7D will just win every time though if the target is moving due to superior AF.  Have you really tried using a FF camera in low light and compared it next to an APS-C?

jdramirez

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #78 on: February 22, 2014, 09:53:45 AM »
What I am lacking is the ability to create compelling photography but that is a process independent of technology.

I can go on and on and on about how I learned photography with just a 55mm f/1.8 and a 135mm f/3.5 prime lens. I can go on and on and on about how the 55mm taught me to work within the limitations of the focal length, i.e. DoF and FoV. I can go on and on and on about how the 55mm taught me about angles and moments. I can go on and on and on ... but I won't. (Chorus: "Too late!")

I always challenge people, who want to really learn photography, to pick one prime lens and shoot straight to JPEG for three months. Everything, one prime lens in JPEG. Do it!

What's funny is that while I'm on the other side of the fence than you are... that's is practically what I did.  I hate the 18-55 and the 75-300 so much that I wound up using only the 50mm f/1.8... though I did it negligently... which is to say that I knew I liked the images so much more with the 50mm that I just shooting away without knowing the technical aspect of what I was doing... So there's that. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2014, 09:57:01 AM »
The ISO capability has no connection to full frame or APS-C, it's a function of sensor age.  The 70D would have given you as big a bump in ISO capability at nearly half the price and allow you to continue using your APS-C lenses.  I could compare a 5D classic with a 7D and conclude that APs-C is superior in many ways.

Sorry, no.  The maximum ISO setting available tracks with sensor age (loosely), but having a setting available doesn't mean it produces usable images.  'High ISO capability' depends on sensor size.  The 7D is a better camera than the 5D in many ways...but at the same ISO setting, the 5D has less image noise despite being a much older sensor.

The 70D offers less than 1/2 stop improvement over the 500D, and the 5D is about 1/2-stop better than the 70D.  A current FF (6D, 5DIII) is over a stop better than the 70D.
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tiger82

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #80 on: February 22, 2014, 10:23:20 AM »
I would have to disagree and my opinion is that the 70D sensor and capability is vastly superior to 5 year old APS-C technology in the 7D and 6 years in the 500D.  I switched from a 7D to a 70D because I do get much better high ISO performance. IMO, my 6400 performance with the 70D exceeds 3200 on the 7D and the AF is much faster.  Anything above 3200 on the 7D was, in my opinion, unusable. When working at low ISO, the older sensors hold their own.  All due respect to Neuro but when was the last time you shot anything less than an up-to-date 1D series?  For better low light performance without a new body, go with large aperture prime lenses?
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verysimplejason

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »
I would have to disagree and my opinion is that the 70D sensor and capability is vastly superior to 5 year old APS-C technology in the 7D and 6 years in the 500D.  I switched from a 7D to a 70D because I do get much better high ISO performance. IMO, my 6400 performance with the 70D exceeds 3200 on the 7D and the AF is much faster.  Anything above 3200 on the 7D was, in my opinion, unusable. When working at low ISO, the older sensors hold their own.  All due respect to Neuro but when was the last time you shot anything less than an up-to-date 1D series?  For better low light performance without a new body, go with large aperture prime lenses?

Neuro is talking of 5D (FF) against 70D.  That very old FF sensor will still produce better IQ at the same ISO setting with the current 70D.  Of course, if you pit a 70D against a 7D then it will be between 2 sensors with the same size.  Then the more current sensor will win most of the time (but not all the time, see 550D vs 600D).

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2014, 10:27:30 AM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #82 on: February 22, 2014, 11:24:08 AM »
I would have to disagree and my opinion is that the 70D sensor and capability is vastly superior to 5 year old APS-C technology in the 7D and 6 years in the 500D.  I switched from a 7D to a 70D because I do get much better high ISO performance. IMO, my 6400 performance with the 70D exceeds 3200 on the 7D and the AF is much faster.  Anything above 3200 on the 7D was, in my opinion, unusable. When working at low ISO, the older sensors hold their own.  All due respect to Neuro but when was the last time you shot anything less than an up-to-date 1D series?  For better low light performance without a new body, go with large aperture prime lenses?


I am unsure what you are disagreeing with. As Neuro mentioned, the 70D is better than 7D/500D, which is what you said as well. There you are comparing apples against apples, which is all very true.
However, that has nothing to do with an FF sensor, which in this case is an orange. The sensor receives more than twice the amount of light, which is a physical fact and has nothing to do with sensor technology. The pixels are larger, so you will get higher light sensitivity. So the 5D being better than 70D doesn't contradict the 70D being better than 7D. In fact, my 7D was worse than my 50D in terms of high-ISO noise.
With the current pricing of 6D and even used 5DIIs, I wouldn't recommend an APS-C to anyone who is primarily looking for IQ.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #83 on: February 22, 2014, 11:37:30 AM »
I would have to disagree and my opinion is that the 70D sensor and capability is vastly superior to 5 year old APS-C technology in the 7D and 6 years in the 500D.  I switched from a 7D to a 70D because I do get much better high ISO performance. IMO, my 6400 performance with the 70D exceeds 3200 on the 7D and the AF is much faster.  Anything above 3200 on the 7D was, in my opinion, unusable. When working at low ISO, the older sensors hold their own.  All due respect to Neuro but when was the last time you shot anything less than an up-to-date 1D series?  For better low light performance without a new body, go with large aperture prime lenses?

Neuro is talking of 5D (FF) against 70D.  That very old FF sensor will still produce better IQ at the same ISO setting with the current 70D.  Of course, if you pit a 70D against a 7D then it will be between 2 sensors with the same size.  Then the more current sensor will win most of the time (but not all the time, see 550D vs 600D).

Exactly.  Size matters, and this statement:

The ISO capability has no connection to full frame or APS-C, it's a function of sensor age.

...is completely wrong.  Ignoring advances in sensor technology, a FF sensor has a 1.3-stop noise advantage over APS-C based on the larger area gathering more total light.  When you factor in sensor technology advancement, sensor size still trumps it, as shown by the fact that despite 8 years of advances, the old 5D still delivers better high ISO performance than the new 70D.

Note that if you're shooting JPG, the you're adding advances in Digic to advances in the sensor.  However, shooting RAW and applying proper NR in post yields better results than in-camera JPG, so only RAW performance matters when comparing noise.
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tiger82

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »
First of all, I did say low ISO performance is comparable.  The OP was looking for better high ISO performance.  Ass for size matters, you are talking about TOTAL light on an equivalent age sensor.  The current generation sensor sensitivity is similar per square unit of area so if you compare a similar area on the FF sensor that is equivalent to an APS-C sensor, it would be very similar in performance.  When you account for TOTAL area, obviously the larger sensor captures more.  It's like saying 2 solar panels are better than 1 but the single panel could be equivalent to each of the two solar panels.  Now the lenses' focal plane for both sensors is identical so the same image on the area of the APS-C sensor on the FF is identical is it not?  Therefore, that area would be fairly similar in image content and IQ for same generation sensors.  In fact the pixel density on the APS-C may even help it along.  20.2MP in APS-C vs 22.1 in a FF.  10% more pixels in 60% more area for the FF. 

Regardless, I'd prefer an 80MP medium format camera but even that won't suit what many of us shoot.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2014, 04:29:50 PM »
First of all, I did say low ISO performance is comparable.  The OP was looking for better high ISO performance.  Ass for size matters, you are talking about TOTAL light on an equivalent age sensor.  The current generation sensor sensitivity is similar per square unit of area so if you compare a similar area on the FF sensor that is equivalent to an APS-C sensor, it would be very similar in performance. 

Sorry, but you really don't seem to understand how this works...   :(

Total light IS what determines image noise.  Light per unit area determines exposure - for the same scene at ISO 800 with an f/2 lens wide open, I get the same shutter speed on my 1D X, EOS M (meaning yes, I've used a recent Canon APS-C camera), and PowerShot S100.  But the image noise of the EOS M at ISO 800 is similar to the 1D X at ISO ISO 2500, and the image noise of the PowerShot S100 at ISO 800 is similar to ISO 16000 on my 1D X.

You're right about similar areas, though - if I crop the 1D X to 38% of its area (= APS-C in EOS M) or to 5% of its area (= 1/1.7" in S100), the noise would be similar.  But if you routinely need to crop away 60% or 95% of your image, you need a longer lens...

It's like saying 2 solar panels are better than 1 but the single panel could be equivalent to each of the two solar panels. 

Exactly.  As a homeowner with solar panels on my roof, the output per panel is an academic curiosity - what I care about is the amount of electricity I get when the sun hits my roof...thus, two solar panels are better than one. Similarly, as a photographer the noise per unit area is of little practical relevance, what matters is the noise in my pictures, so FF is better than APS-C in terms of image noise, at both low ISO and high ISO.
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unfocused

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2014, 05:51:55 PM »
Similarly, as a photographer the noise per unit area is of little practical relevance, what matters is the noise in my pictures, so FF is better than APS-C in terms of image noise, at both low ISO and high ISO.

Now this is something I cannot understand. I have before me, several 16x24 prints, all taken at ISO 400. Some with a 7D and some with a 5DIII. As for the shots themselves, the 5DIII shots are full frame, while the 7Ds are slightly cropped, which would place the 7D at a disadvantage. All were printed by MPix.

Yet, at any normal viewing distance, I cannot see any difference in noise. If I press my nose almost upon the image, I might see a small amount of added noise in some of the shadow areas of the 7D prints, but I really have to hunt for it and it has zero impact on the overall quality of the photo.

I know that people who have spent thousands on a full frame camera want to see a difference. But at ISO 400 or below, if you are seeing additional noise in a photograph taken with an APS-C sensor, it is likely to be either (a) confirmation bias or (b) your processing skills.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2014, 07:15:04 PM »
I know that people who have spent thousands on a full frame camera want to see a difference. But at ISO 400 or below, if you are seeing additional noise in a photograph taken with an APS-C sensor, it is likely to be either (a) confirmation bias or (b) your processing skills.

Sure.  ISO 400 on APS-C is like ISO 1250 on FF...and with proper processing that looks perfectly clean.  However, about 25% of my shots are at ISO 3200 or higher, and that includes the majority of my bird/wildlife shots (need fast shutter speed in lower light levels).

In bright light, moderately large prints are possible even from sensors smaller than APS-C.   The reason some of us spend thousands on a full frame camera is that we know some of our most impactful shots are taken in less than ideal light, and we're willing to pay a premium so those shots look as good as possible. 

Sometimes people who haven't or can't spend thousands on a full frame camera want to rationalize away the benefits.   ;)
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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #87 on: February 22, 2014, 07:15:04 PM »

tiger82

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #88 on: February 22, 2014, 07:17:49 PM »
"The overall signal to noise ratio of a sensor (SNR), observed at the scale of a single pixel, is dependent on P, the incident photon flux (photons per second in the area of a pixel), Qe, the quantum efficiency, t, the exposure time, D, the pixel dark current in electrons per second and N, the pixel read noise in electrons."

I don't see signal-to-noise ratio as a function of total area here although I would concede a larger sensor area make for a better photo in terms of composition and framing.  The exposure time would be a function of lens aperture so a larger aperture will improve SNR as well as pixel efficiency.  Newer, and presumably better, sensors would be better than older sensors at high ISO regardless of sensor size when you are talking about APS-C and larger.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2014, 08:00:05 PM »
"The overall signal to noise ratio of a sensor (SNR), observed at the scale of a single pixel, is dependent on P, the incident photon flux (photons per second in the area of a pixel), Qe, the quantum efficiency, t, the exposure time, D, the pixel dark current in electrons per second and N, the pixel read noise in electrons."

I don't see signal-to-noise ratio as a function of total area here although I would concede a larger sensor area make for a better photo in terms of composition and framing.  The exposure time would be a function of lens aperture so a larger aperture will improve SNR as well as pixel efficiency.  Newer, and presumably better, sensors would be better than older sensors at high ISO regardless of sensor size when you are talking about APS-C and larger.

You're fixated on pixel level noise, but we don't look at pixels, we look at pictures.  What matters is the noise at the image level, not at the pixel level.  Perceived image sharpness works in a similar manner - smaller pixels deliver higher spatial resolution, but images from FF sensors appear sharper (due to the additional enlargement needed from the smaller sensor for a fixed output size).   As a side note, you're wrong about the pixel level noise being the same, too.  The term 'P' you mention - photon flux - is higher with larger pixels, and pixels of FF sensors are generally larger.  Basically, signal scales with pixel area (the square of pixel pitch), while noise scales with pixel pitch – therefore, larger pixels have higher S/N.  I consider that an aside because in practice, the effect of sensor size trumps the effect of pixel size.

As Emil Martinec states, "The clear rule of thumb that emerges from such an exercise (not surprisingly) is that larger size sensor formats are less noisy than smaller size sensor formats. ... Bigger sensors have higher S/N ratios, because bigger sensors collect more photons."

Perhaps a visual example will help, below are some of the noise test images from TDP's review of the 70D, showing ISO 3200 images from the 70D and 6D, both 20 MP and of a similar generation.  According to your viewpoint, they should have similar noise.  Looking at the images below, is the image noise the same?  Absolutely not - the FF sensor delivers a much cleaner image (and slightly sharper, too).  You can apply NR to the APS-C image and reduce the noise to a simlar level as the FF image, but if you do, you'll eliminate a fair amount of detail in the APS-C image…and end up with an image that is significantly softer, instead of just slightly less sharp. 
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Re: Full Frame Vs Crop Sensor
« Reply #89 on: February 22, 2014, 08:00:05 PM »