Full-frame vs APS-C Options

photoling 500 - 1998
@2018-04-06 00:13:07

A full-frame camera uses a sensor that's the same size as a frame of 35mm film. APS-C cameras have a smaller sensor based on the size of an Advanced Photographic System film frame. Your choice depends on what type of photography you're into.

At any equivalent or effective focal length, larger sensors will give you a smaller depth of field - the depth of apparent sharpness in a picture. As a result, the full-frame sensor size is ideal for portraiture, where you want to use a wide aperture to blur the background and make main subjects stand out.

The flip side is that APS-C cameras can be more useful than full-frame models when you want a large depth of field. If you're shooting landscapes and want to keep the foreground as well as the horizon in focus, for instance, this can be difficult on a full-frame camera unless you use extremely small lens apertures, which can mean slow shutter speeds.

For sports photography, a top-end APS-C camera such as the Canon EOS 7D or Nikon D300s is a better choice, especially if you're on a budget. This is because the crop factor gives you a longer effective focal length.

For example, a relatively lightweight 70-300mm zoom lens will give an effective maximum telephoto reach of 480mm on a Canon camera body and 450mm on a Nikon, Pentax and Sony.

photoling 500 - 1998
@2018-04-06 00:16:04

APS-C stands for Advanced Photo System type-C. APS was a format of camera film that allowed a choice of three different formats. The ‘C’ added onto the end referred to what was called the ‘Classic’ option for using that type of film.

Canon APS-C cameras have a ‘crop factor’ of 1.6. Nikon APS-C cameras (also known as Nikon DX format) have a crop factor of about 1.5.

photoling 500 - 1998
@2018-04-06 00:26:11

Depth of field increases as you move further away from your subject. This can give an APS-C camera an advantage when taking macro photos because they fill the frame with your subject from a greater distance.

photoling 500 - 1998
@2018-04-26 11:36:04

The image below lists the FOVCF(Field of View Crop Factor) and the approximate size of the sensors.

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