Crop Factor TRUTH: Do you need Full Frame?

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The same lens produces different results on cameras with different sized sensors. As a result, it can be tough to cross-shop Micro Four-Thirds, APS-C, Full Frame, and Medium Format cameras.

Crop Factor is a conversion that makes it simple to determine the exact results you’ll get with any given lens, regardless of your camera’s sensor size. By multiplying your camera’s crop factor by a lens’ focal length AND aperture, you can determine the full-frame equivalent angle of view, depth-of-field (background blur) and a good estimate of the low-light noise.

Here are common crop factors:

1X: Full-frame cameras like the Nikon D610, D750, D850, D5, Canon 6D, 5D, and 1D, Sony a7, a9, Pentax K1

1.5X: APS-C cameras like the Nikon D7200, D5300, D3400, Sony a6500, and Fuji X-T3

1.6X: Canon APS-C cameras like the Canon 7D, 80D, 77D

2X: Micro four-thirds (M43) cameras like the Panasonic GH5, G9, and Olympus E-M1, E-M5, and E-M10

For more information and to see the previous crop factor and equivalency videos, see http://sdp.io/crop.

To get an outside opinion, here are articles and videos by other people on the same topic:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care
https://petapixel.com/2017/03/29/dispelling-myths-around-depth-field-crop-factor/

Comments

low q says:

how about auto focus. do full frame camera focus faster than crop sensor camera with same lens?

Satchel Swede says:

Wait a minute hold on are you saying a 15-45mm efm isnt 15mm.. but more ?

Rob Svm says:

A rare disagreement with you 🙂 : Panasonic lenses are not (outrageously expensive) as you mention here (around 9:20). The most expensive Panasonic lens is $1300. a similar quality Canon or Sony is over $2000, here is what I think:
.
The Canon you compare to (Above) is not as good a quality as most Panasonic or Olympus lenses (I had it).
2. The M43 above at $900 is a fast f0.9 but the Canon is 1.8 (apple and oranges). and point #3: M43 lenses are much sharper (By design) because they have to take an image and project it onto a much smaller sensor (with smaller dots) in order to give a respectable image
.
each point of light has to be sharper on Panasonic, and it is, due to the extreme angle of incident between the last (lens) element and and the sensor.
.
This is a clever application of optics by M43 industry. This way, M43 smaller size allows pro Quality, 4k, 10 bit, long, continuous Video (Without overheating).

No other company in the world has achieved this yet.
Apart from this one point everything else you have been saying for years is spot on.

Michael Rounding says:

This is the best explanation of how the numbers are affected from one form factor top another I've ever seen. Very cool.

Jake Rhodes says:

Does it matter if you have a mirrorless camera over a dslr?

Ian Meredith says:

1: The equivalent for that portrait is to go to a LONGER, (not equivalent) focal length and just stand further back. Then you get the same separation/bokeh! So this was a false comparison.

2: You can always close the full frame down to the equivalent F-stop for DoF".
Really? Now you have a slower shutter speed and that may be too slow to handhold.
I have a 55mm f/1.2 on my FF – I thought would be great for interiors of churches etc. but no because it has so narrow a DoF when fully open.

True, the Full Frame can ramp up ISO FAR more than MFT to recover a workable shutter speed, but MFT cameras have 5-7 stop IBIS, so long as one is not trying to stop the motion of a vicar thundering up the nave on a motorbike. the MFT user can shoot handheld at insanely low shutter speeds thereby negating any need to raise the ISO to anything like the need of the SLR.

3) In reality it depends to an extent on what you are shooting. The number of images I have missed due to AF back focus, front focus, or plain wrong focus on my full frame AF far outweighs the number of images where narrower DoF was critical.

4) The best picture is taken not by FF or Medium format or MFT, or phone, the by the cameras that are THERE.

I cannot count the number of times I have missed a great shot because my bulky, heavy full and often overly intrusive FF camera (even more so its lenses, a problem not resolved by mirrorless FF) were at home in a a cupboard!

In contrast We see MFT is far more convenient to carry with lenses, without these problems and frankly today we are seeing more and more amazing reportage shots from phone cameras with sensors the size of a hamster's toenail – and in such scenes we do not always desire DoF separation as then we lose context,

FluphyBunny says:

For the majority of people I would be very surprised if the choice came down to anything more than price. Even if you save on an older body the glass will still be noticeably more expensive.

iSleepDoc says:

Greatest tutorial Tony!!!
Thanks Thanks Thanks

Filippo Dalla Longa says:

Phone crop factor 7/8????

OM0ET says:

Hey! This was an amazing explonation of how this sensors works! Thank you very very much, this was what I was looking for 😉👍 I bought the Lumix G7 with micro four- third sensor and now I understand what the realy difference is compare it to an APS-C or FullFrame. Now I will need to buy booster you showed and some 25mm f1.8 lens to be able to make a portrets 😉 Thank for sharing for noobs like me hihi. Have a good day. Paul

Alex Hsu says:

Is the lens created for APSC body like Fujifilm, marks the f stop after applying the crop factor? Thanks.

thinol joe says:

It is lucky that the size of the lens does not depend on the size of the sensor. A 3000mm like that of Nikon p1000 would be huge!

Karaj57 says:

Are you guys going to compare the new Mirrorless cameras especially the Canon R vs Canon RP

Calico D'Nikonian says:

I COULD have gone with cameras wit h a 1.5 crop factor or go full frame and use my film era lenses… I chose fully frame cameras. Since I prefer to shoot with two cameras, outfitted with a different lens each, I got another full frame camera. I've been shooting with 2 camera for about 56 years. Other photographers laughed at me when they first saw me with 2 cameras but the laughter soon died out as they saw me taking photos while they fumbled and juggled lenses.

RAJESH GUPTA says:

I just cancelled my order of dslr and decided to stick to my note 9 phone camera…..not very fond of maths…

sn0k3e says:

That's a bazooka not a 600mm lens. God damn that's huge!

Michael Williams says:

What the heck did you shoot this video on? I felt like you spit on me while talking

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