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Why the Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor Argument Isn’t Important

Caleb Ward

Sensor size may be less important that you imagined.

Traditionally I would advise people to get a full-frame camera if they could, but it seems like the necessity to shoot with a full frame sensor has been diminishing over the past few years. Full frame cameras get better bokeh (background blur) and they don’t have a crop factor, but in many ways they are as capable as their cropped sensor counterparts.

Lens manufacturers are creating more lenses designed for cropped sensors, lessening the ‘inconvenience’ of shooting with a cropped sensor camera. So, the biggest consideration is the size of the crop factor. Whereas, a regular APS-C camera has a crop factor of around 1.7x, the difference between this and a full frame camera is lessened. However, if you’re shooting with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which has a crop factor of 2.88x, you will see a significantly larger difference between this and a full frame camera.

The following video created by Zack Arias shows us the real difference between a full vs. cropped sensor. In the video, Zack shares his opinion on why you shouldn’t care so much about cropped sensors.

This video was first shared by Zach Arias on his YouTube channel. Thanks for sharing Zach!

One thing to note is that while there may not be huge differences between a full vs. cropped sensor in functionality, there is often a positive correlation between sensor size and camera specs. So if we are looking at a Canon camera for example a 7D with a cropped sensor isn’t going to have specs that are as good as a 6D with a full frame sensor. Keep this in mind next time you go looking for a new camera.

If you want to learn more about sensors, stabilization, and crop factor check out our Understanding Lenses series on the PremiumBeat blog where we take an in-depth look at all the features to consider when purchasing a lens.

Do you think Zack’s argument is valid? Do we place too much importance on sensor size rather than camera specs? Share in the comments below.

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