Full frame sensor size explained: exploit its advantages for pro-quality pictures

Full frame sensor size explained: exploiting its advantages for pro-quality pictures

How to shoot with a full frame sensor

 

You’ll need to tighten up your shooting technique to properly exploit the advantages of a full frame sensor. Here’s how to do it.

Get the most from your full frame sensor: invest in lenses

Invest in lenses
You’ll lose any resolution advantage if you use old or cheap lenses. Nikon’s new 24-85mm VR zoom is a good choice, or the 24-70mm f/2.8.

 

Get the most from your full frame sensor: focus with care

Focus with care
Pin-point focusing is crucial to exploit the extra resolution. Manual focussing is not always precise enough, and autofocus may prove more accurate.

 

Get the most from your full frame sensor: aperture settings

Aperture settings
You’ll need an aperture one stop smaller, maybe more, to get the depth of field of a DX camera. Avoid apertures smaller than f/11 as diffraction will affect sharpness.

 

Get the most from your full frame sensor: safe shutter speeds

‘Safe’ shutter speeds
The old ‘reciprocal’ rule is only approximate. Instead of using 1/30 sec with a 30mm lens, for example, consider using 1/60 sec or even 1/125 sec.

 

Get the most from your full frame sensor: use a tripod

Use a tripod
To be sure of maximum sharpness, use a tripod. Choose a good one – the best aren’t just sturdy, they also dampen vibrations from traffic or people walking past.

 

Get the most from your full frame sensor: improve your memory

Improve your memory
An 8Gb memory card might be all right in your 16-megapixel DX-format camera, but in the D800 it’s enough for just 103 uncompressed RAW files.

PAGE 1: What is full frame?
PAGE 2: Lens loyalties with full frame
PAGE 3: Why the depth of field is different
PAGE 4: How to shoot with a full frame sensor
PAGE 5: How a full frame sensor affects your pictures
PAGE 6: Pros and cons of using a full frame sensor

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