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

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

Pros and Cons of a full frame sensor


How to make a bokeh portrait

Swapping to a larger format isn’t without its issues…

Pros of full frame sensors

  • Great ‘bokeh’ (shallow depth of field effects) – images have a sense of depth
  • Larger photosites offer improved dynamic range and high ISO performance
  • Lenses deliver their ‘true’ focal length – no need to apply a focal factor
  • Higher resolution from the bigger sensor area and more megapixels
  • Bigger bodies for those with bigger hands!
  • You can print pictures bigger and you have more leeway when cropping

Cons of full frame sensors

  • Harder to get enough depth of field for those shots that need it
  • You need the best lenses and best technique to properly exploit any advantage in quality
  • Disproportionately expensive – the D7000, for example, is half the price of the D600 yet has very similar features
  • Big file sizes can quickly fill your memory cards and place heavy demands on your computer
  • You can use all lenses on DX cameras, but only FX lenses, realistically, on an FX camera
  • Telephotos don’t have the same ‘reach’ on an FX camera compared to the 1.5x focal factor of DX cameras

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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