What’s the big deal with going full-frame?

camera sensor size comparison
Full-frame sensors provide the standard by which all other sensors can be compared (Image credit: Future)

If you’re new to digital photography, you might well be wondering what all the fuss is about regarding the unveiling of full-frame mirrorless cameras. What’s the big deal about having a large sensor in a smallish camera? And what exactly does ‘full-frame’ mean anyway?

Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have an imaging sensor that’s the same size as a single frame of APS-C film – about 22 x 15mm. A full-frame camera, however, has a sensor with the same dimensions as a frame of 35mm film – 36 x 24mm. This means a full-frame sensor has more than 2.5 times the surface area of APS-C. 

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Marcus Hawkins
Photo expert and journalist

Marcus has been passionate about photography for more than 25 years. A former editor of our sister publication Digital Camera magazine, he has written about photography and cameras for a wide range of clients, including Canon and Jessops. Last time we checked, Marcus was using a Canon EOD 5D Mark IV.