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Updated: Sep 19, 2021

What are the differences between APS-C and full frame (24x36)?

Full frame sensors are often compared to APS-C sensors because they are very close in terms of price and application.

They are also much more famous and are often associated with professional photographers or a more professional range than APS-C sensors, but this is slowly changing. (There are more brands that make high end lenses and cameras in APS-C sensor like Fujifilm, Sigma etc...)

The focal length that is written on the lens is written for full frame cameras, it is usually necessary to multiply this number by 1.5 or 1.6 to have the effective focal length on an APS-C.

Difference between full frame and APS-C

The full frame is considered a more professional range because the lenses and bodies are bigger and more expensive. It is much more complicated to create a lens for a full frame because defects and optical distortions appear more easily whereas the APS-C camera will only capture the central part of the lens and therefore remove some design defects,

Is it the blur very important?

If you shoot portrait or product pictures outdoors and you like to have a nice bokeh (background and foreground blur) the size of the sensor will be very important. But it is not the only factor.

Made with a full frame Canon 5D Mark II

There are a lot of parameters to take to make this kind of pictures (Like the lens, the distance between the photographer and the subject etc...)

You will be able to realize this kind of pictures with an APS-C too, up to a certain point. (see the picture below)

The reason is simple; The full frame sensor will capture all the information of the lens while the APS-C sensor will capture only a smaller part of the lens.

Made with an APS-C Canon 70D

This means that when your lens is opened to the maximum to have the smallest depth of field, it will be much more important with a full frame than the APS-C sensor.

There is also something to consider in relation to the aperture of the lens which will not be the same depending on the size of the sensor.

Let's say that for the same aperture we will have a much smaller depth of field on the full frame.

Does the size and weight of the camera matter to you?

APS-C cameras are much smaller, more compact and the lenses are also smaller, which can be a good advantage in some situations.

For sports or wildlife photography, areas where you need long focal lengths, it is much cheaper to get an APS-C because the sensor crops into the lens and we can use it to our advantage. A 200mm will make a 300mm angle in the camera and the price of a 200mm is much more affordable than a 300mm. "So why don't we crop ourselves in the image afterwards digitally?"

Because when we crop in an image digitally we have a bigger loss of information than when we take a picture with a smaller sensor.

Moreover a 200mm lens will be less heavy and big than a 300mm lens, which can be useful when shooting for videos and for travels where you are limited in equipment.

Is the APS-C crop a problem?

The crop itself is not a problem because you don't really have any loss of information, there are a lot of advantages but if you want to do real estate or architectural pictures it will be more difficult to find a suitable lens for that.

Why choose an APS-C ? #APSC The choice of an APS-C sensor can be useful in several situations.

- For the weight and the size: We can have smaller lenses and therefore pay less for the same result. Very useful for sports photos, wildlife photos etc. ...

- The price of the lenses is an important point if you use your equipment a lot and risk to break it (like me...) or if you need several different lenses for your use.

Also some brands like Fujifilm or Sigma offer very high quality APS-C lenses at prices really lower than full frame lenses.

- Less optical distortion because the sensor does not take the edges of the lens.

Why choose a full frame? #Fullframe

The full frame sensor can be better for landscape, architecture because we will be able to find wide angle lenses of better quality.

It will be especially better to have more blur in the background and foreground so recommended for portraits and outdoor product photos.

Of course it is not easy to compare the two sensors because they are rarely at the same price or in equivalent ranges.

Depending on your use and your budget you will find what suits you best but of course the best is to try it especially for the grip, it's one of the most important points in photography and nobody talks about it. If it is difficult and not pleasant to take pictures you will not make any...

Good pictures and see you soon Nico

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