What is the difference between full frame and crop sensor?
The quality of the picture depends on the size of the sensor the camera has. The standard since the olden days has been the 35mm film which means everything remains measured according to how it compares to this size.
Sizes do matter
The crop sensor is a cropped version of the full size. If the size of the sensor is 24x36mm (864 mm2) then it is the equal of the 35mm which means it is full frame. The crop sensors are 22x14mm (350 mm2) which is two-fifths of the full-frame. The Micro Four Thirds is even smaller at 18×13.5mm which gives you an area of 225 mm2, 7/27th of the full-frame sensor.
The sensor size determines how much of the scenery you will capture. The full frame captures everything, let us say. Then, the crop sensor will lose an edge all around. You get three-fifths of the picture that remains in the centre of the picture. If you use a Micro Four Third this picture becomes even smaller. But, that does not mean that the quality of the picture is better or worse.
Effect of the crop sensor
The effect of the crop sensor is to increase the focal length. The effect on the field of view remains measured by the ‘multiplier’. A lens with a 1.5x multiplier attached to the camera such as the Nikon APS-C 50mm f/1.4 will make the focal length to increase to 75mm (50×1.5=75).
So, while you get a broader view of the scene, the depth of the field becomes less. You will get more bokeh than the crop sensor. The image quality might not be as great as the full-frame picture it gives good reach with the multiplier. The crop sensors are cheaper and with the extra reach, you can get good sports pictures and wildlife photography.
Cost factor of the sensors
For those on a budget, use of the crop sensor and the low price of the DSLR camera will help. They get great pictures without any huge cost. But, the professional always gets better pictures with his full-frame and the longer telephoto lens. Professional photographers use this type of setup for their sports photography. The pairing is anyway costly since the 400 mm low light lens paired with high-end cameras such as Canon 1DX or a Nikon D4 is going to cost about $17,000 – $20,000. The hobby photographer can use the crop sensor with a standard lens and get away by paying $3000 – $5000. The entire thing is compact and costs much lesser.
Qwikgear is a photography equipment rental shop in Bangalore. You can rent all your cameras, lenses, lights, movie cameras, and more from them. The cost is nominal and the service is great. They do delivery and pickup so you need not stir out of your house. Another great rental place in Bangalore is WildClickz. Check them out if you go to Bangalore on a vacation.
The last word on the types of sensors is not about which is better but which suits your style the best. It is possible to take great pictures with a phone camera too; it is the way you look at it.