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Full frame cameras used to be out of the reach for most camera enthusiasts because of their high price. These days, however, you can find full-frame lenses and camera models at an affordable rate, making them available to more people. So, if you’ve recently found yourself asking what is the benefit of a full-frame digital camera, we’re going to fill you in on the top five reasons photographers choose this camera option. Also, to help you make a fully informed decision, check out our picks for the best digital camera.
A full-frame image sensor is the same size as a traditional 35mm film, or 36x24mm. This is the standard sensor size in digital photography. It’s also 1.5 times larger than the crop sensor used in other camera formats.
Crop sensors literally cut out parts of the scene according to what will fit on the camera’s sensor. But, when you use a full-frame camera, you’ll capture the entire scene. For example, if you use a 50mm lens on a Full Frame camera, you will get a true 50mm field of view.
Since full-frame cameras have a higher number of megapixels, use a tripod to avoid camera shake because even the slightest movement will be noticeable in the final image.
Although you can have a 20MP image sensor on both cropped-sensor and full-frame sensor cameras, the size of the pixels on a full-frame sensor is larger. With larger pixels, cameras can produce better image quality at higher ISO sensitivities because they capture more light information with less noise.
A full-frame camera can also hold more details as ISO sensitivity in a digital camera increases in low-lit conditions. To learn more about how sensor size affects image quality, check out what is the average file size of a picture taken by a digital camera.
Full Frame cameras have more advanced bodies with added features compared to a typical APS-C camera. Besides firmware improvements, you also get additional controls and dials for enhanced weather sealing and manual shooting. The larger camera body also boasts longer-life batteries. That said, check out our camera reviews of the Sony A7 II and the Sony A7 vs Sony A6300.
Moreover, full frame cameras offer faster, more efficient, better autofocus performance in low light, and a larger and brighter optical viewfinder. If you are an older person looking for a more suitable camera, check out what is the easiest digital camera to use for seniors.
Since full-frame sensors record extra light information at every pixel point, you can capture large RAW image files that can be blown up to exhibition sizes. But, compare raw file formats against automatic ones to see which one works best. For example, you can print a 40” x 60” photo without compromising image detail or quality. This makes them a favorite among photographers who print large photo murals or billboards. Alternatively, the function of a Bayer filter in a digital camera can also improve shots.
Will buying a full-frame camera make me a better photographer?
No. There’s a famous quote that says, “skill in photography is not acquired by purchase but by practice.” You do not need a full-frame camera to capture beautiful images because you can get quality shots with a new crop-sensor camera. But if you are an experienced photographer, switching to a full-frame camera can benefit your craft.
What does APS-C stand for?
APS-C is an abbreviation for Advanced Photo System type-C. APS-C is an image sensor format equal to the APS film negative size in its C (Classic) format of 25.1×16.7mm, which is a 3:2 aspect ratio.
What is the main advantage of full-frame mirrorless cameras?
A full-frame mirrorless camera offers greater flexibility in terms of achieving a shallower depth of field, making it easier to achieve this effect than with a cropped-sensor body.
STAT: In 2019, mirrorless cameras represented approximately 23% of Canon’s shipments of interchangeable-lens cameras. (source)