Full Frame Vs Crop

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Full frame vs Crop – Overview

Full frame vs. Crop is one debate that often confuses many photographers around. While some find the former to be quite efficient for a particular photography style, others go with the latter for specific reasons.

Still, it’s a fact that both full-frame and crop sensors have their specific functionalities according to your photography needs. Hereby, we are comparing both of them on different aspects to help you get better clarity in the same regard.

The basic idea

The terms full-frame or crop work as a reference to the sensor size of the camera. The full-frame cameras usually come with similar dimensions to the standard size.

On the other hand, crop sensors usually have a smaller sensor than a 3mm film. The common types of crop sensors are micro 4/3 systems as well as APSC.

The comparison

  • Full frame

Usually, the full-frame camera sensors offer a dynamic range with high-quality, low light, or high ISO performance. It is advantageous in the manner that you will get a great variety of lenses for capturing the pictures. Photographers love it due to its capability to capture stunning images of landscapes and architecture.

  • Crop sensor

The crop sensor doesn’t have the capability of capturing a similar image quality as that of the full-frame DSLRs. However, it has the complete specification for being useful for wildlife, nature, and sports photography.

Full frame sensors


  • ISO performance

You can get the availability of the highest performance with improved low light capabilities when you have the full-frame sensor. In addition, you can get the increased sensor size that creates the least digital noise. Modern cameras with full-frame sensors offer improved performance in terms of noise reduction.

  • Improved dynamic range

The full-frame sensors usually come with the ability to record more tonal range than some other frames. Additionally, these cameras have an angle view that is well customized when compared to the crop sensor.


  • Size

This is one of the major complaints against full-frame cameras because they are bigger and bulkier. Moreover, the sensors usually cause the increased weight and size of the devices. In addition to that, the lenses that have glass elements typically prove to be quite heavy for travel photographers.

  • Price

It is costly, and that is the reason why people usually run towards purchasing crop sensors. The full-frame sensors deliver a distant, high-quality image. However, budgeting becomes a troublesome task when you are buying it.

  • Distorted frame rate

The full-frame cameras come with a larger sensor that holds the memory card’s requirement for recording more information. That said, it takes a longer time to save images to the card. Eventually, it results in fewer frames per second when choosing to use it in the burst mode.

Crop Sensors


  • Price

This is the most significant advantage of purchasing a camera with a crop sensor. It is quite simple when compared to full-frame cameras. Besides, the crop sensor cameras usually hold the lessened manufacturing cost while delivering a similar image quality to the full-frame sensor.

  • Size and weight

The crop sensors usually have the smallest sensor, which ultimately causes them to weigh less than the full-frame cameras. That said, people typically choose it while going ahead with the photography adventure because it doesn’t take a lot of space to fit into the backpack.


  • The cropped sensor isn’t always advantageous.

A crop sensor camera usually has many advantages, but it starts becoming an issue at certain times. The most significant disadvantage is when it sometimes fails to capture the final product in a focused way. There’s also a lack of proper control over the background.

  • Focal length

The crop sensor camera usually comes with a crop factor of 1.6x. The focal length will prove to be equivalent to the frame sizes that have been shooting the same scene with the crop sensor. However, you will see that the two images look different from each other due to the focal length’s effect.

To solve the issue, the usage of a wider angle becomes mandatory. For the crop sensor cameras, usually, there is a problem in adjusting the specification.

  • Low-light performance

The crop sensor camera usually comes with closely packed pixels for the sensors that lead the sensor to have low light absorption. Consequently, there are distortions in conditions like the flash or external lamp.

Crop vs. full-frame- Which one should you choose?

It all depends on son your personalized photography needs and requirements. As mentioned above, both the crop and full-frame sensors have their significance in different photography niches.

So, while you are about to make a decision regarding the right camera with either of the sensors, keep your objectives, convenience, and photography style in mind.

See Also

Mirrorless vs Full Frame

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