Full-Frame or not

The ultimate in photography is not full frame sensor cameras of course .. they are the medium format or large format cameras .. However, for all practical purposes and as the 35mm full frame sensor cameras are the mainstream format and are still affordable albeit expensive .. our discussion will be between 35mm full frame sensors and smaller sensors in DSLR’s and other smaller interchangeable lens cameras.

Full frame has many advantages .. cleaner pictures especially in low light due to lower noise ratio .. higher image quality .. usually higher megapixel count all compared to similar cropped sensors .. and the ultimate is a more blurred out-of-focus background (Bokeh) compared to smaller sensors using the same focal length and aperture which in some cases can not be matched by same lens/focal length/aperture .. They also allows using smaller apertures (larger f number) before diffraction sets in and softens the image, although on cropped sensors you don’t need to go really small to get the same DOF  .. and less wide lenses for the same angle of view (a 10mm lens would be equivalent to 15mm on a cropped sensor) ..

Advantages of smaller (cropped sensors APS-C, 4/3 etc) .. less expensive  .. longer focal reach for same focal length (smaller sensors have a crop factor x1.5, x1.6, x2 etc) more useful in wild life and nature shots .. deeper Depth of Field (DOF) more useful for cityscapes and landscapes .. smaller bodies and more importantly less glass .. so smaller, lighter and less expensive lenses .. also using full-frame lenses on a cropped sensor means you get the sweat central spot of the lens in action and discard the soft periphery ..

So what do you go for .. I would say if you have the money you need both .. two bodies, one each .. if you are on a budget then a cropped sensor body .. and add the full frame in the future .. simply because the full frame gives you higher IQ, better low light performance and shallower DOF


Simpler Glass is Always Better

People argue about zoom lenses and prime lenses and which are better ..

Here is the score .. Some really expensive Zooms can be quite sharp and high resolving as primes and are definitely more practical ..

Primes will remain cheaper, smaller, lighter, sharper, allow in more light for same aperture due to less loss of light in transmission, and need more discipline to use and more hassle to carry several lenses and change in the field ..

Basically if you are out photographing different things on the hop then zoom .. if you are photographing an occasion or a set piece or in a studio or macro then go for prime .. or if you are learning or if you are advanced and want to convey an artistic message or if you want to go really crazy with f1.2 and achieve a really blurred background with an extreme Bokeh .. or if you want maximum light for very exact focusing .. then prime ..

So for anything artistic and not in a hurry prime otherwise zoom