Talking about sensor sizes of digital cameras, the two terms we use to classify them are full frame and crop sensor. The term full frame refers to a sensor size that has the same dimensions as the 35mm film format. This film format is important because it has been the golden standard in photography since 1909. The 35mm format offers a great balance between cost and image quality. When it comes to a crop sensor, this term refers to any sensor smaller than a full frame sensor. The most common crop sensors include APS-C and micro 4/3 systems. If you’re wondering about the main differences between full frame and crop sensors, we’ll cover them in this article and help you decide which one suits your photography needs better.
Full Frame & Crop Sensor Field of View
In addition to the difference in the physical size of the sensor, there are other important differences between a crop sensor and a full frame sensor. One of the most obvious differences in the size of the field of view. Crop sensors have a smaller field of view compared with full frame sensors. For instance, if you take a photo (from the same distance, with the same lens) with a full frame DSLR such as Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and a crop sensor like Canon EOS 600D, the latter will capture a tighter field of view.
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Full Frame & Crop Sensor Focal Length
It’s useful to know that focal length measurements on lenses are based on the 35mm standard. If you are using a crop frame camera the sensor will crop out the edges of the frame and effectively increase the focal length of the lens you’re using. For instance, when a Canon 50mm lens is attached to a crop sensor camera, its focal length should be multiplied by 1.6x. This means that a 50mm lens will act like a 80mm lens on a crop sensor camera.