Medium Format vs Full Frame versus Crop Factor camera’s

Camera’s with a full frame sensor have a sensor size of 24×36 millimeter (0,94 x 1,42 inch). That size is equal to the ‘old’ film negative. Camera’s with a smaller sensor have a so-called crop factor. But there are other differences and will you notice them while photographing.

Fujifilm GFX 50R Digital mirrorless medium format camera

Medium format

+ Smaller depth of field
+ A bigger dynamic range
+ Full coverage of the angle of view
+ Less noise at high iso
– Lens errors are more visible
– More expensive to purchase

Canon EOS R Digital Mirrorless camera

Full Frame

+ Smaller depth of field
+ A bigger dynamic range
+ Full coverage of the angle of view
+ Less noise at high iso
– Lens errors are more visible
– More expensive to purchase

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 digital mirrorless rangefinder camera

Crop factor camera

+ Cheaper to purchase
+ Fewer lens errors visible
+ Your subject is larger in view
– Noise is more noticeable at high iso
– Smaller dynamic range
– A larger depth of field

The difference between full frame and crop factor cameras

A full frame camera has a larger sensor than a camera with a crop factor sensor, This provides a smaller depth of field and, depending on how the sensor is built, influence the image quality. In general, full frame cameras have a wider dynamic range and are less likely to experience noise at high iso values.

The most significant difference is that with a full frame camera you benefit the whole angle of view.

With a crop factor camera, you do not use the full angle of view of a lens. Due to the smaller sensor of the Crop factor camera. The advantage is that with a crop factor camera, you do not suffer from lens errors in the corners of your photos. Your subject will also appear larger. With a full frame camera, you have to be closer to your subject to photograph the same image as with a crop factor camera. On the other hand, with a full frame camera, you have a fine depth of field and a wider dynamic range.

Medium format camera

With a full frame camera

Camera with a 1.5x crop factor

focal points of lenses

Imagine you have a crop factor camera with a crop factor that is 2x, and you want to shoot with a 50mm lens. When you multiply 50 (the focal length) by 2x (the crop factor), you reach 100mm. The angle of view with which you photograph is comparable to that of a 100mm lens on a full frame camera. The focal length of your lens does not change, but how you view this on your photo will change. With the same lens, you get a subject on a crop factor camera larger in view that with a full frame camera.

When to choose a full frame camera for street photography.

Choose a full frame camera if you want to photograph with a large focal point. If you’re going to have files with the minimum of noise and a small depth of field, And have a larger budget. A DSLR with a full frame sensor is affordable. A mirrorless camera with a full frame camera is not.

When to choose a crop factor camera

Choose a crop factor camera if you have a smaller budget and do not photograph in situations with high contrast differences. If you do not need an extreme angle of view, And accept the possibility of noise in your images. The mirrorless cameras from brands like Fujifilm and Ricoh only have crop factor cameras.

I photograph with a Fujifilm x-pro 2 with a 27mm pancake (40m equivalent) and make the most beautiful images. But I would like a Leica M when I could obtain one or have the budget for it.

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