Thank you Skirball, the link helps. I definitly should have taken more time to pose my question. I'm a throwback to the 35 mm days. I have always liked to print what I see in the view finder. I want it the way I composed it. So, for a Canon 7D, what sizes can I print without cropping?
Thanks in advance
The camera takes photos in the 2:3 ratio which translates to 2 X 3, 4 X 6, 6 X 9, 8 X 12 etc. One needs to be very aware of this when framing because it's important NOT to crop too tight when taking the shot IF it will be cropped to the much more common 8 X 10 If you shoot a family group and don't leave a bit of space at each side of them it's not going to work as an 8 X 10 without cutting someone out when cropping.
This seems to be confusing to most people when they here the term “crop camera”.
All cameras are full frame. The issue only refers to the comparison of the focal length of the lens compared to the 35mm cameras of yesteryear format.
What you see in your view finder is what you are going to get. Now if you decide on a different print size, you may see some crop. But you also experienced this with 35mm film, too.
As to the lens, the focal length of the lens does not change when installed on a 1.6 crop camera. A 50 mm lens is still a 50mm lens. It “acts' like an 80 mm lens if it were compared to a 35 mm format camera. This is because of the coverage are the lens has to work with.
ebiggs1 is right, although today we all call "Full Frame" cameras to cameras that have sensors with 36mm x24mm which is equivalent to the 35mm film size.
Canon APS-C cameras like EOS 7D, 60D, T4i, etc., have sensor of 22.2mm x 14.8mm.
But as ebiggs1 said, either you use Full Frame DSLRs or APS-C DSLRs, you always get what you see through the View Finder (if it covers 100%, if it doesn't you get a bit more). That also applied to 35mm film cameras. Nothing new here.