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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎10-07-2014
Accepted Solution

Sensor size question

[ Edited ]

Would someone tell me the difference between 


APS-C (22.3 x 14.9 mm)  




Full frame (36 x 24 mm)



70D, T3i
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
EF-S 10-18mm
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro
EF 50mm f/1.8
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
CS6, Lightroom 5.7
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎11-10-2012

Re: Sensor size question

There is a lot of information written on the differences between and the pros/cons of each type of sensor. I don't profess to be an expert so I won't attempt a direct explanation. I can only speak of my experiences when I wanted to upgrade from my T3.


COST was the biggest controlling factor for me. I wanted to get out of the Rebel line and still have cash for better glass. Full frame camera bodies are expensive as well as the HQ lenses that fit them. I see you have both a T3 and a T3i - both crop sensor cameras.


My research has led me to choose to stay in the crop sensor line so I went with a refurbished 60D. I have a few prime lenses and two upgraded zooms; Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS and the Sigma 50-150 f2.8 OS (about $2000 for the body AND 2 zooms - about the price of just a 6D full frame body!)


As far as the image size differences - what matters most is what YOU see thru the viewfinder and the magic that you create by doing so.

Canon EOS 60D, 1100D
Canon EF 28mm f2.8, Sigma 30 f1.8 ART DC, Canon 'Nifty' 50 f1.8, Canon EF 85 f1.8 USM
Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma 17-50 f2.8 EX DC OS USM, Sigma 50-150 f2.8 EX DC OS USM
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Sensor size question

As MJ says above, this is a very long and detailed topic that is argued about ad nauseam on online forums such as this.  There's plenty of information on here if you want to search around.  In very brief summary: a full frame sensor is bigger. Bigger sensor means it collects more light, which means that it can produce cleaner (less noise) images at higher ISO (a setting for shooting in low light).   That’s the single, most fundamental difference between the two. There are a myriad of smaller less significant pros and cons to each system that are argued endlessly. But this really is the base of the issue, a full frame sensor will have less noise in low light. If that is really significant for you, then shoot full frame. I’m not trying to start a debate, but… in general, when shooting in good light, there is relatively little difference in the image quality between the two systems. Queue FF debate in three, two, one…


Also as noted above, for most it comes down to a cost vs benefit analysis. Full frame sensors require full frame (EF system) lenses. Where as crop sensors can use EF plus special lenses made for crop sensor cameras (EF-S) that are cheaper.


Ultimately the choice comes down to you. I shoot full frame, and I like it, but I think the benefits of full frame over crop are drastically overstated. For a lot of my work I would be just as well off with a good crop sensor. Better in fact, because I’d have more options of lenses, more flexibility in my shooting (a discussion on max sync speed which is outside the scope of this conversation) and a better AF system with more coverage.

Forum Elite
Posts: 14,424
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Sensor size question

"As far as the image size differences - what matters most is what YOU see thru the viewfinder and the magic that you create by doing so."


Yes sir.  This is the only most important thing to remember.


The sizes of sensors seem to match their corsponding size in the film.  A current "full frame" is the same size, roughly, as 35mm film is.

The crop sized sensor is called "APS-C."  The "C" stands for "classic," as its width-to-height ratio favors that of a 35 mm photograph, even if it is smaller than a 35 mm photo.  I think cost in the beginning gave rise to this format.


There is another, APS-H.  It is used in Canon's 1 series full professional camera bodies. It, again was the largest sensor cost would allow.


All the formats have advantages and disadvantages.  But in the end, the full frame offers the best of the best.  However, they may exceed your needs and expense requirements.  For 80% of all photographers a crop sensor will preform every bit as good as they need or will ever use.  Canon's Rebel line and xxD line proves that fact.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 849
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: Sensor size question

@PhotosbyMJ wrote:

As far as the image size differences - what matters most is what YOU see thru the viewfinder and the magic that you create by doing so.

Hehehe, but full frame camera gives you much bigger viewfinder which I find very very valuable.

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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-09-2014

Re: Sensor size question

right now i have 2 crop camreas both are 1.6 factor the t1i and the 70D but i am migrating to a full frame sensor.


the lens i have show this . i have 3 ef-s lens i use the rest are ef. the 3 ef-s lens are 10-22 efs 60mm macro ef-s and the 18-135 stm lens ef-s. my ef lens are a mixed lot 50m 1.8 mk1 a almost 30 year old lens 28-135 ef the 20-35 ef 70-200 f4 is ef and the toy white lens the 400l 5.6 lens 40mm pancake and the 75-300 lens .


now  the 2 things that set the crop and full frame apart

iso noise and the 1.6 crop factor.


and the depth of field factors a 50m 1.8 on a crop has a larger infocus spot then a full frame sensor this is a example all fast lens work like this. a 50 1.8 on a crop will act like a 85 1.8 on a full frame etc


a ftb n ti1 70d 5d mk3 lens, 50 1.8mk1 50mm 1.4 16-35 4.0isL 400mm 5.6L
etc. using canon slrs from 1975
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