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arkitect

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 5, 2005
7,216
14,043
Bath, United Kingdom
Hallo all you Pros!

Currently I own a Sony A6500 and it does all I need right now.

However, I have noticed that my favourite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings… I guess Golden/Blue hours.

I have read that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions.

So, my question is, is that correct?

I am not expecting to suddenly get "better" at my photography, but was just curious if there were some advantages vs the downside of a larger and heavier camera.

Thanks for the help! 🙂

Edit:
If I do upgrade I will probably most definitely not be going beyond a used Sony A7 III. Gotta have some spare cash to keep Tim Apple happy. 🤣
 
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OldMacs4Me

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May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Slightly side from your question, but I think a lot comes down to depth of field. The smaller sensor does give better depth of field at the same angle of view. OTOH full frame especially at longer lens lengths and wide open apertures will allow better isolation of your subject.

Your current camera design is about 8 years old, so hopefully there have probably been at least some improvements in low lighting performance in that time frame. All else being equal I would expect full frame to have at least a slight edge there. That said I would wait for someone with experience with both cameras to chime in on how significant the improvement would be.
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
7,943
49,136
Technically, yes, a larger sensor is better in lowlight because it has more surface area from which to gather that light. Often the pixels will be a bit larger also, reducing noise.

In practice, however, with modern cameras, most sensors are pretty clean. I have two full frame Nikons and one crop sensor APS-C sensor, and I don't worry about high ISO with any of them. I also have a medium format Fuji, which theoretically should have the best ISO performance but typically find it performs slightly worse than my Nikons at higher ISOs.

As OldMacs mentioned, you will see a difference in DOF across sensor sizes for any given aperture, and I do notice that among all three of my sensor sizes way more than I notice ISO performance. If you like a shallower DOF then moving to full frame will give you a good advantage for that. If your photographs are like your paintings, however, than a larger DOF might be more appropriate for you (but you can always crop in post or stop down with a full frame to get more DOF).

Most crop sensors are physically the same sensor as a full frame, just literally cut smaller. This is probably even more true among Sony cameras, but I don't know enough about Sony to know the differences among their lineup.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
One reason years ago I moved to FF bodies was to get greater detail in macro and closeup shots. I don't shoot landscapes or architecture very often, and I very rarely shoot either early in the morning or early in the evening, so can't help you there, since the last Sony APS-C camera body I had was the NEX 7 and the last Nikon one was the D300 -- so quite a long time since I have shot APS-C bodies or lenses.

One advantage Sony offers with its FF cameras is the ability to shoot in crop mode, much as though one were shooting with an APS-C camera body, and since it is the same mount (E mount/FE mount) one can easily use his or her APS-C lenses on a Sony body, no adapters needed.

However, it wouldn't make sense to buy a FF body and then not use FF lenses at all. In general FF lenses are a bit more expensive than APS-C ones, but Sony does offer a range of lenses in the various focal lengths and budget levels, and of course there is the option of purchasing gently used Sony lenses or new/used third-party lenses as well.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,335
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Kentucky
When I bought my Fuji X-T5, which is a 40mp APS-C camera(AFAIK one of the highest pixel density ILCs on the market-it would be around 90mp if the sensor were stretched to full frame) I was afraid of what I would see with noise.

In the real world, I haven't found it to be as much as I was afraid of. It's not as clean as my D850(45mp full frame) but honestly if I put two files here from the two, both at 12,800, I doubt you'd be able to tell which came from which camera based on noise alone.

With that said, the cleanest 35mm format cameras still, in my judgement, have to be the full frame relatively low resolution bodies. I thought the Nikon D3s was good, and it was and still is, but then bought a Df(which uses the D4 sensor) and found it even better.

The 20mp D5 got a bad rap because DXOMark ranked it low based on its base ISO being(relatively) noisy and having poor dynamic range. I overlooked the camera for a long time for that reason, but I kept hearing anedotal reports from real users talk about how it really starts to shine at high ISOs(and how nearly perfectly files come out of the camera). I finally bought one myself and, yeah, it's incredible. 25,600 is cleaner than 12,800 on my D850 even after downsampling the D850 files to match the D5 size. When I first got it the 51,200 setting scared me but I finally cranked it there one day and yeah it's noisy but not much worse than 12,800 on the D850. I've never used the 102,500 setting in the "real world" but I would if I needed to. BTW, 102,800 on that camera is a real ISO and not an artificial "boosted" setting. It holds color fidelity(the boosted settings don't) and smears detail along with being relatively noisy but it sill looks better than a D2X at ISO 1600. That to me is unreal-102,800 should let you take handheld photos by candlelight with an f/2.8 lens.

Long story short-I don't know that there will ever be an APS-C camera with performance like the D5(and presumably the D6) but they are perfectly respectable. 12,800 is enough for me to get handheld sharp results with an f/4 lens and VR/stabilization in situations dark enough to make reading difficult. That's good enough for me most of the time-I only go to higher ISOs even on the D5 if the situation calls for more DOF and/or shutter speeds fast enough to stop action. Nikon seems to like the 20mp sensor that first showed up in the D500 for their APS-C cameras these days. Its pixel density is similar to their 45mp sensor that they use in almost all their current full frame bodies and ISO 12,800 is great.

BTW, the ability to crop to APS-C in-camera from a full frame lens is hardly a Sony exclusive feature. Every Nikon full frame DSLR I'm aware of has available an APS-C crop mode. It does need to be manually selected, which I actually like since some DX lenses actually will work as full frame lenses(Nikon's cheap and light 10-20mm AF-P is often in my bag because it will give full frame coverage at 14mm and wider, and weighs a fraction of what the 14-24mm f/2.8 weighs). I understand the Z cameras force DX crop with no option out of it if you fit a DX lens. There are some cameras that will run at a higher frame rate in DX mode, like the D850.
 
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Substance21

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2023
8
4
Hallo all you Pros!

Currently I own a Sony A6500 and it does all I need right now.

However, I have noticed that my favourite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings… I guess Golden/Blue hours.

I have read that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions.

So, my question is, is that correct?

I am not expecting to suddenly get "better" at my photography, but was just curious if there were some advantages vs the downside of a larger and heavier camera.

Thanks for the help! 🙂

Edit:
If I do upgrade I will probably most definitely not be going beyond a used Sony A7 III. Gotta have some spare cash to keep Tim Apple happy. 🤣

What kind of photos do you take?

All things being equal (including tech), bigger pixels are less noisy. But as can be seen from cell phones with tiny sensors, there are many ways to compensate (e.g., longer or multiple exposures) and the potential quality difference depends on what kind of photos you're taking.
 
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_timo_redux_

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2022
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New York City
When I think about low light photography, there's so many factors ahead of sensor size. First of course is lens aperture, although of course wide open fast lenses are not a universal solution to low-light scenarios.

I'll assume you're shooting RAW to eek out everything from a high-ISO file ... the next factor is how well you processing program of choice "cooks" the particular sensor and lens combo. (I can't speak to jpegs.)

Then, I'd wager the next factor is pixel pitch, where bigger pixels have an advantage. I have a current APS-C camera, a Pentax K3, with a pixel pitch of 3.76 microns; while a full-frame Sony A9 I used to shoot with had a pixel pitch of 5.93 microns. I don't have a same lens (or two lenses with the same maximum aperture) for each, but my general impression is the fatter pixels of the Sony did make a difference in low light.

But the lens choice is much more important, as is the RAW conversion program ... pixel pitch isn't nothing, but a distant third as a factor.

Finally, there's a synergy factor. E.g., I was constantly amazed by the RX-1R's low light performance: a full-frame sensor mated to a fixed f/2.0 lens. Pixel pitch of 4.50 microns doesn't seem to matter as much as how the sensor and lens are really suited for each other. That camera's sensor is seven years old, but really good.
 
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r.harris1

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2012
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To a degree, low light image quality is more dependent on pixel size on the sensor rather than the sensor size itself, though more larger pixels is a good thing. Another part is what happens after those pixels capture that light and is often a greater part of a particular manufacturer's "secret sauce" than the sensor itself. You'll note that each manufacturer will have their own "post" processor - like Nikon's Expeed or Sony's BIONZ (or Exmor) - even if they're using Sony silicon. These processors are what reads the data off the sensor and creates the raw file or JPEG that gets written to your card.

Roger Cicala over at Lens Rentals often writes up some interesting observations and I'd remembered he'd put something together about this quite a while back (yikes, 13 years but just like yesterday). It's still interesting reading, though perhaps tedious in spots.

I think that the bottom line is that larger pixels can be good for low light photography and more of those large pixels is useful. I shoot a lot of medium format stuff, which are larger sensors. There's a special look to "fat pixels" on a large sensor. A lot of MF cameras are 100MP+ today, but many people swear by 25MP or less as the sweet spot. But "it depends". :) I think your camera is just ducky. Maybe a full-frame camera will help, but I'd really investigate if there's something that's holding you back with your current gear.

EDIT: I should add that I'm all for more gear :) but I try and give sensible advice rather than advocate for how I behave in real life.
 
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bunnspecial

macrumors G3
May 3, 2014
8,335
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Kentucky
I don't normally post people photos, but what the heck, they're what I have handy. Unfortunately too these aren't crazy ISOs-I'll have to dig a bit for some of those but will try to post

Fuji APS-C X-Trans sensor(in X-T5) at 1600-super clean to my eye


_DSF4202.jpg


Obligatory food photo at 3200(dim restaurants are a good place to show off high ISO)

_DSF4218 copy.jpg


From this same trip(being lazy as they're in the same folder when I went hunting, and I have few enough photos stored on my laptop that getting anything to post is a multi-step operation...)

D850 at 3200

_DSC8150 copy.jpg


If you care to see them, I'm happy to do formal high ISO comparisons with various cameras tomorrow, and also get away from the family snaps which I know some here dislike :rolleyes:

With that said, the X-T5 is my only reasonably current APS-C camera. Beyond there, after selling my D500 a few years ago, I make a huge jump back to the D300s. Of course too X-trans offers its own sort of noise "signature".
 

Allen_Wentz

Suspended
Dec 3, 2016
2,898
3,162
USA
Hallo all you Pros!

Currently I own a Sony A6500 and it does all I need right now.

However, I have noticed that my favourite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings… I guess Golden/Blue hours.

I have read that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions.

So, my question is, is that correct?

I am not expecting to suddenly get "better" at my photography, but was just curious if there were some advantages vs the downside of a larger and heavier camera.

Thanks for the help! 🙂

Edit:
If I do upgrade I will probably most definitely not be going beyond a used Sony A7 III. Gotta have some spare cash to keep Tim Apple happy. 🤣
The type of pix you are taking is hugely important because it impacts your setup (tripod/handheld, subject movement, carryability/ease of access to location, etc.). But IMO most relevant for low light work is probably lens aperture, because that literally defines how much light can reach the film/sensor.

So my suggestion is to make a long term plan for camera and the fastest lenses that suit your need to carry and pay for them. Each additional stop of light to the sensor improves everything. Prime ~F/1.8 lenses are usually the most cost effective way to achieve more light to the sensor, but sometimes the type of pix you are taking can make carrying/changing primes not a good solution (dusty environs for instance).

The issue with the question of what camera really flows from what lenses you want long term. E.g. in my case (Nikon) I am due for some lens replacements, but to get the lenses I want requires adding a mirrorless Z9 body to my DSLR world.

Personally IMO most folks building a long term camera system 2023+ are probably best off going with full frame, but individual use cases do vary.
 
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AlaskaMoose

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Apr 26, 2008
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One reason years ago I moved to FF bodies was to get greater detail in macro and closeup shots. I don't shoot landscapes or architecture very often, and I very rarely shoot either early in the morning or early in the evening, so can't help you there, since the last Sony APS-C camera body I had was the NEX 7 and the last Nikon one was the D300 -- so quite a long time since I have shot APS-C bodies or lenses.

One advantage Sony offers with its FF cameras is the ability to shoot in crop mode, much as though one were shooting with an APS-C camera body, and since it is the same mount (E mount/FE mount) one can easily use his or her APS-C lenses on a Sony body, no adapters needed.

However, it wouldn't make sense to buy a FF body and then not use FF lenses at all. In general FF lenses are a bit more expensive than APS-C ones, but Sony does offer a range of lenses in the various focal lengths and budget levels, and of course there is the option of purchasing gently used Sony lenses or new/used third-party lenses as well.
I haven't found any considerable advantage relating detail in macro and close-up shots between my FF and cropped-sensor cameras. Also, Canon, and I assume other mirrorless FF camera brands, allow for shooting both FF and cropped, plus the option to use lenses for APS-C cameras. The main difference I have noticed in relation to mirrorless versus digital SLRs cameras and macro shots, is that the mirrorless ones seem to be faster and easier to focus on the subject. But take a look at the macro shots of Lord V, taken with older and relatively inexpensive APS-C cameras :)


Lord V's free article about macro photography-if you are interested- regardless of the camera brand or model you may have:
 
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alfogator

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2005
94
62
Florence, Italy
Hallo all you Pros!

Currently I own a Sony A6500 and it does all I need right now.

However, I have noticed that my favourite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings… I guess Golden/Blue hours.

I have read that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions.

So, my question is, is that correct?

I am not expecting to suddenly get "better" at my photography, but was just curious if there were some advantages vs the downside of a larger and heavier camera.

Thanks for the help! 🙂

Edit:
If I do upgrade I will probably most definitely not be going beyond a used Sony A7 III. Gotta have some spare cash to keep Tim Apple happy. 🤣

I'll give you a very "simple" answer: all things being equal, for a given field of view a larger sensor will collect more light and give you an higher SNR, i.e. less noise. This is mostly due to the fact that the larger sensor requires larger lenses that let more light in for the same illumination (same aperture if you prefer).

Everything else is just a permutation around this simple factor dictated by physics.

If you're comparing sensors of different technological generations this is not true anymore, so make your comparisons appropriately.

How much more light are you collecting? Here's a simple experiment: take a full frame sensor and cut it in four equal parts, you get a 12x18mm sensor (which is the m43 sensor size).
Now take a full frame lens and take a picture. Swap the sensor with the same lens and take the same picture: you will only capture 1/4 of the original image, so if you take 4 different picture with the same exposure time and stitch them together you get the exact same picture you captured with the full frame sensor.
This experiment tells you that by doubling the sensor dimensions you get four time as much light. I.e. two stops in photographic parlance.
You could bump the iso two notches and get the picture with the smaller sensor in the same exposure time, with of course more noise.

So 2x sensor dimension equals 2 stops of noise reduction.

It's up to you then decide if the improved light collection (and resulting noise reduction) is worth it to for your purposes or not.
 
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arkitect

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low lighting performance… All else being equal I would expect full frame to have at least a slight edge there. That said I would wait for someone with experience with both cameras to chime in on how significant the improvement would be.
Thanks! That seems to chime with what I was reading.

Technically, yes, a larger sensor is better in lowlight because it has more surface area from which to gather that light. Often the pixels will be a bit larger also, reducing noise.

In practice, however, with modern cameras, most sensors are pretty clean. I have two full frame Nikons and one crop sensor APS-C sensor, and I don't worry about high ISO with any of them. I also have a medium format Fuji, which theoretically should have the best ISO performance but typically find it performs slightly worse than my Nikons at higher ISOs.

As OldMacs mentioned, you will see a difference in DOF across sensor sizes for any given aperture, and I do notice that among all three of my sensor sizes way more than I notice ISO performance. If you like a shallower DOF then moving to full frame will give you a good advantage for that. If your photographs are like your paintings, however, than a larger DOF might be more appropriate for you (but you can always crop in post or stop down with a full frame to get more DOF).
This is something I didn't consider. Thanks for bringing it up. 👍 Strangely enough I do like some nice shallow DOF, especially when I want to emphasize some details — whether that is an architectural element or a vase of flowers.

One advantage Sony offers with its FF cameras is the ability to shoot in crop mode, much as though one were shooting with an APS-C camera body, and since it is the same mount (E mount/FE mount) one can easily use his or her APS-C lenses on a Sony body, no adapters needed.

However, it wouldn't make sense to buy a FF body and then not use FF lenses at all. In general FF lenses are a bit more expensive than APS-C ones, but Sony does offer a range of lenses in the various focal lengths and budget levels, and of course there is the option of purchasing gently used Sony lenses or new/used third-party lenses as well.
Thanks.

As far as lenses go, I have been using mostly vintage full frame ones adapted to the Sony e-mount. So if I had to go FF I could start with a decent "modern" AF & OSS zoom and then work my way up from there.

I like the phrase "gently used". 😁 I'm certainly going to be looking for a gently used body and lens or two.
Like my iPhones and other Mac stuff, I am quite content to be a generation or two or three behind.
 
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arkitect

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Sep 5, 2005
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When I think about low light photography, there's so many factors ahead of sensor size. First of course is lens aperture, although of course wide open fast lenses are not a universal solution to low-light scenarios.

I'll assume you're shooting RAW to eek out everything from a high-ISO file ...
Definitely RAW.
the next factor is how well you processing program of choice "cooks" the particular sensor and lens combo. (I can't speak to jpegs.)
I use DxO Photolab. Mostly because I find the noise reduction quite amazing.
Then, I'd wager the next factor is pixel pitch, where bigger pixels have an advantage. I have a current APS-C camera, a Pentax K3, with a pixel pitch of 3.76 microns; while a full-frame Sony A9 I used to shoot with had a pixel pitch of 5.93 microns. I don't have a same lens (or two lenses with the same maximum aperture) for each, but my general impression is the fatter pixels of the Sony did make a difference in low light.

But the lens choice is much more important, as is the RAW conversion program ... pixel pitch isn't nothing, but a distant third as a factor.

Finally, there's a synergy factor. E.g., I was constantly amazed by the RX-1R's low light performance: a full-frame sensor mated to a fixed f/2.0 lens. Pixel pitch of 4.50 microns doesn't seem to matter as much as how the sensor and lens are really suited for each other. That camera's sensor is seven years old, but really good.
Thank you for that. (Learnt something new — pixel pitch)
I appreciate it.

To a degree, low light image quality is more dependent on pixel size on the sensor rather than the sensor size itself, though more larger pixels is a good thing. Another part is what happens after those pixels capture that light and is often a greater part of a particular manufacturer's "secret sauce" than the sensor itself. You'll note that each manufacturer will have their own "post" processor - like Nikon's Expeed or Sony's BIONZ (or Exmor) - even if they're using Sony silicon. These processors are what reads the data off the sensor and creates the raw file or JPEG that gets written to your card.

Roger Cicala over at Lens Rentals often writes up some interesting observations and I'd remembered he'd put something together about this quite a while back (yikes, 13 years but just like yesterday). It's still interesting reading, though perhaps tedious in spots.
Thanks! I'll give that a read.
I think that the bottom line is that larger pixels can be good for low light photography and more of those large pixels is useful. I shoot a lot of medium format stuff, which are larger sensors. There's a special look to "fat pixels" on a large sensor.
👍
A lot of MF cameras are 100MP+ today, but many people swear by 25MP or less as the sweet spot. But "it depends". :) I think your camera is just ducky. Maybe a full-frame camera will help, but I'd really investigate if there's something that's holding you back with your current gear.

EDIT: I should add that I'm all for more gear :) but I try and give sensible advice rather than advocate for how I behave in real life.
Well, it is not that I think my pics are disappointing — just that I started way back in the '80s with film… got into AF in the '90s and then drifted away from photography (always a hobby mind). Saw iPhones take over from pount and shoots and a few years ago felt the stirring to get back into cameras with interchangeable lenses.
So its been a gradual building up and learning. My god! What a lot of learning! 🤣

Thank you for taking the time. 👍
 
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arkitect

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I don't normally post people photos, but what the heck, they're what I have handy. Unfortunately too these aren't crazy ISOs-I'll have to dig a bit for some of those but will try to post

Fuji APS-C X-Trans sensor(in X-T5) at 1600-super clean to my eye


View attachment 2253497

Obligatory food photo at 3200(dim restaurants are a good place to show off high ISO)

View attachment 2253498

From this same trip(being lazy as they're in the same folder when I went hunting, and I have few enough photos stored on my laptop that getting anything to post is a multi-step operation...)

D850 at 3200

View attachment 2253499

If you care to see them, I'm happy to do formal high ISO comparisons with various cameras tomorrow, and also get away from the family snaps which I know some here dislike :rolleyes:

With that said, the X-T5 is my only reasonably current APS-C camera. Beyond there, after selling my D500 a few years ago, I make a huge jump back to the D300s. Of course too X-trans offers its own sort of noise "signature".
Thank you for showing this.
Was there any post on these or straight out of the camera?
 

arkitect

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 5, 2005
7,216
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Bath, United Kingdom
The type of pix you are taking is hugely important because it impacts your setup (tripod/handheld, subject movement, carryability/ease of access to location, etc.). But IMO most relevant for low light work is probably lens aperture, because that literally defines how much light can reach the film/sensor.
So my suggestion is to make a long term plan for camera and the fastest lenses that suit your need
Thanks. That seems to be the sensible thing.
to carry and pay for them. Each additional stop of light to the sensor improves everything. Prime ~F/1.8 lenses are usually the most cost effective way to achieve more light to the sensor, but sometimes the type of pix you are taking can make carrying/changing primes not a good solution (dusty environs for instance).

Personally IMO most folks building a long term camera system 2023+ are probably best off going with full frame, but individual use cases do vary.
👍

I'll give you a very "simple" answer: all things being equal, for a given field of view a larger sensor will collect more light and give you an higher SNR, i.e. less noise. This is mostly due to the fact that the larger sensor requires larger lenses that let more light in for the same illumination (same aperture if you prefer).
Short and sweet. Thanks! 🙂
It's up to you then decide if the improved light collection (and resulting noise reduction) is worth it to for your purposes or not.
Indeed. I may have to get a FF on loan and do a bit of side by side comparison.
 

JW5566

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2021
155
245
I don't think I have come across many experienced photographers and videographers on YouTube who, after going to full frame, would ever go back to APSC or M43. There are some exceptions, for example macro photographers using the OM1 or wildlife shooters preferring less bulk with APSC set ups, but these seem niche situations which, if they applied to you, you'd know about it.

I'm still on APSC and I can't fault the image quality even at higher ISOs (Nikon Z50), but am moving to full frame because I'm nearly always at the wide angle end and full frame, without its crop, is a better fit for me. Each case is unique I think and it's important to look at price and features specific to you, rather than simply look at sensor size.
 
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LambdaTheImpossible

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Aug 22, 2023
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I don't think I have come across many experienced photographers and videographers on YouTube who, after going to full frame, would ever go back to APSC or M43. There are some exceptions, for example macro photographers using the OM1 or wildlife shooters preferring less bulk with APSC set ups, but these seem niche situations which, if they applied to you, you'd know about it.

I'm still on APSC and I can't fault the image quality even at higher ISOs (Nikon Z50), but am moving to full frame because I'm nearly always at the wide angle end and full frame, without its crop, is a better fit for me. Each case is unique I think and it's important to look at price and features specific to you, rather than simply look at sensor size.

Experienced here yes, professional no. I went from a Nikon D850 to a Z50 because I'm fed up of honking around with a great big camera body and lenses. What with decreasing hand luggage size on flights and increasing age, the camera gear gets heavier and more problematic all the time. It actively sucks the enjoyment away.

So I mostly shoot with the Z50 and the (full frame) 28mm f/2.8 prime lens which is really dirt cheap and nice and gives a reasonable 42mm equivalent. I do zoom shots with the standard DX 50-250mm lens. That's it. I can get both of those lenses, the body, two batteries and power bank in the bottom of my carry on luggage. And they were all dirt cheap. I bought the body new and the lenses second hand.

I haven't noticed a material difference in quality or artistic improvements from shrinking the body/sensor. What I have noticed is I take more good photos because the thing goes on my coat pocket with the 28mm lens on it.
 
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bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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Thank you for showing this.
Was there any post on these or straight out of the camera?
These were run through my standard which is import raw files into Lightroom and then do whatever editing and export.

I'd have to look, but I'm pretty sure the Fuji files were as-shot and the Nikon may have had a slight exposure tweak. I certainly didn't add any noise reduction.
 
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MacNut

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Jan 4, 2002
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The ability to bump the ISO in low light and not have a lot of noise.
 

herbert7265

macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2023
104
80
Mexico
Currently I own a Sony A6500 and it does all I need right now.

However, I have noticed that my favourite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings… I guess Golden/Blue hours.

I have read that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions.

So, my question is, is that correct?
Others have already asked, and maybe I missed your answer, so let me ask again: What do you mean when stating "my favorite kind of shooting is very early morning or early evenings"? What are you shooting? Landscape, Wildlife, or something else?

Also, in what context did the articles you read state "that full frame cameras do offer advantages when used in those conditions"?

Without knowing the answers to these questions it is quite difficult to answer your question if "that is correct"!

But let´s touch some general aspects comparing an / your APS-C camera to a FF camera:

Yes, a lot of people consider FF superior compared to APS-C, in here often referring especially to higher resolution and low light capabilities. Now, that can be true, but does not necessarily need to be true, at least when not seeing it in context.

There are situations where a higher resolution camera may make sense, but the higher resolution also has its downsides. Just think about diffraction, larger file sizes in regards to FPS, just to name two in here.

Low light capabilities, a quite complex topic, involving way more than just the size of the sensor. Yes, a larger sensor can / will capture more light, all else equal, but when does "all else equal" really apply? Also, a lot of people struggle to really understand the context of the topic of noise, ISO, and camera characteristics and capabilities, therefore may fall for the trap and think FF will "automatically and always mean" better low light capabilities...!

Herbert
 
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tizeye

macrumors 68040
Jul 17, 2013
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Excellent discussion above, but here is the math that helps put light sensitivity, focal length, aperture together. Remember the exposure triangle - shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, adjusting one, requires adjusting the other for the same "perfect" exposure - but different features such as resulting motion blur or different depth of field. With todays cameras, grainess of higher ISO is not as much a factor as the old film ISO, both native and push processing.

As a point of reference, using my full frame Sony A7rIII and wife's crop sensor A6000 with a resulting 1.5 crop factor, which is typical for most full frame cameras, except Canon is the harder math 1.6 multiplier where end result doesn't fall into established references.

Lens equivalency typically notes "focal length factor" while ignoring the rest. For easy math, take the nifty fifty - 50mm f1.8, where the equivalency is 75mm f2.8 (Canon 80mm f2.9). That also illustrated why won't get the dept of field of f1.8 when its minimum is f2.8 - and required change in either shutter speed or ISO to adjust the light different for the same exposure. Not as critical at f1.8/2.8, but if the exposure is f8, the resulting is is f11 where depth becomes more pronounced. This brings up a secondary issue. The A7rIII has a 42 megapixel sensor, but in crop mode it drops to 16. I never use it in crop mode as the pixel drop is the same in post if I crop a full frame image down to crop size, the resulting file size is the same 16 megapixel - BUT the original DOF detail from the original full frame image is maintained. But at least with a full frame camera, I can do that!

It becomes more of an issue with the 200-600 f5.6 to 6.3. While the shorted length 200=300 could be a challenge, at its longest length cropped equivalent is 900mm f9.45. While having a 900mm lens is great, 9.45 may have difficulties with autofocus. In addition, remember the exposure triangle as you need more light and you can't open the aperture further, so it is slower shutter or higher ISO. If shooting wildlife in the golden hours, you may already have a slow shutter speed so ISO adjustment becomes your primary option.
 
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tizeye

macrumors 68040
Jul 17, 2013
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Now a real life example of the above. I recently returned from Italy where visited my ancestral heritage town and the church generations - dating back to the 1500's - would have attended and been baptized at. In fact, the memorial on the church grounds listed family surnames killed in WWI and WWII. Exterior wasn't that difficult, but when I walked in the church, no lights were on and as you can see, very few windows. Photo was taken the A7rIII and 16-35 f4 lens. There is no crop equivalent f4 lens as both have shorter focal length on the long end which didn't require for this photo, but... At least Tokina has an f2.8 lens in the 11-18, but the popular Sony 10-20 is f4.

Actual exposure - church: 16mm f4 ISO 4000 @1/8 sec handheld. Baptismal Font - 18mm f4 ISO 4000 @1/6sec handheld. The Tokina at 11 (16.5mm) f2.4 (f4) could have maintained ISO 4000 1/8sec exposure, but anything else, such as Sony's f4, would have to be adjusted. Handholding at 1/8 sec kind of limits your shutter speed options going slower, so the remaining option would be increasing the ISO to get the exposure.

All that aside, it is also an example of the phenominal dynamic range of the Sony that some of my Canon and Nikon friends are a bit envious of. Shooting in RAW, can really pull the detail out of the darks in post processing. Again the lighting was more like walking into a movie theater as you see the only light source were those high windows in the church photo, and the reflected glare of the two windows in the baptismal photo. The series in the back, exposed for the window gives you an idea of what was encountered when walking in the church. Its exposure was 35mm f18 ISO 400 (not 4000) @ 1/15 sec
Ronca 2500px-7.jpg
Ronca 2500px-14.jpg
Ronca 2500px-16.jpg
 
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