Full Frame vs APS-C Camera (Which One Should You Choose?)

Full frame vs APS-C camera is one of the popular debates in recent years. Both sensor cameras have several pros and cons.

We’ve taken a few considerations from our expertise team based on specific photography styles and needs.

The main difference between a full frame and an APS-C camera is sensor size.

Full frame cameras have larger sensor sizes, better dynamic range, shallower depth of field and better image quality.

Whereas, crop sensor cameras are great for lightweight, crop-out images and budget-friendly prices.

In this article, you’ll make the right decision on what type of camera will best fit your photography style.

Full frame VS APS-C Camera: Quick Comparison Table

Key Feature Full Frame Camera APS-C Camera 
Sensor Size Bigger Smaller
Resolution and detail Much better Good
Weight Heavier Lightweight 
Dynamic Range Better Good
Low light situation Excellent  Good
Bokeh and depth of field Better Good
Noise and ISO Performance  Less noise More noise
Image quality Superior Better
Best for
  • Real Estate Photography
  • Wedding Photography
  • Portrait photography
  • Astrology Photography
  • Fashion Photography
  • Food photography
  • Landscape photography,
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Travel Photography
  • Sports photography
  • Street Photography
Cost Expensive

 

Full frame VS APS-C Camera: What Are The Differences?

Full Frame vs APS-C cameras

Full frame cameras are popular as professional photographers. But, APS-C cameras are not behind at all.

Crop sensor cameras are now competing with full frame cameras with their special features.

Let’s have a detailed comparison to know the best camera for your photography needs. 

01. Sensor size

The main difference between a full frame and APS C camera is the sensor size. 

For this, you’ll get a closer look from crop sensor camera rather than full frame cameras

Sensor size is mainly the physical dimension of the sensor’s dimension. 

The most common full frame sensor size is 36×24 millimeter. Whereas, APSC or crop sensor size is 24×16mm. 

Crop sensors are the ultimate result of crop out some of the pixels from the full frame sensor. 

That means, you’ll get full wide angle photos with more spaces in a full frame camera.

2. Detail and Resolution

You’ll get more quality images with details in a full-frame camera rather than a crop sensor camera. 

You’d better know how we introduce a camera with a megapixel. This megapixel is related to resolution.

A crop sensor’s pixels are smaller and more densely packed in a frame. That’s why magnification for the lens will make a difference.

Experiment with a 50 mm lens in both cameras, and you’ll get a clear concept.

In an Apsc camera, if you use a 50mm lens, it’ll look like an 80mm(50mm×1.6) lens. That means you’ll get a much closer shot without a wide-angle space. 

Crop sensor cameras already focus on the subject and you can’t get back to the detail or wide angle of images. 

Finally, you’ll get a wider field of view with a full-frame camera over a crop sensor.

But here you may also forget the advantages. Focusing more on the subject means you can crop the images without missing your image resolution. 

Thus, using an APS-C camera for sports photography, and wildlife photography will give you a fantastic output.

On the other hand, select full-frame cameras where you need a wider field of view. Such as,

  • Landscape photography, 
  • Real estate photography, 
  • Wedding photography. 

03. Weight

The bigger the sensor, the bigger the lenses and tripod you must use. Simply, a full-frame camera is much heavier than an APSC camera. 

As the full-frame camera sensor is bigger, so its body weighs more with heavier lenses. So, it is difficult to handle or reduce camera shakes.

Crop sensor cameras will give you a benefit here. It needs almost lightweight lenses.

Again, crop sensor camera kits are all easy to pack in a pocket and carry wherever you want. Hence, you don’t need to handle it for more stabilization like full-frame cameras.

Therefore, you can choose crop sensor cameras for street photography, landscape photography, and travel photography.

04. Dynamic Range  

Full-frame cameras have a better dynamic range than APSC cameras.

Due to lower pixel density, full frame sensors have a better dynamic range to change from dark to light colour tones. 

So, you can expect a high-contrast image in a full-frame camera over a crop sensor camera.

If a raw file shoots in overexposed or underexposed, you can change it for more highlights or deeper shadows in a full-frame camera.

05. Low light situation

Full frame cameras are the best to shoot in low light situations over APSC cameras.

Pixel-in full-frame cameras are larger. So, the bigger sensor will gather more light rather than the smaller sensor.

As a result, full-frame cameras have the better capability to capture in low light conditions.

It’s therefore so hard to get clean, sharp and more detailed photos in low light conditions in a crop sensor camera. 

Full frame cameras suitable for low light conditions shooting like,

  • Wedding photography, 
  • Night street photography, 
  • Astronology photography.

06. Noise and High ISO Performance 

Full-frame cameras perform better at higher ISO which reduces noise in images.

However, newer crop sensor camera models have improved ISO. But it can’t exceed the ISO performance of full-frame cameras.

Due to having a larger sensor, more light falls on the full frame sensors and hence gets the right exposure image with less noise.

So, it’s better to select full-frame cameras to get print photos or digital images in high resolution.

07. Bokeh and Depth of Field

You’ll get a shallower depth of field and blurred bokeh with full-frame cameras over Apsc cameras.

Using a full-frame camera, you’ll get closer to the subject with a longer lens and maximum aperture.

As a result, this leads to a shallower depth of field (DOP) and beautiful blurred bokeh.

On the other hand, crop sensors capture crop-out images that have a clear background.

So, use a full-frame camera that requires a blurred background.

  • Portraiture, 
  • Wedding photography
  • Product photography 
  • Food photography 

08. Cost

Full-frame cameras are expensive due to having premium features and control for professional photographers.

While taking on crop sensor cameras, you’ll get an affordable lens with better optics.

Again, by investing more money in lenses, you’ll get high-quality results with this camera.

On the other hand, full-frame cameras have lower chip yield. So, it needs longer and better quality lenses. 

Additionally, full-frame camera image files are larger to save or store.

So, you need to invest more in a cloud service or a drive folder for file management. 

For more details, see this YouTube video to discover the effects of sensor cameras on image quality.

When your well know with the APS-C cameras, we have a helpful guide for you to know more about the  APS-C Cameras Lenses.

FAQs

Is APS-C better than a full frame for street photography?

APS-C Cameras

 

APS-C camera is better for street photography as it is easy to carry.

Crop sensor cameras are lighter than full frame cameras APS-C cameras allow for deeper depth of field which you need.

APS-C or crop sensor cameras have burst shooting speed that helps to capture candid photos with fast-moving subjects. 

Additionally, shorter and lighter lenses like 28-35mm lenses can give you enough results for street photography.

A compact camera is better for street photography. So, APS-C cameras are a good choice over full-frame cameras. 

Do professional photographers use APS-C?

Professional photographers use APS-C cameras depending on genre, photography style and gear requirement.

Having a full-frame camera is not mandatory for professionals.

You can buy premium lenses in budget-friendly crop sensor cameras to get better results over full-frame cameras.

It’s possible with your photography skills and better gear equipment. 

What are the disadvantages of an APS-C camera?

Depending on different needs in specific photography, there may be a few disadvantages of APS-C cameras.

You can’t expect a wider field of view with an APSC camera. Shooting in low light conditions is also hard.

Therefore you can’t get better results with crop sensor cameras for wedding photography, night street photography, or portrait photography.  

Is a crop sensor better for wildlife?

Crop sensors are better for wildlife photography. The 1.5-1.6 magnification is great for capturing distant animals, or small birds.

You can get telephoto reach without carrying heavier gear. 

Again, you don’t have the fear of losing resolution for cropping images. It already has the crop sensor to give you work perfection.

Is it worth upgrading from APS-C to full frame?

It’ll be worth it depending on your photography needs,  style and budget.

You can switch to full frame for wider and more detailed photos,  low light conditions shooting, and high contrast images, On the other hand, stay with crop sensors while investing in lenses for street photography, wildlife photography and sports photography.

Final Verdict

Choosing the best camera is a priority to take your photography to another level. 

Make decisions based on specific needs, photography skills and budget. And, then match these factors with the whole guideline. 

Last tip: Having a full-frame camera including pro features with a beginner skill won’t give you superior results! Again, you can shine on photography with a mid-budget crop sensor. Trust me! 

Hope, you’ll get your top-notch camera types with this powerful article full frame VS APS-C camera.