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Probably need my head examined.
Old 06-06-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
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Probably need my head examined.

I have been a photography buff since the day of the old manual match needle SLR cameras. Actually made some money doing weddings and other shoots in the 70s. Since I have retired I have got back into photography starting out years ago with a 2 megapixel Nikon, then a Canon T2i, and now I have had a Canon 70D for about a year and a half. I am getting the bug to jump up to a full frame DSLR probably a 6D or might even stretch and buy a 5D Mark III. Money is not really an issue and I have procured a number of Canon L glass lenses over the last couple of years. My question is, how much better resolution and image quality do you get with a full frame DSLR as compared to a cropped sensor DSLR ? Is the incremental improvement worth the cost ? I've read about every review on both the 6D and the 5D mark III but just wondered if any of the wise sages here had an opinion on the issue. Thanks in advance for any and all comments.

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Old 06-06-2015, 06:17 PM   #2
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Started digital with a 20D, then a 1D3, then 5D2. The 1D3 had amazingly fast autofocus especially with the 300f2.8, great for sports. But the 5D2 image quality blew it away, but not by much. Fantastic for portrait work and landscapes.
What am I shooting with now? An Oly OMD EM1 with a 12-40f2.8 Much smaller and lighter so better for hiking and just walking around. Image quality? Not as good as the 5D2. But then again my eyes aren't as good either. I don't print as much as I used to. Mostly screen work. But it will print up to 16x20 well enough.
So I guess it depends on if you will actually use/need the higher image quality of the 5D3 over the 6D. I chose the Oly because of the size/weight and it being waterproof and dustproof.

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Old 06-06-2015, 07:07 PM   #3
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I shot 35mm with a Minolta SRT-102 and Nikon F2 back in the '70s, and got back into it with a Nikon D50 in 2006 or so. 6MP crop sensor, and I shot many great pictures with it. I recently went through all the DX-FX angst, and decided to stick with DX until I really see how far I'm going to take the hobby. I bought a Nikon D7000 at their lowest price on Amazon, 16MP.

My bigger concern was getting more exposure range, as some of my recent D50 pictures suffered with blown highlights. The D7000 does better in that regard than the D50, but a full-frame sensor would do that much better. I don't worry much about beau-coup pixels, because I don't plan on printing my pictures.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:10 PM   #4
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Even with cameras of comparable resolution I usually see a significant advantage with a full frame image. I currently have a Canon 7D and 5DII which are comparable cameras in most ways except the FF sensor on the 5D vs. the crop on the 7D. For focal length limited situations (long lenses shooting little birds mostly) the 7D is superior. For almost everything else, though, the 5D2 produces a "crispness" the 7D just can't match.

I'm not just talking about the shallower depth of field (though this is an effect I sometimes go for in portraits). Nor am I talking of the lower noise on FF (though that is especially evident at higher ISOs). It's more that the lens MTF is simply higher when imaging onto the 6.4 um pixels of the 5D2 than the 4.8 um of the 7D. I know that a good L lens should handily outresolve either sensor, but I just tend to see cleaner crisper images with the FF body.

I do have to admit this isn't an entirely fair comparison. While at normal and telephoto lengths I have equally good lenses to put on the FF and crop bodies, at the ultrawide end Canon just has better FF optics than anything available for crop. The 10-22 EF-S lens is a nice landscape lens on the 7D, but the 16-35II and 24L on the 5D2 just kill it. Still, I see this as another argument for FF - at least with the lenses I've seen available in the Canon system.

There, have I spent enough of the OP's money yet?
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:50 AM   #5
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I have no idea. I still have my early 70s Canon F1, but no digital SLR.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stepford View Post

There, have I spent enough of the OP's money yet?
No, but you have a good start. Still sleeping on my decision but more than likely I'll pick up the 6D. With the 6D and the 70D I should be able to cover most if not all of my photography needs. Your comment about the lens MTF and the additional larger pixels on the FF makes sense and is one of the best explanations I have heard.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:07 PM   #7
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While I like my D7000 when it comes time to buy a new camera I plan on renting a full frame Nikon with a nice lens for a few days or a week, then decide, and chalk the rental fee up to tuition expense.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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Image quality (and value) is so subjective. I think you really have to download some full size RAW files and decide for yourself.

Personally I haven't shot a crop sensor in years. However if I did any action shooting I wouldn't hesitate to get a crop body like the 7d.

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Old 06-09-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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This was taken a couple minutes ago (7:38am MDT) with an APS-C camera (Canon 7d MkII):

_N6A1056-Canon EOS 7D Mark II 06-09-2015 07h 38m 12s.jpg

(Only Cropped and Exposure brought down a little. f7.1, 1/800 sec., Tamron 150-600 at 600mm. On a Manfrotto Monopod and a Tomahawk Gimbal.)

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