Reader question

Reader Ray asks:

I know you have many cameras: as a pro you need them, I understand that. But why do you have, or what’s the reason behind your thoughts for having, a crop camera when I am sure you have many full frame cameras.  I would like to hear your the take on this, I know why I have a crop camera…lol

A-ha. A good question. Indeed, why do I ever shoot with a Canon 7D (1.6 crop factor, i.e. the sensor is 1.6 smaller than a 35mm negative), and a Canon 1D Mark IV (crop factor 1.3), rather than just using my top-of-the-range full-frame 1Ds Mark 3?

Well, there are several reasons.:

  1. Crop factor cameras make lenses appear longer. So a 200mm lens appears like a 320mm lens on the Canon 7D (200 x 1.6 = 320).
  2. I like lighter cameras… the 7D weighs half what the 1D weighs, and sometimes that is important. It is also smaller, which makes some types of photography, like street photography, easier.
  3. The 1D Mark IV is more modern. Sometimes you take the more modern camera because you need its functions.
  4. Sometimes you take a camera with fewer pixels like the 1D Mark IV, because it means smaller files.
  5. The 1D Mark IV is faster (10 frames per second, as opposed to 5 on the 1Ds and 8 on the 7D).
  6. Quite often, good enough is good enough.

I hope that explains that as with so many things in life, nothing is simple. Sensor size is not everything, just like pixels aren’t everything!

0 thoughts on “Reader question

  1. Hey Michael,
    Any thoughts about the longevity of APS-C size sensors? Here for the next 5-10 yrs as economical, slightly smaller alternatives? Or will full frame take over? Ex: in Rebel class cameras? Place your bet!

  2. That is a great question, Jorge.

    Yes, it is a bet, but some things can be guessed with a great degree of certainty. I think small sensors will always exist in small cameras.. handheld little cameras like the four thirds cameras. But in SLRs I suspect we’ll go to full-frame only, eventually. In high-end SLRs I think that’s a given; in the lower end perhaps not as quickly. After all, a lot of APS-C lenses have been sold.

    So your time period is the essential question. If you want to buy a lens you will still be using in 20 years, but a full-frame suitable lens..

    Back to deleting pictures to create space on my full-yet-again TB drives…

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