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  1. #1
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    Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    If you were to crop all of your images alone the relative area a 1.6x sensor size...could you create an image that was effectively the same quality as a Full Frame sensor (36x24mm as opposed to 19x14mm) but lower mpx (of course, from the crop?) I'm trying to justify holding out till the 7D comes out OR just buying the 5D...OR getting the 50D. Best bang for the buck, you could say. The 50D has a better processing unit and the ability to shoot in 14bit files and use EFS lenses, along with its NR is slightly better than the 5D. I would like a full frame camera under 3 grand, and I'd like it to be canon so i can use their L series lenses.

    If you were to crop along the 1.6x crop line of all your images taken with a 50D, would it be superior to that of a 5D or equal?

  2. #2
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    In the first line, alone should be along? I have read this twice and have to admit I just don't understand what you're asking. With good technique (tripod, exposure etc) and a good lens, you should be able to get a really impressive large print out of either of these cameras.

  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    I'm with you Steve. I have read this several times, and I just can't seem to wrap my head around what is being asked.

    This is what I think is the question. If you shoot a FF DSLR, and then crop that image to match the image you would have gotten, had you taken the photo with a 1.6x crop body, which image would have better image quality? Basically you have the exact same image, only one is a crop from a FF body, and the other is an uncropped image from a 1.6x body.

    I remember reading an article a while back about someone doing a test like this with the 16mp 1Ds MKII vs a 1.6 crop body. It might have been the 20D but I don't remember exactly. I do remember that the when the 1Ds image was cropped to match the 1.6x body image, it was not as sharp.

    Steve is right, either one of the cameras mentioned (50D, 5D or 5D replacement) will give you great image quality and I really wouldn't worry too much about it. Get the camera you want, and start shooting.

    As a side note, if I were in the market for a new camera right now, I would NOT be purchasing anything, until after Photokina. I would wait to see what else the camera companies will be coming out with before making up my mind.
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  4. #4
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kajuah
    If you were to crop along the 1.6x crop line of all your images taken with a 50D, would it be superior to that of a 5D or equal?
    I think I understand what you're asking but I think you have it backwards.

    I assume you mean if one crops a full-frame image (from a 5D) down to the same area obtained by the 1.6x crop factor camera (of a 50D), how would the images compare? Yes?

    I shoot with both the 5D and 40D and I can tell you that I much prefer the image quality from the 5D (even though it is several generations older). Proof (to me at least) that the number of megapixels is just one small factor into making high quality images and not the factor as many people think. The question for you is whether you need/want the wider angle of coverage provided by the 5D.
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  5. #5
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Proof (to me at least) that the number of megapixels is just one small factor into making high quality images and not the factor as many people think.
    I think both of you are right - if I read it changing it to the full frame that would be cropped to 1.6x, then it makes sense. And I think you guys have covered it pretty well, especially with Loupey's quote. The advantage with the crop would be that the least sharp area of a lens would be in the corners, and you're cropping it out.

    One of the disadvantages would be that (as far as I know) you wouldn't have any grid lines in the viewfinder for composition, so you'd be guessing. Any slight advantage or disadvantage would be very minor compared to not knowing how to frame your shot.

  6. #6
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    I rather have a Full Frame camera as the pixels are larger, 1) giving a better dynamic range 2) better color.
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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    No

    The basic answer is no. You can get beautiful, publishable, printable images from an APS-C size sensor camera. But the real difference is in how the optics relate to the frame size. No matter what you do, the depth-of-field with an APS-C sensor camera will always be different. There's no judgement in that statement. It just is what it is. With the cropped APS-C image, you will have more depth-of-field than you will with a 24x36mm sensor. The real question is, does it matter to you?

    There's a lot of attitude about full-frame cameras. A lot of people believe their inately better, without actually thinking about why. Of course, the pixels are better and as a result image quality has the potential to be better. But whether full-frame will serve you better is another question. A couple of years ago I made the decision to embrace the smaller sensor cameras because size and weight are more important to me than the benefits of full-frame. My photography usually benefits from the effectively increased reach and depth-of-field the smaller sensor offers. And how much image quality do you really need? Is having the latest full-frame camera really going to improve your photos? For some people it will. But for most, an APS-C entry-level camera with a good lens will do the job. Most of us would do well to concetrate more on actually shooting more and improving our technique rather than worrying about having the latest and greatest digital camera.

    So ask yourself, will you really benefit from having the EOS 7D (or whatever it's gonna me named). Or would you be better served buying an XSi / 450D and a couple of great lenses? For what it's worth, other than the studio, I shoot with my XSi a lot more than the 40D.
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  8. #8
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    On the other hand

    Quote Originally Posted by freygr
    I rather have a Full Frame camera as the pixels are larger, 1) giving a better dynamic range 2) better color.
    I would rather have an APS-C sensor camera and lenses because they are smaller, lighter and cheaper. With a smaller image circle you can get more daring lenses (like the 18-200VR).

    From what I've seen the improvement in dynamic range and colour (with FF) is marginal or negligible. There is an improvement in noise at low ISO but I only need to shoot 6400ISO once a year. The results from an APS-C sensor are already excellent and I don't need more.

    I think the original poster should go out and shoot some pictures for the next month or so then come back and see what's happened. The price of the 5D will probably have dropped even further, we will know what the "7D" or whatever is really about, and people will have had the time to try out the 50D. Buying a camera right now is a mistake.
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  9. #9
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: No

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    No matter what you do, the depth-of-field with an APS-C sensor camera will always be different.
    How is that? If one is standing in one spot and shooting with a FF camera and then crops the image down to simulate an APS-C image, how does the DOF change?

    At the focal plane, the same lens produces the same image taken from the same spot - DOF and all - regardless of what sensor is used to capture what portion of it.
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  10. #10
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: No

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    How is that? If one is standing in one spot and shooting with a FF camera and then crops the image down to simulate an APS-C image, how does the DOF change?

    At the focal plane, the same lens produces the same image taken from the same spot - DOF and all - regardless of what sensor is used to capture what portion of it.
    Well, you're right. But why would you want to do that? Then you're compromising the image quality of those precious big pixels you paid so much money for :P

    And to be completely accurate, the depth-of-field is the same for both cameras. It's the depth-of-field at a given angle-of-view that's different. And you could replicate it with a full frame camera. But I don't see the point.
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  11. #11
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: No

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Well, you're right. But why would you want to do that? Then you're compromising the image quality of those precious big pixels you paid so much money for :P

    And to be completely accurate, the depth-of-field is the same for both cameras. It's the depth-of-field at a given angle-of-view that's different. And you could replicate it with a full frame camera. But I don't see the point.
    Actually, I had the same thoughts as the original poster before I bought my 40D. I wondered if purchasing a 5D would provide the best of both worlds - 1) a full, wide angle coverage when using wide angle lenses, and 2) a cropped image comparable in terms of IQ to that provided by some APS-C bodies.

    I still don't know about #2 as I've not done any side-by-side comparisions. But I ended up going my 40D/5D route since I do so much on both ends of the spectrum (wide angle and telephoto/macro).

    I promised the folks in the N&W forum that I would do a side-by-side showing a full APS-C image along side a cropped FF image. I'll do that this weekend and post my findings here or other there.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    DOF is determined by the real focal length and the F Stop. It is the same for a 90mm lens on a 4 by 5 inch view camera as it is with a 90mm lens on a F1 or D70 Nikon. Granted the angle of view is different on each of the cameras but the DOF is the same on all the listed cameras at the same distance from the subject.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    Loupey:
    I think I understand what you're asking but I think you have it backwards.

    I assume you mean if one crops a full-frame image (from a 5D) down to the same area obtained by the 1.6x crop factor camera (of a 50D), how would the images compare? Yes?

    I shoot with both the 5D and 40D and I can tell you that I much prefer the image quality from the 5D (even though it is several generations older). Proof (to me at least) that the number of megapixels is just one small factor into making high quality images and not the factor as many people think. The question for you is whether you need/want the wider angle of coverage provided by the 5D.
    No no, I'm sorry it was difficult to decipher...but that was not what I meant, in fact it's exactly backwards What I'm asking is:

    Can I crop along the 1.6x crop line (19x14 in canon DSLRs) off of a 15 mpx image to to get the same quality of a full frame picture ?(36x24 mm) but of a smaller size (4700x3100 for example turns into 3600x2100 pixels - arbitrarily)

    Can I effectively make a 15 mpx eos 50D turn into a eos 5D with 10-12 mpx size if I crop along the 1.6x arbitrary crop factor?

    Eg: Crop the image down from 36x24 to 19x14 mm square in order to get a full frame quality of a print.

    I know I will not be able to use full frame lenses necessarily with the camera, but can I create the effect by using non-full frame lenses in terms of image quality? By getting rid of the frayed, blurred ends of the image towards the outer edges of the picture to get a smaller image (in size) of better quality (by pixels/sharpness/color/tone/pitch).

    I think photo-john has it right about what I'm asking, though I was a bit confused because I thought the XSI and the 40D shared the same APS-C sensor

    Loupey:
    Actually, I had the same thoughts as the original poster before I bought my 40D. I wondered if purchasing a 5D would provide the best of both worlds - 1) a full, wide angle coverage when using wide angle lenses, and 2) a cropped image comparable in terms of IQ to that provided by some APS-C bodies.

    I still don't know about #2 as I've not done any side-by-side comparisions. But I ended up going my 40D/5D route since I do so much on both ends of the spectrum (wide angle and telephoto/macro).

    I promised the folks in the N&W forum that I would do a side-by-side showing a full APS-C image along side a cropped FF image. I'll do that this weekend and post my findings here or other there.
    That's exactly what I was wondering i'd love to see those examples, what I'm trying to do is justify buying the 50D (APS-C) over the 5D and would it make a real difference. I don't have the money (and probably won't for a few months at least) to buy the 7D (rumored to come out soon with the latest technology/nr/dust reduction/sensor cleaning/processing unit) and I was wondering if I could make the image quality from the 50D better (by cookie cutting every image to align with the point where the pixels begin to degrade (1.6x crop factor).

    Thus I would lose the image size, of course, but keep the quality ?
    Last edited by Kajuah; 09-07-2008 at 11:55 PM.

  14. #14
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    You've still got it a little messed up. To be specific, you've got two separate problems mixed up.

    One - pixel size.

    Two - lens-related image quality issues.

    The image quality benefits of full-frame DSLRs have to do with the larger pixels on their sensors. No matter what you do with an APS-C camera, the pixels are still smaller and if they have the same technology as a given full-frame DSLR, the full-frame camera should be better. The cropping strategy would make sense if you were cropping from a full-frame sensor where the image quality issue is usually with optical problems around the edges of the lens. The APS-C sensor crops out some of those problems. However, if you've got a cheap, crappy lens, cropping isn't going to help.

    I am also skeptical of buying a 5D over a 50D just because it's full-frame. Unless you're looking for shallow depth-of-field, I don't think you're going to gain anything. Every generation of camera has better noise reduction and sensor technology. This is one area where cameras have improved considerably in the past couple of years. I haven't done a direct comparison, but I would bet the Canon XSi / 450D has equal or better image quality than the 5D just because it's much newer. High-res samples for both cameras are available in our Digital Camera Sample Photos section, if you want to compare.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Can you make a FF effective camera out of a 1.6x crop?

    Ahhh thank you john! I started reading up on the topic more and more in depth today and realized how foolish I sounded earlier this week when I made this thread.. I'm starting to understand more about how the DSLR sensors work now. I always figured bigger was better.

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