When you’re looking to pick up your first portrait camera, the whole full frame vs crop thing can be confusing. Technical explanations can be difficult for new users to wrap their head around.
Since I got my Nikon D7000 camera 6 years ago I’ve used it almost everyday. That is a lot of shutter clicks, 148,558 to be exact. So it looks like I will be in the market for a new camera soon as the D7000 is only factory tested to 150,000 clicks. My dilemma is should I go full frame, or stick with my cropped frame. I keep asking myself, is a full frame camera really worth it? I took a Nikon full frame D610 and a Nikon cropped frame D7100 on a test drive around Paris to see the real world differences.
There has been a lot of discussion going on about what are the impacts of using a crop sensor vs full frame when using a particular lens. How are crop factor sensors impacting depth of field and what are they doing to composition. In fact if you went to any photography forum on the web, you are likely to get as many answers as forum members.
Of course, the answer to that question really depend what you are comparing and how you are doing your tests. Photographer Neil van Niekerk did a thorough test accompanied with clear explanations on what actually makes a difference when using a crop sensor vs a full frame and the answer is not that simple.
Consider this– Every significant photo in the history of the medium was taken with a camera less technologically advanced than the one sitting in your camera bag right now. Every culturally iconic image. Sports. Fashion. War. Politics. The list goes on. Regardless of whether they were shot digitally or on film, the cameras with which they were taken are all yesterday’s news, especially when compared side-by-side with the current selection of DSLRs
Why do I bring this up?
Our story begins with an email a while back that went like this: “Dear Jeff: It was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone today about our current job opening for a photographer. We’ve reviewed your website and portfolio, and we love what we see. We are very excited about the prospect of working together. I do have one question, though. You mentioned on the phone that you shoot with the Nikon D300. Is that a full frame camera? I’m asking because having a full frame camera is a requirement for this job….”