There has always been a debate about using full frame cameras versus crop sensors. It used to be a very tight race in the past, but nowadays it seems like everyone's going crazy about full frame cameras. Part of that is because they've gotten cheaper, but it's also been a trend that non-professional photographers seem happy to follow. So is this debate still worth it?
Back in the day, the reasons for buying a full frame camera were pretty obvious. A shallower depth of field, better noise performance and better overall image quality. You really couldn't compare a D300s to a D700. But are we swimming in the same waters today? Technology has changed a lot after all.
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There is no straight answer, but things are different beyond any shadow of doubt. While Nikon seem to have abandoned serious and pro photographers who were long time crop sensor users, Canon is paying careful attention to this segment, and as proof of that we have the wonderful 7D Mark II. Of course, you can't ignore the Nikon D7200 which by the way scored better image quality results, but it's still designed for advanced amateurs. There is no question of capability here, as both the 7DMKII and especially the D7200 are amazing cameras. But people have gotten very used to having full frame cameras around; even people with no photography background have heard of the 5DMK III or the Nikon D810.
They're in every wedding photographer's hands, your boss might have one for photographing his family and they're on the wish list of most amateurs.
With that said, it's hard to even notice the incredible progress made by crop cameras. The difference in image quality has become negligible by any standards. You can now take a crop camera, put it in a low light situation and use ISO 6400 with very good results, something you wouldn't have dared to dream of eight years ago.
And what about micro 4/3? This is a format that at some point seemed to have its days numbered, yet it's doing better than ever and a lot of photographers are switching to it.
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The classic crop sensor camera vs. full frame DSLR clash has turned into a small mirrorless vs. bulky DSLR choice. Photographers of all levels are starting to see the advantages of having nearly the same quality in a much smaller and arguably more fashionable package that's easy to use.
Of course most pros who use 5Ds and D810s are probably not going to leave their cameras behind and change shooting styles any time soon, but it's worth taking a close look at how things evolving and how this classic debate has changed dramatically.
For all you beginners out there, here is a video from Mike Browne with some of the classic differences between the two formats.