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Comparing Digital Camera Sensors, Part 3

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In this final installment of his three-part series, Peter Bauer addresses specific differences between shooting cameras with full frame sensors and cameras with APS-C size sensors.
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When comparing full frame sensors to APS-C size sensors with a variety of lenses under a variety of shooting conditions, one thing is clear: Canon has done an outstanding job in producing digital cameras that flat-out capture the scene! The results with both the full-frame Canon 5D and the smaller-sensor Canon 20D are excellent.

Working with a number of lenses on both full frame sensor and APS-C size sensor cameras, there is no question about image quality—both sensor sizes are capable of capturing high-quality photos.

In this final installment of my three-part series, I’ll address some specific differences between shooting cameras with full frame sensors and cameras with APS-C size sensors.

A Discussion of Methodology

For the purposes of this discussion, there are three ways to compare cameras with different sensor sizes:

  • Shooting from the same location at the same focal length, capturing different amounts of the scene
  • Shooting from the same location at different focal lengths to capture the same amount of the scene
  • Shooting from different locations at the same focal length to capture the same amount of the scene

In all these examples, the comparison images were taken using a tripod and a cable release to minimize outside influences.

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