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Author Topic: APS-C or Full Frame advice?  (Read 5589 times)
Lightwind
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« on: September 27, 2012, 04:52:44 AM »
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Hi

I currently have a Nikon D90 with the standard kit lens which I've had for several years now, and been very pleased with the overall performance - other than the weight of lugging it around after several hours! So I've decided to look into getting a smaller camera, something like the Sony NEX-7 or FujiFilm X-Pro1, as I've read some very good reports on both of these cameras.

However, before splashing out, as I want to concentrate my photography more on landscape, buildings and street scenes, my question is about the respective performance of APS-C versus Full Frame when shooting these sorts of scenes - especially when the 1.5 crop factor on APS-C means that a wide angle 28mm lens on a Full Frame body would be equivalent to a 42mm lens on an APS-C body - which is not a very wide angle. I think some shots will really benefit from a wider angle, so I'd like to have the views of more experienced photographers who shoot these sorts of scenes as to whether or not an APS-C size camera and the lens choices currently available mean there are any specific advantages, or disadvantages?

My budget doesn't stretch to Full Frame (Leica M in my dreams!), so I'd prefer to go APS-C, but I'm a bit concerned about not having access to as wide a range of lenses.

So any views, recommendations would be very welcome.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 05:28:19 AM »
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Hi,

If you look at NEX or Fuji or the 4/3 cameras, they have lenses made for that size, so I'd suggest you would be OK.

Best regards
Erik

Hi

I currently have a Nikon D90 with the standard kit lens which I've had for several years now, and been very pleased with the overall performance - other than the weight of lugging it around after several hours! So I've decided to look into getting a smaller camera, something like the Sony NEX-7 or FujiFilm X-Pro1, as I've read some very good reports on both of these cameras.

However, before splashing out, as I want to concentrate my photography more on landscape, buildings and street scenes, my question is about the respective performance of APS-C versus Full Frame when shooting these sorts of scenes - especially when the 1.5 crop factor on APS-C means that a wide angle 28mm lens on a Full Frame body would be equivalent to a 42mm lens on an APS-C body - which is not a very wide angle. I think some shots will really benefit from a wider angle, so I'd like to have the views of more experienced photographers who shoot these sorts of scenes as to whether or not an APS-C size camera and the lens choices currently available mean there are any specific advantages, or disadvantages?

My budget doesn't stretch to Full Frame (Leica M in my dreams!), so I'd prefer to go APS-C, but I'm a bit concerned about not having access to as wide a range of lenses.

So any views, recommendations would be very welcome.
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k bennett
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 08:53:40 AM »
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The small mirrorless system cameras all have a variety of lenses available. The Micro 4/3 system has the widest selection of zooms and primes, I think, from the excellent Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 zoom (which is a 14-28mm equivalent in full-frame 35mm terms), to the Olympus 12mm f/2 (=24/2) and various mid-range zooms. The Panasonic GH2 and the Olympus OM-D are nice little cameras with excellent image quality. No, they aren't as good as a D800 or a 1Dx, especially at high ISOs, but they are less than half the size and weight - makes for a decent tradeoff when photography is not the primary mission.

The NEX and Fuji systems also have wide angle lenses available.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
Petrus
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 10:53:01 PM »
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I just came back from Jerusalem, Petra and Wadi Rum, where I had the Fujifilm X-Pro1 with the 18, 35 and 60 mm lenses currently available. I shot almost 3000 frames in about 10 days. The camera is a joy to use, as is it a solid performer both in feel and in the image quality. At present the 18 mm is the widest available lens from Fuji (27mm in 135 terms), but they will have 14mm f:2.8 and 10-24mm f:4 coming soon (= 21mm and 15mm at wide end in 135 world, resp.). I managed just fine with the 18mm, though, having a too-wide lens leads easily to a sloppy technique (I will get either the 14 mm and/or the fast 23mm f:1.4, though, when they come out. X-Pro1 is not a zoom camera in my opinion). This camera has brought back the joy of travel & street photography for me, after having to lug around heavy DSLRs + fast zoom combinations for professional work for the past 10 years.

When I got the camera 6 months ago I made some comparisons against 5D2 and found the IQ at least equal, and the fast ISO performance better. While having a bigger sensor does bring some advantages, at least in theory, compact but still ergonomically excellent size of X-Pro1 more than compensates for that in real life. If I feel good and comfortable shooting with it, I will take better pictures also. For landscape photography the certain focusing problems discussed so much do not play a role, and I have not had the chance to upload the latest firmware yet.
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Lightwind
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 08:08:39 AM »
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That's very helpful. Thanks to all for your advice - much appreciated!
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joneil
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 08:57:52 AM »
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If your eventual goal is to use your photographs on large posters or billboards then all things being equal, bigger the sensor, the better.  On the other hand, one reason 35mm film became so popular when 4x5" film was still the "standard" was you could take a 35mm camera places it wasn't so easy to take a 4x5, and you could get more work done.  When you think about it,that trade off still exists today.

So ask yourself what kind of shooting you are likely going to do, and buy accordingly.

The other side of the coin is back in the days of film, I knew a lot of guys who used both large and/or medium format, but still kept a 35 mm handy for those opportune shots.  I see the same thing today, guys with big dslr outfits who still carry a smaller sensor camera for those times they cannot lug around the larger camera.  You might end up doing the same thing someday, and nothing wrong with that.

One last point, not seldom covered, but regardless of your camera choice, I don,t like buying a new camera when it first comes out.  I would like to say wait for six months after a camera comes out, but the odds are,how fast things move, they will have two new models by that time, so you get kinda stuck.

But to give you the example of some recent Nikon models (I shoot Nikon), the D3100 was a vast improvement over the D3000 in many ways, the D5000 was an excellent camera but had serious firmware issues until the D5100 came out, and as much as I would love to buy a new D800, the left focusing issue has me standing back and watching, waiting.   Film or digital, nothing worse than having that perfect opportunity to shoot, and then finding out that you have a bad SD card or the film wind crank on your 35mm snaps.  Technology changes, Murphy's Law does not.  So remember than whatever you buy, research it first for stability.

Good luck

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Lightwind
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 12:34:18 PM »
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Hi Joneil

That is a very good point you make about waiting for a later model to iron out any bugs!

I'm really tempted by the Fujifilm X-Pro1, not least by the image quality due to the new sensor array and lack of an AA filter, but the recent reports about problems with AF speed and a few other quirks as well support what you say. So I think it would be a good idea for me to wait to see if an updated version of the camera (X-Pro2?) is launched in next year which addresses some of the current issues.
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Petrus
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 01:30:30 PM »
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If your eventual goal is to use your photographs on large posters or billboards then all things being equal, bigger the sensor, the better.


Quote from another thread: "Delivery file size comes out to 3,600 x 1800 px for a 6'x12' billboard."

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=70746.0
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IanBrowne
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 01:07:06 AM »
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Hi

I currently have a Nikon D90 with the standard kit lens which I've had for several years now, and been very pleased with the overall performance - other than the weight of lugging it around after several hours! So I've decided to look into getting a smaller camera, something like the Sony NEX-7 or FujiFilm X-Pro1, as I've read some very good reports on both of these cameras.


Not meaning to rude; but that's a reasonable light camera you have ATM and IMO you may not notice much difference in the weight after several hours. You should try the gear we lugged around in film days!!

Fuji: Approx. 450g / 15.9oz. (including battery and memory card)

Nikon D90: With battery: 703 g (1.6 lb)

Sony nex-7 353g (12.5 oz)(including battery and memory card)

Imo "the weight" has more to do with the lenses used

Another question to ask; do you use the view finder on the D90? If so, you may find the Sony a bit of a backward step. For me, no viewfinder no buy.

The are some wonderful wide and ultra wide lens available for crop cameras these days so don't worry about the lack of lens choice.

having said all that; I have to confess I don't use my heavy ex-work Canon 5d2 camera that much these days as I prefer the lighter Canon G12  so i can understand what you are saying about weight. LOL I have just ordered the new and light  Panasonic 200 simply out of curiosity. I can see the day without a DSLR 
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NancyP
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2012, 02:25:03 PM »
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For street candids, the smaller the camera body and lens, the better. For landscape and architecture, the FF format is generally preferred, but of course see all the buzz over the Sigma DP1/2 Merrill cameras. Also, for landscape, stitching a small format panoramic series is a possibility which will give you FF detail. I myself am drooling over the DP Merrills for hiking/backpacking landscapes, due to the weight differential between DSLR with two lenses, plus the beefy tripod. My shoulders and back prefer 330 grams rather than the 4 kilos of DSLR kit.

As for the Sony NEX-7, I attended a seminar given by a pro nature photographer who has switched over to the Sony from FF, and is very happy with the results for landscape and (lens adapter assisted) Macro photography. His NEX-7 shots looked great on the screen, and apparently work well in print reproduction.
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Petrus
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 12:56:30 AM »
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Here are some X-Pro1 shots and link to full Picasa album from my Jerusalem trip: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=71202.0

For street photography a camera capable of good high ISO performance (and auto-ISO) is worth its weight in gold. Many street/bazaar shots were taken at 3200 ISO even at midday. For landscapes with tripod it is not so important.
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