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A crop sensor vs. a full frame camera

What is a crop sensor vs. a full frame camera?

I recently upgraded from a crop sensor to a full frame camera! I went from using my Canon Rebel T3i, my starter camera that I loved and used for nearly 6 years, to a Canon 6D! Even though I probably could and should have upgraded a while back, I made sure I knew exactly what I was investing in. Spending that much money on a camera is, after all, an investment. And still, I didn’t fully understand what a full frame camera was until I held it in my own two hands! So I thought I’d do my best to explain to you exactly why upgrading your camera is a worthwhile investment!

Now before I go on, your first investment after a camera should be in educating yourself on how to use your new camera! And then probably the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. (Although my favorite is this wide-angle lens…) But if, however, you are using your camera to it’s full potential, are comfortable with your exposure triangle, and have mastered composition, then maybe it’s time for you to upgrade in a new camera as well!

Crop Sensor vs. Full Frame Camera

What is a crop sensor?

So starter cameras very commonly are a crop sensor. This means that they cannot fit everything in the frame, so the sensor crops the image to fit what it can in the picture.

Because of this, I decided to upgrade from my 50mm lens to a wide-angle lens. That way, even with a crop sensor, I could fit more in my frame. This is super helpful when you are taking pictures of toddlers and always have to take a few steps back. Or when you are in a small space and want to fit more in the scene you are setting.

What is a full frame sensor?

So now this is where it gets better! A full frame sensor doesn’t crop at all, so it captures the maximum amount of the picture in one frame!

Pretty much, a crop sensor is like a cropped picture while a full frame sensor is like the original image.

I can’t tell you how many times I read that and thought, ‘I must be missing something.’ It seems simple and silly. So I took some examples for you! In the pictures below, I knelt in the same spot for both the crop sensor camera and the full frame camera. I also used the same wide angle lens. But you can clearly see how the space is portrayed very differently in each image!

What is a crop sensor vs. a full frame camera?

And I promise Anabelle felt her normal happy self. I just snapped pictures of her while she was zoned out watching a movie, so that she wouldn’t move…

So that is full frame for you! But just FYI, that’s not the only reason I chose to upgrade to a Canon 6D. This camera also handles low light extremely well, which I value greatly since I need a camera that is practical for everyday situations and not just perfect photoshoot times. It also weighs less than it’s alternate, more expensive option, the 5D Mark III, which I decided was a perk since I carry it around in my purse daily!

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