When looking into purchasing your first DSLR camera, there is an important question that you need to consider from the onset: whether you want to purchase a crop-body or a full frame one. Now, this question may seem like nonsense if you don’t know what these terms mean, but we are going to go through them and understand what they mean and how they relate to your camera.
We should start at the beginning and define the important terms. The first one would be the sensor of your camera. A sensor is basically the heart of your DSLR camera. It is crucial in determining factors such as depth-of-field, low-light performance, and resolution. Crop-body and full frame qualifiers refer to the size of the sensor that is on your camera.
Sensors that are considered “full-frame” sensors, generally refer to the fact that they match the size of the original rectangle that captured photographs with SLR film cameras. This size was most often a 24mm x 36mm. While there is bound to be bits of variations between brands and models, a standard full-frame camera will have a sensor that matches the above dimensions.
But how does that help? One way that it helps is by providing you with a larger surface area with which to capture the photograph. It also gives you better low-light settings, often with the opportunity to capture photos with higher ISO stops than crop body models. With full-frame cameras, you are also relying less on the quality of your lens and relying more on the quality of your camera which can help you capture great photos with less expensive lenses.
One of the main advantages of a crop body camera model is the cost. You will find that the price tag on a crop body is far less than that of a full-frame camera, which can be very important for starting photographers. With the money that you save on your body, you can purchase some great lenses and get the most out of your camera!
Crop body cameras also feature a bit of a “reach”. This term refers to the fact that photos taken with a crop body camera seem a bit zoomed in, which means that some of your zoom lenses can benefit for additional length with a crop body model.
Should you be looking at the sensor size of your camera when you start looking to buy a DSLR? The answer is a little bit of yes and a little bit of no. To new photographers, a crop body camera with a smaller sensor will not be as noticeable, especially with the smaller price tag. But to amateur photographers looking to up their game, it can be time to upgrade to a full-frame model and take advantage of the perks that come along with it. Those who exclusively use full-frame cameras would tell you that it is very much worth the price.