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  1. #1
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    Full Frame vs Cropped

    Hi Everyone. I am new to landscape photography and having spent a few weeks in Far North Queensland taking some shots with my old D60 Nikon I have some amazing photos now but its only 10MP and the images can't be blown up well. I am keen to upgrade but am unsure of the next step, happy to buy used and there are heaps of Nikon D5300 units out there for about $350-$400 and my current lenses will work fine. Alternatively I saw a good Nikon D600 for about $650 and being full frame I have heard the benefits are worth it, but will need new lenses of course. Is it worth the upgrade to go full frame when I am just a beginner? I have a trip to New Zealand planned for mid year and am looking at Iceland in Sep/Oct. I have a drone as well with a 20MP Hasselblad sensor which takes amazing shots, getting simply amazing results (some of which I have sold from my queensland trip).

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    I don't believe the D60 isn't capable of making nice blown up images. I say that having owned a D60, taking a photo of the Byron Bay lighthouse, HEAVILY cropping the image, then having it printed at 20X30 inch. You haven't mentioned what lenses you actually have, just that they work fine. Also not mentioned is you post processing but those two are probably where I'd start if I wanted improvements. But the D60 is old. Almost anything will have better high ISO performance.

    That said, if I were in your position I'd look at the mirrorless options, something like the Sony A6000/6500 series, Pentax, Olympus, etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    Hi and welcome aboard.

    I'm a Canon shooter so am not Familiar with the Nikon line. It all comes down to preferences many people now are moving away from DSLRs, going to lighter less cumbersome cameras and getting great results. If you are keen to go to a full frame model it will involve new lens and all the expenses that come with that as you have noted.

    Having said that, I started out with a 700D (intermediate range cropped sensor model) and when I started to take my photography more seriously started buying higher quality L series lenses. As mainly a landscape shooter at the time, I started with a 16-35 f2.8 which is an amazing lens but having gotten used to using a 10-18mm on the crop sensor for so long I found I wasn't getting the best of the 16mm on the crop body. 16mm on a Canon crop body equates to 25mm and I was missing the extra wide angle the 10mm offered so upgraded to a full frame model. Bare in mind all this is the opposite case when using long lenses. My 100-400mm lens was 640mm on the crop body so I was loosing a lot at the long end going full frame. To remedy that I got myself a good 1.4 extender and haven't looked back.

    I love the the full frame and have no regrets. Any negatives going full frame are more then made up by and exceeded by the positives for me. The dynamic range is far superior to my crop body, so I can shoot at high ISO with no fear which is particularly handy shooting wildlife with my 400mm with extender with fast shutter speeds.

    That's just my opinion and I look forward to hearing the experiences of others here.

    I love my full frame and have even invested in a second full frame body now.

    Cheers Nate

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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    I bought the D60 with the 2 included kit lenses. 18-55 F3.5-5.6 and the 55-200 f4-5.6 and it basically sat in a cupboard for years and never utilised it how I wanted, life got in the way. But getting the drone and doing some long exposures from the air its ignited my passion to get out and find amazing things to take photos off. I shot RAW long exposures of waterfalls and when viewed at 100% its a bit blurry and you can see a bit of noise. Was shot at approx. 2PM, standing in the middle of a river, was at 18mm F/16 with ND filter at about 400 shot RAW+JPG.

    I would love a wider angle lens because I am guessing with cropped sensor it isn't 18mm but something like 25mm? If I understand it correctly the focal length is correct if its a full frame sensor but as I don't its a multiplied length? As I am new at this, everything I did went through lightroom afterwards to pull the colours to what I actually saw when standing there, add a little clarity and remove a bit of the misty look due to water near lens. On that note I would also love a camera that is sealed so water isn't a concern, I got a few zip lock bags, tape and went to work getting the camera covered as best I could from the misty environment.

    Keen for any advice.

    fairy-falls-final.jpg

  5. #5
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    Hi Andrew, not much wrong with what you are doing and a bit more practice in processing will help to lift your game even further.
    I can't comment too much on Nikon as I've been using Sony and Panasonic for quite a while now. However I don't believe there are many bad cameras out there these days. I have full frame, crop sensor and 1/2.3 size cameras all with certain purposes in mind. They all have good points and advantages over the others. It depends entirely on what you want to do with your photography.
    The Full Frames are particularly good in low light and have very good 'crop-ability'.
    The the APS-C cameras have a good range of cheaper lenses and at 24 MP produce good quality images which print up well.
    1/2.3 Bridge camera is a multipurpose grab and go travel camera. Has some limitations in range and image quality but not that bad that it's noticeable. Perfectly adequate for any on-line production, and probably the better camera of the three for Macro and close up work.
    If I were you I'd be inclined to buy something you can use your current lenses with. I can't recommend a Nikon model but a late model APS-C sensor size should give good results.

  6. #6
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    I would agree the D60 Nikon is a bit outdated; however I would be suggesting the lenses are more the problem

    Tell me this Rob 101. What are you noticing wrong with your photos

    You would likely sell more drone photos as they produce a totally different view

    I would like to see more of your "problem'' photo to give better advice

  7. #7
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    I don't really want to comment much more than to say the kit lenses that come with the D60 aren't the best things ever. I've really got over the obsession with "noise". Who cares? Most of it disappears when printed. A good experiment would be to try the same shot as supplied but at f8 and lower ISO. Do you really notice a difference?

    I also don't get the obsession with converting focal lengths backwards and forwards between formats. Want to know what a 12mm looks like on a Dx sensor? There's plenty of sample photo's available. It won't look the same as a 12mm on an Fx. So what? Solve the problem you have, not the one you don't.

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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    Quote Originally Posted by IanB View Post
    I would agree the D60 Nikon is a bit outdated; however I would be suggesting the lenses are more the problem

    Tell me this Rob 101. What are you noticing wrong with your photos

    You would likely sell more drone photos as they produce a totally different view

    I would like to see more of your "problem'' photo to give better advice
    Happy to put the actual shot in full quality somewhere (not sure what the rules here are), keen for feedback as I have not been doing this that long. Drone shots been doing that for about 2 years but recently with the new Hasselblad sensor. Had issues with water spray on the lens so there is a little softness from that, the ND filter isn't high quality either so that may not have helped. Went out and checked the D7500 today, the D7200 is also fine because its weather sealed.

  9. #9
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    Quote Originally Posted by robinson101 View Post
    Had issues with water spray on the lens so there is a little softness from that, the ND filter isn't high quality either so that may not have helped.
    Seriously, don't spend a cent on a new body until you know exactly what your issues are. Lots of stuff to try before you can confidently start throwing money around.

    Sent from my MI 5s using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    you do know DSLR cameras are so old fashion. Have a look at the OmD olympus and compare lens prices/size/weight to nikon. OmD + 12-24 F2.8 (=24-80) is a great bit gear. I believe the sony ff are very good also. The new canon and nikon mirrorless are still a wait and see imo
    have a really good look at how you plan to use the files -- 20 x 30"

    Can you borrow a better lens to compare.

    The days of having to have a DSLR are pretty much over imo.

    Just post a few photo. We will get some idea of quality; or you can send me links to flickr/dropbox via PM to post for me.

    Over the years I have seen so many on the forum blow big dollars on cameras they don't really need (or could use)

    Just for a comparison; have a look at later pages here . Most photos are taken with Panasonic FZ300 (or iPhone). I'm not saying that camera will suit you; actually it won't suit you.

  11. #11
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    Re: Full Frame vs Cropped

    All good advice above, so i'll keep my advice brief.

    Work out what you mainly want to be shooting.
    Full frame is great for shooting wide, dynamic range and iso performance is usually better, usually a heavier body
    If you-re using the D60 and the 18-55 kit lens, how often is 18mm not wide enough? How often are you reaching for the 55-200?
    remember, kit lenses are (usually) lower quality, and can often be the cause of image quality issues.
    buying a good body and still using a low quality kit lens will still achieve poor results.

    I have both (I'm a canon shooter) APSC (canon 7d mk1) and a full frame (canon 5d mk2) and they have their uses in my bag. but the real Difference for me was upgrading to pro lenses (I bought all second hand, and work great)

    If you havent invested much in good lenses, worth looking at other systems. Olympus make great mirrorless cameras and affordable lenses. I managed to score my full frame canon and a 24-105mm f4 L series lens for a couple of grand, and the pairing is great!

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