Thom Hogan with great comments on full-frame cameras

In response to all the photographers clamoring for full-frame (meaning 36x24mm) cameras, Thom Hogan has published a great article at DSLRbodies.com discussing whether full-frame is even needed by most people.


So we’re about to circle around to where I started: do you really need a full frame camera? My answer would be “probably not.” The camera makers want you to buy one probably because their gross product margins are about the same no matter which DSLR you buy, so they want you to buy the most expensive one you can afford. Somewhere along the way, people got it into their heads that full frame was so much better than anything else, that any time a company mentions that they’re coming out with another full frame camera, especially an “affordable” one, the entire Internet gushes with lust over the newcomer.

I use a Fujifilm X-Pro1, which has an APS-C sensor in it. The difference between images coming from that camera and all the latest full-frame cameras is almost nil. Sure, the D800 has more resolving power, but the difference is practically non-existent for anyone but pixel peepers or the most demanding professional jobs. For all other uses, that resolving power difference (as well as slight dynamic range and ISO improvements) isn’t worth the hassles of the D800, and those circumstances make up 95% of my shooting, which is why I choose to use the X-Pro1.

For all the times I need better dynamic range, fantastic resolving power, or the depth-of-field requirements of a larger frame, I shoot medium format, and the difference between MF and FF is much more exaggerated than the difference between FF and APS-C.

Anyway, read all of Thom’s article. It’s a good one. “The Full Frame Debate”