The Full Frame Myth – Mini Rant

This started as something of a:

Dear Full Frame users, stop saying you need Full Frame to “grow”, “take good photos” or whatever other crap you feed yourself at night to make yourself feel better.

Yes, to be clear…it’s a myth. You don’t need a full frame sensor to be producing professional world class photos. There are many, very good, professional photos who use APS-C, whether that is Sony, Fujifilm, Nikon or Canon.

Shockingly enough, someone was actually insulted when I told him there were better APS-C users out there taking photos than him. Yes, apparently the idea that in the entire world, all 7.5 billion people out there, there migh be a talented APS-C user taking better photos than a 42MP camera with it’s full frame sensor was a completely incomprehendable idea and foreign concept that was insulting. There are all the worlds APS-C users, then this line, and then him.

I could picture him crying himself to sleep asking the magic mirror on the wall how this miracle be happening?

Photog: Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the best photographer of them all.

Mirror: There is this one APS-C user who is a better photographer who is better than you my lord

Photog: But I’m shooting full frame. That isn’t possible.

Mirror: His name is Pho-white my lord. It seems he actually has something called skill and talent.

Photog: What? How did this come to pass? I thought skill and talent came with my full frame camera. How do I buy skill and talent? Do Sony sell it? Does it come with the new 60MP full frame sensor? He doesn’t have one of those?

So let’s get back to the short version:

  1. APS-C is good enough for pro work
  2. There are very few photos that could be taken on a full frame sensor that cannot be taken by an APS- sensor with the right glass
  3. APS-C is not a constraint for most photographers. Full frame is a choice, not a necessity.
  4. Most APS-C sensors are as good as full frame sensors one generation back. Most APS-C sensors get more light than 42MP full frame sensors so saying that DR and Noise is better when you use a 42MP sensor is bull.
  5. You don’t need a 42MP sensor. It’s a nice to have.
  6. You do not neeed to upgrade to full frame to get decent photos.

This is not a promotion of APS-C. I’m not trying to propose you use APS-C over full frame. It’s simply to say that APS-C is not a constraint, it never was, or at least not for the last 10 years. It’s great that you’re using full frame, I’m using full frame. But stop kidding yourself that this is the difference between you producing a good photo or not, or believing that the people out there could not do the same as what you are doing with an APSC camera.

2 thoughts on “The Full Frame Myth – Mini Rant

  1. You forget m43 format
    I use all the three main formats and also m43 has its sweet spot and there are talented professionals that successfully use this format as first choice!
    Nowadays if you are not satisfied by your photo the issues are not in the gear


    1. I have never tried M43 oddly enough, not through lack of quality or problems with the camera, but mainly because I went to full frame in the early days and even a drop to APSC was a big psychological change for me. I have seen incredible photos with it though.


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