Full Frame vs Crop Sensor

Something I’ve been enjoying since picking up my Canon EOS 6D full frame camera, is the difference between it and my Rebel series crop sensor cameras. The difference, from my point of view, is that the crop sensor cameras give you a tighter angle of view and the illusion that you’re actually “zooming in” more. What you’re actually doing is cropping the image – and that gives the impression that you zoomed in. The same thing happens when shooting a picture and then cropping it in image processing – like I did with the moon shots I shared a couple of weeks ago.

So today I grabbed the Canon 6D and the Canon Rebel T1i and took basically the same picture from the same distance with the same lens. The thing that changed between shots was camera body. So here’s the shot as taken with the Canon 6D.

I then swapped the Canon 50mm 1.8 STM lens over to the Canon Rebel T1i and took another picture, which I append below.

As you can see, the crop sensor camera gives the illusion of “zooming in” as the same light is transmitted to the smaller sensor. If, somehow, you could install a full frame sensor in the place of the crop sensor, you’d have the same, wider angle. Well, in a sense, that’s what I did by swapping the same lens between two different cameras. What I’m not sure about is why the crop sensor camera image is portrayed here as narrower from side to side as it was resized to the same dimensions as the full frame image, trying to equalize the difference in megapixels between the two cameras, 15 mp for the T1i and 20 mp for the 6d.

And as a bonus, I also took a shot with the Canon 6D through my Konica Hexanon 50mm 1.4 lens in a Fotodiox Pro AR-EOS adapter. Again, standing in the same place, not even shifting my feet.

Interestingly, when I shared this last photo on social media, someone asked me “what software are you using?” to which I replied, “These are as shot, from the camera, merely using Corel Paint Shop Pro to resize and watermark them.” He then proceeded to “lift the shadows” to “improve” the shot. Huh? Personally I like the darker version with the contrast between the dark greens and lighter tones of the flowers. I enjoy seeing what I can see through the camera lens, not what I can do to the shot later in post editing. The way I see it is that there are photographers and photo editors. (yeah, yeah – but I’m [over] simplifying here). I’m interested in learning more of the former and the latter really doesn’t interest me.

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