What is Meant by Full-Frame Camera?

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What is Meant by Full-Frame Camera?

The photography industry has evolved over the years with many companies launching several cameras to attract photographers to buy their products. Most times, the cameras have excellent features that result in spectacular images when in the right hands. Currently, the buzzword in various photography circles is “full-frame” with most of the popular brands launching cameras in this category. However, to get the best of full-frame cameras, it is important to understand every detail about them.

What you need to know about full-frame cameras

Full frame cameras are those that use sensors that measure 36mm by 24mm, which is the same size as the traditional film. Its sensor has a surface area that is two and a half times larger than the regular APS-C sensor. The size of the sensor is the main difference between the full-frame and others like DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. Although the cameras referred to as full frame are becoming more popular with photographers, it is essential to understand their pros and cons.

Pros of full-frame cameras


Photographers that need to upgrade from regular DSLRs or mirrorless cameras have a wide variety of full-frame cameras to choose from. The cameras are manufactured by top camera companies and are rich in features for the benefit of users. Before buying the full-frame camera, it is important to research on the best ones in the market that have the features you need. Additionally, comparing the features of two cameras such as canon 70d vs 80d makes it easier to find the one that matches your photography style.

Image quality

The fact that full-frame cameras have a bigger sensor than other cameras results in a better quality of images. The larger sensor produces bigger pixels compared to those that have APS-C sensors even when shooting in the same resolution. These pixels allow in more light, which reduces the amount of electronic noise that gets into the images. Also, the larger full-frame sensor increases the pixels within the chip but does not affect its ISO performance. The broad dynamic range of the full-frame camera also results in better capture of brightness in an image.

Crop sensor

The size of a camera’s sensor determines the size of the scene it can capture during a shoot. Therefore, the larger sensor found in full-frame cameras gives them the ability to capture more of the images projected using the available lens. The crop factor makes the full-frame camera, ideal for shooting close objects as well as those far away.

Cons of full-frame cameras

Overall design

Typically, full-frame cameras are bulky and can be a hassle to lug around when looking for the perfect shot. The majority of the cameras are designed to accommodate a variety of features that results in bigger bodies when compared to others. However, the rugged build of the camera is slowly being phased out for more modern and lightweight full-frame camera options.

Lens choices

Full frame cameras often do not need an extra lens when shooting tight spaces and even landscapes. However, the inability to accommodate various lenses limits the type of images it can take when compared to cameras with APS-C sensors.


The cost of full-frame cameras is much higher because of the features that it offers users. Its manufacturing costs are quite high compared to regular cameras, and the extra cost is transferred to customers.

Guide to the best full-frame cameras in 2019

Deciding to invest in a full-frame camera for professional starts by finding the right one for you. Fortunately, if you are looking to buy a full-frame camera there are several cameras that are popular in 2019. Some of the top 4 full-frame cameras in 2019 are listed below.

Panasonic Lumix S1

The 24 megapixel Panasonic Lumix S1 is a combination of a user-friendly design and high-quality images. It is one of the first full-frame cameras produced Panasonic with its features being one of a kind. Some of the features offered by the full-frame camera include a multi-shot high-resolution mode which allows it to take high-detail images and small files. The camera can also take great shots in low light because of its fast depth feature.

Nikon D850

The Nikon D850 is known for its ability to capture colours, and excellent details in images shot using the full-frame camera. Its quick performance and control scheme also sets it apart from others in the same category. Its control scheme comprises of advanced features such as joystick, tilting and secondary LCD screen as well as a plethora of buttons. When using the Nikon D850, you can also capture video in 4K and also enjoy a wide array of shooting options. Also, the Nikon full-frame has a long-lasting battery that allows for extended shooting periods.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is popular among full-frame camera enthusiasts because of its combination of great design, excellent autofocus, and stellar images. The camera can be used both indoors and outdoors with its performance, always becoming better than expected. It can also be used as a high-end video camera as it offers 4K resolution as well as good autofocus which works for capturing basic videos.

Sony A7 II

Investing in a full-frame camera manufactured by more prominent brands can be expensive, especially when you are on a tight budget. Fortunately, the Sony A7 II can give you the same experience but at a less cost. The basic camera has numerous features that make it worth buying by photographers. Some of its best features include an autofocus system that automatically detects facial features in the frame; dynamic range and fast speed that captures moving images clearly; and low-light process that works well when taking pictures in the dark.

In general, photographers that are looking to step up in their photography can do so using full-frame cameras that allow them to get more when using the gear.

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