Talk:Full-frame digital SLR

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Term "full-frame"[edit]

The term "full-frame" is controversial in that it only applies where a range of lenses are designed for a sensor that is equivalent in size to a 135 film negative, but also compatible with smaller sensors, except that the image is "cropped". This distinction not applicable to other systems such as Nikon or 4/3 where the lenses are designed for the particular size sensor, and therefore use the "full frame" of the image circle. The article has been amended accordingly. The following chunk has been removed:

It follows from the above definition that cameras using a lens mount that was designed for digital SLRs (such as the Olympus Four Thirds System) are not full frame cameras. Similarly, a camera using a hypothetical new mount system and featuring a 24mm x 36mm sensor (the size of a 35mm film frame) would not be full frame. In practice, however, the term is often used to simply mean a camera having a sensor the same size as a full 35mm frame, while the applicability of the term to four thirds system cameras is a matter of much, often heated, debate.

The chief reason that digital SLRs have not been full frame is to do with the cost of producing such large sensors. As chip sizes get larger, the yield gets drastically lower and thus the prices higher. Moore's law does not apply here; most of the semiconductor industry's advances in affordability have been driven by the ability to make circuits smaller and smaller, but an imaging chip must remain large, and such large chips get cheaper only slowly.

The secondary reason is that digital imaging chips tend to have a much narrower range of acceptance angles than film. Thus, the sensor will be less sensitive to light towards the edges of the image circle, where the light rays are likely to be further from perpendicular. Adding to this, lenses tend to produce poorer results towards the edge of the circle in any case. A smaller image sensor stays within the "sweet spot" of the lens and sensor combination with less difficulty.

While a digital camera for any format could be full frame, in practice most examples produced have been for 35mm format. The first, fairly unsuccessful attempt was by Contax with a Philips sensor; Pentax worked with this sensor as well, producing a prototype MZ-D, but abandoned it before production. Eastman Kodak produced three models of full-frame camera, but all are now discontinued. The company that has had the most success with full-frame sensors is Canon Inc., whose full-frame sensor cameras have been very successful in the high-end professional photography field. Their newly released model, the Canon EOS 5D, seeks to emulate that success at a much lower price point.'

In general this section makes assertions that are not sourced and more in tune with debate across discussion forums rather than ascertainable technical or objective facts. Hmette

Ouch. it's much too long. I think I've just covered most of this in a paragraph and a bit.Zombiflava 20:53, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion[edit]

On further reflection - it may be that this article should be deleted on the basis that it comes under the category of neologisms. Does anyone have any coment before I add it to the list for deletions? --Hmette 02:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

What's the policy on neologisms? Dicklyon 03:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Sorry that link should have gone here: Wikipedia:Avoid neologisms. Basically that pages shouldn't be created for them.

Neologisms are words and terms that have recently been coined, generally do not appear in any dictionary, but may be used widely or within certain communities.

--Hmette 03:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I know what neologisms are, but the page doesn't say there can't be articles about them, just that they need to be supported by good secondary sources. Seems like we've got that. Dicklyon 04:38, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Wiki is a neologism. I've had a look at this article and added some bits. it looks as if it used to be "full frame", and has been moved to "full frame digital SLR". the problem is that if companies start making full frame cameras taht aren't SLRs (unlikely, but leica might do it), there would have to be a "full frame digital compact" article and a "full frame digital rangefinder" article, and that would be wasteful. Zombiflava 20:57, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

additional models[edit]

Are there now additional brandsand models available, including some of the top-of-the-line Nikons? DGG 21:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

No, Nikon does not make one, as far as I know. I don't know of any missing. Dicklyon 22:04, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Why only list the Canon's in the currently available section? Perhaps it could be expanded to current & phased out cameras in order to incorporate Kodak's cameras etc. At any rate the EOS-1Ds Mk. I is perhaps considered obsolete by Canon nowadays or in the near future and as such does not fit in the section. Just a thought. 11:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge, delete, etc. discussion[edit]

The AfD proposal had not gottten any support, but I added there the idea of some re-organization. Since this article has bits about other uses of full-frame, and there are other full-frame digital cameras than SLRs, potentially, and since we've got articles on image sensor format and crop factor, why not rationalize all this? I'll start by making a full frame (disambiguation). To me, it makes most sense to redirect crop factor to image sensor format where there would be a section on it, and to also redirect this article there, and make one of the disambig links go there, and have sections explaining the full-frame format in relation to the other formats, and relation being the crop factor. Comments? Dicklyon 16:04, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Different makes of camera?[edit]

All the pictures in the article show Nikon cameras. This seems odd to me. Are there photos of other camera makes? Then we should include them instead. If not then we should remove at least one of the Nikon ones. Foreeye (talk) 16:11, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:SOFIXIT. Dicklyon (talk) 16:49, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

DoF vs. camera format[edit]

How does DoF vary with camera format? Like so many things, it depends. When the subject distance is much less than hyperfocal, the total DoF T is given to good approximation by

where N is the f-number, c is the circle of confusion, and m is the magnification. When additionally the magnification is small (say, less than 0.1—DoF isn't something meaningfully considered to six significant figures), the formula for DoF further simplifies to

The comparative DoF of two different formats then depends on what is assumed. The normal comparison of different formats assumes essentially the same picture taken with each format and enlarged to produce the same size final image. So the subject distance remains the same, the focal length is adjusted to maintain the same angle of view, and to a first approximation, magnification is in direct proportion to some characteristic dimension (perhaps the horizontal angle of view) of each format. If each picture is enlarged to give the same size final image with the same sharpness criteria, the circle of confusion is also in direct proportion to the format size. Thus if l is the characteristic dimension of the format,

With the same f-number, the DoF ratio is then

so the DoF ratio is in inverse proportion to the format size. It should be noted that this ratio is approximate, and breaks down in the macro range of the larger format or as distance approaches the hyperfocal distance for the smaller format.

In comparing full-frame and smaller DSLRs, which usually can use most of the same lenses, the DoF ratio for the same lens used in the two formats may be of interest. Again, it's essential to state what is assumed. Magnification can be kept in rough proportion to the format sizes by adjusting subject distances. This appears to be what what Nick Rains is trying to describe:

“To frame a head and shoulders portrait for example, a DSLR use will have to stand further away than a 35mm user with the exact same focal length lens. Subject distance determines DOF, for any given focal length and Circle of Confusion so it follows that the DOF will be greater by roughly 50%.”

But this statement isn't quite correct. For the same CoC, the DoF ratio is

or in proportion to the square of the format ratio. Now, keeping c constant apparently assumes the same enlargement for each format, and a smaller final image for the smaller format. Offhand, this doesn't make sense—I'd guess that Rains was really assuming same-size final images, so the DoF ratio would indeed be in inverse proportion to the format-size ratio. Nonetheless, that's not what he says, so I don't think the citation is appropriate.

Here I've looked at how DoF varies with constant f-number; equivalently, for the same DoF, the smaller format uses a smaller f-number. But in either case, the aperture isn't “multiplied”.

I think it's reasonable to assume the same framing of the main subject for the two formats, though we need to state that it's done by adjusting subject distance, and that the relationship is approximate.

Because the cited source is wrong, I don't see how it can be considered reliable, so I've removed it. Offhand, I don't have a reliable source to cite in its place, but the relationship easy enough to prove that it could be added to the Depth of field article if people insist that the statement be supported. It also could be argued that the section DOF vs. format size in that article needs support. JeffConrad (talk) 02:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

About half of what's written on this topic is just wrong; I agree we should stick to sources that are right. When comparing formats, it always made more sense to me to keep the same camera position, and see what change to the lens and f-number are needed to get the same field of view and same depth of field. In that case, the answer is the that on the 35 mm camera you'll have a longer focal length and higher f-number, both by the same "crop factor" relative to the smaller format; that is, DoF depends largely on the entrance pupil size, as Moritz von Rohr pointed out about a century ago. Dicklyon (talk) 05:05, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
For the most part, I agree that maintaining subject distance and adjusting focal length to maintain the same angle of view is the most natural way to compare formats. In particular, it maintains the same relationships between near and far objects, which is key to many compositions. But for some things, such as portraits (of people or other animals), there often are foreground objects, so adjusting distance to maintain framing is arguably the most natural approach. Moreover, most photographers moving from 35 mm film to a cropped-format DSLR (as apparently Rains had done) probably aren't going to immediately replace all primes (if indeed they have any) with new lenses scaled to the new format. But perhaps we should cover both cases.
The cited article would seem to yet again demonstrate the problem with “reliable” sources. In general, I'd consider Luminous Landscape reasonably reliable (especially in comparison with many other web sites), but this certainly isn't the first technical error I've seen there. And that article itself illustrates another aspect of the problem; the author consulted some very good sources, but none of those sources specifically dealt with DoF vs. format (very few do; Leslie Stroebel's View Camera Technique is one of the few that comes to mind), so the author had to extrapolate, and in doing so, may not have completely understood the concept. And sometimes even the most impeccable sources have it wrong; Stroebel had the effect of swing and tilt on DoF wrong prior to Merklinger's articles in Shutterbug, Photo Techniques, and View Camera (the most recent edition, the 7th published in 1999 has it correct). And as we discussed in the Talk for Depth of field, H. Lou Gibson got the formula for DoF wrong.
This article lists a fair number of references, but upon examination, many seem pretty questionable. And except for Gerlach, none of the presumptively reliable sources gives a page number, so they're arguably of questionable verifiability (Read the whole book to find the supporting paragraph? Right ...). The situation is even worse for a topic like Tilt-shift photography, where I haven't really found a single reliable source—so in strict adherence to WP policy, that article probably should not exist. And that's a topic on which 80% of what is written is probably wrong.
So yes, I certainly agree on reliable sources. But finding them is not always an easy task. And sometimes those that would seem impeccable at first glance prove otherwise. JeffConrad (talk) 08:08, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

{{fact}} tag for claimed use of EF and EF-S for Canon cameras[edit]

Nikon use FX and DX to indicate camera formats, as is correctly stated. Canon use APS-H for their 1.3 crop-factor format, and APS-C for their 1.6 crop-factor format, and apparently don't have a designation for the full-frame format in the EOS-1Ds and EOS-5D series cameras. EF and EF-S refer to series of lenses rather than formats, so their use is not similar to Nikon's.

The current statement needs a reliable source or it's gone. If we want to mention Canon's format designators as well as Nikon's, we should use the proper ones. Perhaps it's also OK to mention the EF-S lenses, but it seems to me that this article is about cameras, not lenses. JeffConrad (talk) 11:16, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I've added a source from Canon about the development of the EF-S lenses for their APS-C bodies. I don't know of any sources for Nikon's smaller bodies or the four-thirds cameras, but they could be mentioned there as well if a good source was found. -- Autopilot (talk) 15:19, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
No disagreement about the Canon lenses specific to APS-C bodies, but this has nothing to do with the “optical quality implications” stated. The EF-S lenses simply won't mount on bodies with larger sensors, so it's not really relevant to advantages and disadvantages, unless it's stated that some lenses specific to less-than-full-frame sensors can't be used. I'm unaware of any current EF-S lens so desirable that a person considering an APS-H or full-frame body would choose an APS-C body instead just to use that lens. I've restored the {{fact}} tag because there is a strong implication that using a full-frame sensor leads to a loss of optical quality. This argument is specious, and without meaning to impugn, I'm not sure they qualify as a reliable source to support this contention. I don't think anyone disputes that a retrofocus design involves some tradeoffs, but if such a design were inherently bad, it would make no sense to use an SLR at all. The main advantages of the Canon EF-S lenses are that they're lighter and less expensive, as Canon clearly state, and a few of those lenses have shorter focal lengths than would be practical with a greater BFD. And the wide-angle lenses in that series are retrofocus designs anyway. The most severe constraint for a wide-angle design occurs with a tilt/shift lens, in which the tilt/shift mechanism dictates a much greater BFD than is needed on an ordinary lens. The new Canon TS-E 17 mm and TS-E 24 mm II lenses don't seem to have optical problems; the only consequence is the cost.
I've made a quick cleanup of this paragraph, but it still needs work, if indeed it remains. Flange focal distance is not the same as back focal distance; I've changed the link accordingly.
I don't think it's imperative to have a source for Nikon's FX/DX designations, because I don't think anyone questions them. I tagged the use of EF/EF-S as a body designator because it's wrong rather than because I really think we needed a source. In retrospect, I should simply have removed the sentence, which I've now done. JeffConrad (talk) 00:10, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
About the only one EF-S lens that folks want to use on full frame bodies is the 10-22: how to modify the lens to fit. I like the general cleanup, although I need to review the math on the effect on aperture. -- Autopilot (talk) 05:10, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
I thought someone might raise the question of having a 10 mm lens with a larger sensor but tried not to go there ... The 1D isn't a full-frame sensor; from the description, it doesn't sound like the mod would work on a 1Ds. Even with the 1D, I think the mod is similar to using the Canon extenders on some zooms not designed to work with them. As long as one doesn't use too short a focal length, everything is fine. But you need to ask yourself one question ...
I think the section now reads a bit better, but some significant technical questions remain. JeffConrad (talk) 06:26, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

The topic of this article[edit]

Despite the current title, isn't the topic of this article really something to the effect of Camera with 36 mm × 24 mm sensor? It's not obvious to me why the Leica M9 is any more off topic than the Leica S2. Although the former isn't an SLR, the latter is really a new format that's larger than 36 mm × 24 mm; if the S2 qualifies, why don't other digital formats larger than 36 mm × 24 mm also qualify?

I think we get back to some of the comments in the section Proposed Deletion; “full-frame” is a neologism. Although it's widely used, I'm not sure we have a definitive source for what it means.

As for the Leica M9 being unsupported: the same could be said for 90% of this article; though there's ostensibly quite a list of references, a second look suggests that most of them aren't too solid. JeffConrad (talk) 01:54, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't object to a bit on a full-frame rangefinder camera if was added with a source, but a drive-by section addition by an anon, with no full sentences and no sources, questionable relevance and a stupid section title isn't worth much more attention than a revert, in my book. Feel free to turn it into something reasonable, and add sources to other unsupported stuff, too, when you have the energy, but don't use that as a reason to support the addition of new unsourced stuff. Dicklyon (talk) 03:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
We could perhaps go with "Full-frame sensor" instead of focusing on cameras, using refs like this and this and this. Dicklyon (talk) 03:08, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
My reaction to anons is similar to yours, especially when they make really stupid, sloppy edits. In this case, the section title could have been more imaginative (I'd have created subsections Digital SLRs and Digital Rangefinders, or perhaps have even omitted Digital). But do we really dispute that the M9 exists and has a 36 mm × 24 mm sensor?
I'm for giving “full-frame” the same meaning as Krist and Evening imply, including rangefinders such as the M9, and excluding larger formats such as the S2. Let's face it: “56% larger than full frame” is silly advertising hype that doesn't belong in an encyclopedia (though “56% larger than full-frame 35 mm” would probably be OK). Quite honestly, even “full frame” is superfluous, really indicating a reluctance to accept the APS-C and APS-H sensors as new formats. But the term is in common use, so I think this would be a silly battle to fight.
I'm less confident that Krist and Evening definitively establish the meaning of the term. They're both generally solid sources, though I don't think they speak to hardware with the same authority as Ray or Stroebel. And at least from what I can see, they don't really meet the requirement for reliable sources for neologisms:
To support the use of (or an article about) a particular term we must cite reliable secondary sources such as books and papers about the term—not books and papers that use the term.
I'm not particularly uncomfortable not having a definitive source, because I doubt that most people seriously dispute the meaning. But perhaps others have different thoughts. When it comes to assertions that are subject to dispute, especially if they're utter nonsense, of course, I completely agree with insisting on support from a credible source.
As for the title and the topic, I think we simply need to eliminate SLR and somehow, in the title or the lead section, associate full frame with 36 mm × 24 mm. JeffConrad (talk) 04:16, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
The other one (Covington) does talk "about" the term, introducing it in quotation marks and talking about what it means; this is more than just using it. And it's not really a new term, just a new application of it. As an owner of a half-frame 35 mm camera since the 1960s, I've always known that full-frame 35 mm meant 24 x 36 mm; that's not new, and the article also discusses that origin of the term a bit; it would be nice to find a source that ties it all up nicely, but if we don't find one, we still have enough sourced material for a good article. At to the Leica M9, I'm not familiar with it, but would appreciate that new stuff come with a source; I find that removing stuff is much more effective at getting an editor's attention than putting a citation needed tag. Dicklyon (talk) 04:29, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the Leica S2 and restored the Leica M9 as discussed above. I've provided a link to M9 page on the Leica web site, but I still question the need for such a reference when the Leica M9 article already includes it. Presumably, the model-specific article is more likely to be kept up to date.
The article should probably be moved to a new title and the lead section slightly revised to accommodate rangefinders as well as SLRs; I agree with Zambiflava that it would be hard to justify a separate article on Full-frame digital rangefinder. I'd like to see what people think is the best title to include rangefinders (and perhaps eventually even compact digital cameras). JeffConrad (talk) 09:49, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
How about Full-frame digital camera? Some sources. Dicklyon Some sources]. (talk) 02:50, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, it nicely matches my new section title ... aside from the rather arrogant presumption that the 36 mm × 24 mm format is the Α–Ω of digital imaging, it seems fine. But it's probably as good as we're going to do; “full-frame 35 mm digital camera” is a bit unwieldy and doesn't seem to yield vary many hits. So the proposal gets my vote. Perhaps, like Covington, we could use scare quotes at first mention to indicate that it's somewhat capriciously applied to the 36 mm × 24 mm format, even though we (and presumably most others) agree that that's nearly always what is meant.
Many of the needed changes will by rote, but this will force some rethinking of the third paragraph under Advantages and disadvantages. The hand wringing over the dire effects of retrofocus optical designs, which seems marginal in any event, usually isn't an issue at all with lenses for rangefinders. JeffConrad (talk) 05:08, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think the use of the 35mm full-frame format as the de-facto standard of reference has anything to do with arrogance; it's just the way the history went, with early digital cameras based on SLR bodies being compared to the format for which their lens systems were designed. And the fact that we had both "full frame" and "half frame" 35 mm film formats meant that the term "full frame" was already in use, with the intended meaning. The rest, as they say, is history. As for the naming, we should use the simplest name that's commonly used for the concept; "full-frame digital camera" is simpler much more common than "full-frame 35mm digital camera", so let's not even consider the latter; but yes, let's do explain it in the article and cite one of these for the expanded more explicit terminology. Dicklyon (talk) 06:22, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
The reference to “arrogance” was somewhat tongue in cheek; perhaps “ignorance” would have been better. The 24 mm × 36 mm format is the de-facto standard mainly for those seemingly unaware that other formats even exist (and quite honestly, this isn't a big change from the days of film). But cameras that accept lenses designed for the 24 mm × 36 mm format have lead the digital revolution, so for practical purposes, it's “the” de-facto standard, period. Note that I said that “full-frame 35 mm digital camera” is unwieldy as well as uncommon, and that I agreed with your proposed title.
So unless someone has a strong and reasonable objection, let's just make the page move and make the obvious changes to the content. Some of the other changes will require additional thought, as I mentioned. I think one of the challenges is getting across that the “APS-C”, “APS-H” are simply smaller formats rather than subformats of 24 mm × 36 mm, much like 30 mm × 45 mm is a larger format rather than some sort of super “full-frame” format. The advantages and disadvantages of “full frame” are much the same as those for 24 mm × 36 mm film—it ain't magic just because it's digital. JeffConrad (talk) 09:39, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Upon further thought, I return to the conclusion that “full-frame digital camera” = 24 mm × 36 mm is tough to justify. The term “full-frame medium format” (for sensors such as used in the Phase One P65+ back and the Hasselblad H4D camera) is also fairly common. I'll concede that use in relation to medium format is also a bit presumptuous given the plethora of “medium” film formats and the fact that none of the current sensors quite matches the smallest “645” format (42.5 mm × 56 mm, as I recall), but the term will eventually become more common, especially when prices eventually fall to where they are within the reach of the ordinary independently wealthy. Perhaps “Full-frame 35 mm digital camera” is too much for a title, but it certainly needs to be acknowledged in the article, lest someone raise a vary valid objection that the title is unreasonably preemptive. Again, no question that “35 mm” format predominates, but predominant is not the same as exclusive. JeffConrad (talk) 01:10, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, "full frame medium format" is a term that first appeared in 2008. It's a logical step from "full frame 35mm format" in the digital camera business, but doesn't have anything like the history of the concept of "full frame" meaning 24x36 mm. I think this new usage should be ack'd in the article, but stick with the previous title proposal for now. Dicklyon (talk) 07:25, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Uh ... for the third time, I agree with the proposed title. I just can't see having Full-frame 35 mm digital SLR, Full-frame 35  digital rangefinder, Full-frame medium-format digital SLR, and whatever. Some day we may even need to qualify “medium format” if someone produces a sensor close to one of the 6×7 sizes. For now, I think the article should encompass both small and medium format, beginning with a definition to the effect of “A full-frame digital camera is a digital camera with an image sensor the same size as a film-camera format, most commonly 24 mm × 36 mm.” WP:WEIGHT would then dictate that most of the material deal with the 35 mm format. I think it will remain so for some time; even if prices are cut in half, the full-frame medium-format cameras and backs will remain unaffordable to all but professionals and well-heeled amateurs. I don't think cameras like the Leica S2, whose formats the lenses were designed to cover from the beginning would merit inclusion; such formats were always “full frame”, so there's no distinction to address. This could change, I guess, if cameras with smaller sensors that accept the same lenses were released, though that's something I don't really anticipate. JeffConrad (talk) 02:45, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better if this article was titled "Full-frame digital sensor" rather than "Full-frame digital SLR"? Full-frame sensors are used in non-DSLRs as is mentioned in the article. Appreciated that some parts of the article would need to be reworded if the titled was changed as I'm suggesting. Zin92 (talk) 23:11, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

If you want some attention on the topic, put a new section at the end instead of responding to a 2009 thread. If you have a solid proposal, you can list a discussion via WP:RM. Dicklyon (talk) 02:36, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Gallery of cameras[edit]

I've replaced the list of full frame digital SLR cameras with a gallery of their images. Some of the images are not exactly right; for instance a Contax N1 is used for the Contax N digital, and the Canon 1Ds Mark III is actually a Canon 1Ds. For others there did not appear to be any photographs of the bodies available on the commons or wikipedia. I have a 1Ds Mark III, so I'll take a photograph of it replace the incorrect image. If anyone has the other bodies, especially the newer Nikons, please upload images and replace the "No image" SVG. Thanks! -- Autopilot (talk) 02:40, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I reverted before I noticed your talk item here. I dind't see how the gallery helped the article. Dicklyon (talk) 04:24, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Dick about the relevance of the image gallery to the article. Where does it end? The article could quickly become primarily an image gallery. And the image of the EOS-1Ds is bizarre. But I also think the image of the D-700, and especially its position, is completely gratuitous and does nothing but distract from the article. I think that this image should be removed, or at the very least, moved elsewhere. One might raise similar questions about the image of the Canon Rebel and EOS-5D, but at least it serves to illustrate that a “crop-format” camera is typically smaller than a FF camera. JeffConrad (talk) 06:15, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Definitely agreed on the D700 and the proliferation of images; my primary motivation in the edit was to try to eliminate the random photos of camera bodies by consolidating them to one location in the article and one small thumbnail per body. If we were to follow WP:NOTCATALOG and WP:LISTCRUFT, however, the list of cameras should probably be removed. My suggestion would be to replace it with discussion of two notable ones, the Contax N digital as the first full frame DSLR and the 5D Mark II, as the first DSLR that also shoots video. Canon has a very good whitepaper on the production of full frame sensors and why they are so expensive; this is a good reference for the scarcity of full frame cameras. If there is consensus on this, I'll take a stab at writing it up tomorrow. -- Autopilot (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:24, 24 October 2009 (UTC).
I think the case could be made that the EOS-1Ds was far more notable than the Contax N, simply because people actually bought it. Though I completely agree about the significance of video on the 5D Mk II, I wonder about the relevance to this article. The original 5D was notable in providing FF at significantly reduced cost. Of course, if too much is said about Canon, the Nikon enthusiasts are likely to object. But I don't have strong feelings one way or another.
That said, I think the remaining image of the D700 with the PC-E 24 distracts from the article. Though I have a strong interest in tilt/shift lenses, I just don't think they're relevant here. The D700 image that was removed would seem more on topic. JeffConrad (talk) 08:09, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Cost of producing full frame sensors[edit]

JeffConrad -- I don't know if Nikon has a similar white paper discussing their cost of production, but I expect the costs would be similar if not worse. Canon manufactures their own sensors rather than sourcing them from other fabs, so their prices might be less than paid by other camera companies.

The amount of information that Canon reveals in their paper is astounding. For instance, just the wafer for the full frame sensor in the 5D and 1Ds Mark II is as high as $250 before any additional process steps are taken. They also go into why CCD sensors are not manufactured in full-frame sizes due to the limitations of the size of the lithography mask (26x33mm) and the finer tolerances required for CCD compared to CMOS. Also amusing is the lens used to focus the lithography laser -- almost 2 m tall and several hundred kg. -- Autopilot (talk) 03:32, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Agree that the Canon white paper is an excellent reference. But I think “expect” is the operative term for Nikon's costs, and think we err if we take Canon's statements as speaking for every manufacturer. JeffConrad (talk) 08:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Something is very wrong with Canon's statement that 200 APS-C sensors will fit on a 200 mm wafer. Without even accounting for edge losses or saw streets, it's impossible to fit more than 95. I suspect the real number is in the low 60s, but we obviously can't speculate in this article. In any event, the reference to 200 should be removed; that a physical impossibility has a supposedly reliable source seems irrelevant. The mention of 20 full-frame 35 mm sensors is fine, especially because the Canon white paper shows an image of such a wafer. JeffConrad (talk) 22:35, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, you're right. Even if the wafer were square 200mm, only 14x9=126 would fit. Maybe if it were a mythical double sided wafer or (more realistic) they meant digicam sensors? -- Autopilot (talk) 23:16, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
P&S was my guess as well, but who knows? I think a tech writer neglected to have a real technical type proof the paper ... par for the course, unfortunately. I've reworked it a bit in attempt to address this. I've also slightly reworded the sentence claiming that FF is mainly for professional use, and removed the tag—see if these changes work. JeffConrad (talk) 00:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
LOL it appears that Canon's statement about 200 aps-sensor refers to 300 mm wafer, not 200 mm. Alliumnsk (talk) 13:10, 22 September 2017 (UTC)


"For example, a 200 mm lens on a camera with a crop factor of 1.5 has the same angle of view as a 300 mm lens on a full-frame camera. The extra "reach", for a given number of pixels, can be helpful in specific areas of photography such as wildlife or sports."

I believe this is misleading. If I buy a FF camera which generally has more pixels and I stick a 200 mm lens on it, then I can get the 300mm effect of the DX simply by cropping the image. The above assumes that an FF has the same number of pixels as a smaller DX but that is not always the case, and if the number of pixels is the same then they are smaller on the sensor anyway and the advantage is perhaps nullified. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Optical quality implications[edit]

The {{citation needed}} tag that I restored probably should be taken as applying to the entire paragraph, which seems to suggest that an APS-C format has optical quality advantages over FF because

  • With the same focal length on both formats, the smaller format uses only the central part of the lens's coverage, so the corner sharpness is presumably better. Although this probably usually is true, the observation neglects the greater enlargement needed for the smaller format, so differences in the final results may be less obvious.
  • That a lens designed specifically for the smaller format need not be a retrofocus design, leading to better optical quality. For lenses of the same focal length for both formats, this may be sometimes be true; however, for the same angle of view, the smaller format requires a shorter focal length, and both formats have comparable issues with clearance between the reflex mirror and the rear element of the lens, so a wide-angle lens for the smaller format must also be a retrofocus design.

Consequently, with all factors considered, I don't think the advantages are so clear cut. In any event, the paragraph should be more clear about what it's really saying rather than leaving it for the reader to guess. And if the intent is anything like what I've suggested above, each point should be supported by a reliable source, which currently isn't the case. JeffConrad (talk) 01:04, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Re: Advantages and disadvantages of full-frame digital SLRs[edit]

Another advantage of Full-frame dSLRs over smaller formats is that Full-frame dSLRs have larger, more widely spaced PDAF sensors. This means that Full-frame dSLRs are more likely to have more accurate focus. Of course, because of their more shallow depth of field, they need it, but the fact remains. TCav (talk) 17:45, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

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