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Old full frame or new APS-C?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by mikechopragant, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Depends on what photography you do and what lenses you have. I see no justification for upgrading my original 5D yet for general use and landscape. For the things it doesn't do well I bought a 1D (was getting a 7D but got carried away) but find even the 1.3 crop factor limiting in general use. One thing to watch though is software support, especially if you have or get a newer canon, as 5D compatibility with upgrades is not 100%. You are OK if you stick with only that available from the 5D page at canon.co.uk but watch out for o/s upgrades. I bought an imac at Christmas and it is not binary compatible with my 5D disks - this would affect all early canon software.
     
  2. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    Had 5d now using mkII, however have also bought Sony NEX 6.

    That APC camera (very similar sensor to the Pentax) has more resolution, and a better dynamic range than MK1 and I think that the high ISO performance is probably better too. However my reason for purchase was the need for compact, lightweight, kit for travel, along with an interest in using heritage glass with focus magnification/peaking.

    You will never get the same lovely out of focus backgrounds and resulting sense of 3D with APC, but in most other aspects it is a very good solution.

    Horses for courses methinks.
     
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Having upgraded from Nikon's DX sensor D2x to an FX D3 a couple of years ago I wouldn't go back. However, the question isn't about just sensor size but also about manufacturer. I think the first thing to do is to try the Pentax and an equivalent Canon. If you don't get along with the Canon the sensor size is taken out of the equation. On the other hand, if you like the Canon over the Pentax you will probably prefer the 5D over the cropped sensor model.
     
  4. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    With the introduction of the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D this is going to be the way camera manufacturers are going to go - so you can go with the flow on lenses. Apart from the night and day comparison between full frame and cropped sensors (it really isn't all about how many pixels you can jam on a sensor - have a look at both sets of results) full frame gives you miles more options at focal lengths under 50mm without spending huge sums of money.
     
  5. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    Higher resolution on an APS-C is one of it's failings, the pixels have to be smaller and more densely packed by it's nature and therefore are not as effective as a full frame and as you are cramming more light into a smaller space makes it in my opinion impossible to have a higher dynamic range. Anyone serious about their photography should look to get into full frame and not APS-C, if you want something to take holiday snaps etc. with then it's OK.

    Ian
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Bit over simplified. One might say the same about medium format and 35 mm and between large format and medium format. Depends on what you want to take photographs of. The advantages of smaller sensors for long telephoto work are very clear.
     
  7. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member


    The analogy in more of using 110 film against 35mm or medium format, would you have ever seen a professional or serious amateur using a 110? No why? Because your concentrating too many photons at a small area, you will never get the quality the same as the larger area.
     
  8. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    It's time to put what Ian and I said to the test. I have added to the Readers Gallery two pictures with lots of detail in them - one taken on APS-C and one on full frame. Both are Nikons and both have 12.3 Mp sensors and similar lenses. Look at the pictures (the titles make it clear which is which - and double click on the opened pictures to look at the at 100% - scan around them and tell me if you still think full frame makes no difference - look at the depth and feeling of quality on both.
     
  9. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    We need to be careful what we are comparing here. The OP wants to consider a 5D mark one against a new Pentax, as I understand it. Technology has moved on quite a way since the original 5D first appeared.

    The new(ish) sensors made by Sony and fitted to Pentax, Nikon etc, are quite a bit better than that in the original 5D. Not knocking the 5D mind, great camera in its day.
     
  10. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath


    This is D90 vs D700 - similar ages. It doesn't just compare sharpness - it compares formats - and I don't think a new APS-C with the same total no of pixels can compare favourably with any full frame.
     
  11. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    We are not losing sight of the original posters requirements, I have a Mk1 5D, a 1DS Mk3 and Samsung APS-C which I won in one of the APOY rounds. The Mk1 5d eats the Samsung alive in terms of colour, sharpness, depth of field and the Samsung has one of the latest APS-C sensors. There is very little between the 1ds and the 5d other than resolution and a little in colour rendition. From a quality point of view you cannot get away from APS-C size sensors having to cope with the same amount of photons in a smaller area. A good analogy would be if you dropped 100 tennis balls over 100 buckets placed in a rectangle touching each other, then did the same over 100 coffee cups laid out in the same shape touching each other. Which setup would catch more tennis balls. It's the same with light photons hitting a sensor, the smaller the sensor the smaller receptors are and more tightly packed. You will always catch more light photons/tennis balls with the bigger area and bigger receptors. This is why even an older 5D will outperform a new sensor entry level APS-C. Camera make has no baring on this, it's a fact of life.

    Ian
     
  12. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    I think the problem is here that APS-C users get confused between number of megapixels and quality. The two are definitely not interchangeable.

    Ian
     
  13. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    The sensor in the K-5 is NOT entry level, it's state of the art as far as APS-C is concerned. It also has pretty much the best processing in class.

    As regards 'performance' there are many measures. In some ways the 5D may be better but in others the K-5 will run rings around the 5D; it's nowhere near as simple a conclusion as you seem to make out.
     
  14. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    (With all due respect) - what a load of tosh. :p
     
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    The only way to compare is to use the same subject, same lens, same lighting, crop the full frame to fit and print in as closely matched a way as possible at the same size and then view at an objective distance.

    Even then this compares two specific examples of the cameras. You would have to repeat a large number of times to get a statistical view of the model by model variability.

    IMO my 2007 5D mk I has far better IQ than my new 1D mk IV but it isn't a better camera for sport and wildlife, it is a better camera for landscape, not forgetting one aspect of "better" is that it is smaller and lighter. I am also prepared to believe that the mk II and mk III are improvements over the original even though the pixel density has gone up.
     
  16. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    Funny Pentax themselves place it as an entry/enthusiast level camera!
     
  17. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    We're talking about the SENSOR, not the body.
     
  18. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    But the original poster wants to buy a camera not just a sensor! Overall the 5D is better built professional level camera. Where it loses out to the K5 is Frame rate and megapixels and thats about it. APS-C cannot give better detail and colour rendition because it has a small sensor, it's a matter of physics.

    Ian
     
  19. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    And AF and high ISO capability. Does the 5D have a built in intervalometer? K-5 is arguably better weathersealed and weighs far less, which is significant for many users.
     
  20. ianwaite

    ianwaite Well-Known Member

    What tosh, it is still APS-C, you clearly never studied physics.
     

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