Crop factor might sound like some sort of agricultural term, but it’s actually an important topic to keep in mind when selecting both cameras and lenses. Crop factor is just a number really, but it has an important effect on how your camera and lenses interact. I know, I know, that’s kind of vague. Read on, my camera-loving comrades!
In a previous lesson, we reviewed what image sensors are and talked about some of the more common sensor sizes found in cameras. These varying sensor sizes have a big impact on image quality, and they also interact with lenses differently. Most, but not all lenses have a focal length based on being paired with what’s called a full frame sensor.
The term, “full frame sensor” is derived from the era of film-based cameras. Some of you might remember loading 35mm film into your cameras. The dimensions of a 35mm negative are now used as a reference size for modern DSLR sensors. When a sensor fills that original 35mm film size, it’s known as full frame. Those sensors produce great image quality, but they are more expensive than smaller sensors. In mid-level and lower end DSLRs, you’ll see smaller sensors, with the most common being the APS-C sensor. APS stands for Advanced Photo System, but you don’t need to worry about that right now. Just keep in mind that these are the type of sensors typically found in most entry and even mid level DSLR cameras.
Now that you’ve watched the video, everything is crystal clear to you now, right? No? Then shimmy on over to read the full lesson in the Vimeo Video School!
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