How to Move to a Full Frame Camera


There are two main camera sensor standards: full frame (or 35mm) and crop sensor (or APS-C). A full frame sensor is about 1.5 times the size of a crop sensor, which changes things a bit. If you’ve just upgraded (or are thinking about upgrading) from a crop sensor camera to a full frame camera, here’s what you need to know.

All Your Shots Will Be Wider

In every article where I mention focal length, I always have to say something like 20mm on a full frame camera or around 35mm on a crop sensor camera. This is because of the crop factor. Although a 20mm lens is still a 20mm lens when it’s on a crop sensor camera, it has the field of view that a 35mm lens would have on a full frame camera.

This difference changes how you use your lenses when you move to a full frame camera. Your 50mm is going to go from a short telephoto that’s equivalent to a 70mm lens and perfect for headshots to a normal lens that’s better for environmental portraits. Your 35mm is now a wide angle lens.

You’ll probably be disappointed to realize that your 200mm telephoto that was so good at getting close to birds doesn’t have as much zoom. You’d need a 350mm for your new camera to get the same effect.

In this photo…

…and this photo…

…I’m standing roughly the same distance from the subject and using the same 40mm lens. The only difference is that in the first shot I’m using a crop camera and in the second I’m using a full frame camera.

There Are More Manual Controls and Better Build Quality

Full frame bodies are designed for professionals and advanced hobbyists, so a lot of the hand holding features are…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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