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General photography questions and answers: Discuss FX and DX crop sensor...Ok, can anyone explain to me how it exactly works that fullframe sensor and the crop sensor. I know when ...
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Old 26-03-2009, 13:59   #1 (permalink)
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FX and DX crop sensor

Ok, can anyone explain to me how it exactly works that fullframe sensor and the crop sensor. I know when you crop a photo made with the fx camera it gives you the same picture as with dx camera. But how do you work out it gives you that extra lens length with a dx camera then
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

It doesn't actually give you extra length - it just appears to because the image circle thrown by the lens is cropped by the smaller sensor. So a 50mm lens is still 50mm whether it's on a full-frame or APS-C (DX) camera, but on the DX camera the outer parts of the image are missing. The effect is to make it seem as if the focal length is increased by 1.5x (1.6x for Canon), but really it's just that the image is cropped.
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:29   #3 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

Ok then I understand. Yes if you take the sides of the photo, the middle comes closer. But in real life, it's not adding anything.
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:32   #4 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

That's right. The DX sensor is actually losing the edges of the image.
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Old 26-03-2009, 16:36   #5 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

It doesn't give you extra lens length as such. What matters is how many pixels (photosites) you get of your subject and how good those pixels are. In all cases the Sensor has some pixels that don't get used so all that ever matters is the pixels you do use. Nikon is easy to understand because they have a 12MP FX and DX sensor (And you have both). They both have the same number of pixels but on the DX they are more tightly packed. That means the FX ones are usually better quality. So for the same focal length (on Nikon) a 12mp DX sensor with the same focal length will get just over twice as as many pixels on the subject as an FX sensor so long as the subect only occupies the area covered by the DX cameras field of view.

Opinions vary as to what is better but it depends a lot on the final use of the image. If I want a large print or am looking to sell the image for commercial purposes then personally I'd rather have a DX camera where the subject fills the frame than crop an FX image. But for web work the latter is probably better and of course, except at silly distances, you can always use a longer lens.
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Old 27-03-2009, 15:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

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Originally Posted by VinnyP View Post
So for the same focal length (on Nikon) a 12mp DX sensor with the same focal length will get just over twice as as many pixels on the subject as an FX sensor so long as the subect only occupies the area covered by the DX cameras field of view.
Vinny, could you please explain above. Cause I would say that the FX created photo would have more pixels then the DX. FX bigger sensor, more pixels Or am I missing a point now?
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Old 27-03-2009, 17:13   #7 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

The physical size of the sensor and the number of pixels on it are two different things. You could have a 12MP DX sensor and a 12MP FX sensor - same number of pixels on both, but they're more spread out on the FX sensor.

So, if you took an image from the FX camera and cropped it to the same field of view as a photo taken at the same focal length on the DX camera, the cropped FX image would have fewer pixels (lower resolution).
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Old 27-03-2009, 17:43   #8 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

Dutchie, here's an example.....


this is FX


this is DX

I took this with the D3 which allows you to flick between FX, DX and 5:4 ratio. You can see just how much is cropped. These were taken at 70mm focal length.

Hope this helps!
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Old 27-03-2009, 18:06   #9 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

I bet you really hate Stephen King!
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Old 27-03-2009, 18:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

my house is a shrine.......................... (shame the body's not a temple )
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Old 28-03-2009, 22:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

Yes ok, now it makes sence. The dx format that you can choose on the D3 that isn't a real crop as the dx body would give it you, surely What I mean is that the dx crop on an fx body is smaller then the 12mp on a dx body. I'm getting confused myself now, but why do they add this as an option
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Old 29-03-2009, 14:05   #12 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

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Originally Posted by Dutchie View Post
but why do they add this as an option
So you can use Nikkor lenses not specified for FX (ie most of the newer but not newest [post FX-introduction] digital lenses), otherwise the edges of the image would suffer from extreme vignetting and quality dropoff.
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Old 29-03-2009, 20:23   #13 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

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So you can use Nikkor lenses not specified for FX (ie most of the newer but not newest [post FX-introduction] digital lenses), otherwise the edges of the image would suffer from extreme vignetting and quality dropoff.
I was just about to say that.............
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Old 29-03-2009, 20:24   #14 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

6 hours later?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:47   #15 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

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6 hours later?
I'm a very slow typer!
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Old 08-04-2009, 23:51   #16 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

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I'm a very slow typer!
Time lapse photographer???
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Old 18-04-2009, 08:11   #17 (permalink)
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Re: FX and DX crop sensor

Yes but what you fail to mention is that when a dx lense is used on a Fx body the sensor drops to 6mp, which to me if printing A3 is pretty well waste of time I recently sold a Nikon 14 24 lense and was quite surprised the difference it had on my D300 and the purchasers D700,
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