vs , APS-H vs APS-C vs FF

Advanced Photo System Full Frame - FF

Advanced Photo System High Definition - APS-H

Advanced Photo System Classic- APS-C

Every digital camera, even a point-and-shoot, has a sensor inside of it. For DSLRs, it is hiding behind a mirror and looks like a green rectangle. For mirrorless cameras, you can see the sensor immediately after removing the lens. The sensor is what conveys information that results in an image. It is what we popularly use now to make pictures instead of film. In the simplest of terms, all these sensors do is convert an optical image (light) into an electronic signal which can be read as digital information an image you download and can see, edit, and share.

Take any lens focal length, multiply it by your crop factor/focal length multiplier, and you will have the perceived field of view that lens produces on your particular crop frame camera that would be considered the equivalent on a full frame camera:

The focal length of the lens is measured based on the standard 35mm film size a size that lenses are built to accommodate. Why? In the digital photography world, the 35mm size is our reference point for all imagery so it is the standard reference for all lenses, too. This means that when you are using a crop sensor camera, you have to figure out what your crop factor/focal length multiplier is for a given lens to find out what your apparent field of view will be when composing a shot. Its just the way it is.

Full frame cameras


  • take full advantage of wide-angle lenses
  • allow the photographer to move in closer to the subject and so reduce the depth of field, which can mean you can blur away distracting backgrounds more
  • the larger sensor has manufacturing advantages that can result in less noise and slightly more fine detail in your images
  • great for landscape photography and often preferred for street photography, art photography, real estate photography or product photography
  • The larger sensor creates more light-gathering surface area which can give full-frame sensors an advantage in weak light.


  • more expensive than APS-C
  • more difficult to fill the frame with distant, easily-spooked subjects like birds

APS-C cameras


  • less expensive
  • because the sensor is smaller, you can buy inexpensive lenses made with smaller glass components made purely for APS-C cameras. That can save you even more money
  • telephoto lenses behave like something even more telephoto
  • great for sports/wildlife photos and macro where the action can be at a greater distance


  • wide angle lenses lose some of their wide-angle effect
  • backgrounds can be slightly more in focus and therefore slightly more distracting
  • as a general rule, the smaller sensor can sometimes result in a little bit more noise and slightly less fine detail
  • if you decide later on to switch over to a full frame camera then you wont be able to take your collection of APS-C specific lenses with you.
  • The smaller sensor in the APS-C cameras have less light-capturing surface area, which can give them a slight disadvantage in weak light.