Matrix size matters.

One of the most important and basic parameters of any photographic equipment is value of the photosensitive camera sensor. And this is not about about megapixels, but about the real physical area of ​​the photosensitive element.

What is crop factor

What is crop factor

Previously, most photographers shot on film cameras that used the so-called 35mm film (film standard from the distant 1930s). Those were quite old times, and somewhere since 2000, digital-SLR cameras (DSC) became very popular, the principle of operation of which remained the same as in film cameras, but instead of the DSC film, they began to use an electronic photosensitive matrix, which forms the image ...

That's just the price of making such a matrix hundreds of times more expensive than ordinary film. Due to the huge price of manufacturing an analogue of 35mm film and the general complexity of manufacturing a huge matrix with millions of transistors, a number of manufacturers began to produce sprinkled cameras... Concept 'cropped matrix 'meansthat we are talking about a smaller matrix for a standard size of 35mm film.

Crop factor (Crop - from English "cut") Is an indicator for cropped matrices, it measures the ratio of the diagonal of a standard 35mm film frame to the diagonal of the cropped matrix. The most popular crop factors among CPCs are K = 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 2.0. For example, K = 1.6 means that the diagonal of the camera sensor is 1.6 times smaller for the diagonal of a full-frame sensor or for a 35mm film diagonal.

In fact, not all central control centers are equipped with a cropped matrix, now there are a lot of cameras in which the matrix size is equal to the size of a 35 mm film, and K = 1.0. Cameras in which there is a matrix the size of a classic 35mm film, are called full-frame digital SLR cameras.

Cropped cameras are usually APS-C cameras with K = 1.5-1.6, or APS-H cameras with K = 1.3. Full-frame cameras are commonly called Full Frame. For example, Nikon's cropped APS-C cameras are called Nikon DX, while full-frame cameras are called Nikon FX.

DX (cropped camera, APS-C type, K = 1.5) has a matrix with dimensions of approximately 23.6 to 15.8 mm, the area of ​​such a matrix is ​​equal to 372,88 sq. Mm.

FX (full-frame camera, K = 1.0) has a matrix with dimensions of approximately 36 to 23.9 mm, the area of ​​such a matrix is ​​equal to 860,4 sq. Mm

Now we divide the area of ​​the matrices and we find that the DX matrix is ​​smaller than the full-frame matrix in 2,25 times. To quickly calculate the real difference in the physical dimensions of a full-frame and a cropped camera, it is enough to square the crop factor. So, DX cameras use crop factor K = 1.5, we get that the areas of DX and FX cameras differ by 1.5 * 1.5 = 2.25 times.

If we install a standard (for example) lens with a focal length of 50mm per cropped camera and look into the viewfinder, we will see that the viewing angle is narrower than with the same lens on a full-frame camera. Do not worry, everything is in order with the lens, simply because the matrix of the cropped camera is smaller, it “cuts out” only the central region of the frame, as shown in the example below.

The difference between cropped and full-frame cameras

The difference between a cropped and full-frame camera. The first picture was taken on a full-frame camera and a 50mm lens, the second picture was taken on a cropped camera and the same lens. The viewing angle on the cropped camera has become smaller.

At the same time, many people have the opinion that the focal length of the lens is changing - but this is just an illusion. In fact, the angle of view that a person observes in the viewfinder is changing, the focal length of the lens does not change. Focal length is the physical size of the lens and will remain the same on any camera. But because of this illusion, it is convenient to say that on a cropped camera, the visible picture is similar to a 75mm lens (50mm * 1,5 = 75mm) when used on a full-frame sensor. That is, if we take two tripods and two cameras - one full-frame, the other cropped and screw a lens with a focal length of 75mm on a full-frame one, and on a cropped one with a focal length of 50mm - then in the end we will see an identical picture, since they have will be the same.

The recalculated focal length is called Equivalent Focal Lengthabbreviated EGF. EGF recalculated even for cropped lenses like Nikon DX and canon Ef-s.

Full-frame shot

Full-frame shot in full-frame mode

And an example of the same picture taken from the same distance, without changing the settings, but only in cropped mode:

Crop

Full-frame shot in DX mode. The difference in viewing angle is visible. DX mode, or DX camera as if cut from the original image, which gives the lens, only the central area.

In fact, when using lenses from Full frame cameras on cropped cameras, we get some significant advantages:

  1. Reduced viewing anglemaking a telephoto from a standard lens, and a super telephoto from a telephoto. So using a 300mm telephoto, we get a viewing angle the same as in a 450mm lens on a 35mm film. This is a pretty great opportunity to buy a cheap zoom telephoto for less money and due to the crop factor, get a large EGF.
  2. Due to the fact that full-frame lenses work only in the central area on cropped cameras, you can get rid of such image defects like vignetting, a drop in resolution at the edges of the frame, part of the distortion. Usually in the central region of the frame, image quality is maximum.

Also, using lenses from cropped matrices, we get lenses cheaper. Although there are downsides. Lenses from cropped cameras need to cover a smaller area of ​​the photosensitive element, which means you can use less expensive glass, make less weight, etc. At the same time, when buying lenses for cropped matrices and with the subsequent transition to full frame, you will have to additionally buy new lenses for a full frame. I advise you to read the related article - Nikon lens differences, and - Features of cropped cameras and lenses

Conclusions:

Cropped cameras (cropped matrices) are simply smaller matrices, and in order to understand the amount of matrix reduction, the concept of crop factor is used. The crop factor is convenient to use to obtain EGF lenses when using them on cropped cameras. To obtain EGF of any lens, when using it on a cropped camera, it is enough to multiply the value of the focal length of this lens by the crop factor of the camera.

More information in the sections

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

Add a comment: Leonid

 

 

Comments: 234, on the topic: Matrix size matters.

  • anonym

    Hello
    Nikon D80 camera
    I still choose a wide-angle lens (not native)
    very much wanted Tamron 10-24 or tokina 12-24. but now considering the crop (1.5 times, if I'm not mistaken) these widths are not very good for D80. One comrade advised me to take a 10-20 sigma and then the viewing angle will at least be preserved. in short, I'm confused ...
    I will be very grateful if you can tell me exactly what to do :) well, for example, “take this and that” period.

  • anonym

    They are all very wide-angle)), that's enough for you.

  • Sergei

    I have a d5100 and I have Industar 50-2 (50mm) and Mir 1V (37mm) lenses. In general, I tried to take pictures with them and with an 18-55 kit, respectively, visually framing 18-55 as well as fixes. As a result, the same RF appeared on the scale and signatures, so I didn’t understand anything about the crop))), how does it supposedly increase by changing the viewing angle? Or can all these things be felt on a full-frame camera?

  • Paul

    One thing I can't understand: why is this FULL SHOT so good, if not a secret? And the secret is that most of the duped amateur photographers are firmly convinced that "real quality", for some unknown reason, is achievable only with a matrix the size of a film frame. It smacks of obvious schizophrenia, especially considering that in addition to the “full” frame, there is also a “middle” frame (both in film and matrix versions), which, despite the name, is significantly larger than the “full” frame ... However, it doesn't end there either! There is also a so-called LARGE shot in nature! Which (that's fun!) Is an even greater superiority in size, reaching almost the size of the camera itself! Well, who's whose crop? Let us then count the crop from the large format, since it comes to that?
    ================================================== ==============================
    DYNAMIC RANGE
    As you know, the size of the full frame is 36 × 24 mm, while the size of the Nikon CX format sensor (I took my Nikon 1 camera with a 10 Mpix sensor as an example), which has a crop factor of 2,7, is 13,2 x 8,8 , 2,7 mm. A 7,29-fold change in the linear dimensions of the sensor means a 10-fold change in its area. Thus, with the same resolution, i.e., with the same number of photodiodes, larger photodiodes of a full-frame sensor will have approximately seven times higher capacitance compared to photodiodes of a CX sensor. But here one small nuance is revealed. Have you often seen 24 Mpix full frame DSLRs? I've never. I saw 36 Mpix, I saw 10 Mpix, I did not see 24 Mpix. Well, let's take tady the most common value - 7.29 Mpix and ... we get the difference in area is not 1600 times, but ONLY THREE TIMES. That is, roughly speaking, the CX at ISO 5600 makes noise like a full frame at ISO 100. Not a big difference, I tell you. Moreover, at lower ISOs, the difference is far from so obvious, and when shooting with a base sensitivity value (usually ISO XNUMX), the advantage of a full frame disappears altogether.
    ================================================== ==============================
    DEPTH OF FIELD
    DOF - Depth of Dramatic Space - This is what the photograph sharply depicted. Again, the DOF, bokeh and others like it - DO NOT DEPEND ON THE SIZES OF THE MATRIX. It directly depends on the distance to the subject, and vice versa on the openness of the aperture and the focal length of the lens. That is, the closer the subject is photographed, the larger the focal length, the more the aperture is open, the smaller the area of ​​sharpness in your image.
    And the size of the matrix depends only on how much this area gets into your frame.
    ================================================== ==============================
    LENSES
    Wide-angle, not to mention ultra-wide-angle, for crop can be counted on the fingers of one hand. That is yes.
    But in terms of the remaining types of lenses, owners of cropped cameras are in a winning position. Due to the notorious crop factor, 10 mm turn at least equivalent to 27 mm, 32 mm into portrait 86 mm, and 300 - as much as 800, which is very good. That is why many hunters seeking to optimize their spending prefer crop.

    • Lynx

      oh, there are so many things in the world that you could not, and you will never be able to understand ...
      Don't be so sad, just accept that other people understand and appreciate.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Details about the subtleties https://radojuva.com.ua/2013/05/the-crop-identity/

    • oldsage

      1. Let us then even lead to the chronology of Christ, not from the birth of Christ, but from the creation of the world. Well it used to be.
      2. LENSES. What kind of crop are you describing? 10 mm> 27 (i.e. 2,7? Crop). Oh, please, do not compare cucumbers with fingers. If you take a DSLR, then 1,5-1,6.

    • Vladimir

      Pavel, you have forgotten only one nuance that, as you said: "As for the remaining types of lenses, the owners of cropped cameras are in an advantageous position" there are no lenses with convenient focal lengths for cropped cameras when recalculating their focal lengths). The entire lens market is aimed at full frame, the best and highest quality is there! It is a pity that the crop was bypassed in this regard ...

    • BB

      “I have not seen full-frame 10MP cameras, let's take 24” - that means that we have not heard anything about Nikon D3 and D700 ...

  • Nika

    Hello !!! Tell me, please, what does Crop-Factor mean in Sony A 58?

    • anonym

      The Sony A58 uses an APS-C format matrix. Crop 1.5.

  • Karina

    Arkady, you know everything, help me too
    I need to know from what height I need to take a 35 mm lens to cover an area of ​​5-3 km with 30 percent overlap))) and how many lifts I need to make from different places)))

  • Sergey

    Hello Arkady, when using lenses from Full frame cameras on cropped cameras, we get that full-frame lenses work only in the central area on cropped cameras and that’s all. The viewing angle at the same focal length is the same and you will not get any closer zoom .Install two lenses (FF and crop) with the same focal length and look through the viewfinder.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, yes, it’s written about the same thing.

  • Alexander Petrovich

    Sorry, Arkady, for bringing you back to this point again. But you say, “In fact, when using lenses from Full frame cameras on cropped cameras, we get some significant advantages:

    The angle of view is reduced, making a telephoto lens from a standard lens, and a super telephoto lens from a telephoto lens. ... This is a pretty great opportunity to buy a cheap telephoto zoom for not a lot of money and, due to the crop factor, get a strong approximation. "
    It seems to me that this is some kind of myth that wanders from article to article. I checked it myself: I took pictures from the balcony, putting the device on a tripod. I put on my Nikon D5100 full-frame Tamron 70-200 / 2,8 and then full-frame Sigma 18-200 / 3.5-6.3. In both cases, it gave full focus to 200. I did not find any differences in the received frames, either in angle, in approximation, or in image size. All one to one. It seems that we speak Russian, but for some reason I don’t have a complete understanding. How do you explain this?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The trick is that both tamron and sigma at 200 mm gave 300 mm EGF. You probably think that the sigma indicates the already recalculated focal length, equal to 18-200 mm, but it indicates the real focal length, which must be recounted when used on cropped cameras.

      • Denis

        Oh, please clarify this moment for me! So what is the difference between lenses specially designed for DX and FX lenses, if both lenses give the same picture at the same focal length?

        • Lynx

          Smaller size, weight and price.

        • Kostjan

          They differ in that the de – x does not “cover” the full frame.

          • Denis

            Yes thanks, I already figured it out. Just to understand the term EGF, one must proceed from the fact that it was “invented” in order to explain “on the fingers” to “film-makers” what they would get when switching to digital technology (since in those distant times in the professional segment, it was presented only crop). From all this, there is one important practical conclusion: it is impractical to buy lenses specially designed for a crop camera for a crop camera. This makes sense only in the case of super-widths or when a person is 100% sure that he will not switch to full-frame (and this is very unlikely given the trend of decreasing prices over time)

  • Alexander Petrovich

    Ah, I understand, thanks. This, indeed, I did not take into account.

  • Radda

    Thank you for the article. I have a question. Is it necessary to recalculate the focal length on the lens if it is indicated that it is for a DX camera! e.g. Tokina AT-X 116 PRO SD 11-16mm F2.8 (IF) DX II needs to be multiplied by 1.5

    • Jury

      What for? The focal lengths of your Tokina on crop and full frame are the same. The difference is in the viewing angle. So, 11mm on the crop will give the same angle of view as 16,5mm on the full frame.

  • anonym

    Hello, I wanted to ask, on which Nikon camera is the crop 1.3?

    • Robot1524

      On Canon 1D (Mark I, II) there was a crop of 1,3.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Crop 1.3 is better known as APS-H. Canon has five such cameras: Canon EOS-1D, 1D Mark II, 1D Mark II N, 1D Mark III, 1D Mark IV.

        Nikon did not have cameras with a physical matrix size corresponding to crop 1.3. True, there is an additional software crop 1.3 X for cameras like Nikon D7100, D7200. Also, the Nikon D2x, D2xs cameras have a High speed cropped mode function, which allows you to get the total 2X crop in terms of. And Nikon full-frame cameras can use their specific additional crop modes, such as 5: 4, 1.2X, 1.5X.

  • Jury

    If there is such a Nikon camera, then this is not a SLR. Even the cheapest Nikon DSLRs have a crop factor of 1.5

  • Novel

    Good day. Tell me, but for cropped cameras, when calculating the minimum shutter speed, do you also need to multiply the focal length of the lens by the crop factor?
    Those. for Nikon d3100, crop factor 1.5, focal length 50 mm, what will be the minimum shutter speed: 1/50 or 1/75?

    • Bo

      Are you out of your mind?

      • Yarkiy

        Bravo! A very competent answer, detailed and detailed.
        Aren't you ashamed?

        • Bo

          that you subscribe to every blind reader, he cannot read above what you need to watch on the air when cropping? or are you also one of these ...?

      • Novel

        I - yes, you probably not quite

        • Bo

          A couple of posts above everything chewed in detail - and again you ask the same thing?

    • The Hedgehog

      If you take into account the above rule, then, according to the equivalent focal length, the shutter speed also needs to be multiplied, that is, it will be 1/75, since on the crop, with the same focal length, the shake will be more noticeable than on ff. But you need to remember that these are rather recommendations ..

      • anonym

        You don't need to multiply anything. The crop factor does not affect the aperture ratio - it is indicated in the lens parameters, respectively, the exposure is identical with a full matrix and with a cropped one; in the viewfinder, you also see the “fair” shot that you get when you shoot. It is another matter that, say, when reporting with a crop camera with a 50 mm lens in a small room, the photographer does not have enough space to capture everything in the frame, while the analog Zenith, for example, will give a full view. In general, it's worth remembering, but don't be dejected :)

    • Lynx

      better to multiply.
      In general, it is better to run a series of identical frames at different shutter speeds and see at what shutter speed you will no longer have any shake on a given lens.
      Bo is all individual, someone at half a half and 1/40 removes the norms, and for someone, 1/125 is not enough.
      For example, I try not to lower below 1/100 or 1/160 even by 35 mm due to personal factors, so to speak.

  • Bo

    Arkady, it may be time to enter authorization and, when registering, carry out a face-brain control, such as on radio engineering forums, with questions like a diaphragm, etc.
    And then you chew like this: excerpt is this, the matrix is ​​this, and below, after the words "thank you, Arkady!" it follows: “but do not tell me what an excerpt, a matrix”. No respect for you. Hike just write your question without reading the above. The point then is in your work. No endurance will be enough.

    • Novel

      Why are you freaking out? Firstly, I read the comments on this article before I asked my question, but I didn’t find the exact excerpt.
      Secondly, the question was addressed not to you, but to the author of the article, would they have passed by and all, why roll inappropriate tantrums?
      And to all who answered - thank you, I will take it into account.

      • Bo

        are you sick or what?

      • Yarkiy

        Roman, to be completely objective, it’s hard not to notice the explanation of your question a few posts above, which should be indicated by those wishing to answer. Bo's reaction is understandable, but not justified, rudeness in communication does not add respect.

        • Novel

          Yarkiy, I didn’t want to offend or offend anyone by asking my question, I just asked what was interesting to me.
          You say that “it's hard not to notice the explanation of your question in several posts above”. If you mean the article about image stabilizers, where the answer to my question is really chewed up, then I just got to it. In this case, do you think that before asking questions, I had to study all the materials on the site?
          I do not argue that it infuriates when people ask the same question many times, but in any case, you could just tell me that the answer to my question can be found in such an article or in comments to such an article, etc. etc., and do not start spraying with saliva and insults. (This all applies exclusively to Bo)

          • Yarkiy

            No, Roman, it was this article that was meant. What do stabilizers have to do with it when it comes to the crop factor, i.e. matrix size. Maybe you were confused by the word "post", well, let's say not a post, but a comment. Go up a few comments above your first question and you will see the answer.

            • Novel

              I apologize, but I do not see. Already simply from the principle, please indicate the date / time and the author of the comment

  • Yarkiy

    Radda
    01.05.2015 in 13: 48
    Thank you for the article. I have a question. Is it necessary to recalculate the focal length on the lens if it is indicated that it is for a DX camera! e.g. Tokina AT-X 116 PRO SD 11-16mm F2.8 (IF) DX II needs to be multiplied by 1.5

    • Novel

      Yes, where does my question? There is probably some time of misunderstanding. I asked how to correctly calculate the minimum shutter speed when shooting handheld. It is known to be calculated by the formula 1 / focal length of the lens. I was wondering if the crop factor for DX cameras should be taken into account in this formula. From another article and comments Olezhishche and Lynx found out what is needed. Those. minimum shutter speed will be 1 / EGF. And what Radda asked and did not stand next to the calculation of exposure

      • Bo

        are you single core they told you in Russian that you need to count, what else do you want?

        • Yarkiy

          Che that neigh.

        • Novel

          This is PPC, the first time I meet this. Are you completely stubborn chtoli?

      • anonym

        how to avoid grease when taking pictures with hands. Photo tricks. Part 3. Yes and comments are required.

  • Alexey

    I suggest that the maximum shutter speed be tied to the size of the pixel and FR, without taking into account the crop factor. Why not))) Each camera will have its own coefficient.

  • Peter Sh.

    Yes, that's just it. You take and shoot something in a bad light, at long exposures. Then you look at what you are capable of.
    You can learn to shoot more or less lucidly without a tripod, and without VR. If you know how.

    • Alexander T

      You, Peter, probably have a D3 or D4s type, and at least D700 plus a lens with a “ring”. Or you guru-on D40 with 70-300 / 4,5-5,6 get a picture like with the above set in “bad light , on long exposures. "You can passably not spend money, there are such as soap dishes, telephones. You are probably a" journalist-correspondent "for whom the idea is important, the meaning is conveyed through a photo, and the quality is what quality on the newspaper? like me, amateur beginners who strive for both meaning and beauty in photography through aerobatics, which we absorb like a sponge, for example, through Arkady Sh or the like. In statements, it's just all, to a novice audience, it is necessary to be more careful.

  • Alexey

    Well yes. The most correct answer. For example Telearom 200 / 3.5 can confidently shoot at 1/60 at 6 megapixels (heavy bastard)). And Yu-37a - 1/125 and that's it. How can you calculate something….

    • Oleg

      Alexey, in your case, the weight of the lens plays the role of a stabilizer. For example, on Tair-33 I can easily take pictures for 1 / 160s, because the weight of this glass is 1.7 kg + a perhodnik is another 200 grams. I often catch light 70-300G on the long end and at 1/400.

  • anonym

    Excellent photos in sharpness and without grease are obtained from former snipers. They can count the beats of their heart and take pictures between them. There is a familiar sniper, he takes off from his hands where others are already dragging a tripod and increase shutter speed. And removes the same technique)) but this is a special skill.

  • Alexander

    We can clearly see the difference in the physical dimensions of the cropped matrix relative to the full frame 36x24mm:

  • Kostjan

    Dear author, Arkady, you give the impression of a person who has an idea of ​​the principles of the internal structure of modern digital technology, so how (just don't be offended, pliz), how can you write about the high cost and complexity of the production of a full-frame sensor, compared to a cropped one? All the difference is there (with an equal number of megapixels) in the size of individual cells ...
    Thus, to say that a matrix of 10 (for example) megapixels per full frame is more expensive and more difficult to manufacture than the same 10 megapixels per crop is the same thing that an 8 megapixel memory card is more expensive and more difficult to manufacture than a 2 gigabyte card ...
    Sorry, but this is some kind of nonsense.

    • Lynx

      actually it is.
      The problem of large matrices is not in pixels, but in the physical dimensions of the crystal “without flaws”.

    • Oleg

      The topic is actually interesting and there are many opinions on this subject. The full-frame matrix is ​​2.25 times larger in area than cropped, that is, in any case, it is 2 times more expensive. I heard about the dude who ordered the A4 matrix, it cost him half a million dollars. There is a version about a large number of culling when creating a full-format matrix. But I think there are a lot of marketing companies and manufacturers, well, there crop $ 500 full frame $ 1300. By the way, Sony showed an example of cheapening the full frame to 1000 green. Let's hope the process continues. But I think, and companies will not be in a hurry to refuse crop

      • Artyom

        I think they will never refuse. If you refuse crop, you need to reduce the cost of a full frame. And this together means loss of profit. Nothing personal just business)). Unless some revolutionary technology will be invented and the cropped and full-format matrices will be a thing of the past, and something new will come in their place. As a transition from film to digital. IMHO

    • Peter Sh.

      The cost of equipment increases exponentially. Among other things.

    • Alexey

      “Thus, to say that a matrix of 10 (for example) megapixels per full frame is more expensive and more difficult to produce than the same 10 megapixels per crop is the same thing that an 8 megapixel memory card is more expensive and more difficult to manufacture than a 2 gigabyte card ... "
      =====================
      absolutely incorrect comparison.
      there is a silicon wafer, its price is conditionally $$$. from it you can get X FF matrices or XXX crop matrices.
      a simple calculation shows why the FF matrix is ​​much more expensive)))

  • Yarkiy

    The costs of producing a silicon wafer are the same for full-frame matrices as well as for cropped ones, while there are 53 pieces of full-frame matrices on the plate, and a hundred cropped ones.

  • Mario

    However, for telephoto lenses, the crop factor offers certain advantages. For example, a 300 mm lens taking into account the crop factor of 1,6 gives the same field of view angle as a 480 mm

  • Denis

    what proportion of the cost of the camera is the matrix? more than half or not?

    • atypical Kiev

      Of course less, at Crop, I think 40-50 bucks pulls. Fullframe is a little expensive. But not more than a hundred.

  • Andrey

    Hello Arkady. I took test frames with Nikon d2x and Nikon d3, one lens, with the same shutter speed and aperture, in manual mode in NEF format. I get pictures with different brightness at the output. Nikon D3 gives a brighter image, as if there was more light when shooting. Does the crop get less light than a full-frame matrix?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, the amount of light per unit area is the same (if you don't take into account the vignette). There may be a snag in the ISO, which may differ slightly, and also in the picture management profile, for example, the D3 can use the ADL function, which brightens the picture, or in the Picture Control it can use increased brightness (while the exposure values ​​will be the same)

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