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Is Full Frame really worth it?

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ryan elder
Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Jan 3, 2019 at 7:19:18 am

When it comes to making feature films, or even short films for that matter, we want them to look good of course, any my current camera is from 2011 so I was thinking of getting something new and 4K. However, is full frame really worth it, when upgrading?

For one thing, if I didn't get full frame I could still use the current lenses I have now which were designed for APS-C, instead of buying more expensive ones now for full frame.

I've researched what people have said and there is a more of a majority opinion that it was worth it to them for shallow depth of field.

However, I feel I don't really need any more shallow DOF. The APS-C sensor already provides plenty of shallow DOF, on longer lenses and I feel that that's enough. I don't want too show since you want to give your actors wiggle room to move around more of course.

And they say that full frame has less noise and more information, but again with 4k, and good lighting, and good quality ISO for lower light, do you really need this?

What do you think? Is it worth it?


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Warren Eig
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Jan 3, 2019 at 4:00:44 pm

Full frame may allow more resolution to reframe in post, but you're right, if your workflow works, than keep working. Super 35mm film is only about the size of APS-C.

When I did Army of Darkness, we used VistaVison on the FX unit, 35mm running sideways through the camera, about full frame of a current 5D Mark III shooting a still, because we needed the resolution for special FX.

It is a lot of hype, but as manufactures move to it and it becomes affordable on cheaper cameras, it will become the norm.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


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ryan elder
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Jan 3, 2019 at 6:22:42 pm

Okay thanks. Well a lot of people like full frame cause of a more shallow DOF it seems and because of more light hitting it.

However, the shallow DOF is so sensitive on a full frame, that the actors do not have as much wiggle room to move. In order to give them more wiggle room, I have to stop down, which causes exposure loss anyway. So does more light really help, when I have to stop down for wiggle room?

Also, it seems that the full frame sensor has quite more noticeable of a rolling shutter jello effect compared to an APS-C sensor. Is this true that this can be more of a problem?


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Sebastian Leitner
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Feb 4, 2019 at 10:28:00 am

the rolling shutter is a little bit more apparent, yes BUT it really depends on the model and price range.
i personally love the look of full 35mm – it's not mandatory of course. there are fantastic cameras with super 35 or smaller.
my biggest problem is crop factors with smaller sensors because i usually use 35mm lenses. but in the end it's just a tool. full frame has better low light but you can also ensure this by clever electronics


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ryan elder
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Feb 4, 2019 at 2:16:04 pm

Okay thanks. I thought I would just get wider lenses to compensate for a crop sensor. But another advantage of a crop sensor is that if I want to use longer lenses, they become even longer then, which can be nice.

When you say clever electronics can help compensate for low light, which clever electronics would those be?


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Warren Eig
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Feb 4, 2019 at 5:59:59 pm

Give ML a try. You won't be disappointed. I taught a class on how to use it. You have to grade your shots in resolve and export to ProRes or whatever format you want to edit. But well worth it.

I mention resolve, because it converts the CinemaDNG fast to ProRes than any other program I've tested. I used to do it in RAWMagic, but it is much slower than Resolve.

Warren Eig
O (424) 293-1164


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ryan elder
Re: Is Full Frame really worth it?
on Feb 4, 2019 at 6:58:09 pm

Okay thanks, I already used it before on an older Canon, but ML does not work on the newer ones it seems unfortunately.


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