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Crop Factor with ISO & Aperture: How Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Nikon & Fuji Cheat You

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TABLE OF CONTENTS: 0:00 – Introduction 1:28 – Focal Length & Crop Factor 3:35 – ISO & Crop Factor(2) 15:00 – Aperture & Crop Factor 21:18 – Panasonic …


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  1. Really disappointed on the "Aperture crop" and "ISO crop" sections of this Video. You should upload a newer version to remedy some of the misinformation spread there. Your analogy with the ISO crop factor might only be applicable for sensors of different sizes(FF/APSC/MFT) that have the same resolution, but even so, that would be a rough approximation since sensor technology also plays a part in the amount of light a single pixel captures. This is the reason why we have ISO performance sections in camera reviews. Also, you know that P divided by square root of P is just square root of P hopefully.

  2. So, a total noob here, just bought a 2nd hand kit this summer containing Sony A 6500, Zeiss Touit f1.8, 32mm Sony G f4 18-105mm, Samyang f1.2 50mm. Bought the Sigma f1.4 16mm and thinking of a new semi tele lens, the Sigma f1.4 56mm or the Sony f1.8 85mm full frame, so trying to think a bit square in my head, these conversions APS-C 1.5* FF. First I've tried to gather info on Youtube and really not found this black on white – what is known is the focal length and as I understand the *1.5 is done both to a APS-C lens as the Full Frame lens? so the Sigma 56mm will become a 84mm eq Full Frame and the Sony 85mm will become an 127.5mm Eq Full frame? now the bit that's puzzled me ie not seen it black on white or probably missed it.. the F-Stop… should I concider the Sigma an f1.4 or ~f2(2.1) Full Frame Eq, I suppose the Sony f1.8 85mm is concidered ~f2.5(2.8) 127.5mm on a A 6500??


    the Sigma f1.4 56mm – f1.4 84mm or ~f2(2.1) 84mm Full Frame eq?

    the Sony f1.8 85mm – f2.5(2.8) 127.5mm on A6500 body?

    this is of great interest for me as my major photography is concerts! the ISO seems straight forward just deduct ~1stop light compared to standard(Full Frame) ISO numbers, so when ppl say "I shoot with ISO 6400 as my highest setting" with Full Frame, it equals setting my Sony A6500 to ISO 3200 as the highest setting I suppose.. might be over my head here as a noob but willing to learn!!


    love your vidz btw!

  3. After you discarded focal length as a measure for a reasonable comparison between different sensors sizes, I expected you to proclaim the angle of view as the actual informative measure. But you missed the opportunity to initiate a specs labelling revolution among lens manufacturers. So sad. 🙂 Really eye-opening video though.

  4. So you want to get rid of the "antiquated" aperture and ISO systems of standardization since the depth of field and noise differ between sensor sizes.

    However, what do you care about more – having nice bokeh and low noise, or having a correctly exposed image?

    The current systems are standardized around image exposure – if I take an astrophotography image for 20 seconds at f/2 and ISO 1600, it will have the same exposure if I use the same settings on a camera of a different crop factor. Why should we remove the current standardization of brightness – what we see first in an image – and replace it to be based around "total amount of light", as you say, which in reality is standardizing around depth of field and level of noise when applied to what we actually see in a photograph?

    I don't know about you, but when I first look at a photograph that's 5 stops too dark because somebody used to a full frame camera moves to a micro four-thirds using your system, I don't think "huh the noise is rather high" or "the shallow depth of field made it so that the nose is out of focus" or anything like that, I think "the photo is way too friggin' dark". If photography is all about light, then maybe that "light" that we focus on should actually be the brightness of the image, rather than the depth of field or noise.

  5. Knowing very little about it, I already put full frame lenses to my micro 4/3 Olympus, just because I couldn't get any decent picture at night. Now I know why and I'll never come back to rubbish original expensive lenses. Thank you.

  6. I'm confused…I know I posted a comment here and it's…gone? sigh Well here it is again. ALthough I don't remember anything about what I wrote or why (I made the comment a year or two ago…but……

    "small sensors are noisier" That is actually true. You gave a fantastic explanation of ISO, however, you built up a case for proving that small sensors are noisier. You claimed that you just need to give them similar light…well yes, this is true. But the FACT is that the smaller sensor has less surface area to collect light, and under the same conditions, THEY ARE noisier. What I CARE about, is that I have to provide 4 times as much light for a m43 sensor in order to have as clean of an image as a full frame. THAT is all that matters. THAT is the big deal. So yeah, small sensors actually are noisier and it's frustrating. It makes low light photography significantly more difficult…

    Wait…. @16:39 you have the two pictures with the EXACT same settings. F2.8, 800 ISO and same shutter speed (you said)….yet the brightness is the same? What? They should not be the same brightness. The smaller sensor has LESS surface area and will collect less light so….how can it be the same brightness with the same settings? And you even just spent several minutes talking about the smaller sensor sizes needing a higher iso setting in order to have the same effective brightness (m43 collecting 4 times LESS light)…I'm confused….

    "small sensors have less bokeh"….again, that is true. And again, you gave a fantastic explanation of it, however, you built up a case for proving that small sensors have less bokeh. The fastest m43 lens I can find that isn't aftermarket is 1.2, which means the best I can do is 2.4 and if I get an after market, the best I can do is 1.7 – 1.9. There are full frame lenses that go down to 1.2. So effectively, small sensors have less bokeh. You keep saying they don't have more noise and they don't have less bokeh and then you explain "if you provide the same light" or something to that effect. But THAT'S the issue. 800 ISO on a m43 is not the same as 800 on a full frame. 2.8 f-stop is not the same on m43 as it is on full frame. THAT MATTERS because in order to get the same end effect, you need to change your camera settings to settings that are often either unobtainable or will hurt the image quality OR you'll need to increase the light on your subject which, if it's natural lighting, you have limited options. You even said that the "fact" is, "small sensors have less bokeh if you don't adjust the f-stop"…right well, like I said, those f-stops required are often not actually obtainable with m43 lenses. VERY often unobtainable. I mean, you can NEVER hit f 1.2 on a m43 camera with the lenses available today. EVER. Adjust all you want, get the most expensive lens, you won't hit it.

    I understand what you're saying, but simply slapping a "myth" label on "small sensors have less bokeh" and "small sensors are noisier" is both not exactly fair, and very misleading.

  7. But the brightness of the picture on crop sensor camera does not changed if I’m set the same exposure setting as the full frame camera when took pictures ??? Regardless of the BOKEH and amount of NOISE ???

  8. I just got my Gx85. I knew something was off with its lens. I wish had seen this video before. nevertheless thanks for such an informative video. In my next purchases now I know what to see before buying. 🙂

  9. nice clear exposition on these lenses and the marketing distortion to sell the product. You ran circles around their crops. I fear for when Tony applies his logic and math to taking down Santa and all those presents and such little time.

  10. "ISO measures light of per square meter" -> Correct
    "Full frame sensor gets more light than MFT" -> Correct
    But why this "clearly" translates to smaller sensor yields more noise? Honestly, I feel you are getting something wrong here.

  11. 1/ The key part is this: for a smaller sensor, you really don't need more light. It is kind of obvious that it will take less photons to exposure a smaller sensor. Thus smaller lens.

    2/ MFT has more noise than full frame is kind of an engineering problem: pixel density per square inch. Let's say you have two 20MP sensors: one full frames and one MFT. Then the manufacture will need to put the same amount of silicons into an area 4 times smaller for the MTF. There are simply (and will always) have more interference in MTF than the full frame. Now with the progress of engineering and better manufacturing, the difference between MTF and full frame will be smaller and smaller.

    3/ Computational photography can fix lots of problem a tiny sensor has. Just like why smartphone these days has awesome image qualities. However, there is one thing computational photography cannot fix: Bokeh. Now that AI has to fake it and so far it still not look 100% correct.

  12. Some of the crop factor math is wrong (assuming you're using the sort of "standard" 1.5x crop not Canon's 1.6x crop). 18 x 1.5 does not equal 24. And 122 x 1.5 does not equal 200. 16mm on a crop sensor would be equivalent to 24mm and 130-140ish would be closer to 200mm.

  13. I am doing my post IT career things do learn list. This is the second video I watched from you. The presentation is great and the math is easy. I am just looking for a camera that takes good pictures indoors in a low light school auditorium with kids moving for under 1.2k In any case, this story reminds me of MPG on cars. What the car MFRs never tell you about when they say city/highway MPG are: the average temperature outside, the average number of people (weight) in the car, the average amount of up/down inclines in the road, what tires and inflated PSI was used, and finally, what gas they used. It seems to get the best MPG you must drive with one person at 65 degrees (no heater/AC) on straight flat road to get the best results !!! Thanks again.

  14. "If you put a bucket that's 4 times smaller out in the rain, you'd have to leave it out in the rain 4 times longer."

    Who else scrolled down to see if someone caught that? 😛

    That's just not true Tony, lol.

  15. Hi Tony, my respect to your video. Please give me your oppinion on my following thoughts. I am shooting landscape astrophotography, using a cropped canon camera. When i am shooting the milky way i just have 10 seconds to get the photo without star trails to occur. To compensate for the short exposure time, i am using a Samyang f/2.8 lens, and i am pushing the ISO usualy to 6400 or even higher. If i undestand you correctly at 7:30 you explain that by pushing the iso higher we finally get a photo with less signal and more noise. I think that by pushing the ISO higher i am also sacrificing dynamic range. I think that the better solution to get a clean, correct exposed Astrophoto would be to use the max, exposure time allowed so no startrails occur, holding the iso to lower values than 12800 or even 6400 and use a faster lens (f/2.0 of f/1.8 or f/1.4 !!!) but at the cost of the extra money. I think the reason full frame cameras are making better astrophotography is that they are collecting more light than the cropped cameras at the same exposure time and same ISO settings.

  16. Im here because Panasonic released a 10-25 f1.7 lens. So, MFT at F2 vs Full Frame at F4 will I get the same performance at the same iso or equivalent iso on both systems(equivalent iso example = mft@100 vs ff@400)

  17. I like how you emphasized you cannot cheat physics, its true. They are cheating perception. This is the reason i chose to buy full frame A7 II than A6400 (yeah its a Sony, but its good 😉 ). I hope people understand this, although most will not feel the difference by seeing the outcome, you will definitely notice it in the long run or if you get used to looking/watching photos/videos. Cheers mate!

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