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March 23, 2019

Micro 4/3 vs Crop vs Full Frame

The same lens produces different results on cameras with different sized sensors. As a result, it can be tough to cross-shop Micro Four-Thirds, APS-C, Full Frame, and Medium Format cameras.

Crop Factor is a conversion that makes it simple to determine the exact results you'll get with any given lens, regardless of your camera's sensor size.

By multiplying your camera's crop factor by a lens' focal length AND aperture, you can determine the full frame equivalent angle of view, depth-of-field (background blur) and a good estimate of the low-light noise.

Here are common crop factors:

  • 1X: Full-frame cameras like the Nikon D610, D750, D850, D5, Canon 6D, 5D, and 1D, Sony a7, a9, Pentax K1
  • 1.5X: APS-C cameras like the Nikon D7200, D5300, D3400, Sony a6500, and Fuji X-T3 1.6X: Canon APS-C cameras like the Canon 7D, 80D, 77D
  • 2X: Micro four-thirds (M43) cameras like the Panasonic GH5, G9, and Olympus E-M1, E-M5, and E-M10.

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Crop Factor Explained: Do you need Full Frame? 1
A full-frame camera has a 35mm sensor based on the old film-format concept.
Crop Factor Explained: Do you need Full Frame? 2
A crop-sensor (also called APS-C) has a crop factor of 1.5x (Nikon) or 1.6x (Canon).
Crop Factor Explained: Do you need Full Frame? 3
Micro-Four-Thirds are even smaller sensors having a crop factor of 2x.

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