Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Canon Full-frame Sensors Have Big Pixels

Posted by larrylohrman on September 6, 2006

I try to control my enthusiasm for Canon full-frame CMOS sensors because full-frame sensors are not essential for real estate photography but recently Ron Galbraith posted an interesting Canon white paper on Full-frame sensors on his site. As Ron says, this white paper has some marketing hype but it also has a great explanation of why you would want to own a full-frame CMOS sensor like those in the canon 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II and 5D. My reason is simple I just want a 16-35mm zoom to behave like a 16-35mm lens! Although I learned another reason… big pixels!

The subject of full-frame sensors has always been dear to me. When I gave up film in 1999 I had the mistaken expectation that I would some day be able to use my favorite Nikon wide-angle lenses and continue shooting interiors as I’d done for years. When I figured out that my 24mm Nikkor lens would effectively become a 38mm  lens if I used it on a Nikon D1 (current DSLR at the time) I was not impressed. More accurately I was crushed. Needless to say when Canon introduced the 1Ds was introduced I fell in love with the 16-35mm zoom and the full-frame sensor. I know, it’s not necessary for real estate. But it sure creates wonderful images!

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One Response to “Canon Full-frame Sensors Have Big Pixels”

  1. I got a DSLR for the versatility. The previous wide zooms weren’t wide enough, but now there is dedicated 10-12mm wide-end zooms dedicated for small sensors who match their view angle, the justification isn’t true anymore.

    Pixels size are the same between a 6Mpix half-frame and a 12Mpix full-frame, so sensitivity and dynamic range are the same. The only advantage – but it’s a pretty one, although less interesting for real estate photo where we need no more than 2-3Mpix – is the resolution increase. The cost is high as explained in the Canon paper, and this situation is stable because it is linked to manufacturing.

    I wish I could use the sigma 12-24mm full frame, though. Nikon is rumored to unveil a full-frame pro D3 at the coming photokina, but it should be strange a few months after launched the D2Xs in june. The cheapest full-frame DSLRs are second-hand Kodaks, around 1000€, but they are less capable than modern half-frame.

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