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Differences between Full Frame Sensor and Crop Sensor

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Mar 31, 2022• Proven solutions

As a vlogger or YouTuber you will be using your camera a lot, possibly every day. So, it is a good idea for you to understand the way your camera works. Understanding your camera's sensor and how it affects the images you record is a big part of that.

This article will explain what your sensor is, the differences between the two types of censors, and which kind of camera sensor is best for your YouTube channel.

1. What is a 'sensor'?

Light enters your camera through a hole in the lens called the aperture. After entering your camera the light reaches your sensor, and this is where your image is produced. If you were using a film camera, the sensor would be your film. Light imprints an image onto your camera's sensor the way it used to imprint images onto film.

Every camera has one of two types of sensors – Crop or Full Frame.

frame sensor 01

Crop Sensors are more common. Most cameras have crop sensors. When you record an image with a Crop Sensor you are not recording the full frame. There is a boarder around your image that is being cut off and the inside portion is being blown up.

Unless you are an advanced photographer or videographer, chances are you have been using a camera with a crop sensor without noticing this effect.

Full Frame Sensors record your full frame, and thus capture a wider angle than crop sensors. There is no missing boarder, and no automatic zoom blowing up your image.

2. Benefits of Each

You get higher quality images with a Full Frame Sensor, and they get better results in low light. A full frame sensor also provides you with a wider angle. For these reasons a lot of professional photographers prefer to use cameras that have Full Frame Sensors.

The zoom effect of a Crop Sensor makes it a bit easier to capture details at a distance, but only a bit. Cameras with Crop Sensors are more affordable than cameras with Full Frame Sensors, and many of the benefits of Full Frame Sensors are not noticeable to laymen.

3. Which is best for Youtube?

Full Frame Sensors are generally better. However, a good camera with a Crop Sensor also does a great job. The quality difference between images recorded with Full Frame Sensors and images recorded with Crop Sensors is not large enough to matter in most situations.

Although Full Frame Sensors perform better in low light situations, you will hopefully never be shooting your videos without access to a powerful light source. If you are using a lot of great light, be it from a professional lighting kit or the windows in your house, then you will not need to worry about making sure your camera performs well in low light.

While it is true that cameras with Crop Sensors can be better at capturing detail at a distance, putting a telephoto lens on a camera with a Full Frame Sensor will allow you to capture great detail at a distance. Similarly, you can always put a wide angle lens on your Crop Sensor camera if you're looking for a wider angle.

If you have a passion for capturing the highest quality images possible then you will definitely want to buy a camera with a Full Frame Sensor. This is the way many professionals go.

For most YouTubers, a Crop Sensor in a great camera is the best option. It is more affordable and your video will still be high quality. Many of the benefits of Full Frame Sensors apply more to photography and video for their own sakes – to going out in the world and trying to capture beautiful images. When you're vlogging you will usually only be recording yourself talking in your living room so you do not need the same tool a professional photographer does.

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Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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