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07-05-2016, 01:38 AM   #1
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Does it make sense to keep an APS-C camera when you have a new fullframe?

I was just wondering if there is any photographic need for crop sensor camera when you acquire a new full frame camera. I thought this could be helpful budget-wise and planning future lens purchases.

07-05-2016, 02:04 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Yes, there are reasons (whether they're relevant is, of course, down to the individual):

(1) The same lens will have a narrower field of view on APS-C than on full frame, due to the cropped sensor... so, a 200mm lens on an APS-C camera will have a field of view equivalent to approximately 300mm on full frame; hence, the APS-C format can be useful for wildlife and other distant subjects, since they will fill more of the frame

(2) Processing of images captured on the APS-C sensor is typically faster than full frame (certainly this is the case with the K-3 vs K-1), allowing a faster rate of continuous shooting - this can be helpful in sports and almost any other live action photography

(3) Although full frame cameras are getting smaller and lighter (the K-1 is a great example of this), most are still somewhat bigger and heavier than their APS-C counterparts. The size and weight difference between a K-1 with 24-70 f/2.8 lens and a K-3 with 16-50 f/2.8 is significant, and the latter is arguably less cumbersome to carry around for a whole day.

I'm sure there are other benefits of having an APS-C camera in addition to, or instead of, full frame. Both formats offer advantages and disadvantages, depending on your priorities
07-05-2016, 02:37 AM   #3
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It really depends. For one thing, it is awfully handy to have a back up camera in case of unforeseen disaster. The other thing has to do with reach. Not all APS-C cameras have more reach than the K-1, but certainly the K3 and K3 II do and if you shoot sports or wildlife, having that reach is handy. Additionally, APS-C cameras tend to have faster frame rates than full frame cameras.

Mack is right as well about size. The K-1 is a big camera, particularly when combined with a zoom.
07-05-2016, 02:42 AM - 5 Likes   #4
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I've kept my K-01 to take photos of my K-1 with lenses attached....

07-05-2016, 02:56 AM   #5
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I kept my K3 in case I'd use it as smaller size camera, but now that I got used to the image quality of the K1, I don't use the K3 anymore. Although K3 + lens is smaller than a K1, it's not pocket-able either, so, I think I'm going to sell it and go full frame only.
07-05-2016, 03:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
(3) Although full frame cameras are getting smaller and lighter (the K-1 is a great example of this), most are still somewhat bigger and heavier than their APS-C counterparts. The size and weight difference between a K-1 with 24-70 f/2.8 lens and a K-3 with 16-50 f/2.8 is significant, and the latter is arguably less cumbersome to carry around for a whole day.
OTOH the differences in size and weight between a K-1 with a 24-70/4 and a K-3 with a 16-50/2.8 would be smaller, if that 24-70/4 existed. This is arguably a more "equivalent" setup in terms of capabilities. The lenses would probably be about the same size/weight. The K-1 is still quite a bit heavier than the K-3, but there are fullframe DSLRs out there that are actually lighter than the K-3. So I think you could get yourself a fullframe setup with f/4 lenses, enjoy the fullframe advantages, and still have about the same weight to carry around. (currently, this is not the case with Pentax though)
07-05-2016, 03:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It really depends. For one thing, it is awfully handy to have a back up camera in case of unforeseen disaster. The other thing has to do with reach. Not all APS-C cameras have more reach than the K-1, but certainly the K3 and K3 II do and if you shoot sports or wildlife, having that reach is handy. Additionally, APS-C cameras tend to have faster frame rates than full frame cameras.

Mack is right as well about size. The K-1 is a big camera, particularly when combined with a zoom.
Do you mean, if I use the fullframe lens on APS-C body, the reach is further than with fullframe body?
07-05-2016, 03:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
I was just wondering if there is any photographic need for crop sensor camera when you acquire a new full frame camera. I thought this could be helpful budget-wise and planning future lens purchases.
I've had my K-1 for more than 2 months. I now use it for all photography that needs a system camera.

My K-3II is now my back-up camera in case my K-1 breaks. It is therefore typically in the car, not in the bag I carry around. In theory, I might use it if I need a higher frame-rate. But in practice the difference is likely to be small, because the frame-rate tends to be limited partly by the lens-focusing-speed, so I don't get the full fps from the K-3II. (I sometimes use the K-1 in Crop mode, and then I get a frame-rate close to what I get from the K-3II).

Although the K-3II is a bit lighter than the K-1, if weight becomes really important I'll use my Panasonic LX100 instead!

---------- Post added 5th Jul 2016 at 11:50 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
Do you mean, if I use the fullframe lens on APS-C body, the reach is further than with fullframe body?
It is useful to know that the K-1 in Crop mode, hence using it as an APS-C camera, has about 15 megapixels. So it is then more like a K-5IIs, although with a better sensor and better AF.

The K-3-series has a 24 megapixel sensor, so if everything else, (distance, lens, focal length), is equal it will have greater "reach" than the K-1. Then is becomes a matter of comparing a 24 MP camera, with a 15 MP camera that has a less noisy sensor and better AF and typically a slightly lower frame rate (depending on the lens).

07-05-2016, 03:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
Do you mean, if I use the fullframe lens on APS-C body, the reach is further than with fullframe body?
Yes - although "reach" might not be the ideal way to understand it. By cropping the sensor, the top, bottom and sides of the frame are cropped away from the image from the lens. This means that your subject fills more of the frame, and therefore appears larger... it feels like you are "zoomed in" further; it feels like the camera has "more reach". Of course, you could just use the crop mode on the full frame DSLR, but in the case of the K-1, the shooting experience is still different, as you see the whole full frame image in the viewfinder, albeit with a crop area outlined to help you frame; plus, crop images from the K-1 are at slightly lower resolution than those from a K-3.
07-05-2016, 04:03 AM - 1 Like   #10
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The K3 is a great camera, and I will certainly use it for international travel, not only because it is smaller, but because the lenses I use with it are smaller. I travel with three DA Limiteds (15, 40, 70), the DA 16-85, and the DA 55-300. These give me perfect coverage. To get similar coverage on FF would require some big, heavy, expensive glass that I mostly don't have and wouldn't want to travel with anyway.

And by the way, I really don't want to give up the DA 15 or 16-85; they're brilliant.
07-05-2016, 04:09 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
Do you mean, if I use the fullframe lens on APS-C body, the reach is further than with fullframe body?
What Barry said. A 36 megapixel full frame image is croppable to a 15 megapixel APS-C image. That means that unless you have an APS-C camera with more than 15/16 megapixels, the extra "reach" that APS-C has is not a real thing.

That said, if you know you are shooting wildlife and are going to be at the limits of your lens reach then there is no particular point to using a full frame image and then cropping it down past APS-C anyway. My wife and I went to the zoo. She shot with a 200mm lens on the K-1, I with a 200mm lens on the K3. Her images all needed a huge amount of cropping, while mine were usually about right. Having the extra bulk of full frame in that situation was a waste, unless we had a high quality 300mm lens.
07-05-2016, 04:56 AM - 1 Like   #12
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A shooter who shoots no long glass and never needs more magnification than what they have provides, , shoots in low light every time they go out, outputs huge files to somewhere for some reason, and shoots largely stills with no need for a fast burst rate, can just use their K-1. There's absolutley no reason for such a person to keep an APS-c body. If you are such a person sell your APS-c

It would be hard for me to understand because I keep a K-5 for landscape and so I don't have to change bodies when hiking in areas where there is likely to be wildlife. DA*60-250 on the K-3, on 18-135 on the K-5 or K-01. I constantly have subjects just out of reach for acceptable photos, I make full use of the K-3 burst rate and tracking. And I don't have any output needs that would go beyond the 6000x4000 or a K-3. To me the K-1 is a K-5 replacement, not a K-3 replacement. When I hear folks saying they got rid of their K-3 for a K-1, I wonder why they bought a K-3. The big advantage the K-3 had over the K-5 from me was smaller pixels leading to more magnification. It has he same advantage over a K-1.


But, a lot people don't put the demands on their system I do. A K-1 should be fine.

Last edited by normhead; 07-05-2016 at 07:30 AM.
07-05-2016, 05:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
The K3 is a great camera, and I will certainly use it for international travel, not only because it is smaller, but because the lenses I use with it are smaller. I travel with three DA Limiteds (15, 40, 70), the DA 16-85, and the DA 55-300. These give me perfect coverage. To get similar coverage on FF would require some big, heavy, expensive glass that I mostly don't have and wouldn't want to travel with anyway.

And by the way, I really don't want to give up the DA 15 or 16-85; they're brilliant.
I just ordered 16-85! But, the Sigma 17-50 on special sale for 399 at the moment seemed very nice, too. It's not WR, but smaller than 16-85. Do you think it would be a good option for indoor use as alternative to 16-85 which fits more for outdoor use? Or is it too redundant?
07-05-2016, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #14
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There are people who have used both, I'll give you a bump here to see if we can catch there attention. If I were to guess, I'd say the arrival of the 16-85 meant the end of the 17-70, but that's just an impression. That is a good topic for you to start a separate thread with, I'm sure you'll get lots of takers.

Last edited by normhead; 07-05-2016 at 07:26 AM.
07-05-2016, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Somoene can even use an advanced compact. Some of them produce excellent images with the advantage of wide field of view. I quite often use one, the images are comparable to d-slr images up to iso 800. Then I use the K-01 for video. d-slrs produce awfull noisy sound in videos while the mirorless stands out. I have a DA-21 on the K-01 and never change for another lens, though I carry the FA-35 in my bag I never use it. Then I have the K-x as a third body with a DA-40 attached it makes a perfect allaround. I have about 40 pentax lenses I never use, only keep them in my collection. I would not go for a full-frame at all, don't need it at the moment.
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