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12-12-2019, 06:01 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Why full frame isn't the best format to own

I've sold all of my K3 kit including all my DA lenses, done so to buy a Pentax K1 and good set of DFA lenses. After printing images, I realized that full frame is great for having a single system , but not as good as having both apsc and medium format. And here are the reasons for coming to such conclusion:
- Enlargement: full frame deliver more resolution than apsc but extraodinary quality for large professional grade prints, medium format does a better job. For A4 and A3 type prints, full frame is an overkill and apsc is plenty good enough.
- Full frame is slow in burst mode. No matter what, full frame cameras are generally all slower than apsc counterparts. AF coverage of full frame DSLR is not as good as AF coverage on apsc.
All that mean is FF is a compromise that is never the best. The old Pentax models of offering apsc K mount and 645 was the best.

12-12-2019, 06:04 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
- Full frame is slow in burst mode. No matter what, full frame cameras are generally all slower than apsc counterparts. AF coverage of full frame DSLR is not as good as AF coverage on apsc.
All that mean is FF is a compromise that is never the best. The old Pentax models of offering apsc K mount and 645 was the best.
MF is even slower in burst mode?, so it's horses for courses
12-12-2019, 06:21 AM - 8 Likes   #3
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Exactly so. Every format is a set of compromises. No format is best at everything. Find your needs and pick the format(s) that gets the closest to fulfil them.

Sounds easy, doesn't it.
12-12-2019, 06:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I've sold all of my K3 kit including all my DA lenses, done so to buy a Pentax K1 and good set of DFA lenses. After printing images, I realized that full frame is great for having a single system , but not as good as having both apsc and medium format. And here are the reasons for coming to such conclusion:
- Enlargement: full frame deliver more resolution than apsc but extraodinary quality for large professional grade prints, medium format does a better job. For A4 and A3 type prints, full frame is an overkill and apsc is plenty good enough.
- Full frame is slow in burst mode. No matter what, full frame cameras are generally all slower than apsc counterparts. AF coverage of full frame DSLR is not as good as AF coverage on apsc.
All that mean is FF is a compromise that is never the best. The old Pentax models of offering apsc K mount and 645 was the best.

Good information to know. Thanks. I was contemplating getting a K-1 or K-1ll in the future, but after reading the above, I think I'll stick to my asp-c cameras.

12-12-2019, 06:51 AM - 1 Like   #5
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if money's no object, of course medium format is better! if money is an object than:

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I realized that full frame is great for having a single system

also, lens selection is better for crop/ff... just the one * quality lens for mf, which doesn't often get talked about, perhaps because the large sensor does so well.
12-12-2019, 07:00 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Wow and the FF crowd hasn't set you on fire yet ?
I print 13x19 and an APS-C gives me everything I need.
5 of 10
12-12-2019, 07:10 AM - 5 Likes   #7
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If burst mode is the most important factor, APS-C DSLR isn't good either. Specialty cameras can do thousands of fps, or trillions in a lab setting.

There's no "best format". There are best formats for different photographers.
12-12-2019, 07:17 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I've sold all of my K3 kit including all my DA lenses, done so to buy a Pentax K1 and good set of DFA lenses. After printing images, I realized that full frame is great for having a single system , but not as good as having both apsc and medium format. And here are the reasons for coming to such conclusion:
- Enlargement: full frame deliver more resolution than apsc but extraodinary quality for large professional grade prints, medium format does a better job. For A4 and A3 type prints, full frame is an overkill and apsc is plenty good enough.
- Full frame is slow in burst mode. No matter what, full frame cameras are generally all slower than apsc counterparts. AF coverage of full frame DSLR is not as good as AF coverage on apsc.
All that mean is FF is a compromise that is never the best. The old Pentax models of offering apsc K mount and 645 was the best.
The optimum solution is very individual. I have had the k-3 for a number of years now and like its comparatively compact size and the overall size with current DA lenses. I also shoot medium format film, e.g. the Pentax 645 N and have many fine lenses for this format. Over time I have acquired a broad range of older Pentax K/M and A lenses and also have a good collection of Takumar M42 lenses and would like to use them on the intended format when I shoot digital.

So my choice stands between buying a used 645Z or D - both have come substantially down in price in the used market - or buying a new, but heavily rebated K-1, and I am inclined to do the latter. I shoot landscape and portraits more than sports or action, so K-1 would suit me very well. As the sensor size on the 645 D or Z is heavily cropped compared to the original film size, the K-1 compares very well, especially when pixel shift comes into play.

I plan to keep my K-3 either way as a smaller and lighter option.

12-12-2019, 07:18 AM - 3 Likes   #9
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I'm gonna quote @Normhead's signature: "Every camera system is a set of compromises. APS-C is my favourite set of compromises".

I prefer FF because of old glass. Other people prefer M4/3 because of the insane fps, amazing IBIS and small size&weight.

Also, the K-1 is very slow in terms of frame rate, but... you kinda knew that before buying it, right? There are other FF cameras that perform much better in that regard. Whether they have the same IQ, well that's a different story.
12-12-2019, 07:20 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I've sold all of my K3 kit including all my DA lenses, done so to buy a Pentax K1 and good set of DFA lenses. After printing images, I realized that full frame is great for having a single system , but not as good as having both apsc and medium format. And here are the reasons for coming to such conclusion:
- Enlargement: full frame deliver more resolution than apsc but extraodinary quality for large professional grade prints, medium format does a better job. For A4 and A3 type prints, full frame is an overkill and apsc is plenty good enough.
- Full frame is slow in burst mode. No matter what, full frame cameras are generally all slower than apsc counterparts. AF coverage of full frame DSLR is not as good as AF coverage on apsc.
All that mean is FF is a compromise that is never the best. The old Pentax models of offering apsc K mount and 645 was the best.
If you talk about Pentax only, then what you said about full frame is true. If you talk about full frame in general, there are lots of options to choose from, D850 being an example from DSLR boat. Or for the ones using mirrorless, Sony A7R IV has resolution and 2 types of pixel shift, large area Af and 10 fps.
12-12-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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I have no idea about numbers and I like both formats but *as a user* I see no difference in the burst mode of the K-3 and the K-1.
12-12-2019, 07:23 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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No single format is best at everything. MF is too big, too slow, and has too few lens options. APS-C has lower IQ, lower resolution, a smaller viewfinder, and fewer "flagship" body options.

Sometimes the best option is a compromise. That's especially true is someone cannot or prefers to not spend huge sums of money on one-of-each systems of every format size.
12-12-2019, 07:33 AM - 3 Likes   #13
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Those absolute statements will get you every time....

If APS-C + MF were 'the best', than surely the choice of APS-C + MF +/- FF is even better still????? I can see arguments
for Q + MF is the 'the best', or APS-C digital + 6x7 film is 'the best', or I-Phone + large format sheet film is 'the best'. None of
them are accurate without one simple qualifier......... 'for me'.
12-12-2019, 07:35 AM - 3 Likes   #14
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As others have said, no format is best at everything. There are occasions where my Q7, with its tiny 1/1.7" sensor, is a better option than my K-3 - and it's not just the obvious situations where size and weight are a factor. For the equivalent field of view, the Q7 provides much greater depth of field at wider aperture settings, and hence keeping the ISO level down. Depending on the type of shot, that can be very beneficial.

Really, your thread should have been titled "Why full frame isn't the best format for me to own". Use cases and personal preferences will define which is the most versatile format for each individual photographer. But even then, it's highly unlikely that one format will be ideal in all scenarios...
12-12-2019, 07:50 AM   #15
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I borrowed a k1 and the 24-70 2.8 for a month. I couldn't justify the purchase. For me the improved quality want worth the size, weight, speed drop, buffer issues etc. But I could see how it could be worth it to others.

I have m43 and APSC and often wonder if FF /apsc would be a better option. Then I recall my experiences from that month.
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