Understanding Crop Factor in Digital Cameras

On this video tutorial photographer Tony Northrup takes a look at an important and basic topic for photographers – camera crop factor.

Now, the crop factor is simply a number which represents the size of your camera sensor compared to what was the most common “sensor” size in the film area – known today as full frame (36mm over 24mm). Any sensor which is smaller than a full frame sensor is essentially a “crop” version of the full frame (chance the name crop factor). The closer the crop is to the original full frame – the larger the sensor. So for example a sensor with a crop factor of 1.5 (known as APS-C size sensor – for Nikon, Canon’s has a slightly smaller size sensor with 1.6 crop factor) is larger than a sensor with a crop factor of 2 (known as a micro 4/3 size sensor).

On the market today you can find really tiny sensors like the ones on smartphones with a crop factor of over 7 (typically) and on the other spectrum, very large sensors with a crop factor 0f 0.64 – which are actually larger than a full frame sensor (used on professional medium format cameras).

The following is our sensor size table which also includes crop factor information for different sensor sizes – all sensor sizes images are to scale

Sensors size-01-01

You can find  many more helpful photography tips and techniques on our Photography tips section here on LensVid.