Full-frame digital SLR

The term full-frame sensor has established itself as the name for an electronic image sensor in a digital camera, the image format is the same -mm film, or about 24 × 36 mm.


The small picture format had been established with analog cameras for color negative film or over decades as a de facto standard; both the mass market and in the professional sector, especially in photojournalism and sports photography. With the development of digital SLR cameras for high volume but initially had only cost image sensors significantly smaller size available. It sat cameras with a crop factor of 1.5 to 1.6 as the default by, a factor of 1.3 remained high order models reserved. These smaller sensor sizes are often misleading as technically referred to as APS -C or APS-H sensors. They require a rethink by photographer because with the small -screen film format produces a smaller angle of view and an apparent focal length multiplier in the accustomed lenses over the use.

It was not until the early 2000s, image sensors were serially offered with the full-frame format which have been designated to distinguish it from the smaller precursors as a full frame sensor or even full-frame sensor.

In camera systems with larger sensors, the term " full frame sensor " is uncommon and also pointless because the medium format existed always different image formats.


For digital cameras with a full frame sensor lenses can be used without consideration of a format factor for conventional cameras of the same system, the angle remains the same.

The signal -to-noise ratio of a sensor, ie, the intensity ratio of the image signal to usually disturbing noise is, on the one hand due, on the other hand decreased by electrical or solid -state physical characteristics of the sensor by the light incident on each pixel amount of light. The greater the amount of light, the better the signal -to-noise ratio at a constant background noise amplitude. Whether a full frame sensor with the same total number of pixels and larger sensor area receives less light as a sensor smaller size, depends on the conditions in which the sensors are exposed. In order to capture the same angle of view, the full-frame sensor has to be generally exposed through a lens whose focal length is longer than that of the lens in front of the small-format sensor.

Full frame sensors are much more expensive compared to smaller sensors. Be very careful with the use of interchangeable lenses, which are not optimized for sensors of digital cameras, possible weaknesses of the lenses at the edge ( lower sharpness, higher vignetting, chromatic aberration) become more prominent as they are hidden when you full-frame lenses operates on smaller sensors.

Digital cameras with small image full frame sensors

Digital cameras with small image full frame sensors in order of launch:


  • Contax N Digital, Canon EOS 1Ds


  • Kodak DCS Pro 14n


  • Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n, Kodak DCS Pro SLR / c, Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II


  • Canon EOS 5D




  • Sony Alpha 850, Leica M9, Nikon D3s


  • Leica M9 -P



  • Sony RX1R, Nikon D610, Sony Alpha 7, Sony Alpha 7R, Df Nikon, Leica M


  • Nikon D4S
  • Image sensor