Comparing Full Frame to APS-C (tripod test)

This time I’ve decided to see the details difference (this is very lens dependent, so take with a grain of salt) and DOF difference between Full Frame (35mm) sensors (Canon 1Ds Mark III in this case) and APS-C (in this case Fuji Xpro2).


In this test I tried my best to match the framing and used a tripod with mirror lockup and timer (to reduce any mirror slap or shake as the case may be).  I  also shot with exactly the same settings and used Lightroom for editing.  I applied the exact same sharpening and used the eyedropper on the tiger’s chest to get the white balance.  I used “Camera Standard” profile for the Canon and “Provia/Standard” Profile for Fuji.  I found this gave similar colour to each other and is also the most common.

Gear used:

Gitzo Tripod

Canon 1Ds mark III with Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with Fuji 23mm 1.4 lens

Various props.

Lighting from overhead lights only


Canon: f/1.4, 1/50, 100iso

Fuji: f/1.4, 1/50, 200iso (base ISO)

Exposure matched in post.


Right click or tap and hold and open in new tab to see full size. 

Side by side comparison


Two side by side, in lightroom

Two side by side, in lightroom. Xpro2 left, 1DsIII right.

Looking at them like this, you can see the difference in DOF.  I’ll let the individual judge if the difference is enough for them.



Full sized images











Yes I know the framing is slightly different.  Minor differences are bound to happen when there’s different sensor sizes and slightly different focal lengths.  I used a tripod and did my best.  🙂


100% crops

Xpro2 right, 1DsIII left

Xpro2 left, 1DsIII right


Interesting looking at the details.  The 1DsIII seems to hold a bit more contrast (the “Tony” is more sharp and contrasty”) but the Xpro2 holds more fine details in some other areas.  For example the grey stripes on his face have all the fine printing dots with the X-Pro 2.  So I guess it’s a battle of fine details vs overall contrast and sharpness. The sharpness differences could well  be due to the 23mm 1.4 (Fuji) being slightly soft at 1.4 while the Sigma 35 1.4 is extremely sharp.  Certainly both are just as sharp as each other when stopped down.  Fine detail loss is a harder thing to fix.  So both win in their own way.



Xpro2 left, 1DsIII right.






Shallower DOF from the FF (35mm) sensor has a shallower DOF and therefore you can see here it makes a difference with the background blur.  Again I’ll leave it up to the individual to decide if the difference is worth it to them.  To me personally, in real life shooting, I don’t notice that much of a difference and sometimes having a slightly deeper DOF is beneficial (easier to nail focus).


So there it is another comparison between FF and Crop.


There is a difference between the two and this test shows, in controlled situations like in a studio etc. the 1DsIII is STILL a very capable camera.  The slightly shallower DOF can be quite handy for certain situations too.  This is why I hold onto my Canon 1DsIII despite mostly shooting Fuji.  Most of the time I don’t need a 35mm sensor.  The difference in DOF is so minor (to me) it’s not really worth it the added weight.  However, there are times that you want to have as much of the background blurred as possible, that’s where Full Frame can be very useful.


Thanks for reading,