The Choice. To Choose From.
Choosing the camera you suit will be a great head start.
You would literally be flooded with the amount of choice there is available right now in terms of camera equipment. From modest points and shoots, to the more exotic medium format interchangeable lens cameras, there are cameras galore. But since we are talking about DSLRs we will stick to these digital versions of the erstwhile king of the hill – SLRs.
So, which camera would you choose? There are two main versions of DSLRs. There are the full-frame versions and then there are the crop versions. Now, full-frame versions are basically the same thing as film cameras. The only difference being inside they have a digital sensor instead of film. The size of the sensor is 36mm x 24mm. The crop version cameras have varying sensor sizes. The more popular is the Canon and Nikon versions which are 22.3m x 14.9mm and 23.5mm x 15.6mm respectively. Canon sensors are, thus, slightly smaller than Nikon sensors. The camera you buy will depend on a number of aspects and not just your preferred sensor size. Among the other factors that will influence your decision making process are the price of the camera, the sensor resolution and the shooting features.
Full-frame sensors are pricier than cropped sensor cameras. For the simple reason that sensors are expensive to manufacture and the larger the sensor the more expensive it is to manufacture. But apart from the size of the sensor there are features like resolution and improved noise suppression technology that are also associated with full-frame sensors. E.g., the latest back-side illuminated sensors have better noise suppression technology but they are also more expensive to make. Plus, it was not until recently that full-frame sensors came with this technology.
Another advantage of full-frame cameras is that with a compatible lens they tend to capture a larger slice of the scene than crop cameras.
Smaller sensors capture less light compared to a full-frame camera. Simply because they have a smaller light gathering surface. Typically these sensors would struggle when shooting in low light situations.