A Quick Visual Reference of How Much Light a Full Frame Sensor Absorbs Vs an APS-C Sensor

Full frame sensors are great when it comes to the editing process later on.

While testing out the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF for the Sony a7r III and the Fujifilm X-H1, I was shooting with f1.4 lenses on both cameras. When exposing scenes at ISO 6400 and shooting wide open at f1.4 with similar metering, I came across something that I found was pretty crazy. To verify it, I showed it to a buddy of mine who works for a pretty famous camera store. When he saw it himself, he was pretty shocked. I knew for years that full frame sensors tend to absorb more light per pixel and have better color overall–but I’ve never had a visual difference otherwise until recently.

ISO 6400 1/15s f1.4

The above image was shot with the Sony a7r III with the Rokinon 50mm f1.4 AF. To me, that’s absorbing a whole lot of light. In fact, it’s capable of seeing more in the scene than my own eyes are able to; at least at the time. This kept happening over and over again as we kept walking by things. Cameras in general have had this ability for a few years now and metering is metering is metering. But now, it’s even crazier to see something like this.

ISO 6400, 1/25th f1.4

This image was shot with the Fujifilm X-H1. It isn’t an exact image as the other and the metering isn’t completely off from it either. But it’s pretty surprising how dark the scene is here vs on full frame. Now before you go on, you’re probably going to say “Oh, it’s almost a full stop of a difference.” Okay, let’s take a look at the same image but edited a bit to give it more light.

Here it is brightened by almost a stop. Here is where you start to see the image noise more and see how the image is starting to fall apart a bit more, but can still be fixed with a good editor in Lightroom.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.