The Crop Sensor Depth of Field Myth

Posted on 1st June 2015

There's a myth that using a crop sensor camera gives a greater depth of field.... and another that it has a reduced depth of field... that a different size sensor whether bigger or smaller, will have an effect on the look of an image. This is simply not true.

The myth is often to do with longer lenses, that using a crop sensor camera for 'extra reach' also effects the depth of field. I took a 500mm f4L IS mk2, a 1Dx and a 7Dmk2 and chose a simple city subject, a lamp post, swapping one camera for the other, whilst keeping the lens tripod mounted.

The shot details are f11, 1/40th sec, M mode, ISO100 - both the 1Dx and the 7Dmk2 settings were identical, only subtle differences in light cause discrepancies.

And now for the closer examination - here's the 1DX....

and here is the 7Dmk2....

You can see there is absolutely no difference at all - a 500mm lens is a 500mm lens, with the same depth of field, no matter what sensor size is used to capture the image.

For some greater analysis, watch this video...

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