One of the most confusing issues when upgrading to a DSLR is understanding the difference between full frame and cropped frame cameras. When you’re using a compact camera, this won’t be an aspect that you really need to deal with, as the built-in lenses are designed to make the differences unnoticeable. But when you start to look into buying a DSLR, understanding the full frame vs. crop sensor comparison will vastly help you.
Back in the days of film photography, there was only one sensor size in 35mm photography: 24mm x 36mm. So when people refer to “full frame” cameras in digital photography, they’re discussing 24×36 sensor size.
Unfortunately, full frame cameras also tend to come with a hefty price tag. The cheapest full frame Canon camera, for instance, is a few thousand dollars. Most full-frame cameras are used by professional photographers, who need the extra features. The alternatives are “cropped frame” cameras, or “crop sensor” cameras. These have a much cheaper price tag, which makes them much more attractive to those starting out with DSLRs.