0
\$\begingroup\$

I am a newbie to photography and I am planning to buy a sony a7 iii as my first camera and have safaris in Rwanda in the pipeline and also other tiger safaris in India. I am thinking to buy a 70-200mm lens. And to get more focal length, I see I can use APSC mode in sony a7 iii which indirectly increases focal range. But my question is will that give decent pictures in apsc mode or going for a 100-400mm lens is required?

Please let me know if any further information is required.

Thanks for the help in advance

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ 200mm even on APS-C isn't long enough. 300mm can fill the frame with a squirrel at 3m… that would be a lion at 10m maybe. How close do you think you'll get? There's nothing more dull than having to point at the dot in the distance, so people can tell what it's a shot of. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 31, 2022 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most Sony cameras also have the "clear image zoom" feature ... which is still digital zoom but certainly better than a lot of cheap teleconverters are.... But in any case, why a full frame camera for action/wildlife, and a medium resolution one of all things, if you are planning to use it in both FF and APS-C mode? I think, my choice for that kind of trip would be two(!) used a6300/a6400/a6500. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2022 at 19:27

4 Answers 4

2
\$\begingroup\$

There is no advantage to "using APS-C mode". That really just means cropping on the central part of the image (as large as an APS-C sensor would be).

No matter what focal length or camera or lens or sensor size you use, you can always crop your images; that will get you lower resolution images however. If you want a narrower field of view at full resolution, you are going to need more focal length.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ IMHO there are some advantages, camera processor can read faster the information so you can reach bigger FPS. Also with some cameras you can get faster focus (because you have less focal points). Same for metering. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31, 2022 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ In terms of fps in APS-C (or other crop frame mode) in cameras with a larger sensor, most implementations do the full image analog-digital conversion before cropping the image in digital processing. That reduces write times, which only affect the number of frames one can shoot before a full buffer reduces fps. It does not increase the initial fps rate at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 1, 2022 at 17:49
0
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, you can use it in APS-C mode. The focal length of 70-200 will give a field of view equivalent to a 105-300 mm in full-frame mode and you will get 10MP images.

About decent pictures - it depends of your experience as photographer. The images will be fine for small to average prints and web display. And you will have only 300mm maximum focal length.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Your wording "will be 105-300 mm" might confuse a newbie, as nothing you do to the sensor or body changes the focal length. I'd rephrase it as "will give a field of view equivalent to a 105-300 mm in full-frame mode". \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2022 at 11:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RalfKleberhoff, you are right, will correct it :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2022 at 11:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, you will still get the exact same number of pixels on the subject either way, you'll just capture fewer surrounding pixels. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 1, 2022 at 17:50
0
\$\begingroup\$

Can that camera be used in APS-C mode with a 70-200mm lens?

Sure, it can. But it probably won't give you much of any advantage over shooting in FF mode and cropping later. The only improvement will be the number of images the camera's memory buffer will hold before the frame rate bogs down waiting for files to be written to the memory card. You won't get any faster initial frame rate before the memory buffer fills up.

To get more detail of a small subject you need one of two things:

  • Higher pixel density with the same focal length
  • Longer focal length with the same pixel density

Shooting in APS-C mode gives you neither of these things. It only gives you fewer pixels used to show a smaller area surrounding your relatively small subject compared to using the full frame image to show a wider field of view.

Cropped to APS-C, whether in camera or after the fact, your Sony α7 III gives you 10.67 MP images. To get 24 MP in 1.5X APS-C crop mode, you'd need a full frame sensor with 54 MP.

If you were instead to use a 300mm lens with the Sony α7 III, you'd get the same field of view as cropping to APS-C with a 200mm lens, but you'd have 24 MP instead of 10.67 MP, which means you'd be able to see finer detail in your subject assuming the 300mm lens can resolve as well as the 200mm lens can.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

This is arguably more a comment than an answer, but there's an important distinction to be aware of... Cropping a photo (whether by choice or via using a smaller sensor) does not increase the focal range. The focal range and magnification of a lens are fixed physical properties of the lens. What cropping does is give you the same angle of view as you'd get by using a longer lens. It is not a replacement for using that longer lens - otherwise everyone would just crop their images and lens manufacturers wouldn't sell any super-telephoto lenses.

Having said that, I think it's quite likely that an amateur (such as you or me) on a safari holiday wouldn't get significantly better results using a 100-400mm lens compared with using a 70-200mm lens (and cropping). I would guess that good photo technique and a lot of luck are much more important than the extra 200mm. (I would have a different answer if you were a National Geographic photographer.)

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that extending/changing the focal range/length makes a much more apparent difference at the wide end than at the tele end. I have a 70-300mm lens, and I sometimes wonder if I should have got a faster 70-200 lens instead - I'm not sure I personally would miss having that extra range from 200 to 300. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Sep 2, 2022 at 12:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.