Crop or Crap: Zack Arias Takes a Real-World Look at the Crop vs Full-Frame Debate

Zack Arias is a man who knows his gear inside and out. Switching multiple times between various companies, he’s seen almost everything there is to see in terms of equipment. In the past, he’s continuously praised full-frame sensors, for their quality and the aesthetic they’re known for.

But lately, as many you may know, he’s fallen in love with the FujiFilm X-Series. It’s this switch that lead him to realize that while full-frame most certainly has its benefits, crop sensors com with a myriad of their own benefits. In the above video he takes a look at both full-frame and crop sensors, giving his honest outlook and opinions on both.


This video coincides with a much more thorough article he’s shared on DEDPXL, which explores his thoughts more thoroughly, putting crop sensors up against full-frame in a reasonably objective battle-royale.

The 13-minute video is well worth the watch and the article (approximately a 15-minute read) well worth the read. Whether you’ve been debating between crop and full-frame for your next camera, or just want to be more knowledgeable about the topic, Arias does an incredible job breaking it down and giving a real-world perspective on it.

For more information, you can keep up with Arias, both on DEDPXL, as well as his YouTube channel, where this video and more are located.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Jojo Claveria

    What does your comment to me have to do with my question? The point of my question was related to the comments that Zack is getting paid by Fuji. How did you come to the conclusion I’m some “wannabe pro”?

  • raysot

    …and why do they have to make it clear? I read the article… I can pretty much gather who paid for what. It’s elementary deduction. No need to get all prickish about it.

  • Neato!

    I had $15k of Nikon FX dslr gear and lenses, and once the X100s was in my hands I sold all that garbage, because I didn’t need it any more. I didn’t wan’t it any more. I hated carrying around everything “for every possible scenario”.

  • Neato!

    The guy saying “don’t be a snarky prick,” puts out a a question of who paid for their airfare when it was stated in the post.
    And people wonder why successful photographers don’t wade into comments or online communities.

  • Christopher KS Yeoh

    “No contract. No NDA. We give you gear and pay your day rate and expenses. You deliver some images and a video to us for marketing and you tell us what you think about our cameras. Honest feedback.” – Keyword: expenses

    Isn’t it common courtesy to pay someone’s expenses to test their gear?

  • Georg Oehl

    I’m sorry, but this was a bunch of meaningless babble. He could’ve just as well talked about the Polar Express leaving for the North Pole and I would’ve believed just as much. Or not.

    There was absolutely no substance to his claims. Why is the difference negligible? NEGLIGIBLE!

    Seems to me it was a redundant video. Hate the cuts too. Can’t he speak a coherent sentence?

  • csmif

    And i guess we might be able to end speculation of a full frame mirrorless camera being released any time soon by Fuji

  • Patrick O’Connor

    I’m not trying to make a point here but honestly want to know: what was your motivation for making this video? I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities but, of course, it could be something completely different.

    1. You’re losing work and/or people are looking at you funny when you show up for a shoot with a “toy” camera.

    2. Part of your marketing strategy is being in the public eye so videos like this and other venues that don’t directly contribute to your income keep your name out there which results in work.

    The video, itself, over-generalizes and over-simplifies the issue. While an APS-C sized sensor certainly works well for most photography, there are those situations where it is just a little lacking. It reminds me of something I once read about 4WD vehicles: you can go 95% of places with 2WD; you drive a 4WD for the other 5%.

  • Damian Bonadonna

    Not only that.. if he shows me compelling images, maybe I would think about it. But the pictures he took compared to what I saw when I visited Istanbul were really bad. I mean if you just talk, talk, not giving any kind of disadvantage and saying it’s the absolute best:

    1) You are an extremist/fanboy so your opinion will not be taken too seriously
    2) You express your opinion without backing it up with facts

    I own a X100S and a 6D. I prefer the 6D with the 24-100 for traveling/street photography any time of the day. At night use a 50 1.4 and I’m also more than happy.

    The X100S is only used when I go to a dinner or something that I bring a small camera. It looks cool, the quality is good, but if I have to buy a secondary camera now would be something like the RX100 III.

    I feel like these videos make more harm to Fuji than good.

    Tell me about the Flash system for Fuji please for professional use.

  • Damian Bonadonna

    Wonder what type of photography you do…

  • Neato!

    I wasn’t doing any. Hence the point of dumping it all. Went back to street photography.

  • Damian Bonadonna

    After using a DSLR (after purchasing the X100S) I find it very difficult to come back to the focus speed of the Fuji, specially in low light and if I need to take pics of people.

  • Roberto Inetti

    I love you Zack.

  • Eugen Mezei

    Comparative to what?
    To be of practical use the new focals you use must be compared with what you are familiar. When digital appeared most photographers were familiar with using their lenses on 35 mm film. In the meantime 2 generations of photographers grow up never touching a film camera. Which sense does it have for them to think in “effective/comparative” focals? They are already familiar with which focal gives which angle of view on the senzor size they use, why complicate with calculating forth to 35 mm and then back to APS?

    Most interestingly, in the 70s nobody talked about effective/equivalent/comparative focals when 35 mm cameras became the norm. Nobody called the standard lens a 105 mm equivalent.

  • Toby Hawkins

    You’ve failed to either read, or understand my comment. I was taking about ff lenses on ff cameras relative to ff lenses on aps-c cameras, so, ‘comparative to what?’ Comparative to ff, as is clearly stated in my original post.

  • bromotocross

    This old article was linked on DPReview as yet another APSC or smaller format troll tries to say that smaller formats are equal or better than FF. They are not. FF is better, it is debatable how much but most pros would never take a Fuji aps-c to a high paying job. It just isn’t the best camera. If you need light weight/smaller camera because you have physical limitations, ok, it may be a better, but it is not a better camera. I notice Americans getting fatter and having to haul around a lot more weight, so I can understand their constant justification for a lighter camera. But they don’t come out and say that, hey I am fat and lazy and want to haul around a light camera. They try to tell us that APS-C or smaller camera are as good or better in a pro setting. I call bull. As for Zack, he tries using polarization in his discussion “crop or crap”. No one I know says crop is crap. It is very useful for certain situations but it is just not superior to FF. I would never say that 35mm film is superior to medium format. I might say there are times when it may be a better choice for some people or situations. But Zack is biased, and he is a walking Fuji commercial. As long as people understand that, they can make a clear, logical decision to their needs and wants and choose a camera that suits that situation or person.
    The title of the video would have been better served as Zack or crap. Meaning, if you don’t agree with Zack, your opinion regarding FF being better is crap. What is funny is that Zack several times FF is better, but then he said it is negligible which is absured… unless you are advertizing for Fuji who does not make a FF, what else can you say than Fuji is just as good, if you say anything else, the sales will remain exactly where they are now. Not doing so well.