Most entry-level and mid-price DSLR and mirrorless cameras sport an APS-C sized sensor, with the physical dimensions of the chip measuring 23.6 x 15.7mm (22.2 x 14.8mm on Canon cameras).
A full-frame sensor on the other hand has larger dimensions of 36 x 24mm - the same size as a frame of 35mm film, hence the name 'full-frame', and offering a surface area 2.5x larger than an APS-C sized sensor.
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This allows for larger photosites (pixels to you and I) on the sensor, delivering better light gathering capabilities, which in turn means better image quality - especially at higher sensitivities.
Many serious amateurs and enthusiasts can now enjoy the benefits of full-frame photography
Full-frame DSLRs used to be the preserve of professional photographers, but as the costs have dropped and lower-cost models have started to appear, many serious amateurs and enthusiasts can now enjoy the benefits of full-frame photography.
But it's no longer just DSLRs that enjoy full-frame sensors, with Sony's range of A7 series mirrorless cameras and Leica SL muscling in on the full-frame market, and are particularly interesting for those who also need to shoot video. To find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences.
To get an idea of what kind of DSLR or mirrorless camera you can get at different price points, try Best DSLR and Best mirrorless camera buying guides. Otherwise, here's our pick of the best full-frame cameras you can buy right now: