Full Frame

What Does Full Frame Mean?

Full frame is a term used in cinematography to denote the act of capturing pictures by fixing the film gate at its maximum width and height. The standard technical specifications of full frame for 35 mm film are an aspect ratio of 3:2, camera aperture of 0.980” by 0.735” and projection aperture (silent) of 0.931” by 0.698”. Cameras employing full-frame technology are more popular and are considered to be advantageous for taking high-resolution images.


Full frame is also known as silent aperture or full gate.

Techopedia Explains Full Frame

Cameras using full frame help in capturing high-resolution pictures as they are clean and have low noise. They also work well with high ISOs and in low or natural light. The photos have a higher quality and look more warm and natural. They have a greater sense of depth, smoother tones, fine detail and are sharper. Full-frame cameras let photographers use older lenses and preserve the full view. Videos captured using full-frame cameras also have better quality.

Full-frame cameras are a class of cameras used for taking pictures in a full-frame format, which is basically taken with a full gate, meaning the film gate is fixed at its maximum dimensions. Full-frame digital cameras also make use of sensors that are the size of 35 mm film and are mostly used by advanced users and professional photographers. Most DSLRs use sensors with approximate dimensions of 24 by 16 mm. Full-frame cameras tend to be heavier, as they include the extra sensor parts. The formats of normal APS-C cameras and full-frame cameras may vary. The use of full frame typically makes these cameras too heavy for normal everyday use, and these cameras are also more expensive than normal DSLRs.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…