One of the first things you’ll encounter when buying a Nikon DSLR or Nikkor lens is the distinction between FX and DX models. Both stands for camera’s format, more precisely to the size of the sensor or it simply means DX and FX represents the size of the photo. FX sensor is 136% larger.
What is an FX Format?
Format here represents a much larger size. Dimensions of a photo are 36x24mm, so you can see the difference. These photos come with a higher level of light, so they are brighter and usually rated as professional ones or semi-professional. Lenses are larger, heavier and they require better cameras than DX version. A bigger chip could cost more and provide better quality.
How sensor size determines zoom
An FX cameras have what’s known as full-frame sensor- the same size as so-called 35-millimeter film used in analog SLRs. To save money and bulk, most DSLRs use a sensor smaller than a full frame, which Nikon calls DX. In a camera with a full-frame (aka FX) sensor such in Nikon FX lenses, the lens projects the full width of what it captures onto the sensor. But it can project only the center portion of what it captures onto a smaller sensor. The zoom you get in going from a big FX sensor to a smaller DX sensor is called the crop factor.
Crop Factor and Lenses
The amount of zoom a lens provides depends on the focal length—a measure, in millimeters, from a key portion of the lens to the sensor. The longer the focal length, the more zoom you get. For a starting point, a 50mm lens on an FX camera approximates the way the world looks to your own eyes. Go down to 35mm focal length, and you get a wider view than your eyes can see. Go to 20mm, even wider. Go up to 200mm, and you’re zoomed in so that things look much closer than in real life—ideal for capturing wildlife without scaring it away.
What lenses should i buy?
Your first decision is whether it’s worthwhile to pay for a pro-grade FX camera and the pricier lenses that go with it. o save customers money, Nikon makes a line of Nikkor DX lenses for the smaller DX cameras. Remember, much of what a full-size lens captures doesn’t make it to the smaller DX sensor.