FX vs DX Why should I care?

Sensor Size:

  • FX: Refers to a “full-frame” sensor size, which is equivalent to the traditional 35mm film frame. Its dimensions are approximately 36mm x 24mm.
  • DX: Represents a “crop sensor” or APS-C size sensor. Its dimensions are roughly 24mm x 16mm.

Field of View (Crop Factor):

  • FX: Being full-frame, it provides a wider field of view. Lenses used on an FX camera will render a field of view as traditionally expected from their focal length.
  • DX: Has a narrower field of view compared to FX. There’s a crop factor of about 1.5x. This means, for instance, a 50mm lens on a DX camera will give a field of view similar to a 75mm lens on an FX camera.
DX-VS-FX Spedale Jr. Photography LLC.

Image Quality:

  • FX: Generally, FX sensors offer better overall image quality, especially in low-light conditions. This is because the individual pixels (or photosites) on a full-frame sensor can be larger, capturing more light, which often leads to less noise and better dynamic range.
  • DX: While modern DX sensors produce excellent image quality, they might not perform as well as FX sensors in challenging lighting conditions, primarily due to the smaller physical size of the sensor.

Lens Compatibility:

  • FX: Lenses designed for the FX format will work seamlessly on FX cameras. They can also be used on DX cameras, but remember the 1.5x crop factor will apply, changing the effective field of view.
  • DX: Lenses designed specifically for the DX format will vignette (dark corners) if used on FX cameras. However, many FX cameras, including the Nikon Z9, have a “DX crop mode” that allows the use of DX lenses by using only the center portion of the sensor.


  • FX: Cameras and lenses designed for the full-frame FX format tend to be more expensive due to the larger sensor size and the often higher-quality lens constructions needed for the broader image circle.
  • DX: Cameras and lenses for the DX format are generally more affordable, making them popular choices for enthusiasts and amateur photographers.
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