Crop with better IQ

I’ve been using Canon R 5 for more than two years now.
Recently, I landed in the discussion that the crop which is done by camera ( 1.6 crop in case of R 5) is better than the crop which is done by Photoshop or any other software, later on a computer. In other words if I take a full resolution image ( 8192x5464) and later crop is to same resolution as 1.6 X crop (5088x3392), the camera crop will have a better IQ, as it is done by hardware and not software.

I would be very keen to know your views !!!

Jagdeep, a crop, by definition means throwing away pixels (information) and if it’s only a crop, then all crops leave you with exactly the same pixels in the raw file. What happens in software is that the software is “interpreting” those raw pixels and that interpretation opens the door to differences in how the image gets displayed (these differences will be there in an uncropped image as well). These display differences are why folks argue about which software is “best”. When the software includes significant color interpretations (and all software must make color assumptions based on the pixel values from the RAW file ), those are readily seen, but don’t have anything to do with the IQ of the RAW file.

1 Like

@Mark_Seaver If I am understanding this discussion correctly, sounds like to me the best solution is to try to get the image as close to the size you want and crop as little as possible? In an ideal world of course. Do you crop your images much? Just curious, as always.

1 Like

Most modern cameras have this feature and I think the general consensus is that it’s almost always better to crop later; however, if its helpful to compose this way, by all means go for it. I personally almost never use the in-camera crop and just do it later.

Why would there be any difference as the camera uses the same pixels for the crop as it does at full resolution? Is the camera using different settings for the crop?

I don’t think there would be any difference in image quality and I preference would be to crop later in software. That way you can tweak the crop when you actually see the image on a large monitor rather than the small screen/viewfinder in the camera.
Also, I don’t know about the R5 because I don’t have one, but if I select a crop on my 5DIV and I’m shooting raw (which I always am) I can then undo the crop in Lightroom because all of the original data is still there.

Exactly. As I see it the camera crop isn’t a crop at all but a preview of what that crop will produce once the actual crop is done in post processing. That’s how it works in my camera.

Jagdeep, this is an interesting discussion. I have the R5 too, and just recently started using the 1.6 crop in camera when I wanted to keep my Sigma 150-600 mm lens down at 5.6 rather than 6.3 because of lighting issues so that my ISO doesn’t get high enough to cause noise. I didn’t realize as someone pointed out that we can reverse the crop in LR. Now if that is possible, I think I am on to something. It does help you to see the bird up closer by using the crop in camera too, so that really would be a bonus.

Maybe I am misinterpreting the above, but if you use the crop in camera function that is what your RAW file will be - cropped form full frame. If you shoot that way you cannot recover the pixels the camera ignored. There are times I use in camera crop, especially if I want the metering to only look at the cropped image. However, most of the time I prefer to shoot full frame and then crop in Lightroom. It is using this process you can always recover the pixels you cropped out.

Ed, that makes sense. I can’t imagine that it records the full frame while using the cropped form option where it can be reversed in LR.

The verdict is still out on what I was trying to crop option in camera for, but think that it could be worth using once in a while. I normally want to use everything my camera offers me, all the pixels. If I want to throw some away later through a crop, that is another thing.

Setting the aspect ratio causes the JPEG file to be cropped but preserves the entire RAW file. When opening the raw file in ACR the metadata is read and the cropped version displayed. If you go to the crop tool you can expand it to the full sensor size. I am assuming that when you say you cropped the image in camera you meant that you set the aspect ratio.

I am not a Canon shooter but due to some strange reason I started to read this thread. Is not the 1.6x crop mode to be applied when using EF-S lenses {with adapter) on the r5? The EF-S APS-C crop factor is 1.6. I could not see any other benefits using camera crop mode.

Friends, please don’t confuse crop factor with aspect ratio !
If you’re using aspect ratio, you still have access to full resolution file, whether Raw or Jpeg, doesn’t matter. But if you are using crop sensor, then you are just shooting the crop view and you don’t have any access to pixels outside the crop. And it results in better buffer, takes less capacity of your card and less load on your computer.

And I was thinking in terms of shooting raw files.


@linda_mellor , yes, filling the frame is the best way to take advantage of the maximum IQ that your camera offers. The majority of my images are not cropped, although there are times where I can’t get into perfect position or close enough or the subject doesn’t fit the camera’s frame.

1 Like

Ah, ok that makes sense. My 5DIV doesn’t crop but can only change the aspect ratio so I didn’t even think of that. :slight_smile:

1 Like