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Best Full Frame Camera Options 2019

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A full frame camera gives you the best resolution, not to mention the correct focal length of 35mm equivalent lenses.

If you’re unsure whether you need a full-frame camera or not, head over to this Do You Really Need a Full Frame Camera? article.

For the best full frame camera options in 2019, keep reading.

a photographer shooting through a Canon full frame DSLR

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What Is a Full-Frame Camera?

A full-frame camera is essentially one that doesn’t have a crop sensor. These have what is known as a 35mm equivalent sensor, which is 36 × 24 mm.

Cameras with a full-frame sensor are the biggest size for a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). There are other digital cameras that surpass this, such as medium or large format. We will not cover those here.

If the best full-frame camera has the biggest sensor, it means it captures more of your scene. If you use a 50 mm lens with a full-frame DSLR body, you get a 50 mm focal length with a 58° angle of view.

If your camera has an APS-C sensor, it is cropped. This budget version doesn’t give you the same focal length when using a 50mm lens, for example.

Depending on your system, the focal length will change from 50mm to 75mm (Nikon), 80mm (Canon) or 100mm (Olympus).

The lenses stay the same, but the camera type you use it with will change how you capture a scene.

A diagram showing the difference between using a 2.0 crop factor, 1.6 crop factor, 1.5 crop factor or 35mm full frame camera

Best Full Frame Camera: Top Picks

High-End DSLR: Nikon D850

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 45.7 MP
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F bayonet mount
  • Screen: 3.2″ tilting touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 153 Point AF System
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K
  • User Level: Professional

This full-frame camera comes with a resolution of almost 46MP images. It is the sensor here that is the most impressive. The technology used basically allows the sensor to receive more light. This is great on many levels, for narrower apertures and slower shutter speeds.

It allows you to retain a very high image quality from any scene you capture. Especially in low light conditions. This is handy for event photography, as well as capturing dark home interiors!

If you’re looking for a system that can handle great video quality, you’ll get 4K from the Nikon D850. It hasWiFi. But the WiFi is only usable via Nikon’s own Bluetooth-led app.

The biggest advantage with this camera is it’s incredibly low ISO of 64. This retains an unparalleled amount of detail and quality in each image. The dynamic range at ISO 64 is fantastic.

Nikon D850 - best full frame camera

 

Mid-Range DSLR: Canon 5D Mark IV

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 30.4 MP
  • Lens Mount: EF, TS-E, MP-E
  • Screen: 3.2″, 1620K dots
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 61 point AF system with 41 cross-points
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K
  • User Level: Enthusiast

The Canon 5D range has always been well known and popular for its high-end full-frame cameras. There is only one Canon full-frame camera that has more bells and whistles than this, but it is twice the price.

With the Canon 5D Mark IV, you get a 30.4 MP resolution, seven frames a second and a 61 point Autofocus system. The ISO range runs from 100 to 32,000, but expandable to 102,400.

The Canon 5D Mark IV is a professional camera with an expensive price tag. For me, it is the best full-frame camera in the DSLR world. Mirrorless systems are attractive but feel less sturdy.
The Canon 5D Mark IV - Best High-End Full frame DSLR

Mid-Range DSLR: Nikon D750

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 24MP
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F mount
  • Screen: Tilting 3.2″ 1,229k-dot RGBW
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 51-point AF
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 6.5 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 1080p
  • User Level: Enthusiast

For a mid-range full-frame camera, you can’t go wrong with the D750. For the price, it has a great resolution and built-in WiFi, on top of it being full-frame.

If you’re looking for video capabilities, this machine can offer you 1080p. It isn’t as high as 4K, but good enough for great detail in your scenes.

One of the biggest benefits of this camera is its ‘highlight-weighted’ metering. This allows the camera to meter light differently by looking at the highlights in the scene.

This gives you more control over the brightest areas, reducing the chance of overexposure and blown-out areas. This makes it great for really well-lit scenes, such as interior scenes and daytime events.

Nikon D750 - best full frame camera

Entry-Level DSLR: Canon EOS 6D

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 20.2MP
  • Lens Mount: EF
  • Screen: 3.0″ Tiltable 1040K dots
  • Viewfinder: 97% viewfinder coverage
  • Autofocus: 11 point AF system
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 4.5 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 1080p
  • User Level: Enthusiast

The Canon EOS 6D is one of the Canon full-frame cameras that is both great and affordable. This is the cheapest full-frame camera that I’ve been able to find at under $1,000.

With that price, you get a 20.2 MP full-frame sensor, an 11 Autofocus system and WiFi capabilities. This is great to be able to see your images on your phone and edit while on the go.

It was the worlds lightest full-frame camera when it was released five years ago. It is one of the best full-frame cameras, working well in low light.

For image quality, this full-frame DSLR can’t be overlooked.
Canon EOS 6D - best full frame camera

High-End Mirrorless: Nikon Z7

  • Sensor: Full Frame
  • Megapixels: 45.7MP
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Screen: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Autofocus: 493-point / Phase Detect
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 9fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p
  • User level: Enthusiast/Professional

Just like the Canon mirrorless range, the Z7 was long-awaited. This is a very well made system that fits well in the palm of your hands. You’ll love the images that come out of this mirrorless beast.

Firstly, the images you’ll get come from a 45.7MP full-frame CMOS sensor. So, expect an unparalleled amount of detail and quality.

For focusing, you’ll find that 493-points of hybrid phase/contrast autofocus is an amazing gift from the God’s. It is fast and covers both types of autofocus. It is fun to use, which works well alongside the in-camera image stabilizer.

If Prometheus stole anything, it was sensor technology for Nikon. It also shows in the video quality, as you can capture 4K with the Z7.

You may find similarities with the Sony A range. the biggest difference here is that the counterparts are smaller and lighter. The only downside is that the new lenses are expensive, but with an adapter, you are free to use previous, F-mount lenses.

Nikon Z7 - best full frame mirrorless camera

Mid-Range Mirrorless: Canon EOS R

  • Sensor: Full Frame
  • Megapixels: 30.3MP
  • Lens mount: Canon RF
  • Monitor: EVF, 3.69m dots, 100% coverage
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Autofocus: 5655 points / Phase Detection and Face+Tracking AF
  • Continuous shooting speed: 8fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 29.97p
  • User level: Enthusiast/Professional

The Canon EOS R was revealed at the same time as the Nikon Z7. Both manufacturers took their time, compared to their competition. Still, they made it onto the list, and for good reason. They are both great cameras to use.

Canon R was the first out of two mirrorless camera to be released. And they did a good job on their first try. It’s a full-frame sensor with a resolution of 30.3 MP. The resulting image quality is better than most of the mirrorless systems out there today.

For comparison, the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR has a similarly sized sensor. The problem is that it is a DSLR, which means it is constrained to size and weight that isn’t great for everyone.

With the mirrorless version, you get a better phase-detection autofocus area. This is closer to the 1D X Mark II’s Dual Pixel CMOS, allowing you to work with a total of 5.655 focus points.

There are two downsides to this machine. Firstly, the 4K video is heavily cropped. On top of that, there is a huge lack of in-body image stabilization. This drives up the prices of the lenses, forcing us to spend more money.

Canon EOS R - best full frame camera

Mid-Range Mirrorless: Sony Alpha A7 III

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Lens Mount: Sony E-mount
  • Screen: 3″ tiltable LCD with 921,600 dots
  • Viewfinder: 2,359,296-dot XGA color OLED, 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 10fps Silent
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K
  • User Level: 

The Sony Alpha A7 III is simply one of the best full-frame cameras on the market today. As one of the best digital cameras, it has the power to beat DSLRs at their own game.

This monster comes with a 24 MP resolution, a hybrid Autofocus system with a whopping 399 phase-detection and 425 contrast focal points.

You get 10 frames a second, even when shooting silently. That’s the benefit with mirrorless cameras – no sound as nothing moves.

For all of these benefits, you also expect a huge price tag. It’s around the same cost as the Canon 5D Mark III for just the body, but it’s lighter, making it perfect for event and travel photography.
 Sony Alpha A7 III - best full frame camera

Entry-Level Mirrorless: Sony Alpha A7

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 24.3 MP
  • Lens Mount: Sony E-mount
  • Screen: 3″ tiltable LCD with 921,600 dots
  • Viewfinder: 1/2-inch XGA OLED color electronic viewfinder with 2.4M dots
  • Autofocus: Hybrid AF. 117 Phase Detection / 25 Contrast Detection
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 4 FPS in Speed Priority Continuous shooting
  • Max Video Resolution: 1920×1080
  • User Level: Enthusiast

The Sony Alpha range has been a crowd-pleaser for a while. If you can’t afford the A7 III, then go for the original or A7r version. It still has a 24.3 MP resolution, making it one of the best digital cameras for the entry-level market.

For this $1,000 price tag, you get four frames a second in continuous shooting. This is great if speed isn’t a huge priority, yet you want to snap more than one photo at a time.

The ISO ranges from 100-25,600, which is expandable from it’s native 6400. Great in low light and easy on the wallet too.

Sony Alpha A7 - best full frame camera

Conclusion

While a full-frame camera would be nice, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Any camera is better than no camera, as you can photograph with nothing.

Sure, the full-frame sensor cameras have a higher resolution. But this only matters if you are blowing your images up for advertising or commercial projects.

The cost between the high end and low-end full-frame DSLRs or mirrorless systems are around $2,000. This cost might not be worth it if you are blogging and sharing your images online.

If you have the money, and your field or style demands such high quality, then go for it. For all others, you can’t go wrong with a crop sensor.

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