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Best Full Frame Camera Options to Buy in 2021

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A full-frame camera has what is known as a 35mm equivalent sensor, which is 36 × 24 mm. This is based on film photography as it is the size of a 35mm frame. Any sensor smaller than that is called a crop sensor.

Full-frame means higher resolution and more details on your images.

If you’re unsure whether you need a full-frame camera or not, you have a few things to consider when deciding. For the best full-frame camera options, keep reading.

Beautiful sunset over the canyon in cappadocia turkey with a DSLR camera on a tripod in the foreground

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The Best Full Frame Cameras: Top Picks

A lot depends on what you would like to photograph. We collected 8 of the best full frame camera options, but there are also others available.

So, take a look, but keep in mind what kind of photographer you are and what you would use these cameras for!

1. 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, optical viewfinder
  • Autofocus: 153 Point AF System
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • User Level: Professional

This full-frame camera comes with a resolution of almost 46MP images. However, it is the sensor that is the most impressive. The technology used 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 excellent video quality, you’ll get 4K from the Nikon D850. It has WiFi. But the WiFi is only usable via Nikon’s Bluetooth-led app.

The most significant advantage of this camera is its incredibly low ISO of 64. This retains an outstanding amount of detail and quality in each image. In addition, the dynamic range at ISO 64 is fantastic.

an image of a Nikon D850

2. High-End DSLR: Canon EOS 1D X Mark III

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens Mount: EF
  • Screen: 3.2″ (8.01 cm), 2.1 million dots
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 191-point AF
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 16 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 5.5K RAW, 4K UHD
  • User Level: Professional

There is no limit on your creativity with the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III.

It has superb low-light performance due to the sensitivity range of ISO 100-819,200. Also, it can make 5.5K RAW and 4K 60p videos, which is outstanding.

Although image quality does not only depend on the number of pixels, the 20.1MP is relatively low. So, if you are a professional who likes to have their images printed, this camera might not be the best choice.

Otherwise, it’s a great camera, for example, for action photography. The 16 frames per second continuous shooting speed are impressive. You are definitely going to catch that decisive moment with it.

Also, with the 191-point autofocus system, you won’t have to worry about finding the perfect focus.

an image of a Canon EOS 1D X Mark III camera body (2)

3. Mid-Range DSLR: Nikon D780

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 24.5 MP
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F mount
  • Screen: 3.2″ 2,359,000 dots (touch-sensitive)
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage
  • Autofocus: 51-point AF
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • User Level: Enthusiast

For a mid-range full-frame camera, you cannot go wrong with the D780. The price has an excellent resolution and built-in WiFi, on top of it being full-frame.

If you are looking for video capabilities, this machine can offer you 4K UHD videos.

One of the most significant 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.

an image of a Nikon D780 camera body

4. Entry-Level DSLR: Canon EOS 6D Mark II

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 26.2 MP
  • Lens Mount: EF mount
  • Screen: 3.0″, 1040K dots
  • Viewfinder: 98% coverage, optical viewfinder
  • Autofocus: Cross-type AF, 45 focus points
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 6.5 fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 1920×1080
  • User Level: Enthusiast

With the Canon 6D Mark II, you get an impressive 26.2 MP resolution. This is nice if you wish to have your images printed. With this resolution, you can get great quality even for larger prints.

Both the 6.5 frames a second and the 45 point autofocus system seems relatively low. However, these are not the best numbers, comparing to the other full-frame DSLRs on the market.

The ISO range runs from 100 to 40,000 but expandable to 102,400. As a result, this camera performs great in low-light conditions.

Overall, the Canon 6D Mark II is a professional camera with an expensive price tag. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best cameras in the DSLR world.

an image of a Canon EOS 6D Mark II camera body

5. High-End Mirrorless: Sony A7R IV

  • Sensor: Full Frame
  • Megapixels: 61 MP
  • Lens mount: Sony E-mount
  • Screen: 2,95″, 1,440,000 dots, 100% coverage
  • Viewfinder: electronic viewfinder
  • Autofocus: 567-point / Phase Detect
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K HDR
  • User level: Professional

Firstly, the images you’ll get come from a 61.0 MP full-frame CMOS sensor. So expect an outstanding amount of detail and quality.

For focusing, you’ll find that 567-points autofocus is a fantastic gift from the Gods. It is fun to use and fast, which works well alongside the in-camera image stabilizer.

You can use this digital camera body for all kinds of photography. It’s perfect for making videos as well, as it can make a 4K video.

It’s much lighter than most full-frame DSLRs, making it a great portable camera body. Therefore, it’s great for action photography too.an image of a Sony A7R IV full frame camera body

6. Mid-Range Mirrorless: Nikon Z6

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 24.5 MP
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z mount
  • Monitor: 3.2″ Diagonal LCD, 100% coverage, 2,100,000 dots, tiltable and touch-sensitive
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Autofocus: 273 points, Hybrid phase-detection/contrast AF with AF assist
  • Continuous shooting speed: 12 fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K UHD
  • User level: Enthusiast/Professional

Among the Z series of Nikon, we recommend the Z6 now.

The Z6 is particularly good for making videos. Regarding photography, the Nikon Z6 can be used in any field. Moreover, due to its size, it’s portable.

The autofocus system is speedy, and its image resolution is perfect. It also performs great among bad lighting conditions (due to the sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 51,200) and reduces noise effectively.

So, it provides every advantage a full-frame mirrorless camera could provide.

A Nikon Z6 camera body

7. 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 UHD
  • User Level: Enthusiast

The Sony Alpha A7 III is simply one of the best full-frame cameras on the market. Moreover, 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 ten frames a second, even when shooting silently. That’s the benefit of mirrorless cameras—no sound as nothing moves.

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.

a n image of a Sony A 7 III full frame mirrorless camera body

 

8. Entry-Level Mirrorless: Canon EOS R6

  • Sensor: Full-Frame
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens Mount: RF
  • Screen: 3.0″ touchscreen with 1.62 million dots, tiltable
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED colour EVF
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 100% horizontal and 100% vertical with Face + Tracking and Auto Selection modes
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: Max. Approx. 12fps. with Mechanical shutter, speed maintained for 1000+ JPEG or 240 RAW images. Max. Approx. 20fps. with electronic shutter speed maintained for 1000+ JPG or 120 RAW images
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD
  • User Level: Enthusiast

This Canon mirrorless camera is just simply perfect for beautifully capturing what you see. It gives great freedom for creativity. You can shoot in low-light due to the sensitivity range of ISO 100 to102,400.

It’s fast, and you can shoot many images in a row, which makes it great for catching the decisive moment.

There is no limit on what you would like to capture, as this camera allows you to have full control over your settings. In addition, it’s capable of what a camera like this could do so that technical details won’t stand in your way.

Besides being a superb digital camera for taking photos, it’s perfect for videos too.an image of a Canon EOS R6 full frame camera body

Conclusion

While a full-frame camera would be nice, it is not necessary.

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 is 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 one of these best full frame cameras. For all others, you can’t go wrong with a crop sensor.

If you are using a full frame camera for product photography, make sure you capture attention-grabbing images that stand out and sell with our Products in Focus course!

Want More? Try Our Beginner Photography Course

Do you want to master the basics of photography so that you can take stunning photos in any situation?

If you don’t know which settings to use, you will often miss capturing beautiful moments.

But cameras are complicated and it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we created this course.

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