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7 Best Cheapest Full Frame Cameras in 2024 (Updated)

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 17 min read
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Are you looking for the cheapest full-frame camera to join the ranks of those who swear by sensor acreage? Sensor size isn’t everything. But having that 35mm equivalent at your disposal is nice.

Plenty of photography agencies demand a full-frame camera if you want to work for them. But these are expensive niches. So finding an affordable full-frame camera can be a challenge.

But don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of the best affordable full-frame cameras. And you will get professional images at reasonable prices. Our top pick is a mirrorless camera—the Nikon Z5.

Everyone, from sports photographers to vloggers, loves it. It delivers high-quality photos and video. It has advanced features like image stabilization and 4K video. And its price is a pleasant surprise.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Cheapest Full-Frame Camera
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II

What Is the Best and Cheapest Full-Frame Camera?

Cameras with a full-frame sensor are high-performance machines. They produce stunning images. And they often shoot impressive videos too.

This is why full-frame cameras are often so expensive. But there are affordable full-frame cameras out there. This list proves you can buy a full-frame camera without remortgaging your house!

Of course, cheap is a relative term. And these full-frame cameras aren’t the cheapest cameras on the market.

You’ll find APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras at lower prices. But all the cameras here offer excellent value for money.

Mirrorless cameras dominate our list, though you will find a full-frame DSLR here. And you’ll find cameras from all the top brands, including Nikon, Canon, and Sony.

Some of the cameras are older models. But we’ve got brand new cameras too. So here’s a quick overview of the best, cheapest full-frame cameras.

You can read about each camera in more detail in the following section. And you can jump to our FAQ section at the end if you need more information before buying a camera.

Choosing the Best Full-Frame Camera

Before we look at the cameras in more detail, here’s a summary of our top picks.

Our Top Pick
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
  • Brilliant 273-point autofocus (AF) system
  • Fantastic expandable ISO range for low-light shooting
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization
  • High-resolution electronic viewfinder
Most Affordable Canon Mirrorless
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
  • Affordable full-frame mirrorless
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Macro stacking and time-lapse
  • Convenient Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Nice 4K video performance
Best Sony Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II
  • Excellent built-in image stabilization
  • Fast and responsive AF with subject tracking
  • Low noise at high ISO settings
  • Weather sealed and dust-resistant
  • Handy Wi-Fi connectivity
Best for Sports Photography
Canon EOS R8
Canon EOS R8
Canon EOS R8
  • Canon's lightest full-frame camera body
  • Pre-shooting buffer of 0.5 seconds
  • Fully articulating touchscreen
  • 10-bit HDR video and 40 fps burst rate
  • Oversampled 4K/60p video
Best Full Frame DSLR
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Impressive 45-point AF system
  • Built well and nice to handle
  • Handy built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Best For Video
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Image stabilization to prevent camera shake
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Great 4K video capabilities
Best Budget Pick
Pentax K-1 Mark II
Pentax K-1 Mark II
Pentax K-1 Mark II
  • Plenty of manual controls
  • A wide ISO range for low light
  • 5-axis Shake Reduction II worth 2.3 to 3.6 shutter stops
  • Dynamic Pixel Shift resolution provides sharper images
  • Astrotracer tracks stars at night
  • Durable camera body with excellent weather sealing
 

The Best Full-Frame Camera in More Detail

Now let’s dive in and see why we’ve chosen each of these cameras.

1. Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5
Released
Released
2020
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Nikon Z
Megapixels
Megapixels
24 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
273
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
51200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
4.5 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
Eye-detection AF and two memory card slots
Best For
Best For
Anyone looking for a great all-around camera

The Nikon Z5 is a compact and lightweight mirrorless camera. It’s also one of the most affordable full-frame cameras. And considering it has excellent photo and video features, you get amazing value for money.

The 24 MP sensor gives you sharp, vibrant images. The larger pixel size means you get an excellent dynamic range. And you get low-noise images in low light, even at higher ISO settings.

This full-frame mirrorless has the Nikon camera vibration reduction (VR) system. This counteracts camera shake to give you sharper images.

The VR also helps you shoot in low-light situations by allowing you to use slower shutter speeds. And you can record walking and tracking movie shots without a camera gimbal.

When it comes to autofocus, you get one of the best systems in this price range. Using 273 focus points, it’s fast and accurate and gives you almost full coverage of the frame.

The Nikon Z5 also has eye-detection technology. And it has reliable tracking for moving subjects.

Videographers will love the 4K video features. The footage is smooth, sharp, and clear. Plus, the AF system works just as well with video as with stills.

It’s a great camera for vlogging. And it doubles as a 4K webcam for conferences and live streaming. It also has two SD card slots, so you have plenty of memory.

Other creative features are multi-exposure and time-lapse modes. You can try focus-shift photography or apply a library of filters in-camera. So you don’t need any photo editing software.

The Nikon Z5 is the perfect full-frame camera for creatives on a budget. The advanced features and functionality produce pro-level media. But the low price helps you upgrade without breaking the bank.

2. Canon EOS RP

Canon EOS RP
Released
Released
2019
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon RF
Megapixels
Megapixels
26 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
4779
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
40000
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
5 fps
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
Thousand of AF points and adjustable touchscreen
Best For
Best For
Anyone who wants a good-value entry to full-frame photography

The Canon EOS RP is the best-value full-frame camera on the market. It’s one of Canon’s older full-frame models. But it’s a fantastic mirrorless camera with a well-rounded selection of features.

You can master photography and videography. And even inexperienced photographers can pick it up and start shooting.

The full-frame sensor has a 26.2 MP resolution. This might not seem like much compared to some of the best full-frame cameras. But you get rich, true-to-life colors and sharp details.

Plus, the larger pixels also give you a better dynamic range. And it features excellent autofocus for stills, a comfortable ergonomic design, and strong low-light performance.

The EOS RP‘s AF system is fast and reliable when shooting stills. It works well in low light and it has face and eye detection for even more accurate focusing. So it is a good camera for portraits.

With 4K video recording, the EOS RP is a good camera for shooting video. The frame rate and autofocus aren’t the best with fast-moving subjects. But it performs well with people in a close-to-medium range.

Canon’s vari-angle touchscreen also makes getting those tricky angle shots easy. It also has webcam functionality, so it’s a great streaming camera.

This Canon mirrorless is a great choice as someone’s first full-frame camera. Plus, its affordability means you’re getting a great deal.

Despite its age, the EOS RP is a fantastic full-frame camera. It’s easy to use but produces top results. You can read our full review of the Canon EOS RP here.

3. Sony a7 II

Sony a7 II
Released
Released
2014
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Sony E
Megapixels
Megapixels
24.3 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
117
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
51200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
5 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
5-axis stablilization and face-tracking AF
Best For
Best For
Vloggers and hybrid shooters

The Sony a7 II isn’t the latest in the a7 line. But it’s still a brilliant full-frame mirrorless camera when bought brand new.

It doesn’t have the raw imaging power of the a7R V. But it has competitive specs, impressive results, and an affordable price. So it is a top choice for budget-conscious photographers.

With a 24.3 MP sensor, this Sony camera delivers great photos. Images are intense, well-rendered, and clean. And low-light performance is excellent, with very little noise until you max out the ISO.

Image stabilization is always a bonus. And the 5-axis stabilization system gives you sharp images without fail. It also gives you more freedom with exposure controls to shoot in lower light.

The video specs look a bit dated. There’s no 4K video recording. And the best definition is Full HD. Although, you have a 60 fps frame rate that gives you super smooth footage.

But the burst rate is slow, with a sluggish max speed of 5 fps. So those looking for a sports or action photography camera should look elsewhere.

More positives are the 117-point AF system with face detection. There are built-in time-lapse camera modes. And the body is weather sealed for use outdoors in bad weather.

The Sony a7 II remains a great full-frame camera. It has its limitations and isn’t the best all-rounder. But it still delivers excellent results for photographers.

It’s a great option for beginners who want to get started with full-frame cameras. And you can get it at a good price with a lens included. I recommend the 28-700mm lens kit for beginners. 

4. Canon EOS R8

Canon EOS RP
Released
Released
2019
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon RF
Megapixels
Megapixels
26 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
4779
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
40000
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
5 fps
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
Compact and lightweight, 40 fps burst mode
Best For
Best For
Sports and action photography

The EOS R8 is one of Canon’s more recent full-frame cameras. It’s another fantastic addition to their mirrorless R range. But despite being released fairly recently, it’s one of their more affordable full-frame cameras.

It isn’t the most affordable on this list, so it sits at number four. But it’s a great price for a top-of-the-line full-frame mirrorless camera.

Mirrorless cameras are known for being lightweight and compact. But the R8 takes that to a new level.

This camera fits in a messenger camera bag. And the body (without a lens) weighs only 1 lb (460 g). It also has a lovely ergonomic design that allows you to shoot for hours without discomfort or fatigue.

The 24.2 MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC X processor give you gorgeous images. They are sharp and vibrant with accurate colors.

The sophisticated AF system also helps you capture everything you need. It’s a 1,053-point system that covers your entire frame.

The autofocus is ultra-quick to respond. It can detect your subject’s face and eyes. And there’s a vehicle-tracking mode for car and motorsports lovers.

You only have a 6-fps burst speed with the mechanical shutter. But it’s still a great camera for sports and action photography.

Switch to the electronic shutter, and you have a rapid 40-fps continuous shooting speed. You won’t miss a thing, no matter how fast the action.

It also has a wide ISO range. The top end allows you to shoot in low-light situations. And you get a bottom level of 50 ISO. This maximizes image quality resulting in stunning photos.

With sensational video features, the R8 is a true hybrid camera. You can record beautiful uncropped 4K videos. And you get a 60 fps frame rate at the highest resolution. That’s pro-level movie quality.

You also have a 180 fps option in Full HD, perfect for recording fast action. You can record beautiful uncropped 4K videos.

Looking at all the incredible specifications, it’s hard to believe the R8 is so affordable. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s excellent value for your money.

The Canon EOS R8 delivers for everyone, from sports photographers to videographers. And it’s one of Canon’s best full-frame cameras.

 

5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Released
Released
2017
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Canon EF
Megapixels
Megapixels
26.2 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
45
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
40000
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
6.5 fps
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
Minimum 50 ISO and time-lapse feature
Best For
Best For
Anyone looking for a full-frame Canon DSLR for their EF-mount lenses

DSLR cameras might be on the way out. But the EOS 6D Mark II still has a lot to offer and delivers superb results where it counts. And photography purists will love using this traditional DSLR.

The full-frame sensor gives you rich 26.2 MP images. And you get a wide expanded ISO range.

The top ISO maxes out at 102,400. And there’s a 50 ISO level for impeccable image quality. This makes it a great camera for landscape photography or fine art.

The AF system is great for a DSLR. It uses 45 focus points that give you nearly full coverage of the frame. And it’s quick to respond and has reliable tracking with moving subjects.

You can also use the 6.5-fps burst mode with full AF coverage. It isn’t the quickest burst, but your shots will be sharp.

Using the built-in time-lapse mode, you can create mesmerizing 4K time-lapse videos with the camera. But the standard video recording is limited to Full HD.

That’s not ideal when compared to newer cameras. But Full HD at 60 fps with digital video stabilization is enough for some video makers.

This Canon camera does have some downsides. First, full-frame DSLRs are heavy, and this camera is no exception. It also lacks image stabilization for stills.

There’s also only one SD card slot, which is frustrating. And it isn’t weather sealed. On the flip side, it does have Wi-Fi connectivity and webcam functionality.

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II produces outstanding images. It has all the features a creative photographer needs to excel. And it’s an affordable full-frame camera.

Multimedia producers will have to look elsewhere. But it’s still a top choice for “old-school” photographers.

 

6. Panasonic LUMIX S5: 4K 60P Video

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5
Released
Released
2021
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Leica L
Megapixels
Megapixels
24.2 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
225
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
51200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
7 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
High-Resolution Shot Mode creates 96 MP images
Best For
Best For
Video creators

Panasonic is renowned for its hybrid cameras. That’s because it puts just as much effort into video features as it does photo features. And the Panasonic Lumix S5 is a fantastic example of this as a full-frame mirrorless camera.

You can use this camera for fabulous creative photography. But it’s also one of the best video cameras in this price range.

With a 24.2 MP resolution, the camera produces lovely still photos. It also has an impressive dynamic range. And if 24.2 MP isn’t enough, you can use the High-Resolution Shot Mode for even more power.

The High-Resolution Shot Mode captures and combines several exposures to make one high-res image. The results are stunning 96 MP images.

You need a tripod and can only use this mode shooting in JPEG. But the image quality is sensational!

Five-axis image stabilization helps you shoot in low light without a tripod. It also gives you sharper images. And the advanced AF system uses AI technology for better accuracy.

The video features are just as impressive. You can record 4K videos at 60 fps, which is pro-standard filmmaking. But there is a time limit at this frame rate.

However, 4K at 30 fps is unlimited. You can also shoot at 180 fps in Full HD for ultra-smooth footage.

This Pansonic camera also has ports for external sound recording equipment and an HDMI output. It’s another reason filmmakers love this camera.

And there are two memory card slots, so you don’t run out of memory halfway through the shoot. Plus, the camera also has protective weather sealing for outdoor use.

The Lumix S5 might stretch your budget a bit. But if you want high-quality video production, it’s worth spending a little extra on the S5.

You can go for the Panasonic Lumix S5 II, which has even better specs. But the original S5 is still a terrific full-frame camera for multimedia producers.

7. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Pentax K-1 Mark II
Released
Released
2018
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Pentax KAF4
Megapixels
Megapixels
36 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
33
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
819200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
4.4 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Key Features
Key Features
Excellent maximum ISO and Pixel-Shift mode
Best For
Best For
Budget-conscious users wanting a full-frame DSLR

The Pentax K1 Mark II upgrades the popular and successful original K1. It eases the transition for those moving from APS-C to full frame with a crop feature. This allows you to use APS-C lenses while you save up for the full-frame equivalents.

The Mark II comes with a strong set of specifications. It has a 36 MP sensor, a weather-resistant magnesium alloy body, and even an astrotracer mode. This allows long exposures without star trails. A rare find outside of specialist astronomy equipment.

Another standout feature is the 5-axis in-body stabilization to help you with low-light photography. It also helps facilitate the handheld Pixel-Shift feature. This combines four versions of the same shot, delivering a whopping 144 MP image.

The same mechanism is behind the selectable anti-aliasing (AA) filter. Normally, you either have an AA filter in your camera or you don’t. They have their advantages and disadvantages. The K1 allows you the best of both worlds. Microvibration of the sensor reduces moiré. But you can turn it off if you don’t want it. This allows you the sharpness that an AA filter can reduce.

The tilting LCD screen articulates, allowing viewing from multiple angles. And it will even show you your GPS location and the compass bearing for where you’re shooting.

The Pentax K1 Mark II is a feature-packed camera that offers great value for money. And it has enough unusual nice touches to make it worth your consideration. Aging photographers will appreciate the LEDs to show you the lens mount and card slots, for instance. Pentax isn’t the consumer camera colossus it once was, but it still makes a pretty good DSLR.

 

Cheapest Full-Frame Camera FAQs

Finding a full-frame camera at an affordable price isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve answered these common questions.

What’s the Difference Between APS-C and Full-Frame Sensors?

Quite simply, full-frame sensors are bigger than APS-C sensors. Full-frame sensors are similar in size to 35mm cells on rolls of film. And APS-C sensors are about one-third smaller.

The downside is that full-frame cameras are bigger and heavier. They need to house the larger sensor. And they need a more powerful processor to process the information.

But there are several benefits to using full-frame cameras. The larger sensor surface area can house more megapixels. And generally speaking, more megapixels means better image quality.

Man in wooly hat using a full frame Canon camera
© Thom Holmes
 

Image quality is improved in other ways too. Megapixels are often larger on full-frame sensors. So each pixel absorbs more information, giving your camera a better dynamic range.

This can also reduce noise in low-light photography. And it gives you more scope when editing photos.

First, you can zoom and crop the images while maintaining image quality. And the post-processing effects have more impact on the final image.

Are There Cheap Full-Frame Cameras for Video?

Yes, absolutely. The very best cameras for videography come at a price—often a very high one.

But aspiring video makers don’t need a loan to buy a good video camera. Many cameras on our list have excellent video specs.

The Nikon Z5 is the perfect example. It has 4K video recording with a selection of frame rates. You have ports for external screens and microphones.

It’s a fantastic vlogging camera. And you can use it as a webcam for live streaming. It’s also one of the most affordable cameras on this list.

If you don’t like Nikon, you also have the Canon EOS R8. It is a bit more expensive. But it’s another fantastic hybrid camera. It gives you excellent 4K video options and is ideal for multimedia makers.

If you can stretch your budget a bit more, the Panasonic Lumix S5 gives you professional video features. You can shoot 4K at 30 or 60 fps. And the resolution is crystal clear.

The Lumix S5 gives you all the ports for external video equipment. So it’s worth the extra investment if you’re serious about video.

Are Renewed Cameras a Good Option?

Yes, but be careful. Buying renewed cameras is a great way to save some money. You can get older camera models in great shape. And the savings can be substantial.

But always buy renewed cameras from a reliable source. Amazon’s official renewed store is the most reliable place to buy online.

But you can also go to in-person photography stores. This allows you to see, touch, and test the camera before you buy it.

It can make a huge difference when buying second-hand cameras. And you need to take even more care than when buying new. 

 

Conclusion: Best Cheapest Full-Frame Cameras

Yes, full-frame cameras usually are more expensive than APS-C cameras. (There are compact and mirrorless full-frame options.)

But buying a full-frame camera doesn’t have to mean financial ruin. This list shows you can still find excellent full-frame cameras at a reasonable price.

We’ve seen cameras old and new. And there are affordable cameras from all the major brands. But the Nikon Z5 is our favorite cheap full-frame camera.

The Z5 is compact and lightweight. It has incredible specs for photos and videos. And the price tag is more than reasonable.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Cheapest Full-Frame Camera
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
Nikon Z5
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
Canon EOS RP
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II