We think these are the best full frame cameras you can get right now. Almost every photographer, from amateur to enthusiast to professional, will eventually gravitate towards a full frame camera, and it doesn't cost as much as you might expect!
Full frame cameras aren't for everyone. The best cameras for beginners are typically smaller and cheaper APS-C or Micro Four Thirds models which have all the controls you need to learn about photography but are simple to use, too.
But if you're ready to take the plunge with a full frame camera, there are three factors to think about:
• What system you want to buy into
• What your photographic speciality is
• How much you want to spend!
Choosing the right system is important because this is a long-term decision. You'll also be buying lenses to go with your camera, and you're likely to have these for a long time. Camera bodies come and go, but your camera system could be with you for years.
The other decision is what you want your camera for. There are some great all-rounders that can do a bit of everything, but if you have a particular speciality you need a camera designed for the job. See our guides to the best cameras for sports and the highest resolution cameras, for example.
So this brings us to the third factor: how much you want to spend. With this in mind, although we list the best full frame cameras you can get from every maker, we also. list more affordable options for more realistic budgets. If price is your biggest decider, you might also want to check out our guide to the cheapest full frame cameras right now.
Best full frame cameras in 2022
Best Canon full frame cameras
Canon makes full frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Recently, it's switched almost all of its attention to its mirrorless EOS R range, but that doesn't mean the DSLR design is done just yet. Canon DSLR owners can gradually switch to mirrorless via the inexpensive EF-EOS R adaptors, which are often bundled with new mirrorless cameras by retailers.
The EOS R5 is Canon's latest flagship mirrorless camera, and seems to be trying to corner every segment of the market at once. Its brand-new 45MP sensor produces images of incredible detail, and it has the class-leading autofocus system of the EOS-1D X Mark III, with a whopping 5,940 AF points for photography and 4,500 for video. As if that wasn't enough, it also offers 12fps continuous shooting. The EOS R5's video specs are nothing short of next-generation, including uncropped 8K Raw video internally at up to 29.97fps in 4:2:2 12-bit Canon Log or HDR PQ (both H.265) in both UHD and DCI – this is cinema-quality stuff – though the R5 is affected by heat buildup and recording limits. Recent competition from the Sony A1 and Nikon Z9 means that the R5 is now only one elite camera amongst three.
Read more: Canon EOS R5 review
The EOS RP was Canon's second full frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter and a lot cheaper than all of the others. It's designed to be a compact, affordable and easy to use entry point into Canon's full frame mirrorless system, and it succeeds brilliantly. Its small dimensions mean it can sometimes feel overbalanced by larger lenses, though, and the 4K video mode comes with some caveats – the image frame is cropped by a factor of 1.6 and you can't use Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system unless you drop the resolution to full HD. On the upside, the vari-angle touchscreen display is a real advantage for both stills and video, and the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the new but growing RF lens system. The EOS RP has an old-ish 26MP sensor and no in-body stabilization, but for beginners or full frame first timers it's still a great camera – especially at today's knock-down prices!
If you are a wedding photographer, the 45MP images of the EOS R5, and its recording limits, are probably going to be a hindrance rather than a help, and the new EOS R6 could prove the better choice. It has more sensible 20MP resolution with bags of detail from the full frame sensor but much more manageable file sizes and storage demands. It has atop shooting speed of 20fps, and autofocus that borrows the deep-learning tech from the EOS-1D X Mark III, meaning it gets better as you use it. The resolution is just 20.1MP, which might be too low for some tastes, but this does mean that the pixels are able to be larger, which has big implications for low-light performance. Indeed, the R6 even edges out the R5 in this department, with a standard ISO range of 100-102,400 that's expandable to 50-204,800. When you combine this with the introduction of Canon's 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system that provides up to eight stops of effective compensation, this is a seriously capable low-light camera. It's held its price well, though, and if you judge by megapixels alone, there are many cheaper, higher-resolution cameras than this one.
Read more: Canon EOS R6 review
The amazing Canon EOS-1D X Mark III turned out to be much, much more than we were expecting. Not only is it an update to the 1D X workhorse series beloved by professionals worldwide, it's also an important step forward for DSLRs generally, boasting deep-learning AF, uncropped 4K (something that had been missing from Canon cameras for quite some time), a revamped control system and much more besides. If you need a camera that just shoots and shoots, with whip-smart AF and an indomitable burst rate... well, you probably don't need us to tell you twice. But we'll do it anyway: the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is an astonishing camera, and thanks to its on-sensor Dual Pixel CMOS AF, it's also a match for any mirrorless camera. We think, though, that once rivals like the EOS R3 and Nikon Z9 become widely available, time may start to run out for the mighty Canon.
Read more: Canon EOS-1D X Mark III review
Nikon full frame cameras
Like Canon, Nikon has introduced a mirrorless camera system alongside its DSLRs. And, like Canon, it supplies an affordable FTZ adaptor that lets Nikon fans use their DSLR lenses on the new Nikon Z bodies. The Nikon Z6 and Z7, now updated to Mark II versions, were the first to be launched and are still among the best Nikon full frame cameras. But it's a little too early to rule out Nikon's formidable DSLRs, as they still have what it takes to compete with mirrorless cameras, especially if you like the handling, balance and 'heft' of the DSLR design.
The Z7 II is Nikon's flagship full-frame mirrorless camera. All the changes that we’ve seen on the Z7 II compared to the original Z7 are certainly welcome, but we can’t help feeling that Nikon’s played it a bit safe with its second-gen Z cameras. We’d like to have seen even more of a jump to really make it a serious threat to the likes of the Canon EOS R5 and Alpha A7R IV. But still, the Nikon Z7 II has a lot going for it. It might not have a standout feature that sets it apart from its competitors, but the Nikon Z7 II delivers solidly across the board and is a great mirrorless camera. Nikon's changes – dual processors and dual memory card slots, for example – have made a great camera even better, and don't forget the growing selection of terrific Z-mount lenses now available for Nikon's Z cameras.
Read more: Nikon Z7 II review
Mirrorless camera fans will often complain about the size and weight of DSLRs, and they have a point. The Nikon D850 is a big bruiser of a camera compared to the new Nikon Z models. But this size works in your favour if you're shooting with big, heavy lenses, and most pro lenses are big and heavy! This is a handling factor that many mirrorless users don't always take into account. Being a DSLR, the D850 has a bright, clear optical viewfinder that many photographers still prefer over a digital display, no matter how good. The D850's 45.7-megapixel sensor produces quite superb image quality, yet it can still maintain a shooting speed of 7 frames per second, or 9 frames per second with the optional battery grip. Even without the grip, the D850 has an amazing battery life of 1840 shots – far more than any mirrorless rivals – and it comes with two memory card slots; one for the new XQD card format and one for regular SD/SDHC/SDXC.
Read more: Nikon D850 review
The Z5 is Nikon's entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera. Rather than starting with a clean sheet of paper, Nikon's pretty much used the same design for the Z5 as it did for the original Z6 (and Z7 for that matter). The most noticeable thing on the body that differs from the Z6 is the arrival of a more beginner-orientated mode dial in place of the LCD top-plate display. The Z5 also borrows much of the tech inside the Z6, with the most noticeable difference being the sensor. The resolution might be the same, but the Z6 benefits from a back-illuminated chip and images from the two are very similar, with the Z6 having the edge at higher ISOs. The 4K video is a little restrictive with a 1.7x crop, while the burst shooting speed is a modest 4.5fps. The Z5 is better than its budget rivals the Canon EOS RP and Sony Alpha A7 II, and steady price drop make it a really attractive buy, even up against cheaper 'beginner' models like the Z50 and Z fc.
Read more: Nikon Z5 review
The Nikon D780 takes the on-sensor phase detection autofocus of the Nikon Z6, resulting in a DSLR with the live view autofocus speed of a mirrorless cameras – brilliant! Essentially, the D780 is like a modernized, supercharged version of Nikon's still popular D750 full-frame DSLR. The D780 doesn't just have advanced live view AF – it also comes with a high-resolution tilting touchscreen display, 4K UHD video, dual UHS-II compatible memory card slots and continuous shooting speeds up to 12fps in live view mode. Combine that with its solid design and comfortable grip and you've got a camera that's an instant classic. But the D780 also reminds us just how good (and comparatively cheap) the older Nikon D750 still is. If all you need is a classic, good value full-frame DSLR for stills shooting, the D750 remains a great buy.
Read more: Nikon D780 review
Sony full frame cameras
Where do you start with Sony? Its A7 series practically invented the whole full frame mirrorless camera market, and while rivals have caught up with Sony in many respects (and even overtaken it for video), Sony's AF technology still leads the way, and it has both the highest resolution full frame camera on the market (the A7R IV) and the best 4K camera (the A7S III). Sony's APS-C cameras use the same E-mount and the lenses are interchangeable, but while Sony is still developing the smaller format, we'd have to say that the full frame camera's are where it's at.
The Sony A7 IV signals a step up in ambition for Sony's ‘vanilla’ A7 model. Traditionally, the Sony A7 has been the range’s entry-level camera, with the ‘R’ models adding resolution and the ’S’ models adding speed/sensitivity. But there’s nothing ordinary about the Sony A7 IV, and while it does technically superseded the A7 III, it’s an altogether more advanced camera that, we think, targets a higher-level audience. Compared to the A7 III, the A7 IV is a major step up – but in price as well as features. The A7 III will keep going for now, so it makes for a tricky buying decision!
• Read more: Sony A7 IV review
The A7R IV is Sony’s highest-resolution full frame mirrorless camera, with a record-breaking 61 million pixels and yet still capable of shooting continuously at 10fps. It also has Sony's usual very good 4K video capabilities, though still capped at 30p. The latest iteration of Sony's eye AF, however, is stunningly effective at tracking portrait subjects, even in continuous AF. While the Sony A9 II (below) is designed for out-and-out speed and responsiveness, the A7R Mark IV is much more suitable for all-round photography at the highest quality levels. Its limited buffer capacity means it's not as good as the A9 II for action, and its video capabilities don't match those of the Sony A7S III, but even if the highest possible still image quality is this camera's priority, it can still handle those other jobs pretty well too.
Read more: Sony A7R IV review
The Sony A1 is everything that Sony says it is. It’s a technological triumph, a camera that really can do everything. Previously, cameras might offer speed, resolution or video capability, but the A1 offers all three, and even beats dedicated sports and video cameras at their own game. So is this the perfect camera? Not quite. The price is, and will remain, a major obstacle, and its appeal is limited to photographers who need everything it does, not just one or two of those things. This, together with its huge price, prevent it from being further up our list. We couldn't have an article about the best Sony cameras without mentioning the A1, but would we really recommend it as the best one to buy? Realistically, for 99 photographers out of a hundred, probably not.
Even though the Sony A7C and the Sony A7 III are now very similar prices, the articulated screen on the Sony A7C makes it that much better for vlogging. It isn't Sony's most exciting camera release but its practical performance and excellent AF system do make it a good camera. The Sony A7C lacks the same quality feel that other A7 cameras have but it is a bit lighter and therefore might appeal more to someone vlogging on the move. Its full-frame sensor also means it's very good in low light and it has 5 stops of in-body stabilization so even if you're shooting hand-held you'll be able to achieve relatively smooth video. Prices have fallen since it first came out so now the A7C is Sony's entry-level full frame camera and a pretty effective one at that.
• Read more: Sony A7C review
Panasonic full frame cameras
Panasonic took a bold step into full frame mirrorless cameras back in 2018, and has hardly looked back. It continues to make its smaller Micro Four Thirds format Lumix G cameras, feeling that they continue to cater for a very different kind of user – the only snag is that there is no upgrade path between the two. There is no adapter to use Lumix G lenses on Lumix S cameras, or vice versa. We also can't help feeling that the Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R are sliding slowly out of sight – though the affordable Lumix S5 is terrific.
Despite its compact size, the Lumix S5 shares the impressive 24MP CMOS sensor housed in the Lumix S1, but with improved AF. It also has a tough weather-resistant body and delivers up to 6.5-stops of image stabilisation with compatible lenses. Its standout features include class-leading dynamic range and 4K video recording, as well as 96MP high resolution RAW+JPEG capture. It’s tough to beat in this category. The Lumix S5 is smaller than the Lumix S1 and S1R before it, and cheaper too. It matches the Lumix S1 for stills and beats it for video, coming close to the capabilities of the far more expensive Lumix S1H. What a camera!
Read more: Panasonic Lumix S5 review
The Lumix S range is a very interesting proposition for professional photographers, especially now that the range of L-mount lenses available is now quite good, and growing fast. The Lumix S1R is perhaps the most enticing proposition for pros, combining 4K video capture with a high-speed 6K photo mode and huge 47.3MP resolution. The 5.76-million dot electronic viewfinder is amazing, and the S1R handles very well too. The 24MP Lumix S1 is cheaper and a little better at video, but that's a cost decision – and if you're really serious about video, the pricier Lumix S1H is the one to go for.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix S1R review
Leica full frame cameras
Let's not forget Leica! For decades, Leica cameras have been for connoisseurs of quality and priced beyond the reach of ordinary photographers, but times have changed, and many Leica cameras don't look so very much more expensive than regular rivals – and they do add that certain je ne sais quoi.
• See also: Best Leica cameras
Leica M cameras are an acquired taste. They are fiendishly expensive – of course – and resolutely old fashioned in their design and operation. They don’t suffer fools gladly. And yet the M10-R also happens to feature some of the latest digital technology to produce image quality to challenge any other full frame camera, and a shooting experience that remains unique. Like previous M-series cameras, the M10-R does not suffer fools gladly and you need to put in some practice – and make a few mistakes – to learn how to use it effective. It will reward you, however, with a shooting experience like no other. If you have a great deal of money, or your passion is engineering, heritage, the look and feel of classic camera designs or just the look and feel of the images, the M10-R could be your dream camera.
Read more: Leica M10-R review
Plenty of Leica cameras form an unusual hybrid where their insides are essentially the same as cameras from other manufacturers, while their outers are all Leica. Some of these are simple rebadgings, but the relatively recent Leica SL2 is something a little different. On the inside it's extremely similar to Panasonic's Lumix S1R, a superb mirrorless full-frame camera, but the outside is completely different, a sleek and minimalist design with few controls, designed to completely immerse you in the shooting experience. The interface is a revelation, classy and elegant and so intuitive it puts a grin on your face right away. With the future looking bright for L-mount lenses (see the L- mount lens roadmap), this 4K-capable camera is a fantastic buy for any prospective Leica owner.
Read more: Leica SL2 review
Best full frame cameras: honorable mentions
There are some cameras we haven't included in our list above which are interesting nonetheless:
• The Pentax K-1 Mark II is an old-school DSLR with limited video capabilities and continuous shooting performance, but cast iron construction (it's not, but it feels like it) an excellent 36-megapixel sensor, a remarkable scissor-action rear screen and some very powerful stills photography features.
• The Sigma fp and the 61MP Sigma fp L are intriguing pint-sized full frame cameras (smaller even than the Sony A7C) that would sit beautifully at the center of a video rig but also takes rather good 24MP stills. It shares the L-mount developed jointly by Leica, Panasonic and Sigma, so it can already use a wide variety of lenses