The best full frame mirrorless cameras are where you want to be if you want the most advanced cameras around right now. Mirrorless is where all the most exciting professional imaging technology is right now – the highest resolutions, the fastest burst speeds, the most sophisticated autofocus, and the most advanced video specs. As such, these also tend to be among the more expensive cameras, although, as we'll see, there are bargains to be had too in the world of full-frame mirrorless.
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As such, we've split this guide up into sections, to help you navigate to the type of full-frame mirrorless camera you want. Below, we've run through the different categories we've split the cameras into.
On a budget: here are the full-frame mirrorless cameras you can get on the cheap – relatively speaking, that is. They're still going to be pricier than beginner or smaller-sensor cameras, but these full-frame mirrorless cameras offer incredible value. There's a mix of older models that are still widely available, and newer models that are pitched toward the budget end of the market.
High resolution: no messing around – these are the full-frame mirrorless cameras with the most pixels possible, for super-detailed images and high-quality prints. If you're a committed pixel junkie, you may also want to check out our continuously updated guide to the highest-resolution cameras (opens in new tab) you can buy today.
Fastest burst: the best super-fast mirrorless cameras for sports and action, a competitive category that the new Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS R3 (opens in new tab) are kicking around the block.
Best for video: mirrorless cameras are some of the best consumer video cameras around, so we've also included the full-frame cameras best for video, plenty of which have been used in professional productions.
We've kept the cameras on this list to the best of the best – if you're looking for more choices, then you can check out our guides to the best cameras for professionals (opens in new tab) and the best 4K cameras for filmmaking (opens in new tab). If you're budget-conscious (and who isn't these days), then our guide to the cheapest full frame cameras (opens in new tab) you can get right now may be helpful.
So let's get started!
The best full frame mirrorless cameras in 2023
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One camera in this section has become cheap because it has been out a long time, one was made cheap (but it's none the worse for that) and another has been made cheap with some really aggressive pricing. The thing is – they're all great first-time full frame cameras!(opens in new tab)
Do you know what? We feel a bit sorry for the Nikon Z5. It's often overlooked, but at today's prices, it's a very modern, very well-featured camera that's the perfect introduction to full frame mirrorless photography. 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.
In our review, we felt that the Z5 did pretty much everything you could ask from an
entry-level mirrorless camera, albeit at a price that's maybe just a shade too high. It's worth keeping an eye on the best Nikon Z5 deals (opens in new tab) to see if you can snag it at a discount. 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 (opens in new tab) and Sony Alpha A7 II (opens in new tab), and it does shoot 4K video where they don't.
Read our full Nikon Z5 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
For a long time, the original Sony A7 was the cheapest full frame camera you could get, but it's proving pretty hard to find these days, and its replacement, the A7 Mark II is, to be fair, a much better camera. The big advantage that you get with the Alpha A7 II is built-in optical stabilization. This allows you to get steadier shots in a wide variety of lighting conditions and works with any of the range of E-mount Sony lenses (opens in new tab).
We recently re-reviewed the Sony A7 II to see if it could still compete in today's market, and found ourselves pleasantly surprised by what a capable camera it still is. Autofocus and start-up times are also faster than those on the A7, the former thanks to a 117-point phase-detect AF system that works in combination with 25-point contrast-detect AF, ensuring sharpness no matter where the subject lies in the frame. This 24-megapixel CSC is also pretty small for a full-frame camera.
Prices for the A7 Mark II are falling just as they did for the original A7 before it, and right now this is one of the cheapest options for full frame upgraders.
Read our full Sony A7 II review, updated for 2022 (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The EOS RP was Canon's second full frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter, and a lot cheaper than the first, the EOS R. 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. When we reviewed the camera we loved the clear and sharp images it was capable of creating, and having the vari-angle touchscreen was hugely handy for compositions.
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.
In a handy touch, the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the growing RF lens system. This is a great little camera if you're ready to accept its limitations.
Read our full Canon EOS RP review (opens in new tab)
We've ranked these cameras in order of resolution, but see our comments on each before deciding which is best for you. We do have to explain the absence of the 50MP Sony A1, however. The fact is, it's so good at everything that it could have gone in three of our categories – resolution, speed, AND video (not value, obvs) – but we had to choose somewhere so we've put it in the 'best for speed' category below. You can take it as read that it also qualifies for the 'best for resolution' and 'best for video' sections too.(opens in new tab)
* Note that the A7R Mark IV has been swapped for a newer A7R IVA version, with the same basic specs but a higher resolution rear screen and improved battery life. Make sure you know what you are getting when you order.
With its 61-megapixel sensor, the Sony A7R Mark IV inevitably comes top of this particular category. The 'R' models in Sony's A7 series cameras are designed first and foremost for resolution – and the Sony A7R Mark IV certainly delivers. The previous A7R Mark III set the standard for a time, but the A7R Mark IV brings a new record-breaking 61-megapixel that has the highest resolution of any Sony – or indeed any full frame camera.
In our review, we were impressed by plenty of other specs on the A7R Mark IV, including 10fps continuous shooting – an amazing achievement at this resolution – advanced Eye AF, and 4K video. The 10fps frame rate doesn't make it a sports camera, though, as it lacks the outright speed, responsiveness, and buffer capacity for that, and Sony's 4K video seems stuck in a bit of a time warp right now compared to the advances being made by rival makers.
The Eye AF and Real-time tracking are excellent, but we found having to switch to the Super 35mm crop format for the best quality video to be a nuisance. But still, this is the only full frame mirrorless camera to beat the mighty new Sony A1 for resolution.
Read our full Sony A7R Mark IV review (opens in new tab) • Sony A7R IV vs A7R III vs A7R II (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Z7 II is Nikon's flagship full frame mirrorless camera and an update to the original Nikon Z7. All the changes that we’ve seen on the Z7 II compared to the Z7 are certainly welcome, but we can’t help feeling that Nikon’s played it a bit safe. 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 when we reviewed the Nikon Z7 II we found that it delivers solidly across the board. Nikon's changes – dual processors and dual memory card slots, for example – have made a great camera even better.
Read our full Nikon Z7 II review (opens in new tab)
While the Leica M11 is a 60.3MP camera, it's actually something more than that – it's got a clever 'triple-resolution' design that lets you knock it down to 36MP or 18MP. This means that in situations where a less detailed file will do, you aren't clogging up your cards with pixels you don't need.
This is an M-series rangefinder camera, and focusing with its direct vision viewfinder is a different experience to anything else on the market. You move the focusing lever or ring on your M-series lens until the 'ghost' image in the viewfinder lines up with your subject. When the image in the viewfinder is sharp, so is your photo. If it sounds tricky, that's because it is, but once you master it, you'll be amazed at how intuitive it feels, and how accurate your results are. As we said when we reviewed the camera, it's an experience unlike anything else.
The Leica M11 brings rangefinders well and truly into the modern day, with its Maestro III which delivers 15 stops of dynamic range, its 64-50,000 ISO range, and its combination mechanical/electronic shutter. There's even a USB-C port for charging. It comes at a heck of a price of course – this is Leica, after all – but it's an outstanding camera, a fine representative of a series that blends the best of old and new.
Read our full Leica M11 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Sigma fp gets its number two spot in this section purely by virtue of its resolution. In terms of features and responsiveness, it's not really the equal of its rivals here, though it is an intriguing hybrid stills/video camera that could yet prove to be the start of something new.
Given how many things the Sigma fp L is at once, it's amazing what a small body the camera has. Sigma is keen to market this full-frame mirrorless model as a hybrid stills and video camera – so it shoots both 61MP stills and is a full-on cine shooter, able to capture 8-bit CinemaDNG format internally, or up to 12-bit CinemaDNG when hooked up to an external SSD via USB.
Switching between stills and cine mode is nice and easy, and the whole camera is pleasingly easy to control (though its small size makes it quite unbalanced when it's paired with big lenses). The compromises have to come somewhere, you might be thinking, and you are right; when we reviewed the Sigma fp L, we found there to be some drawbacks. While the video quality is brilliant, the video autofocus is pretty slow and unreliable.
What's more, the camera only has an electronic shutter, not a mechanical one, and its sensor has quite a slow readout speed. So while it can shoot at fast shutter speeds, and at an impressive-sounding burst speed of 10fps, fast-moving subjects run the risk of getting blurred or distorted.
This is a quirky and interesting camera though, and if you can forgive a few niggles, you may find yourself charmed by it. If you invest some time in getting used to it, the Sigma fp L has serious potential in both stills and video.
Read our full Sigma fp L review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The EOS R5 is such a powerful and effective all-rounder, so why is it languishing at the number 5 slot? It's purely because its resolution is a whisker below that of its rivals, and that's our criterion here. The fact is, though, that a couple of megapixels here and there makes no difference, and the EOS R5 is a quite superb camera.
It is the flagship mirrorless camera – for now – and seems to be trying to corner every segment of the market at once. As we noted in our full Canon EOS R5 review, this is simple a camera that's good at everything. Its 45MP sensor produces images of incredible detail, and it has the class-leading autofocus system of the EOS-1D X Mark III (below), 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.
We've put the EOS R5 in our 'Best for resolution' section, but it could also go in 'Best for video', 'Best for sport' or 'Best of just about anything! This also applies to the brand new Sony A1, which has another five million pixels, but also another $2,000+ on the price!
Update: Canon has also introduced the EOS R5 C (opens in new tab), a video-first version of this camera that shoots internal 8K 12-bit up to 60p and offers Dual Base ISO. But, most importantly, it possesses an integrated cooling fan to solve the overheating issue that dogged the release of the EOS R5. For this reason, Canon described it as a camera with "no limitations", although it, uh, does in fact have recording limitations (see here (opens in new tab) for a breakdown of what they are).
Read our full Canon EOS R5 review (opens in new tab)
Best for speed
Blitzing aside the competition in terms of raw speed (and, for that matter, RAW speed), the Nikon Z9 is set to become the new professional standard when it comes to full-frame sports shooting. It's capable of burst shooting at a whopping 120fps – granted, this takes the resolution down to 11MP, from a maximum of 45.7MP, but in all honesty, if you're producing that many images, you don't want files much larger than this.
The Nikon Z9 hugely impressed us in our full review of the camera. It's cheaper than the Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3, and in speed, terms blows the socks off them both (though they both have other advantages of their own, whether that's resolution or high-ISO performance). Nikon's AF has also finally caught up with that of its rivals, cementing the Z9's status as a true sports shooter.
Read our full Nikon Z9 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
To quote from our own review, the Sony A9 II is the fastest, most ferocious full-frame sports camera we've ever used. Its blistering speed and autofocus performance are matched only by its phenomenal connectivity, which promises to be a game-changer for pro shooters.
However, we would love to have seen Sony implement something akin to Olympus' Pro Capture feature so that you never miss the critical moment. It's a bit of a disappointment to find Sony's not yet ready for the new super-fast CFexpress format (and if ever a camera needed high-end cards, it's this one) and Sony's not really made any attempt to move its 4K video tech any further forward – so no 10-bit capture or 60/50p frame rates just yet.
Read our full Sony A9 Mark II review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
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. As we noted in our review, 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, prevents it from being right at the top of this list.
If you want resolution, the Sony A1 is second only to Sony's own A7R IV/IVA and the quirky Sigma fp L, but if you also want super-fast burst speeds and 8K video, then the A1 is one of the best you can get, with only the Nikon Z9 to rival it. In typical Sony style, though, it's a camera that does everything you want and some other things you might not that still bump up the price.
Read our full Sony A1 review (opens in new tab)
The Canon EOS R3 is a technical masterpiece. At first glance, some of its specs may seem puzzling – only 24.1MP resolution? No 8K video? But Canon is being canny (Canon-y?) here and giving sports shooters what they need.
Just as with the Nikon Z9 above, someone shooting at the maximum burst speeds of 30fps doesn't want huge files, as it'll make their workflow unmanageable. So Canon has put the emphasis on speed and responsiveness, and the result is a super-fast, seemingly telepathic camera so advanced it can adjust its focus point using the position of your eyeball.
That was the big question on our minds when we set out to review the EOS R3 – does the Eye Control AF actually work? Answer: uh, wow. Yes, it does. It works very well. It's not for super-fast moving subjects like birds in flight, but for general-purpose shooting, it is absolutely seamless, and really makes you feel integrated with the camera.
In terms of raw burst shooting speed, the EOS R3 is considerably outgunned by the Nikon Z9. But the EOS R3 is arguably a better-featured overall package, even for sports shooters.
Read our full Canon EOS R3 review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
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 supersede 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.
We feel bad it's so far down our list, but that's not because it's a lackluster camera, as we noted in our review – it's because of the way we've organized these cameras. The 33MP A7 IV may not have the megapixels to get into our 'Resolution' section, or the video clout to get into our 'Video' section, but it misses both only by a whisker. However, its 10fps burst shooting and unlimited raw buffer capacity (yes, really!) with a CFexpress Type A card DEFINITELY make it a real speed demon that's priced for enthusiasts and a great all-rounder too.
Read our full Sony A7 IV review (opens in new tab)
Best for video(opens in new tab)
This is actually a very close-run thing, but the A7S III has a much more advanced AF system than the Lumix S5, below, and that might be the clincher for most filmmakers and vloggers. It’s taken Sony five years to upgrade the video-centric A7S II to a Mark III, but the wait has been worth it for the keen enthusiast and professional moviemakers. It might not boast 6K or 8K video resolution of some of its rivals, and with only 12.1MP it’s not a powerhouse super-stills machine either.
But apart from a big and expensive cinema camera, it’s the only camera that can shoot 4K at 60p full frame with no crop, recorded internally, in 10-bit 4:2:2 with no limitations on recording time and with all the advanced AF functions still working. The 12MP resolution means the A7S III is pretty poor as a stills camera, but an absolute natural at 4K, so it is tilted more towards video than stills. However, sports fans should note it can shoot stills at 10fps and has an incredible 1,000-shot raw buffer (using new CFexpress Type A cards).
Read our full Sony A7S III review (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Lumix S5 is decent enough as an entry-level full frame stills camera, but it goes absolutely above and beyond for video features at this price. 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 stabilization 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.
Panasonic has stuck to its contrast-based DFD autofocus system which still doesn't quite match the latest phase-detect systems from rivals, but a speed and algorithm upgrade has closed the gap. The Lumix S5 is smaller than the Lumix S1 and S1H 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 our full Panasonic Lumix S5 review (opens in new tab)
How we test full frame mirrorless cameras
Our testing procedure involves (opens in new tab) putting cameras through their paces both in real-world shooting scenarios, and in the lab. We've put every one of these full-frame mirrorless cameras to the test to get a feel for how they handle in day-to-day use, as well as a carefully controlled lab to measure resolution, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio. We use ISO resolution charts to measure resolution, and DxO Analyzer test equipment for dynamic range and noise analysis. With these extensive testing procedures, we build up a clear, objective picture of how the camera performs.
best cameras for professionals (opens in new tab)
best 4K cameras for filmmaking (opens in new tab)
cheapest full frame cameras (opens in new tab)