ad stars
ad Bestseller
A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
PW

The best full-frame cameras

Full-frame cameras are high-end digital imaging devices that feature sensors that are similar in size to 35mm film (36 x 24mm). These relatively large sensors make it possible to capture high quality images even in poorly lit environments. They also tend to offer large dynamic range to reflect differences between dark and bright parts of a scene, and feature a rich color depth to allow for fine tonal gradation, for example, of skintones. On the downside, full-frame sensors are more expensive to produce and require larger lenses to cover the entire sensor area.

Full-frame

There is a wide and growing choice of full-frame cameras on the market. It is not easy to decide which one is best. Indeed, what does it really mean to look for the best full-frame? The camera that offers the best imaging experience? The one with the highest sensor resolution? The one that is most portable? The full-frame camera that does not break the bank? The answers to these questions come down to personal preference, but hopefully the listings below will prove to be useful for your camera decision process.

The highest rated full-frame cameras

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Sony A1

The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive rating that takes the body, sensor and feature characteristics of digital cameras into account. It is based on the outcomes of thousands of pair-wise comparisons undertaken via the CAM-parator app.

The Sony A1 is currently the top-ranked full-frame with a Camera Elo of 3198, followed in second place by the Nikon Z7 II with a rating of 3171. The table below lists the 20 highest ranked full-frame in descending order of their Elo. It also reports the cameras' DXO Mark sensor quality score (as far as these are available), which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

scroll hint
The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Lens
Type
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Camera
Type
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Sony A1Sony E 319898 Mirrorless 49.88k/30p Jan 2021 6,499 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 3171100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon R5Canon RF 315795 Mirrorless 44.88k/30p Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Nikon Z6 IINikon Z 314694 Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 1,999 i
5.
 
Leica SL2-SL Mount 313495 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Dec 2020 4,895 i
6.
 
Panasonic S1HL Mount 3134- Mirrorless 24.06K/30p May 2019 3,999 i
7.
 
Panasonic S1RL Mount 3126100 Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 i
8.
 
Sony A7R IVSony E 312499 Mirrorless 60.24K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 i
9.
 
Panasonic S1L Mount 308495 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 2,499 i
10.
 
Leica SL2L Mount 3083- Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 i
11.
 
Sony A7CSony E 306695 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 1,799 i
12.
 
Canon R6Canon RF 306390 Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 2,499 i
13.
 
Panasonic S5L Mount 305694 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 1,999 i
14.
 
Sony A7R IIISony E 3051100 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Oct 2017 3,199i
15.
 
Sony A7S IIISony E 304586 Mirrorless 12.04K/120p Jul 2020 3,499 i
16.
 
Nikon Z5Nikon Z 3044- Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 1,399 i
17.
 
Sony A9 IISony E 304293 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Oct 2019 4,499 i
18.
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIICanon EF 299691 DSLR 20.04K/60p Jan 2020 6,499 i
19.
 
Nikon Z6Nikon Z 299595 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018 1,999i
20.
 
Nikon Z7Nikon Z 299099 Mirrorless 45.44K/30p Aug 2018 3,399i

You can access more detail on the listed cameras by clicking on the camera's name. Alternatively, you can compare two full-frame cameras using the search boxes below. Just enter two model names into the input fields and you will promptly be taken to a respective comparison.

~
    loader

    The highest resolution full-frame cameras

    Perhaps your primary aim is to capture images with great detail, for example in landscape photography, or to have the ability to crop images heavily in post processing while still maintaining good image quality. In this case, the best full-frame might be the one with the highest sensor resolution. The following table lists the 20 full-frame cameras with the highest megapixel count. Again, clicking on the camera's name will reveal further detail.

    scroll hint
    The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Sony A7R IVSony E 60.2 312499 Mirrorless4K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 i
    2.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 60.2 2902- Mirrorless4K/30p Mar 2021 2,499 i
    3.
     
    Canon 5DSCanon EF 50.3 220587 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 i
    4.
     
    Canon 5DS RCanon EF 50.3 220586 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 i
    5.
     
    Sony A1Sony E 49.8 319898 Mirrorless8k/30p Jan 2021 6,499 i
    6.
     
    Panasonic S1RL Mount 46.7 3126100 Mirrorless4K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 i
    7.
     
    Leica SL2L Mount 46.7 3083- Mirrorless4K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 i
    8.
     
    Leica Q2 28 mm f/1.7 46.7 285996 Compact4K/30p Mar 2019 4,995 i
    9.
     
    Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 45.4 3171100 Mirrorless4K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 i
    10.
     
    Nikon Z7Nikon Z 45.4 299099 Mirrorless4K/30p Aug 2018 3,399i
    11.
     
    Nikon D850Nikon FX 45.4 2854100 DSLR4K/30p Jul 2017 3,299 i
    12.
     
    Canon R5Canon RF 44.8 315795 Mirrorless8k/30p Jul 2020 3,899 i
    13.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 42.2 3051100 Mirrorless4K/30p Oct 2017 3,199i
    14.
     
    Sony A99 IISony A 42.2 274792 DSLR4K/30p Sep 2016 3,199 i
    15.
     
    Sony A7R IISony E 42.2 245298 Mirrorless4K/30p Jun 2015 3,199i
    16.
     
    Sony RX1R II 35 mm f/2.0 42.2 228397 Compact1080/60p Oct 2015 3,299 i
    17.
     
    Leica M10-RLeica M 40.9 2327- Rangefinder- Jul 2020 8,295 i
    18.
     
    Zeiss ZX1 35 mm f/2.8 37.4 2745- Compact4K/30p Sep 2018 5,999 i
    19.
     
    Pentax K-1 IIPentax K 36.2 2776- DSLR1080/60i Feb 2018 1,999 i
    20.
     
    Pentax K-1Pentax K 36.2 259596 DSLR1080/60i Feb 2016 1,799i

    The most portable full-frame cameras

    A well-known proverb states that the best camera is the one that you have with you. As such, a smaller and lighter camera will likely get more use than a bulkier and heavier model. The table below lists the 20 lightest full-frame cameras that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their weight.

    scroll hint
    The Lightest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Sigma fpL Mount 14.9 oz 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in 2826 Mirrorless 24.0 Jul 2019 1,899 i
    2.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 15.1 oz 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in 2902 Mirrorless 60.2 Mar 2021 2,499 i
    3.
     
    Canon RPCanon RF 17.1 oz 5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in 2756 Mirrorless 26.0 Feb 2019 1,299 i
    4.
     
    Sony RX1R II 35 mm f/2.0 17.9 oz 4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in 2283 Compact 42.2 Oct 2015 3,299 i
    5.
     
    Sony A7CSony E 18.0 oz 4.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 in 3066 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2020 1,799 i
    6.
     
    Sony A7R IISony E 22.0 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2452 Mirrorless 42.2 Jun 2015 3,199i
    7.
     
    Sony A7S IISony E 22.1 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2372 Mirrorless 12.0 Sep 2015 2,999i
    8.
     
    Leica Q Typ 116 28 mm f/1.7 22.6 oz 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.7 in 2258 Compact 24.0 Jun 2015 4,249i
    9.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 3051 Mirrorless 42.2 Oct 2017 3,199i
    10.
     
    Sony A7 IIISony E 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 2925 Mirrorless 24.0 Feb 2018 1,999 i
    11.
     
    Canon RCanon RF 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.3 in 2931 Mirrorless 30.1 Sep 2018 2,299 i
    12.
     
    Leica M10-RLeica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2327 Rangefinder 40.9 Jul 2020 8,295 i
    13.
     
    Leica M10-PLeica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2264 Rangefinder 23.8 Aug 2018 7,995 i
    14.
     
    Leica M10Leica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2152 Rangefinder 23.8 Jan 2017 6,595 i
    15.
     
    Sony A7R IVSony E 23.5 oz 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1 in 3124 Mirrorless 60.2 Jul 2019 3,499 i
    16.
     
    Sony A9Sony E 23.7 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in 2894 Mirrorless 24.0 Apr 2017 4,499i
    17.
     
    Nikon Z5Nikon Z 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 3044 Mirrorless 24.2 Jul 2020 1,399 i
    18.
     
    Nikon Z6Nikon Z 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 2995 Mirrorless 24.3 Aug 2018 1,999i
    19.
     
    Nikon Z7Nikon Z 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 2990 Mirrorless 45.4 Aug 2018 3,399i
    20.
     
    Sony A9 IISony E 23.9 oz 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0 in 3042 Mirrorless 24.0 Oct 2019 4,499 i

    The most affordable full-frame cameras

    A camera is only as good as the lens that is placed in front of its sensor. Thus, the best full-frame is one that leaves room enough in the budget to purchase a high quality lens to go with it. More generally, budgetary considerations are almost always important when deciding on a camera purchase, so that the following listing should be of interest. It displays the 20 least expensive full-frame cameras that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their launch prices (camera only). The latter provide a good idea on the market position of the cameras, but it is often worthwhile to check the current pricing, as all except the most recent models might be available at discounts or as great deals on the pre-owned market.

    scroll hint
    The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Mount
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Canon RPCanon RF 1,299 275685 Mirrorless 26.04K/30p Feb 2019 i
    2.
     
    Nikon Z5Nikon Z 1,399 3044- Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 i
    3.
     
    Sony A7CSony E 1,799 306695 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 i
    4.
     
    Pentax K-1Pentax K 1,799 259596 DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2016i
    5.
     
    Sigma fpL Mount 1,899 2826- Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Jul 2019 i
    6.
     
    Nikon Z6 IINikon Z 1,999 314694 Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 i
    7.
     
    Panasonic S5L Mount 1,999 305694 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 i
    8.
     
    Nikon Z6Nikon Z 1,999 299595 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018i
    9.
     
    Sony A7 IIISony E 1,999 292596 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Feb 2018 i
    10.
     
    Pentax K-1 IIPentax K 1,999 2776- DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2018 i
    11.
     
    Canon 6D Mark IICanon EF 1,999 260185 DSLR 26.01080/60p Jun 2017 i
    12.
     
    Nikon D780Nikon FX 2,299 2967- DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 i
    13.
     
    Canon RCanon RF 2,299 293189 Mirrorless 30.14K/30p Sep 2018 i
    14.
     
    Panasonic S1L Mount 2,499 308495 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 i
    15.
     
    Canon R6Canon RF 2,499 306390 Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 i
    16.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 2,499 2902- Mirrorless 60.24K/30p Mar 2021 i
    17.
     
    Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 2,999 3171100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 i
    18.
     
    Sony A7S IISony E 2,999 237285 Mirrorless 12.04K/30p Sep 2015i
    19.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 3,199 3051100 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Oct 2017i
    20.
     
    Sony A99 IISony A 3,199 274792 DSLR 42.24K/30p Sep 2016 i

    Further Reading

    Additional information on the calculation of the Camera Elo can be found on a respective Elo methodology page. Moreover, there are other rankings of cameras by category that might be of interest:

    You are here Home  »  Best Camera  »  Best Full-Frame

    Thanks for your vote!

    You rated this page 4 out of 5.


    Rating

    Any additional comment or suggestion for improvement would be welcome.


    If you like it, make sure you share it:

    • Mention this page to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
    • Bookmark it in your browser for future reference by pressing "Crtl" + "D".
    • Create a hyperlink by copying the text below into your web-project or discussion forum entry.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. I appreciate it.