A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
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: Nikon Z9

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 Nikon Z9 is currently the top-ranked full-frame with a Camera Elo of 3217, followed in second place by the Canon R5 with a rating of 3202. 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, 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.
 
Nikon Z9Nikon Z 321798 Mirrorless 45.48K/30p Oct 2021 5,499 amazon.com
2.
 
Canon R5Canon RF 320295 Mirrorless 44.88K/30p Jul 2020 3,899 amazon.com
3.
 
Sony A1Sony E 318898 Mirrorless 49.88k/30p Jan 2021 6,499 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon R3Canon RF 318696 Mirrorless 24.06K/60p Sep 2021 5,999 amazon.com
5.
 
Sony A7 IVSony E 318497 Mirrorless 32.74K/60p Oct 2021 2,499 amazon.com
6.
 
Canon R5 CCanon RF 315996 Mirrorless 44.88k/60p Jan 2022 4,499 amazon.com
7.
 
Nikon Z6 IINikon Z 313494 Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 1,999 amazon.com
8.
 
Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 3128100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 amazon.com
9.
 
Leica SL2-SL Mount 310095 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Dec 2020 4,895 amazon.com
10.
 
Panasonic S1HL Mount 309494 Mirrorless 24.06K/30p May 2019 3,999 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony A7R IVSony E 308999 Mirrorless 60.24K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 amazon.com
12.
 
Leica SL2L Mount 306295 Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 amazon.com
13.
 
Sony A7S IIISony E 304886 Mirrorless 12.04K/120p Jul 2020 3,499 amazon.com
14.
 
Panasonic S1RL Mount 3031100 Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 amazon.com
15.
 
Panasonic S5L Mount 302594 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 1,999 amazon.com
16.
 
Sony A7CSony E 302595 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 1,799 amazon.com
17.
 
Canon R6Canon RF 300590 Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 2,499 amazon.com
18.
 
Sony A9 IISony E 300393 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Oct 2019 4,499 amazon.com
19.
 
Panasonic S1L Mount 299195 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 2,499 amazon.com
20.
 
Nikon Z5Nikon Z 296895 Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 1,399 amazon.com
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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.
     
    Leica M11Leica M 60.3 2863100 Rangefinder- Jan 2022 8,995 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Sony A7R IVSony E 60.2 308999 Mirrorless4K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 60.2 289696 Mirrorless4K/30p Mar 2021 2,499 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Canon 5DSCanon EF 50.3 217087 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 amazon.com
    5.
     
    Canon 5DS RCanon EF 50.3 217086 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Sony A1Sony E 49.8 318898 Mirrorless8k/30p Jan 2021 6,499 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Leica SL2L Mount 46.7 306295 Mirrorless4K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 amazon.com
    8.
     
    Panasonic S1RL Mount 46.7 3031100 Mirrorless4K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 amazon.com
    9.
     
    Leica Q2 28 mm f/1.7 46.7 280696 Compact4K/30p Mar 2019 4,995 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Nikon Z9Nikon Z 45.4 321798 Mirrorless8K/30p Oct 2021 5,499 amazon.com
    11.
     
    Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 45.4 3128100 Mirrorless4K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 amazon.com
    12.
     
    Nikon Z7Nikon Z 45.4 288599 Mirrorless4K/30p Aug 2018 3,399ebay.com
    13.
     
    Nikon D850Nikon FX 45.4 2751100 DSLR4K/30p Jul 2017 3,299 amazon.com
    14.
     
    Canon R5Canon RF 44.8 320295 Mirrorless8K/30p Jul 2020 3,899 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Canon R5 CCanon RF 44.8 315996 Mirrorless8k/60p Jan 2022 4,499 amazon.com
    16.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 42.2 2936100 Mirrorless4K/30p Oct 2017 3,199ebay.com
    17.
     
    Sony A99 IISony A 42.2 267092 DSLR4K/30p Sep 2016 3,199ebay.com
    18.
     
    Sony A7R IISony E 42.2 238698 Mirrorless4K/30p Jun 2015 3,199ebay.com
    19.
     
    Sony RX1R II 35 mm f/2.0 42.2 225597 Compact1080/60p Oct 2015 3,299 amazon.com
    20.
     
    Leica M10-RLeica M 40.9 234895 Rangefinder- Jul 2020 8,295 amazon.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    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 2790 Mirrorless 24.0 Jul 2019 1,899 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 15.1 oz 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in 2896 Mirrorless 60.2 Mar 2021 2,499 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Canon RPCanon RF 17.1 oz 5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in 2708 Mirrorless 26.0 Feb 2019 1,299 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Sony RX1R II 35 mm f/2.0 17.9 oz 4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in 2255 Compact 42.2 Oct 2015 3,299 amazon.com
    5.
     
    Sony A7CSony E 18.0 oz 4.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 in 3025 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2020 1,799 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Sony A7R IISony E 22.0 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2386 Mirrorless 42.2 Jun 2015 3,199ebay.com
    7.
     
    Sony A7S IISony E 22.1 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2321 Mirrorless 12.0 Sep 2015 2,999ebay.com
    8.
     
    Leica M11Leica M 22.6 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2863 Rangefinder 60.3 Jan 2022 8,995 amazon.com
    9.
     
    Leica Q Typ 116 28 mm f/1.7 22.6 oz 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.7 in 2218 Compact 24.0 Jun 2015 4,249ebay.com
    10.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 2936 Mirrorless 42.2 Oct 2017 3,199ebay.com
    11.
     
    Sony A7 IIISony E 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 2830 Mirrorless 24.0 Feb 2018 1,999 amazon.com
    12.
     
    Sony A7 IVSony E 23.2 oz 5.2 x 3.8 x 3.1 in 3184 Mirrorless 32.7 Oct 2021 2,499 amazon.com
    13.
     
    Canon RCanon RF 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.3 in 2856 Mirrorless 30.1 Sep 2018 2,299 amazon.com
    14.
     
    Leica M10-RLeica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2348 Rangefinder 40.9 Jul 2020 8,295 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Leica M10-PLeica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2255 Rangefinder 23.8 Aug 2018 7,995 amazon.com
    16.
     
    Leica M10Leica M 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2143 Rangefinder 23.8 Jan 2017 6,595ebay.com
    17.
     
    Sony A7R IVSony E 23.5 oz 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1 in 3089 Mirrorless 60.2 Jul 2019 3,499 amazon.com
    18.
     
    Sony A9Sony E 23.7 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in 2794 Mirrorless 24.0 Apr 2017 4,499ebay.com
    19.
     
    Nikon Z5Nikon Z 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 2968 Mirrorless 24.2 Jul 2020 1,399 amazon.com
    20.
     
    Nikon Z7Nikon Z 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 2885 Mirrorless 45.4 Aug 2018 3,399ebay.com

    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 270885 Mirrorless 26.04K/30p Feb 2019 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Nikon Z5Nikon Z 1,399 296895 Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Sony A7CSony E 1,799 302595 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Pentax K-1Pentax K 1,799 252196 DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2016ebay.com
    5.
     
    Sigma fpL Mount 1,899 279094 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Jul 2019 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Nikon Z6 IINikon Z 1,999 313494 Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Panasonic S5L Mount 1,999 302594 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 amazon.com
    8.
     
    Nikon Z6Nikon Z 1,999 288295 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018ebay.com
    9.
     
    Sony A7 IIISony E 1,999 283096 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Feb 2018 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Pentax K-1 IIPentax K 1,999 269093 DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2018 amazon.com
    11.
     
    Canon 6D Mark IICanon EF 1,999 254085 DSLR 26.01080/60p Jun 2017 amazon.com
    12.
     
    Nikon D780Nikon FX 2,299 293495 DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 amazon.com
    13.
     
    Canon RCanon RF 2,299 285689 Mirrorless 30.14K/30p Sep 2018 amazon.com
    14.
     
    Sony A7 IVSony E 2,499 318497 Mirrorless 32.74K/60p Oct 2021 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Canon R6Canon RF 2,499 300590 Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 amazon.com
    16.
     
    Panasonic S1L Mount 2,499 299195 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 amazon.com
    17.
     
    Sigma fp LL Mount 2,499 289696 Mirrorless 60.24K/30p Mar 2021 amazon.com
    18.
     
    Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 2,999 3128100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 amazon.com
    19.
     
    Sony A7S IISony E 2,999 232185 Mirrorless 12.04K/30p Sep 2015ebay.com
    20.
     
    Sony A7R IIISony E 3,199 2936100 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Oct 2017ebay.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    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