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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.

DSLR

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
The camera with the highest Elo: Canon R5

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 Canon R5 is currently the top-ranked DSLR with a Camera Elo of 3624, followed in second place by the Panasonic S1H with a rating of 3605. The table below lists the 20 highest ranked DSLR 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.

Best Full-Frame: The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Camera
Type
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
1. Canon R5 3624- Mirrorless 44.88k/30p Jul 2020 3,899 i i Canon R5
2. Panasonic S1H 3605- Mirrorless 24.06K/30p May 2019 3,999 i i Panasonic S1H
3. Panasonic S1 356995 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 2,499 i i Panasonic S1
4. Panasonic S1R 3565100 Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 i i Panasonic S1R
5. Sony A7R IV 3542- Mirrorless 60.24K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 i i Sony A7R IV
6. Leica SL2 3535- Mirrorless 46.74K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 i i Leica SL2
7. Canon R6 3527- Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 2,499 i i Canon R6
8. Panasonic S5 3467- Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 1,999 i i Panasonic S5
9. Sony A7S III 3427- Mirrorless 12.04K/120p Jul 2020 3,499 i i Sony A7S III
10. Sony A9 II 341493 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Oct 2019 4,499 i i Sony A9 II
11. Sony A7R III 3396100 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Oct 2017 3,199- i Sony A7R III
12. Nikon Z5 3374- Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 1,399 i i Nikon Z5
13. Sony A7C 3370- Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 1,799 i i Sony A7C
14. Canon 1D X Mark III 333191 DSLR 20.04K/60p Jan 2020 6,499 i i Canon 1D X Mark III
15. Nikon Z6 330395 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
16. Nikon D780 3286- DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 2,299 i i Nikon D780
17. Nikon Z7 328699 Mirrorless 45.44K/30p Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
18. Canon R 321989 Mirrorless 30.14K/30p Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
19. Sony A7 III 319496 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
20. Nikon D6 3189- DSLR 20.74K/30p Feb 2020 6,499 i i Nikon D6

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

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    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.

    Best Full-Frame: The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Launch
    Price
    (USD)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Sony A7R IV 60.2 3542- Mirrorless4K/30p Jul 2019 3,499 i i Sony A7R IV
    2. Canon 5DS 50.3 211887 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
    3. Canon 5DS R 50.3 211886 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
    4. Panasonic S1R 46.7 3565100 Mirrorless4K/60p Feb 2019 3,699 i i Panasonic S1R
    5. Leica SL2 46.7 3535- Mirrorless4K/60p Nov 2019 5,999 i i Leica SL2
    6. Leica Q2 46.7 316796 Compact4K/30p Mar 2019 4,995 i i Leica Q2
    7. Nikon Z7 45.4 328699 Mirrorless4K/30p Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
    8. Nikon D850 45.4 3067100 DSLR4K/30p Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
    9. Canon R5 44.8 3624- Mirrorless8k/30p Jul 2020 3,899 i i Canon R5
    10. Sony A7R III 42.2 3396100 Mirrorless4K/30p Oct 2017 3,199- i Sony A7R III
    11. Sony A99 II 42.2 263392 DSLR4K/30p Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
    12. Sony A7R II 42.2 218698 Mirrorless4K/30p Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
    13. Sony RX1R II 42.2 218497 Compact1080/60p Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
    14. Leica M10-R 40.9 2245- Rangefinder- Jul 2020 8,295 i i Leica M10-R
    15. Zeiss ZX1 37.4 3073- Compact4K/30p Sep 2018 4,199 i i Zeiss ZX1
    16. Pentax K-1 II 36.2 3036- DSLR1080/60i Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
    17. Pentax K-1 36.2 239296 DSLR1080/60i Feb 2016 1,799- i Pentax K-1
    18. Nikon D810 36.2 200297 DSLR1080/60p Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
    19. Sony A7R 36.2 186695 Mirrorless1080/60p Oct 2013 2,299- i Sony A7R
    20. Nikon D800E 36.2 169096 DSLR1080/30p Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E

    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.

    Best Full-Frame: The Smallest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Launch
    Price
    (USD)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Sigma fp 14.9 oz 4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in 3057 Mirrorless 24.0 Jul 2019 1,899 i i Sigma fp
    2. Canon RP 17.1 oz 5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in 2990 Mirrorless 26.2 Feb 2019 1,299 i i Canon RP
    3. Sony RX1R II 17.9 oz 4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in 2184 Compact 42.2 Oct 2015 3,299 i i Sony RX1R II
    4. Sony A7C 18.0 oz 4.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 in 3370 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2020 1,799 i i Sony A7C
    5. Sony A7R II 22.0 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2186 Mirrorless 42.2 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
    6. Sony A7S II 22.1 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.4 in 2229 Mirrorless 12.0 Sep 2015 2,999- i Sony A7S II
    7. Leica Q Typ 116 22.6 oz 5.1 x 3.1 x 3.7 in 2198 Compact 24.0 Jun 2015 4,249- i Leica Q Typ 116
    8. Sony A7R III 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 3396 Mirrorless 42.2 Oct 2017 3,199- i Sony A7R III
    9. Sony A7 III 22.9 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in 3194 Mirrorless 24.0 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
    10. Canon R 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.9 x 3.3 in 3219 Mirrorless 30.1 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
    11. Leica M10-P 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2363 Rangefinder 23.8 Aug 2018 7,995 i i Leica M10-P
    12. Leica M10-R 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2245 Rangefinder 40.9 Jul 2020 8,295 i i Leica M10-R
    13. Leica M10 23.3 oz 5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5 in 2211 Rangefinder 23.8 Jan 2017 6,595 i i Leica M10
    14. Sony A7R IV 23.5 oz 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1 in 3542 Mirrorless 60.2 Jul 2019 3,499 i i Sony A7R IV
    15. Sony A9 23.7 oz 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in 3125 Mirrorless 24.0 Apr 2017 4,499- i Sony A9
    16. Nikon Z5 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 3374 Mirrorless 24.2 Jul 2020 1,399 i i Nikon Z5
    17. Nikon Z6 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 3303 Mirrorless 24.3 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
    18. Nikon Z7 23.8 oz 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in 3286 Mirrorless 45.4 Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
    19. Sony A9 II 23.9 oz 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0 in 3414 Mirrorless 24.0 Oct 2019 4,499 i i Sony A9 II
    20. Canon R6 24.0 oz 5.4 x 3.9 x 3.5 in 3527 Mirrorless 20.0 Jul 2020 2,499 i i Canon R6

    The most affordable full-frame camera

    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.

    Best Full-Frame: The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Canon RP 1,299 2990- Mirrorless 26.24K/30p Feb 2019 i i Canon RP
    2. Nikon Z5 1,399 3374- Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 i i Nikon Z5
    3. Sony A7C 1,799 3370- Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2020 i i Sony A7C
    4. Pentax K-1 1,799 239296 DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2016- i Pentax K-1
    5. Sigma fp 1,899 3057- Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Jul 2019 i i Sigma fp
    6. Panasonic S5 1,999 3467- Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Sep 2020 i i Panasonic S5
    7. Nikon Z6 1,999 330395 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018 i i Nikon Z6
    8. Sony A7 III 1,999 319496 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Feb 2018 i i Sony A7 III
    9. Pentax K-1 II 1,999 3036- DSLR 36.21080/60i Feb 2018 i i Pentax K-1 II
    10. Canon 6D Mark II 1,999 274885 DSLR 26.01080/60p Jun 2017 i i Canon 6D Mark II
    11. Nikon D780 2,299 3286- DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 i i Nikon D780
    12. Canon R 2,299 321989 Mirrorless 30.14K/30p Sep 2018 i i Canon R
    13. Panasonic S1 2,499 356995 Mirrorless 24.04K/60p Feb 2019 i i Panasonic S1
    14. Canon R6 2,499 3527- Mirrorless 20.04k/60p Jul 2020 i i Canon R6
    15. Sony A7S II 2,999 222985 Mirrorless 12.04K/30p Sep 2015- i Sony A7S II
    16. Sony A7R III 3,199 3396100 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Oct 2017- i Sony A7R III
    17. Sony A99 II 3,199 263392 DSLR 42.24K/30p Sep 2016 i i Sony A99 II
    18. Sony A7R II 3,199 218698 Mirrorless 42.24K/30p Jun 2015- i Sony A7R II
    19. Nikon D850 3,299 3067100 DSLR 45.44K/30p Jul 2017 i i Nikon D850
    20. Sony RX1R II 3,299 218497 Compact 42.21080/60p Oct 2015 i i Sony RX1R II

    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

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