Last Updated on February 8, 2020
You would typically go for an entry-level or mid-priced DSLR if you want to upgrade your photography gear to take better pictures. Majority of those models, however, feature an APS-C sensor which isn’t bad but doesn’t offer the same results as a camera with a bigger sensor.
A full-frame DSLR camera features a larger sensor, the equivalent of a 35mm film. As such, it can let more light in leading to better image quality. It’s unsurprising then to know that this is the type of camera preferred by professionals.
And if you want to get your hands on one, these are the best options:
The K-1 may not come cheap, but the price is comfortable enough for what it has to offer. The camera’s capabilities are comparable to offerings like Canon’s 5D Mark III, Sony’s Alpha 7RII, and Nikon’s D810.
One of the camera’s most impressive features is its Pixel Shift Technology, which is able to compensate for accidental movements. It also has a Shake Reduction II system that works across five axes.
Where the K-1 disappoints is its slow AF system, making it not ideal for use in situations requiring fast autofocus. As such, this camera suits photographers who enjoy taking images of landscapes, portraits, and still life.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
A successor to the EOS 6D, this model provides a number of significant improvements. It comes with a new sensor, a faster processor, a better AF system, and a stronger burst rate.
All its enhancements make it way better than its predecessor but there are still a lot of issues that stop it short from being better than the offerings of other brands. But Canon loyalists who want to move to full-frame photography will find a friend in this one. Or, you can also choose from pricier models within Canon’s own line.
Sony Alpha A99 II
Sony’s follow-up to the A99 offers some significant changes and they are more than satisfactory. One of its best features is the high resolution 42.2MP sensor, similar to the one sported by the company’s A7R II. A lot of light is lowed into each pixel thanks to gapless micro lenses.
The 4K video quality if the A99 II is also very good. It also retains many of the features that users enjoyed from its predecessor, including a comfortable grip and SLT system benefits.
It’s just a shame that this camera is overshadowed by the mirrorless Alpha 9.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Capable of 14fps burst shooting, this camera is best suited if you like taking photos of subjects in action, be it sports or vehicles. That much speed is also useful if you are a news photographer.
The design of this camera takes into account the feedback sent in by users. As such, this camera features a much-improved layout and better handling.
Nikon’s D5, which is also featured on this list, is a close competitor with the EOS-1D X Mark II in terms of capabilities. There isn’t much to separate both cameras and choosing one over the other will largely depend on the kind of lens system you have.
Nikon’s D5 has been compared to Canon’s EOS-1D X. There isn’t much that separates them when it comes to performance and specs, and choice ultimately comes down to what kind of lens system you currently have.
Standout features include a 3,280,000 ISO range, something that hasn’t been seen yet in a camera. The D5 also covers 173 AF points allowing it to perform with impressive speed.
Disappointments come with impressive cameras and for this one, a three-minute limit on 4K video has to be it. But despite that minor issue, this is a good camera if you like shooting fast-moving subjects.
Older DSLR models needed all sorts of protection just so you could take them out for a shoot in bad weather. What if it was weatherproof to begin with? That is the promise of the Nikon D750 apart from some impressive specifications.
The camera features a 24.3MP sensor and a 51-point AF system along with other features such as advanced metering and video capabilities. The D750 also features a wide sensitivity range, as well as a tilting screen and WiFi connectivity.
Although it only offers a 6.5fps continuous shooting speed, it is still a very capable and well-priced full-frame DSLR that enthusiasts will appreciate.
Canon EOS 5DS
The Canon EOS 5DS has 50.6 million effective pixels, the highest among full-frame DSLRs available on the market. Sensors packed with pixels can be compromised, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for this model.
The EOS 5DS is capable of delivering impressive image quality with great detail. Noise of controlled really well, plus it features an impressive dynamic range. These features make it an ideal choice for photographers working in the studio or those who love shooting landscapes.
For all its greatness, the EOS 5DS is rather flawed: no WiFi capability and 4K video recording.
The Nikon D810 is made for the trigger-happy shooter. Its battery can last for up to 1,200 shots – useful when going on long walks in the outdoors or in cities with so much history tucked into every corner.
The camera has a 51-point AF system can keep up nicely with different focusing situations. The camera’s size is just about right and also features excellent handling.
With a 36.3MP sensor, images are, as expected, really detailed. It may be slightly older than the Nikon D850, which also features on this list, but it is still a very capable DSLR.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
As a successor to the Mark III, the EOS D Mark IV offers improvements on everything that made its predecessor great. It features a new 30.4MP sensor capable of delivering really sharp images. Other improvements include a 61-point AF system, 4K video, and very good handling.
Yes, rival camera companies are able to offer much bigger sensors but this model has some features making it worth your time. As mentioned, the AF system is an improvement, allowing the camera to focus well even in poor lighting conditions.
Although it can shoot 4K video, options are rather limited.
This camera doesn’t come cheap, but if you can never go wrong if what you want is an impressive full-frame DSLR. With a 45.4MP sensor, the D850 is capable of delivering images that are rich in detail. An impressive dynamic range and really good performance in high ISO levels also make this an impressive camera.
The D850 also features a good build quality and is capable of 7fps burst shooting. A sophisticated 153-point AF system allows for greater precision. Plus shooting in the dark isn’t too much trouble with sensitivity going as low as -4EV.
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to choosing a full-frame DSLR. Choices range from models that are best suited for enthusiasts to those that are ideal for experts.
Beginners who want to get into full-frame photography are best served by models catered towards enthusiasts like the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. More serious amateurs can go for models like the Nikon D850 which is packed with features.
No matter which spectrum you choose, there is a full-frame DSLR out there capable of fulfilling your needs. Consider all the photographs you’d like to take then make your decision from there.
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