The total-frame digital camera earns its identify by having a 35mm sensor — the biggest accessible available on the market at this time. This sensor creates photos which might be noticeably higher in high quality than another digital camera format. Due to the big sensor, skilled photographers often select full-frame cameras.

In case you are on the lookout for a digital camera that produces the best high quality photos, then the full-frame digital camera may be what you want — just like the Sony A7R IV due to it’s excessive decision. These cameras not only for professionals. Full body cameras are appropriate for a variety of photographers and budgets. Right here’s an inventory of the very best full-frame cameras for 2020.

At a look:

Greatest full-frame digital camera general: Sony A7R IV


Why you should purchase this: Class-leading decision and quick efficiency

Who’s it for: Skilled photographers and severe fanatics

Why we select the Sony A7R IV:

As the primary firm to provide a full-frame mirrorless digital camera, it’s unsurprising that Sony stays on the high at the same time as corporations like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sigma be part of the fray. However what’s shocking is how a lot Sony managed to cram right into a digital camera with a compact physique. The total-frame sensor now boasts 61 megapixels, the best decision one can find in need of bigger, medium-format cameras. The sensor additionally delivers wonderful dynamic vary and nice colour.

Megapixels aren’t the whole lot, nonetheless, and fortuitously the A7R IV has has the efficiency to match. Regardless of these 61 megapixels, the A7R IV nonetheless manages to churn out full-resolution bursts at 10 frames per second with autofocus. That’s not as quick because the Sony A9 II’s 20 fps, however lots for many photographers.

The A7R IV additionally makes use of Sony’s newest Actual-Time autofocus applied sciences, making for among the best autofocus methods we’ve examined. It provides respectable low-light sensitivity, good velocity, and the very best face and eye-tracking you will get.

The viewfinder, and OLED panel with 5.7 million pixels, is second to none. Regardless of all of the tech inside, the digital camera physique weighs in at simply 23 ounces. The physique is weather-sealed, with a management scheme that feels balanced and straightforward to make use of (though, Sony’s menu system stays complicated), and the brand new battery is sweet for 670 exposures — not DSLR degree, however wonderful for a mirrorless digital camera.

Sony now has a number of competitors, and whereas mirrorless cameras from Nikon, Canon, and Panasonic are younger, they’re maturing rapidly. There’s by no means been a greater time to be available in the market for a full-frame digital camera, and if you happen to can’t abdomen the Sony A7R IV’s worth, there are many different nice choices.

Learn our Sony A7R IV evaluation

Greatest full-frame DSLR: Nikon D780

Daven Mathies/ Digital Developments Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

Why you should purchase this: A well-balanced digital camera with nice viewfinder and reside view efficiency.

Who’s it for: Anyone who desires the capabilities of mirrorless however nonetheless prefers an optical viewfinder.

Why we select the Nikon D780:

The D780 is Nikon’s sibling digital camera to the mirrorless Z 6 under, constructed across the identical 24-megapixel sensor and Expeed 6 processor. It’s Nikon’s first DSLR to include on-chip phase-detection autofocus — in different phrases, it’s Nikon’s first DSLR with reside view autofocus that’s truly good. The truth is, it’s excellent. In our testing, we discovered the D780’s Eye AF mode locked on simply to our topic’s eyes, even once they had been carrying darkish sun shades.

Video has additionally taken an enormous step up for a Nikon DSLR, because the D780 practically matches the capabilities of the Z 6. That features in-camera 4K 8-bit recording and 10-bit HDMI output (and with the optionally available N-Log flat colour profile if you happen to don’t thoughts colour grading your footage in put up). Mixed with the lean display screen and nice live-view autofocus, that is merely Nikon’s greatest DSLR for video but — and, in need of Canon’s beastly EOS 1D X Mark III, the very best DSLR for video, interval.

However as a DSLR, the D780 feels nearly too acquainted. The viewfinder and related 51-point autofocus module are mainly unchanged from the 5-year-old D750, though Nikon has up to date it with the higher-performing focusing algorithm from the flagship D5. The physique and design are additionally very comparable, and, whereas that’s definitely not all dangerous, we do lament the shortage of an AF level selector joystick. Professionals may miss the power to make use of a vertical battery grip, and the shortage of a built-in flash means you’ll be able to’t wirelessly set off Nikon Speedlights with out a further accent.

One factor that has dramatically improved, nonetheless, is battery life. The D780 can shoot over 2,200 exposures from a single battery, making it nice for wedding ceremony and occasion shooters who want uninterrupted efficiency for hours at a time.

Whereas it doesn’t dramatically propel the DSLR format ahead, the Nikon D780 stays probably the most balanced DSLR available on the market, and even outranks the bigger and costlier D850 in some areas, akin to video and live-view efficiency. Should you nonetheless demand an optical viewfinder or the longer batter lifetime of a DSLR, that is the one to purchase.

Learn our Nikon D780 evaluation

The most effective full-frame digital camera for rookies: Nikon Z 6

Nikon Z6 Hands-on
Hillary Grigonis/Digital Developments

Why you should purchase this: Nice picture high quality, sensible design, and good lenses

Who’s it for: Rookies, hobbyists, fanatics, and video shooters

Why we select the Nikon Z 6:

Should you’re not already invested in a system, allow us to make a case for the Nikon Z sequence. Nikon’s DSLR heritage is obvious on this pair of cameras, and that’s an excellent factor. The Z 6 and Z 7 share a physique, with similar management layouts, LCD displays, and three.69-million-dot EVFs, however the Z 6’s 24MP sensor delivers extra velocity than the Z 7’s 45MP unit, buying and selling element for efficiency (and a lower cost).

Whereas the Z 7 is superb, the Z 6 matches extra photographers’ wants and budgets whereas providing the identical high-quality construct and cozy ergonomics.

However greater than the digital camera itself, what actually offered us on the Z sequence are the lenses. Nikon has adopted a method of constructing very high-quality optics however with barely slower f/1.Eight apertures in comparison with the f/1.Four apertures extra generally discovered on high-end lenses. This has resulted in lenses which might be smaller, lighter, and cheaper, making the Z 6 a fantastic possibility for discerning photographers who need sharp outcomes with out having to put money into cumbersome glass. Consider, this doesn’t imply the lenses are low-cost, however the quality-to-price ratio is excellent.

Not like the D780 above, which is constructed on a lot of the identical tech, the Z 6 provides in-body picture stabilization that’s wonderful for utilizing slower shutter speeds with any lens. Blended with the full-frame sensor, that helps the Z 6 shoot spectacular photos in restricted mild, producing wonderful outcomes.

The Z 6 additionally shoots alongside at a quick 12 fps if you happen to don’t thoughts a brief delay within the viewfinder, or 5 fps with full reside view. The 273-point hybrid autofocus system is might not match Sony’s, however Nikon has continued to replace it with new options, like Eye AF and improved monitoring efficiency.

What’s extra, that is merely Nikon’s greatest video digital camera up to now, even surpassing the newer D780. The digital camera can file 8-bit 4K internally, or 10-bit with N-Log into an HDMI recorder. Past this, it might even output RAW video over HDMI, a primary for a hybrid mirrorless digital camera and a characteristic not accessible on the D780 — however solely after a $200 firmware replace.

All these options are wrapped up right into a physique that’s slimmer and lighter than the D780, whereas borrowing from Nikon’s DSLR historical past with issues like a high data show, a snug management scheme, and climate sealing. Ergonomically and functionally, the design is a step above the Sony A7 sequence, though you gained’t discover the extent of management and customization you get with the bigger Panasonic Lumix S1 under. Nikon Z6 prospects can even must make do with a single XQD/CFExpress reminiscence card slot, in comparison with the D780’s twin SD slots.

Learn our Nikon Z 6 evaluation

Greatest full-frame digital camera for fanatics: Panasonic Lumix S1

Panasonic Lumix S1
Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

Why you should purchase this: Glorious picture high quality and knowledgeable design

Who’s it for: Professionals, panorama photographers, and severe fanatics

Why we select the Panasonic Lumix S1:

Should you’re on the lookout for one thing cheaper than the Sony A7R IV, extra highly effective than the Nikon Z 6, and even beefier than the Canon 5D Mark IV, then the Lumix S1 could also be for you. That is Panasonic’s first full-frame digital camera, and if there’s one factor we are able to say about it, it’s that Panasonic acquired it proper straight out of the gate. The Lumix S1 could also be a part of a wholly new sequence from a producer identified within the picture world just for its smaller Micro 4 Thirds cameras, however it has the very best mix between picture high quality and design.

The 24-megapixel sensor can shoot 96-megapixel photos because of a multi-shot high-resolution mode, providing you with the very best of each worlds between easy-to-handle small information and huge, high-detail photos whenever you want them. Excessive-resolution mode requires a tripod, however its nice for issues like landscapes (as long as there isn’t an excessive amount of movement within the picture).

The S1 produced a few of the greatest out-of-camera JPEGs we’ve seen, whereas RAW information had been each bit as malleable as these from Sony and Nikon, with nice colour and dynamic vary and good noise efficiency at excessive ISOs.

The Lumix S1 isn’t the one digital camera producing wonderful photos, after all. What actually places on high is its mixture of high quality and options, together with Panasonic’s distinctive Depth from Defocus autofocus system that performs nicely in low mild and provides nice topic monitoring (if it does “breathe” somewhat when capturing video). The 5-axis in-body stabilization can also be an enormous plus, for each nonetheless images and video.

Talking of video, a current paid firmware replace (free with buy of the digital camera) unlocked assist for V-Log and 10-bit recording, making the S1 one of the succesful video cameras on this record. These options goal skilled video shooters and gained’t be wanted for the typical person, however it reveals simply how far Panasonic is prepared to go to ship a one-size-fits-all resolution for skilled hybrid shooters who want a succesful nonetheless and video digital camera in a single.

Lastly, the rugged, weather-proof design {and professional} management structure are among the many greatest on the market. Buttons are straightforward to customise, and we love the twin reminiscence card slots. Just like the A7R IV, the S1 additionally makes use of a gorgeous, 5.7-million-dot EVF.

One of many greatest downsides to the Panasonic Lumix S1, nonetheless, can also be within the design. It’s fairly a bit heavier than different full-frame mirrorless cameras, and is even heavier than some full-frame DSLRs. However severe shooters will discover that simply forgivable.

Learn our Panasonic S1 evaluation

The most effective full-frame digital camera for video: Sigma Fp

Why must you purchase this: Full-frame sensor, RAW video, spectacular versatility

Who’s it for: Skilled YouTubers, indie filmmakers, and anybody who wants a strong video digital camera

Why we picked the Sigma Fp:

The opposite cameras on this record all have options the Sigma Fp lacks — like usable steady autofocus — however few different cameras have such potential in terms of video manufacturing.

The Fp’s important promoting level is its spectacular quality-to-size ratio. Basically a field with a 24MP sensor in it, the Fp is supposed to be the centerpiece of a bigger rig. By itself, it might slot in your pocket — but it shoots RAW 4K video, both internally in 8-bit, or straight to a UBS-C SSD in 12-bit.

Regardless of the small measurement, it has a neatly designed exterior that’s totally weather-sealed and incorporates an environment friendly warmth sink that retains the digital camera at optimum working temperature, even when recording lengthy takes.

The pocketable nature of the Fp means it might scale to fill many various roles. From a gimbal cam to a crash cam to a full-on studio setup with a tripod, cinema lens, matte field, and extra, its designed to suit the totally different wants of any given manufacturing. The comparatively low value makes it acceptable for indie and scholar movies, too, though most filmmakers will seemingly want so as to add a number of equipment to make it match their wants, like a monitor, SSD, and exterior energy resolution.

Working with RAW video can also be a time-consuming (and hard-drive-consuming) job. Not like the extremely environment friendly Blackmagic RAW format, the Sigma Fp shoots uncompressed Adobe Cinema DNG. Recordsdata are huge, and recording 4K RAW at something better than 8-bit would require an exterior SSD. Thankfully, the Fp may shoot in compressed .MOV format at a excessive bitrate, with log gamma coming in a future firmware replace.

As a result of lack of a mechanical shutter, we don’t suggest the Sigma Fp for nonetheless images. However for video, it’s a really particular product with nothing else prefer it available on the market, and it appears like Sigma will preserve it refreshed with firmware updates going ahead.

Learn our full Sigma Fp evaluation

The most effective Canon full-frame digital camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

Why you should purchase this: Stellar photos blended with wonderful autofocus and nice design

Who’s it for: Fans, semi-pros, and professionals

Why we select the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV:

Considered one of our favourite DSLRs, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV impresses throughout the board — and particularly, with its combine between picture high quality and efficiency. The digital camera sports activities a 30-megapixel sensor that squeezes out somewhat extra decision than many competing cameras on the identical worth. With nice picture high quality even at larger ISOs and burst capturing as much as 7 fps, the 5D Mark IV is performs simply as nicely within the studio as out within the discipline.

Autofocus from the 61-point viewfinder module is excellent, and reside view AF can also be wonderful because of Canon’s Twin Pixel AF tech.

Nonetheless, the 5D Mark IV lags behind in terms of video. It does provide 4K decision, however from a severely cropped area of the sensor. On condition that the Nikon D780 provides each wonderful 4K high quality and comparable live-view autofocus — to not point out a tilt display screen, a characteristic the 5D lacks — it’s the higher selection for hybrid creators who want each high quality stills and video.

Like several high-end Canon, the 5D Mark IV’s ergonomics are snug and the weather-sealed physique can deal with skilled put on and tear. However at about Four years previous, it’s beginning to present its age and it might not be too lengthy earlier than Canon replaces it. For now, it’s nonetheless a strong performer.

Learn our Canon 5D Mark IV evaluation

The most effective low-cost full-frame digital camera: Sony A7 II

Sony Alpha A7 Mark II review front angle
Invoice Roberson/Digital Developments

Why you should purchase this: Full-frame high quality for affordable

Who’s it for: Price range photographers on the lookout for the highest quality for the bottom worth

Why we select the Sony A7 II:

Sony has been creating nice full-frame mirrorless cameras for 3 to 4 generations now, and people first generations are nonetheless in the stores new. Which means photographers on a finances can discover wonderful picture high quality for affordable by selecting up an older Sony A7-series mannequin — and even discover extra options than a model new entry-level full-frame digital camera just like the Canon EOS RP. Whereas the unique Sony A7 is the most cost effective full-frame digital camera that we’ve seen at underneath 4 figures with a lens, the A7 II makes a couple of massive enhancements for not much more money.

Utilizing the an analogous 24MP sensor to the latest Sony A7 III, the A7 II serves up wonderful outcomes. Whereas it’s not the backlit sensor of the A7 III, picture high quality continues to be very shut. In comparison with the unique A7, the A7 II launched 5-axis stabilization, a characteristic that helps guarantee sharp photographs even at gradual shutter speeds, thus enhancing picture high quality in low mild conditions.

Steadier low mild photographs aren’t the one factor Sony improved with the second technology A7. The digital camera has a significantly better autofocus system, and video sees massive enhancements in high quality with extra customization choices and, after all, that stabilization system that retains digital camera shake to a minimal. Nonetheless, video stays at 1080p — if you happen to want 4K, you’ll must improve to the A7 III.

For sports activities and motion, the 5-fps burst mode of the Sony A7 II might not lower it, and falls nicely in need of the A7 III’s 10 fps. Battery life, low mild picture high quality, and autofocus are additionally higher on the A7 III, however if you need most high quality for minimal finances, the Sony A7 II is the primary place we propose wanting.

Learn our Sony A7 II evaluation

Do you want a full-frame digital camera?

Technically, the reply right here isn’t any, you don’t want a full-frame digital camera. Nonetheless, there ought to in all probability be somewhat extra clarification so as so that you can perceive the entire story. At the moment’s crop-sensor cameras, like APS-C and Micro 4 Thirds fashions, will give loads of decision and low mild efficiency to please most photographers, even many professionals. Should you add in that almost all images, even skilled ones, find yourself getting sized down and altered to be considered on Instagram by means of lowered telephone resolutions, there’s not a number of profit to investing in a full-frame digital camera.

Nonetheless, one high quality inherent to bigger sensors could make a notable distinction, even on Instagram photos you’re viewing in your telephone. That one high quality is the depth of discipline management. A full-frame sensor will yield a shallower depth of discipline, blurring the background extra dramatically than a smaller sensor on the identical aperture setting. Investing in a full-frame digital camera can present a well-rounded resolution and provide you with a silky-smooth, ultra-shallow depth of discipline. Sadly, this resolution means having to pay for each a digital camera and a expensive lens with an aperture like f/1.4, however it’s well worth the funding to get high quality photographs.

Full-frame cameras, particularly the Sony AR7 IV mannequin, provide some spectacular benefits for prints. No different crop-sensor digital camera available on the market has the next pixel depend. A excessive pixel depend permits you to make bigger picture prints at a comparable PPI (pixels per inch) with out shedding any picture high quality. However do not forget that it’s pointless to put money into a full-frame digital camera to finish up with a high-quality print.

If you wish to discover your good digital camera at a discount, peruse our record of the greatest Cyber Monday digital camera offers.

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