Whether you are a professional or an aspiring photographer, sensor sizes make a lot of differences when it comes to a camera. Here’s why; the size of a camera sensor will determine how much light it needs to create an image. This generally means the bigger the sensor of your camera, the better the images it will produce.
Differences between Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor
Now, not every sensor in a camera is created equal. Basically, there are two types of camera sensors that you will normally find in the market: “full frame” and “crop” variations. For the former, a full frame sensor holds a bigger advantage since it is literally capable of shooting your subject in a broader and wider angle.
Other advantages you can get from a full frame sensor in a camera include a shallower depth of field a.k.a. nicer bokeh effects and a higher ISO performance. They can also produce more details in colour, shadows & highlights and has a better low-light performance in dimly-lit or nighttime settings.
Cameras that utilise crop sensors do have their own advantages, even though they are no match against full frame varieties. The major benefit of a crop sensor means the camera is usually lighter and smaller in size. Prices are also significantly cheaper by comparison and you can have greater flexibility to mount different kinds of lenses from fisheye to telephoto.
So, if you wish to stick to buying full frame cameras, we got you all covered with the best of them below.
Popular brands like Canon and Nikon may dominate the full frame camera market but never cross Panasonic out of your buying list, or more specifically, their Lumix DC-S1 model. This model packs a 24.2 MP full-frame MOS sensor with a high ISO sensitivity of up to 51200 and is capable of shooting 96MP images at a multi-shot high-resolution mode.
Capturing excellent images aside, you can also shoot 4K videos at up to 60p in a full frame format. Outdoor shoots are possible as its body is made tough to withstand against elements like dust and water splashes, thanks to the durable magnesium alloy die-cast frame on its exterior.
Not to forget, it has a large 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD monitor that can be tilted up and down for shooting from high angles or vertically. Moreover, accessibilities are ergonomically planned as the buttons are easy to reach as well as the dials & switches. The camera has a contrast-detection autofocus system using its own Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology that can lock-in the subject as fast as 0.08 seconds.
The Sony A7 II may have been a few years old already. But if you are looking for an affordable and reliable full-frame camera that doesn’t cost you a bomb, this particular Sony model remains a good buy. It boasts a 24.3MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor, a built-in 5-axis optical image stabilisation and a 117-point phase-detect autofocus system.
Other key features on the Sony A7 II includes a tiltable 3-inch LCD monitor at 107 degrees upward and 41 degrees downward for different shooting modes. You can also shoot full HD videos at up to 60p in AVCHD or MP4 format. For safety measures, the body is made of a durable weather-resistant material that’s of magnesium alloy.
While technically not an entry-level full frame camera, this mid-range shooter of Nikon D750 combines an easy-to-use camera menu interface and a whole lot of features regardless of shooting still photos or recording video footage.
The camera boasts a 24.3MP full-frame sensor that takes amazing image quality. It can shoot continuously at 6.5 fps and has a reasonably fast 51-point autofocus system that detects your subject even in low-light conditions.
Meanwhile, vloggers can take videos in full HD at 60p while the dedicated movie shooting menu comes in handy for adjusting the likes of wind noise reduction and microphone sensitivity. Relating to the latter, you can either make use of the built-in microphone or simply mount an external microphone on the camera’s hot shoe for clearer audio.
If you are looking for a full frame camera that won’t weigh you down, the Canon EOS RP might be worth considering for. Weighing at just 485g, it’s small and light enough to store inside your camera bag or backpack while travelling around. More reason to love its compactness is that the camera features an ergonomic body that fits well into most hands.
Regarding performances, you can look forward to its 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor that captures great and detail-oriented images. The Dual-Pixel AF system is just as fast on detecting the subject accurately too. For convenient purposes, there’s a 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD monitor that can be tilted for shooting creatively at various angles.
If budget’s not an issue, you might want to consider the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. This DSLR workhorse is capable of capturing razor-sharp high-resolution photos, thanks to its 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor. To add, the camera’s Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system allows you to detect your subject fast and accurately, making it perfect for action-packed scenes.
Sports lovers will be grateful that the 5D Mark IV comes equipped with an astounding 61-point High Density Reticular AF II system. This offers you freedom in detecting and tracking your subject in constant motion, say during a football match or a bicycle race.
Not forgetting Canon’s prowess in shooting videos; you can take shots at Full HD or 4K as well as shoot continuously at up to 7.0 fps.
One of the biggest advantages of opting for a full frame mirrorless camera over a DSLR is its relatively smaller and compact size. Among them worth considering for is the Sony Alpha A7 III, which only weighs at around 649g.
Features-wise, the A7 III packs a 24.2MP full frame CMOS sensor and a speedy 693-point autofocus system to capture everything sharply. The camera also utilises a 5-axis image stabilisation that helps to minimise camera shakes as well as a continuous shooting speed of up to 10fps, and 4K shooting at up to 30p for videos.
Hate lugging around a heavy, full frame camera? Here’s the next best alternative for you: the ultra-compact Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II. Weighing at just 507g, don’t let its small size fool you; the camera has a whopping 42.4MP full frame sensor and a 35mm fixed focal length Zeiss Sonnar T* lens for capturing great image quality.
The camera also boasts a fast, hybrid autofocus system that has a combination of 399 phase-detection and 25 contract detect AF points. To the user’s delight, the camera has a 3.0-inch tiltable LCD monitor for vari-angle shots, a full HD video-shooting capability up to 60p and an overall well-built camera body.
Here’s a full frame DSLR suitable for capturing spontaneous wildlife scenes, thanks to its large 45.7MP full frame sensor and a high-speed continuous shooting at up to 9 fps. With the help of a 153-point AF system, the autofocus detection is equally speedy and accurate even at dimly-lit situations.
If that’s not enough, wildlife photographers can look forward to the D850’s sturdy weather-sealed construction that is both resistant against dust and drips such as drizzle and water splashes.
If you’re interested, the D850 comes highly recommended for astrophotography as well. The camera has a high ISO range up to 51200 alongside a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor which are beneficial for capturing in low-light shooting conditions.
It goes without saying that image quality matters when it comes to shooting products, say for commercial or educational purposes. The Nikon D610 happens to be great for that, packing a 24.3MP full frame CMOS sensor and a fast, yet accurate 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type autofocus points.
Speaking of autofocus, the D610 contains an AF-S mode that is particularly useful for capturing stationary subjects. When it comes to its overall build, the camera feels sturdy with its mix of magnesium alloy at both top and rear covers. Moreover, the camera features an improved white balance system and a continuous shooting mode up to 6 fps.
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a versatile full frame DSLR that’s made suitable for various shooting conditions ranging from portraits to landscape photography. Its 26.2MP full frame CMOS sensor together with the wide ISO range at up to 40000 and fast-detecting 45-point autofocus system to lock-in your subject accurately is proven useful is variety of scenes and settings.
The inclusion of a tiltable 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD monitor comes in handy for those who wants to shoot their subjects creatively. That means you can frame your picture regardless of high or low-angle shots. A bonus point is that the 6D Mark II’s dust- and water-resistant body design allows you to shoot outdoors with little worries.
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