I’ve gathered 10 cheapest full frame cameras that will help you taking high-resolution lowlight photos and big, detailed images. Whether you just what to change your old cropped sensor to the smallest full frame camera or get all the benefits of full frame cameras, my list of 10 inexpensive models will be useful.
Initially, the cameras that supported the 35-millimeter “full-frame” sensor were mainly popular among professionals. Today thanks to the price reductions, everyone can fully enjoy all the advantages of the cheapest full frame DLSR or mirrorless camera with a very high image quality.
A photo taken on a full frame has incredible color rendition and three-dimensional space. There is no magic here, it’s all about technical characteristics, including: Extended dynamic range (the light that enters the matrix entirely affects a scale itself. It turns out that during photographing in a similar environment. The larger the matrix size, the lighter flux falls on it. That’s why all details and shadows always look brighter). Less noise at large ISO settings (in contrast to the crop matrix, a full frame camera has a larger matrix size, which in turn lets more light to pass through and decrease noise at large ISO settings). Production quality (apparently, the bigger the price of the equipment is, the more qualitatively it is made by the manufacturer).
Price: about $1100
Nikon D610 is one of the most affordable full-frame SLR cameras, which features a 24- megapixel matrix. The reason for the launch of the new, more advanced model was the problem of replacing the shutter. Many Nikon D600’s owners complained about the appearance of dirt on the camera matrix and blamed the camera shutter for this.
This smallest full frame camera has a CCD CMOS Sensor (with a low-pass filter of 24x36 mm) with a resolution of 24 megapixels. It pleases users with the presence of the Expeed 3 processor, which together with the matrix shows quite good results. In general, I can say that Nikon D610 is an excellent choice for beginning photographers. Everyone can easily enjoy it for both portrait and reportage photography.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor belongs to the next era of autofocus lenses due to the lack of a diaphragm control ring. Having the integrated focus motor, portrait photos are obtained at a very top level.
Image taken by Nikon D610
Price: about $1400
Nikon D750 is a cheap full frame DLSR and its main feature is the speedy continuous shooting. This is especially significant for wedding as well as event shooters. Besides, the presence of a full-frame CMOS matrix (24MP), 51 focus points and a superb 6.5 frames per second frequency are amazing. The body material is a magnesium alloy. However, the front panel and some parts of the elements are made of carbon fiber.
In fact, it was the exact camera that was lacking in the Nikon full frame sensor cameras lineup. Now it occupies a place between the amateur cameras and more professional photo equipment. Speaking shortly, this is a new generation of low light autofocus cameras. When it was tested in a dim room and in such conditions under which few cameras actually could do anything, even professionals were totally surprised by the results!
Spectacular and functional ZOOM lens with a constant aperture. The presence of the gold ring in the materials indicates that this is the top model from Nikkor. This lens is expensive but shows the best results in reportage and landscape photography.
Image taken by Nikon D750
Price: about $980
Canon EOS 6D is, at the moment, the most balanced full frame DSLR camera from this brand. It was produced right after Canon EOS 5DS. This cheapest full frame camera model is probably the best one in price/quality category. The case is made of magnesium alloy for better protection. The functionality is provided by a full-frame CMOS matrix (20MP) and 11 focus points. Among all SLR cameras, this model was the first one to support Wi-Fi.
The owner of this model will be able to quickly evaluate its high level of work during shooting portraits or landscapes (even under challenging conditions and with many details). Moreover, in the 5th year after the release of the new version of this camera, called 6D Mark II, Canon EOS 6D still surpasses it in video recording, where the photographer can adjust the noise level manually.
The most impressive and efficient tool for reportage, event and wedding shooting. Due to the remarkable lens efficiency, the quality of pics under any weather conditions is excellent.
Image by Canon EOS 6D
Price: about $2385
Some photographers call Canon EOS 5D Mark III the cheapest full frame camera and the most awaited 2012 model. Due to its high functionality, this model has proven itself in any kind of shooting. Even when taking shots in poor lighting, the camera showed an excellent level of detail in both subject and portrait photography.
This cheapest Canon full frame model features a reasonably large image sensor, so any photographer has a unique opportunity to take pictures using an incredibly low depth of field. Speaking about the functionality of this camera, the shooting at six frames/sec is provided by a full-frame CMOS matrix (22.3 megapixels) working in conjunction with a DIGIC 5+ processor.
A lens that can focus all the light at one point with increased standards of protection against dust and moisture. A water repellent coating is applied to the front of the lens. It is capable of showing excellent results in portrait and extreme photography.
Image taken by Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Price: about $1900
Pentax cameras have always shown their advantageous differences from other global camera brands. Pentax engineers initially focused on the ease of control, image quality, and realistic colors, while all other manufacturers were raising focusing speed and matrix size.
After the launch of its first model, the company released a more advanced one, K-1 Mark II. In this cheapest full frame camera, a new Pixel Shift Resolution System II technology was implemented to improve the details of the picture. Thanks to this mechanism, photographers are able to take 4 photos of the very same spot, while moving the image each time by 1 pixel. After that, the pictures are synchronized into one, combining their advantages. Moreover, due to this system, it became possible to receive RGB-data, which additionally provides realistic images. Light-sensitive indicators work well at ISO 100-819200 even in poor light environment.
It takes place among premium models in the Pentax cameras line. A distinctive feature of the lens is the ability to shoot in practically any weather conditions, which enables the photographers not to use additional equipment.
Image taken by Pentax K-1 Mark II
Price: about $2400
Sony Alpha SLT-A99 is a full frame DSLR camera that was produced in 2012. It features a full-frame 24,3MP CMOS matrix, which allows shooting raw frames with 14-bit capacity. At first sight, this flagship model resembles the earlier one, SLT-A77, (identical enclosure and similar disposition of control elements). Having taken this camera, it would feel pleasant, but not too heavyweight. SLT-A99 is more lightweight than its competitors. It weighs only 733 grams.
Camera body is made from magnesium alloy and characterized by moisture and dust protection. Two memory cards slots with component recording support are set into a handle. Both of the slots support SD/SDHC/SDXC and one of them is compatible with brand Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. It is undoubtedly the cheapest full frame camera for long time usage.
Top ultra wide-angle zoom lens from ZEISS with moisture and dust resistance. It renders details perfectly and opens wide opportunities for landscape and city architecture photography.
Image taken by Sony Alpha SLT-A99
Price: about $1900
Nikon Z6 is the best mirrorless camera with a 24,4MP matrix on the full frame. This is the cheapest Nikon full frame camera that features a new Nikon Z lens mount, which new line of standard optics is launched for. Besides, ZTF conversion adapter is available for conjugacy of old lenses with maintaining of an autofocusing option.
Its weight is 675 grams. This mirrorless full frame camera is proud of its magnesium alloy body and expanded ISO range from 50 to 204800 points. Its burst shooting speed is 12 frames per second. 4K expansion (30 frames per second) is also available. With such a burst shooting speed, this camera easily may become a reliable tool for reportage photography.
A decent fix-lens with a classic 50 mm focal distance, corresponding, as it is thought to be, to human eye’s sight angle. There is brand anti-reflecting Nano Crystal Coat covering on the surface of the lens.
Image taken by Nikon Z6
Price: about $2000
EOS R is the first Canon mirrorless camera featuring a full-frame transducer of 30,3MP. It is the cheapest Canon full frame camera and a mirrorless equivalent of Canon 5D Mark IV. With the help of the lens adapter, which was launched simultaneously with a camera, it is possible to set the optics of EF and EF-S series on RF lens mount.
Canon EOS R is called the smallest full frame camera, where the fastest system of hybrid autofocusing is used (based on the Dual Pixel technology). 0,05 second is a claimed actuating time of autofocusing. This camera boasts a face recognition system and autofocus function on the eyes. It will be suitable for any genre of shooting.
Universal Zoom-lens with a set of focal lengths will let you take landscape and portrait photography. Stabilization and a new noiseless auto focus’s motor works incredibly quickly and smoothly.
Image taken by Canon EOS R
Price: about $2020
Sony A7 III can’t be called the cheapest full frame camera in my list, but it features absolutely new full-frame CMOS sensor Exmor R with back lightning and 24,2 megapixels. The 4K video format of Sony mirrorless cameras is automatic. The camera reads out the image from the whole surface of the transducer without combining pixels. Proxy file recording is one more option, which provides flexibility while working with material in video editors (at first small proxy files are edited and only before an export they change into big originals).
Sony A7 III has a more upgraded level of AF performance in comparison with A7 II, including the addition of 4D FOCUS. Also, I may say that in the latest model of this camera, AF response and speed are cardinally improved. Focusing speed in low light has been raised almost twice and tracking has been speeded up twice too.
Its characteristics are so universal, that you may work with it in any genre. This is an excellent rapid fix-lens for street photography lovers. You will appreciate soft bokeh and compact size of the lens.
Image taken by Sony Alpha A7 III
Price: about $2000
Sony Alpha ILCE-7RM2 is the cheapest full frame mirrorless model and, perhaps, the most unusual camera in my list. Frame expansion with a 42MP sensor is very high and is good enough for any tasks. The level of noise is low, up to ISO about 6400. The stabilizer of this full frame camera is also capable to amaze you by helping shoot on long exposures from hands and put into action the full potential of the sensor.
It is impossible not add something about its video capabilities: 4K format with recording to the memory card, Full HD video with a high bitrate and frequency up to 50 (60) frames per second, autofocus and stabilization while recording a video.
It is a premium class wide angle lens made in dust and waterproof enclosure. This lens has OLED display for distance indication, fast autofocus and wide angle for creating exceptional perspectives in street and event photography.
Image by Sony A7R II
|Nikon D610FOR BEGINNERS||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon D750||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon EOS 6DBUDGET||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark III||CHECK PRICE|
|Pentax K-1 Mark II CameraOUR CHOICE||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony Alpha SLT-A99||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon Z6MIRRORLESS||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon EOS RCOMPACT||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony Alpha A7 III||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony a7R IIFOR PROFESSIONAL||CHECK PRICE|
Let’s imagine that you don’t have any experience in photography, but you intend to become a professional photographer. Analyze your budget (the cheapest full frame camera is not a bad idea, to begin with) and make up your mind what genres you want to work with: portraits, weddings, landscapes, food or maybe jewelry photography.
Action time of your full frame digital camera depends on its battery. The majority of them can be recharged, but not all of the batteries are available in a usual or special store. If your style of shooting demands using much juice, it will be better to buy an additional battery at once while ordering the body. 876 shots is an average figure of camera battery life of inexpensive full frame DSLR cameras.
It will be wrong to ignore the ISO parameter, which points out the ability of signal strengthening. Most of the photographers value high sensibility, with the help of which amazing shots in the twilight are achieved. However, high ISO settings are not always a good idea. That’s why try not to buy the full frame sensor cameras with too high ISO settings. Otherwise, you will get excessive signal strength and won’t be able to avoid noise gain. So, while choosing a camera for everyday shooting, the best ISO setting is within 400.
Choose only native lenses for your camera to be sure that there won’t be any problems in work (they are made exactly for each other). But be attentive not to select the wrong lens mount. I mentioned the number of native lenses which are accessible for your enclosure. Besides, you may find similar models from other companies, which are sometimes even better. Nevertheless, there are no guarantees that the lens will work correctly without calibration or other settings.
Don’t forget that I mentioned only the weight of the camera without the lens. Small full frame cameras will be suitable for you if its weight is important. By the way, you may find some other accessories, which are also absent in our number (for instance, battery grips for extending usable life). If to talk about the cameras of this class, 1.7 lbs. is its average weight.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.