Most professional photographers shoot with a full frame camera. This is because they offer key advantages over their smaller APS-C cousins including a better low light performance, improved image quality, increased background blur and no cropping of the lens’ focal length. However, as full frame cameras produce better images, the price tends to be more premium too. But fear not, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best value full frame bodies available today, to help you choose your next camera.
Canon EOS 6D
The 6D is Canon’s smallest and lightest full frame camera – weighing just 680g – making it well suited to travel. It sits below the 5D MKIII in their DSLR line up, and is touted at the perfect step-up body for those looking to move on from APS-C cameras. It comes with a 20.2MP sensor which is plenty big enough to make considerable crops, but this is the smallest resolution of any of these 5 best value full frame cameras. The sensor is paired with the powerful DIGIC5+ image processor, which gives the camera a very impressive ISO range of 100-25,600, which can be expanded to an ISO range of 50-102,400 – making it a strong performer in low light.
The 6D comes with a 11-point AF system sensitive down to -3EV and can shoot at a reasonable 4.5fps. On the rear is a 3.0” 1040k-dot LCD, and the camera comes with GPS, WiFi and is capable of recording Full HD video. The Canon 6D is one of the most affordable full frame cameras on the market, and is available from the Digitalrev store for £999.96.
The D610 is Nikon’s entry point to full frame shooting, and is the most affordable camera of its kind at just £875 online. It features a 24.3MP sensor – matching the resolution of the more expensive Nikon D750 – and is paired with the EXPEED3 processor, which is also used in Nikon’s flagship pro camera – the D4. This technological partnership gives the D610 a native ISO range of 100-6400, which albeit is fairly limited can be expanded to 50-25,600 to increase your shooting options in low light situations.
The camera features a 39-point AF system, 9 of which are the more advanced cross-type AF sensors. It can shoot at a fairly rapid 6fps and can also capture full HD video. On the rear of the body is a 3.2” 921k-dot LCD – also the same spec as the D4 – and comes with two SD card slots for overflow or backup capture. Tipping the scales at 760g it’s among the heavier DSLRs in this range.
The Sony A7II is the only mirrorless camera to make the cut of our best value full frame bodies, but what an incredible camera it is. As it’s a CSC as opposed to a DSLR, it’s much more compact than the competition and loads lighter too: it weighs just 556g. At its core is a 24.3MP sensor that comes with 5-axis image stabilisation technology, meaning you’re at much lower risk of encountering the blur of camera shake. As the image stabilisation occurs on the sensor, it works with any lens you use. The ISO is a very respectable 100-25,600, making it a good performer in darker scenes. The A7II lets you capture frames up to 5fps with AF/AE shooting with tracking, so your subject stays sharp using the 117 AF points across the frame.
On the rear of the dust and moisture resistant slender body is a 3.0” 1230k-dot tiltable LCD – making it easier to compose from awkward angles. The A7II also comes with NFC to instantly save shots to a smart device and WiFi for remote operation. Priced at £1134 on the Digitalrev store, this camera gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
The K-1 is Pentax’s flagship DSLR, and comes packed with a host of impressive specs. Nestled in its centre is a 36.4MP full frame sensor – the biggest resolution of our top 5 – and there’s no AA filter so images are super sharp. Just like the Sony A7II, the K-1 also features a 5-axis Sensor Shift image stabilisation system, which lets you shoot up to 5-stops slower without encountering camera shake: perfect for handheld shooting in low light. The sensor is partnered with a Prime IV processor, and this gives the K-1 a shooting speed of 4.4fps and an enormous ISO range of 100-204,800.
The body is both weather and dust resistant for added peace of mind, and comes with dual SD card slots to backup your images while you shoot. On the rear is a large 3.2” tiltable 1037k-dot LCD, making it easier to use creative compositions. The K-1 also offers Full HD video shooting and a 4K timelapse function. Tipping the scales at 925g it’s noticeably heavier than the others, and is bulkier too – but some folk prefer a bigger camera. The K-1 is available from the Digitalrev store for £1323.
The Nikon D750 offers many features found on more premium Nikon full frame cameras like the D5 and D810, but costs under £1160 which is great value for a camera of this calibre. It’s built around a 24.3MP sensor which is powered by the EXPEED 4 processor: the same engine at the higher resolution D810. It can shoot at a rapid 6.5fps and has a native ISO range of 100-12,800, which can be expanded to ISO 50-51,200 for ultra low light situations. For focusing there’s the highly regarded Multi-CAM 3500II FX 51-point AF system, and like the D810 also features the new Group Area AF mode, which lets you clump together AF points for more accuracy.
The 750g body is weather sealed so you can shoot without worry in damp conditions, and there’s dual SD card slots to expand your memory capacity or to capture a back up for added security. On the rear is a large 3.2” 1229k-dot LCD, and it’s tiltable too so you can easily compose accurately from high or low angles. The D750 also features WiFi and Full HD video capture.