8 Wallet-Friendly Full Frame Cameras for Photographers on a Budget

You can get some marvelous Full Frame cameras for under two grand these days.

Just a few years ago, Full Frame cameras were way out of reach for most photographers. Older DSLR’s like the Canon 5D series and the Nikon 8XX series were priced around $3,000 or more, and unless you wanted to settle for an entry-level, almost featureless Full Frame camera, you had to really save up those pennies. Today, things are slightly different. You can grab affordable Full Frame cameras full of features with the latest tech for under $2,000 (sometimes even less). In this roundup, we will share some of our favorite Full Frame cameras in this category.

Captured with the Canon EOS R and the RF 85mm f1.2

Being able to pick up Full Frame cameras for under $2,000 is impressive, but did you know there are also Full Frame cameras that cost under a grand? We have those listed here as well. You’re probably thinking, ‘sure, they are Full Frame, but they are old cameras now.’ Who cares! Any camera made in the last five years is more than enough for any photographer out in the wild today.

Don’t feel pressured into buying the latest and greatest by your peers or anyone else. Sure, the newest cameras are great, but these budget Full Frame cameras we have listed below are stellar. You’ll get excellent image quality, incredible autofocus performance, and, in a lot of cases, you’ll also get eye autofocus and a ton of other bells and whistles. So, if you are on a budget, but want to get a Full Frame camera, these are the ones you should be looking at.

Canon EOS RP

Camera deals Canon EOS RP

Canon’s entry-level RP is an absolute bargain in the world of Mirrorless cameras. It is one of the smallest and lightest FF cameras on the market, and it has a great EVF, a fully articulating screen, and a 26.2 Megapixel sensor. You’ll also find eye AF, and it can be used with the beautiful new RF mount glass or Canon’s huge back catalog of EF-mount glass with an adapter. The best part is this camera is just $999! Pair it with the RF 35mm f1.8, and you’ll be nothing but impressed. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • This isn’t Canon innovating on the inside, but instead on the outside
  • This is the smallest and lightest ILC Full Frame camera on the market
  • Goes well with a wrist strap and a light prime lens
  • Weather sealing
  • The autofocus isn’t bad, and it’s quite usable in a number of working conditions
  • Pretty good image quality

Cons

  • This camera is begging to be paired with a nice 50mm f1.8 lens
  • Could have done better with a joystick
  • The competition from Sony charges around 1/3rd more of the price and offers more

Buy now: $999

Sony A7 MK II

The Sony A7 II is another one of our favorite Full Frame cameras that won’t break the bank (it’s just $898). The Sony a7 II features a 24.2 Megapixel sensor, IBIS, weather sealing, a tilting LCD, and a sophisticated autofocus system. For this price, it’s impossible to go wrong with this camera. It’s perfect for photographers just getting into portrait photography. Pair it with the Sony 85mm f1.8 and you’ll be in bokeh heaven. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Image stabilization is pretty effective
  • Improved grip, though there wasn’t much of a problem with the first
  • Improved battery life performance with the same batteries that every other Sony mirrorless camera uses
  • Better autofocusing than we’ve seen in previous versions in that it acquires a subject faster than before

Cons

  • Slow startup time
  • Not a whole host of differences from the A7

Buy now: $898

Nikon D750

full frame cameras

The Nikon DSLR is still one of the most popular Full Frame cameras on the market thanks to its rugged build quality, an impressive sensor that can provide detail-rich images with gorgeous colors, and it’s great low light performance. This tried and true DSLR will keep going and going. It’s priced right too! Pair it with one of Nikon’s low-cost primes like the 50mm f1.8G, and you’ll see why it is a firm favorite in the photography community. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Deep grip
  • The intuitive and well laid out control scheme
  • Renders amazing detail and color
  • Clean files at ISO 6400
  • Usable images up to ISO 10000
  • Built-in Wi-Fi transmission
  • Tilting screen

Cons

  • Plastic front plate

Buy now: $1,496.95

Captured with the Pentax K1 II and the Pentax 28-105mm

Pro Tip: Just like any camera, these Full Frame cameras are going to get dirty. We recommend carrying a basic cleaning kit at all times so you can wipe off any dirt, dust, or water while you’re out and about. There is nothing worse than being on a shoot and not having a way to take care of your gear. You don’t need an expensive kit: this one is just fine. 

Sony A7r Mk II

full frame cameras

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a Full Frame camera with bucket loads of megapixels. The Sony a7r II boasts a 42 Megapixel sensor, IBIS, 399 autofocus points, an OLED electronic viewfinder, and a whole lot more. What’s really crazy is that this camera costs just $1,398! Use the a7r II with the versatile Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and you’ll have a setup that will cover most photography genres for a combined price of just over $2,250! What a bargain! Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best image quality that we’ve seen from a camera yet
  • Surprisingly good high ISO results
  • Very good RAW file versatility, but not the best
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Fastest autofocus of any Sony ILC camera body (at the time of writing)
  • Improved battery life over previous generations
  • 4K video is a nice addition

Cons

  • We really wanted a direct joystick of some sort to move the focusing points around

Buy now: $1,398

Nikon Z6

full frame cameras

If you’re a fan of Nikon cameras and you like the idea of Mirrorless cameras more than DSLR’s, the Z6 is a camera worth a closer look. Recent firmware updates have dramatically improved the camera’s autofocus performance, and the z6 features a great IBIS system, great touchscreen, tons of weather sealing, and it can be used with both new Z mount lenses (like the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f1.8 S) and F mount lenses with an adapter. Here are the pros and cons from our full review.

Pros

  • Comfortable handgrip
  • Excellent Electronic Viewfinder with 100% frame coverage
  • EVF protrudes from the camera body, minimizing contact between your nose and the rear LCD
  • The top display shows you all of your settings at a glance
  • Intuitive touchscreen rear LCD
  • Solid battery life when using newly designed EN-EL15b batteries
  • Robust weather sealing
  • Works with most existing Nikon F mount lenses using the Nikon FTZ adapter

Cons

  • Single XQD card slot may be a deal-breaker for photographers with certain workflows
  • Colors on the rear LCD were inconsistent when compared to EVF
  • Autofocus performance, while better than the Nikon Z7, still leaves much to be desired
  • Certain settings were oddly organized within the menus
  • There is way too much settings information displayed on the rear LCD, often getting in the way of you framing your shot

Buy now: $1,796.95

Pentax K1 Mk II

full frame cameras

The Pentax K1 II may not always come to mind, but in the world of affordable, feature-packed Full Frame cameras, the K1 II more than holds its own. This 36.4 Megapixel DSLR has IBIS (which is quite rare for a DSLR), a unique tiltable LCD screen, Pixelshift technology that produces ultra-high resolution images, a self-leveling sensor, and an Astrotracer which makes this a dream camera for astrophotography. Pair it with the Pentax 15-30mm f2.8 and you’ll have one heck of a landscape and astrophotography rig. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Enough weather sealing to last a lifetime
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • Easy to read LCD Screen
  • In-Body Image Stabilization / Pixel Shift
  • Gorgeous 100% coverage viewfinder
  • Excellent image quality
  • Dual SD Card slots
  • Great battery life
  • That little light above the lens mount

Cons

  • Only 33 focus points
  • Autofocus system won’t win any races
  • Extremely heavy
  • No touchscreen

Buy now: $1,749

Pro Tip: As you can imagine, Full Frame cameras take up a little more room than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras, so make sure you have a camera bag big enough to accommodate your new camera body and lenses. We have reviewed a ton of bags, so head to the review section to see if there is one you want to pair your new camera with.

Canon EOS R

full frame cameras

The excellent 30.4 Megapixel sensor in the Canon EOS R can produce gorgeous, detail-rich images that have the Canon colors we know and love. Recent updates have improved the AF system, and now eye AF is up there with the very best on the market. A fully articulating screen just makes it even easier to use. You can, of course, use RF mount lenses and EF mount glass with an RF to EF mount adapter. You are truly spoiled when it comes to lens choices. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Weather sealed like crazy
  • Autofocus is good
  • Protects the sensor when off
  • Canon’s menu system is still simple
  • Ergonomics feel nice
  • With a lightweight lens, it feels just as nice as a Sony camera.
  • These are some of Canon’s best RAW files that we’ve seen in years
  • Good battery life
  • Fast Wifi transfers, though not as simple as Sony’s

Cons

  • Needs Dual SD cards
  • Needs a joystick
  • The magic touch bar is odd and could use refinement.
  • Optimizing the way the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed dials work, such as the automatic remetering for ISO, not cool
  • Bigger than Sony, but the L lenses are about on par with their G Master glass

Buy now: $1,799

Sony a7 III

full frame cameras

According to Sony, the Sony A7 III is their entry-level Full Frame camera, but a quick look at the spec sheet would make you think otherwise. The 24.2 Megapixel sensor is more than enough for most, and it has 5-axis in-body image stabilization, weather sealing, a gorgeous OLED EVF, 693 autofocus points, real-time human eye AF, and real-time animal eye AF. The a7 III is an excellent jack-of-all-trades camera. If you’re a portrait photographer, pair it with the affordable Rokinon 85mm f1.4 and be prepared to be amazed. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best battery life of any Sony or mirrorless camera we’ve ever tested
  • A fair amount of resolution and versatility in the RAW files that can be realized with Capture One
  • Nice feel to it
  • Consistency with all the other cameras in terms of the menu system
  • Autofocus can acquire a target in near darkness
  • Essentially feels like a scaled-down Sony a9 and Sony a7r III

Cons

  • Mount and certain lenses may allow for dust to get in onto the sensor

Buy now: $1,798