Affordable Full Frame Cameras: 6 Options for the Frugal Photographer

If you do a lot of low light work, and have a tight budget, check out these affordable Full Frame cameras.

Full Frame cameras are more popular than ever with hobbyists, enthusiasts, and of course, professionals. While prices of Full Frame cameras have come down a lot, the newest models can still be pretty pricey. If you want to get your hands on a Full Frame camera, but you don’t want to wipe out your bank account to get one, there are some wallet-friendly options out there. These cameras might have a few years on them now, but if you simply must have Full Frame, these affordable Full Frame cameras are the ones worth a closer look.

senior portrait photography
Captured with the Canon EOS 6D

We recently posted a roundup of APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras that are more than capable of producing the goods for enthusiasts, hobbyists, and pros, but if you absolutely need the low light performance of large sensor cameras, the models rounded up in this list deserve a closer look. All these cameras, though a few years old, can produce gorgeous images in the right hands, and they all offer weather sealing and a ton of other features that weren’t found in cameras that cost under $1,500 just a few years ago. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite affordable Full Frame cameras.

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Canon 6D

affordable full frame cameras

Considered to be one of the finest low light/ high ISO performing DSLRs ever, the Canon 6D may be old, but it is pure gold. The Canon 6D sports fantastic ergonomics, a brilliant 20.2MP Full Frame sensor that performs miracles in low light, weather sealing, and fabulous battery life. I used one of these for years and loved every minute with it. If you have under $1,000 to spend and you want a camera that will not disappoint in any way, check out the Canon 6D. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros 

  • Comfortable size and weight in-hand
  • Great High-ISO image quality
  • Silent Shutter

Cons

  • Rear panel layout feels strange coming from 5D MkII
  • 1/4000 top shutter speed & 1/180 max sync speed
  • Does not recognize 3rd party batteries

Buy now: $821.38

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Sony A7 MK II

Another fantastically affordable Full Frame camera, the Sony a7 Mk II. This IBIS packing 24.3MP sensor camera can be yours for under $1,000, and that price even includes a versatile 28-70mm lens. What will your money get you? A camera that can produce gorgeous images, solid build quality thanks to the magnesium alloy body, weather sealing, Wi-Fi, NFC, and other features you would expect from a Mirrorless camera including an OLED EVF. 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 previous version
  • Improved battery performance with the same batteries every other Sony mirrorless camera uses
  • Better autofocusing than we’ve seen in previous versions: it acquires a subject faster than before

Cons

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

Buy now: $998

Captured with the Canon EOS 6D II – ISO 6400

Pro Tip: No matter how much money we spend on our cameras, we want them to last as long as possible. One thing you can do to keep your camera in tip-top condition for as long as possible is clean it regularly. We have shown how easy it can be to clean the sensor in your camera, and how to clean the body. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a cleaning kit with everything you need. This one is all you need, and it, like the cameras in this list, is incredibly affordable.

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Canon EOS RP

Canon cameras - Eos RP

Canon’s entry-level Full Frame Mirrorless camera shocked us with its overall performance when we put it through our real-world tests, and the fact that you can now own one for under $1,000 shocks us even more. This camera has a great EVF, a fantastic fully articulating touch screen, excellent ergonomics, and a 26MP sensor that can capture a ton of detail. This camera pairs perfectly with the fantastic RF 35mm f1.8 too! 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

  • Could have done better with a joystick

Buy now: $999

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Sony A7r Mk II

Affordable Full Frame Cameras

The Sony A7r II, like the rest of the cameras on this list, is a few years old, but wow, you get a lot of camera for your money! For under $1,400, you can grab this Mirrorless camera that packs a 42MP sensor, IBIS, weather sealing, 4K video capabilities, a gorgeous electronic viewfinder, and pleasant ergonomics. If you crave a large sensor, and the work you produce needs to pack a ton of detail, perhaps this model on our list of affordable Full-Frame cameras is the one deserving a closer look. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best image quality 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
  • Improved battery life over previous generations
  • 4K video is a nice addition

Cons

  • Really, really want a direct joystick of some sort to move the focusing points rather than pressing a button and then moving them around

Buy now: $1,398

Pro Tip: No matter how much money your camera costs, we always recommend you have a functional camera bag that not only looks great but will also protect your investment while traveling. Not too long ago, we put together a list of very affordable, yet stylish and functional camera bags that can be picked up for under $150. If you need a new camera bag, check out these options.

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Canon 6D Mk II

Affordable Full Frame Cameras

The Canon 6D II received a lot of hate when it hit the streets because it didn’t offer two SD card slots, and it didn’t provide 4K video. However, the 6D II excels when it comes to stills. The 26MP sensor is just as good when it comes to low light, high ISO performance as the original 6D, and the fully articulating screen makes it that much easier to use. You’re going to get great burst rates, excellent battery life, excellent weather sealing, and just a reliable all-around camera. Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Nice feel to the camera body
  • Weather sealing
  • Pretty fair color versatility
  • The flippy LCD screen is a nice touch
  • You can push the shadows quite a bit
  • Great battery life
  • Very good high ISO performance; I made a print at 13×17 inches from an ISO 6400 photo
  • Canon’s Touch screen menu continues to be the best on the market
  • Canon’s rendition of skin tones continues to be the best on the market

Cons

  • Subpar highlight rendition recovery (update, In Capture One, it isn’t that bad)
  • Autofocus points all towards the center
  • You’re so much better off just using the center focus point and recomposing
  • 26MP is a bit too conservative when there are fantastic 24MP APS-C sensors
  • Lower ISOs don’t feel as versatile as the higher ISO settings

Buy now: $1,399

Affordable Full Frame Cameras – Nikon D750

Affordable Full Frame Cameras

The Nikon D750 is the most expensive camera on our list of affordable Full-Frame cameras at $1,496.95. Still, despite being five years old now, this DSLR continues to be one of the best Full Frame cameras for frugal photographers. The camera is tough enough to drive a fence post into the ground, the sensor produces beautiful images, the user interface is sound, and its high ISO performance is off the charts. For the price, it’s really hard to go wrong with this camera. 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