The Best Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras for Professional Photographers

There are tons of full frame mirrorless cameras on the market. But only some can truly be called the best for pro photographers. If you’re looking to ditch the DSLR, take a peek at what’s on the table. Some photographers might consider switching cameras systems, while others just want to see the list of what’s great on the market. Either way, our list of the best full frame mirrorless cameras will have you nodding in agreement.

How We Selected the Best Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras

If you’re curious about how we chose the best full frame cameras for pros, take a look at this:

  • Our staff only recommends cameras and lenses we’ve reviewed. And we’ve reviewed every full frame mirrorless camera out there. We declare with certainty that these are the best full frame mirrorless cameras you can get.
  • The best full frame mirrorless cameras have great weather resistance. If you look into our full reviews found in each section, you’ll find this in the build quality tests.
  • Need to shoot portraits? Some of these cameras might be better than others. What about photojournalism? Lots of these cameras can handle that. 
  • Make no mistake; these are the top-end of performance for many cameras on the market. So you’ll see that the best full frame cameras for professional photographers aren’t cheap.
  • What’s more important than the cameras are the lenses. These cameras have tons of great lenses available for them.

Canon EOS R3


Pros

  • Impressive autofocus performance with both action and low light
  • Face recognition works phenomenally, even on birds and in dark scenes
  • Reduced rolling shutter distortion and 1/180 flash sync with electronic shutter
  • Excellent noise reduction at high ISOs
  • Eye Control AF
  • Built-in vertical grip
  • Lots of great controls
  • Weather-sealed

Cons

  • Resolution is lower than competitors (but this is partially why low light quality is so great)
  • Higher learning curve
  • Hot shoe adapter recommended for weather-sealing with older flashes
  • Heavier and larger than the R5 and R6
  • Pricey

What Do We Think?

In our review, we state:

“The Canon R3 has a top burst speed that’s actually useful because of a great autofocus system and a faster processor to limit rolling shutter. This camera can not only shoot in the dark, but prints at ISO 128,000 still look good. While the R5 may make more sense for detail work, the R3 is an exceptional low-light and fast-action camera.”

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Canon EOS R5

Pros

  • Well built
  • Excellent battery life
  • Intuitive for a Canon shooter
  • Feels very good in the hand
  • Image stabilization is pretty much second to none.
  • Wonderful menu systems
  • Excellent details
  • Weather sealed
  • Reliable
  • Canon’s Mobile App connection setup is as simple as ever.
  • Doesn’t overheat with short clips
  • Wifi sending of full HD video is pretty fast.
  • High ISO RAW files hold a fair amount of data. There’s great dynamic range and colors, but the noise is a bit painful.
  • Wireless RAW file transmission with Capture One 22

Cons

  • The joystick is in an odd spot.
  • In some ways feels like an old 60D, but it’s totally not
  • I personally feel the magnification button is in an odd spot.
  • Can’t transfer 8K video via Wifi
  • 4K movie clips shorter than 30 seconds take a while to send, and then ultimately don’t end up on your phone.
  • High ISO Raw files above 12,800 tend to get a bit messy.
  • The price is a bit high at $3,899.

What Do We Think?

In our review, we state:

“Here’s the honest truth. the Canon EOS R5 is a fantastic camera in pretty much every regard. It does everything photographers want it to do. If you want good colors, this camera boasts that ability. If you want good dynamic range, the Canon EOS R5 delivers if you know how to meter a scene. If you’re looking for fantastic autofocus, we can’t find a major fault with the Canon EOS R5 within reason. The camera can take abuse and keep snapping images. Not only is the camera reliable, but it’s also very capable. I’d gladly make it my main camera. With 4K video, I never plan on recording clips that are a half hour long. But I get good stuff from the Canon EOS R5. So why would I complain?”

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Nikon z9

Pros

  • High Speed sync works to 1/8000 and possibly beyond
  • The Nikon z9 genuinely feels like the first serious camera for a professional photographer along with the Canon EOS R3.
  • Nikon’s absolute best autofocus
  • Once you get the hang of it and set everything up just the way you want, it’s an excellent camera.
  • Light up buttons are the absolute best thing.
  • Lots of customization options
  • Fast and quiet shooting
  • 3D tracking is great for animal photography.
  • Auto subject detection is quite good.
  • Nikon’s in-camera cropping feature is so wonderful to get more reach from your lenses.
  • The world’s first camera for photographers without a physical shutter.
  • I had zero camera shake issues. Anything pertaining to it would’ve been issues with using a slower shutter speed.
  • Rolling shutter is considerably eliminated, and it’s only visible if you pixel peep.
  • Pretty good tracking autofocus in low light!
  • The vertical grip is a nice addition.
  • Tons and tons of buttons that can do virtually everything

Cons

  • The AF illuminator dramatically slows down the autofocus.
  • I’ve surely seen better high ISO results.
  • Exposure preview setting has been completely changed.
  • Heavy, but that’s to be expected
  • Noise reduction is very strong.
  • I wish all the buttons lit up and not just a few. What about the buttons on top?
  • Animal autofocus is good but not as good as Canon or Sony.
  • Nikon still doesn’t have anything unique about their image quality that would make me want to buy it over Canon or Sony.
  • Pushing the shadows introduces a significant amount of noise even if you’re not looking at the image at 100%
  • Editing Nikon’s colors in mixed lighting is a nightmare I never want to go through again.
  • At this level, the in-camera multiple exposure feature should make the files into RAWs and not JPEGs.
  • 17×22 prints are a bit soft if you’re looking super close. You’ll also see grain at ISO 6400, unlike we’ve seen with a few others. But it’s acceptable.
  • Pricey, but not as expensive as competitors for sure.

What Do We Think?

In our review, we state:

“The Nikon z9 is Nikon’s most innovative camera in years. It’s quite a workhorse with a fully electronic shutter, workable 3D tracking autofocus, and various autofocus scene detection features. It’s also very well weather-sealed and has incredible battery life. It trails behind Sony and Canon in some ways. But in other ways, it absolutely blows them out of the water. In my mind, it’s the first genuinely professional-feeling mirrorless camera that uses 35mm full-frame sensors.”

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Sony a1

Pros

  • Sony’s a1 shows that stacked sensors are the future.
  • Detail rich images with great dynamic range
  • Excellent ergonomics (the best Sony camera to date)
  • The a1 features the new touchscreen menu system.
  • Fantastic overall autofocus performance
  • 30 frames per second with the electronic shutter with virtually no rolling shutter or banding issues
  • 1/400th mechanical shutter speed with compatible TTL flashes and triggers
  • Sony’s 9.44 million dot EVF is a work of art.
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good battery life
  • 8K video
  • Excellent performance with CFexpress A cards

Cons

  • It has the same old 1.44 million dot LCD
  • The LCD is not fully articulating
  • Bird AF is a work in progress
  • Multi Shot mode is inconsistent
  • Autofocus suffers a little in very low light situations
  • It’s $6,499

What Do We Think?

In our review, we state:

“The Sony a1 is a revolutionary camera. It’s capable of incredible burst rates in RAW with autofocus. It does very well with high ISOs. The ergonomics and build quality are the best yet from a Sony camera. The EVF is excellent, and the autofocus system works like a charm for the most part. It’s a stunning camera. However, all of these great things come with a huge price. It’s $6,499.”

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Leica SL2S

Pros

  • The fastest autofocus on a Leica ILC I’ve seen. It’s now on par with Canon and Sony.
  • Autofocus profiles are cool!
  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful image quality
  • People detection is wonderful.
  • Functionality-wise, the buttons are fantastic with a good layout and give you everything you need.
  • A camera you want to carry around everywhere with you.
  • Both Panasonic and Leica lenses have comparable autofocus speeds.
  • Raw files are pretty versatile in Lightroom.
  • FANTASTIC high ISO print capability

Cons

  • A tad pricey. But when you consider the weather sealing, it’s not bad.
  • I wish it did Qi wireless charging.
  • I wish it had dedicated animal face detection.
  • There should be an option to never let the display time out. This is especially true for the EVF-Extended mode.
  • It needs the right strap to be comfortable for long photo walks.
  • Still no multiple exposure mode
  • I wish the menu were touch-capable and that it either flipped or tilted/pivoted.

What Do We Think?

In our review, we state:

“By and large, the Leica SL2s is the most rugged camera on the market for a working journalist: there’s no question about that. It’s incredibly reliable, and I know I’d be able to use it in any weather or environmental situation. It feels good in the hand, you’re getting a solid menu system, the lenses are wonderful and, best of all, the high ISO images are super clean. Again, the Leica SL2s gave us the cleanest ISO 6400 prints from a 24MP full-frame sensor we’ve seen so far. Personally speaking, this is a camera I’d want to have with me everywhere.”

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.