Are you looking for the best Canon full-frame camera?
Your search ends here.
Because we’ve taken an in-depth look at all of Canon’s full-frame models — and we’ve picked the best that Canon has to offer.
We’ll share them with you in this article!
Let’s get started.
Best Canon Full-Frame Cameras: Top 5 Picks
1. Canon EOS R5
The Canon EOS R5 is insanely capable thanks to its 45 MP sensor, class-leading autofocus, and 8K video.
For serious photographers, the Canon EOS R5 isn’t just the best Canon full-frame camera; it’s one of the best (if not the best) full-frame cameras available in 2021. Of course, you get what you pay for, so the EOS R5 is far from cheap – but for experienced photographers, it’s absolutely worth the cost.
What makes the EOS R5 so special?
First, there’s the autofocus, which is jaw-droppingly good and can track moving subjects all day without a hitch. If you like to shoot sports, you’re going to love the EOS R5’s Eye Detection, and if you’re a wildlife photographer, the Animal Eye AF is surprisingly useful.
Then there’s the image quality. Canon has packed in a whopping 45 MP of photographic goodness, which you can turn into huge prints or, if you’re a wildlife photographer, use for extensive cropping. The EOS R5 is the highest-resolution camera on this list (the next highest is the Canon 5D Mark IV, at 30 MP), so if you’re after detailed landscapes, product photos, or other commercially ready files, the R5 is your best option.
High-ISO performance is truly excellent. You can shoot indoors or outside after dark and come away with noise-free photos, which is why the EOS R5 is a great pick if you like to shoot events, wildlife, or even astrophotography. And the EOS R5’s in-body image stabilization takes this to the next level, allowing you to photograph handheld in even the trickiest conditions.
Honestly, aside from the price, it’s tough to criticize the EOS R5. In addition to the features mentioned above, you get a fully articulating touchscreen (for low-angle shooting and easy vlogging), dual card slots, a beautiful electronic viewfinder, plus 8K video (albeit with some much-discussed overheating issues).
So if you’re a serious photographer or videographer looking for a stellar full-frame mirrorless body, you can’t go wrong with the EOS R5.
2. Canon EOS RP
The Canon EOS RP is cheap, it’s powerful, and it’s fun to use. If you’re after a budget full-frame camera, the EOS RP is a great pick.
If you’re after a budget mirrorless camera that packs quite a punch, look no further than the Canon EOS RP.
It’s on the older side (it debuted back in 2019), but for just $1000 USD, the EOS RP is an absolute bargain, offering beautiful image quality, top-notch ergonomics, and decent autofocus all rolled into one.
In fact, the EOS RP is one of my all-time favorite full-frame cameras, especially for travel photographers, walkaround photographers, and street photographers. For one, the RP is pretty darn compact, so you can slip it in your bag or backpack without any trouble (or you can wear it around your neck for long periods).
And I’m a huge fan of the fully articulating screen, which allows you to capture shots at all sorts of odd angles (imagine shooting up at architecture without having to bend your neck!). Videographers, too, will love being able to tilt the LCD when recording – and for vloggers, this is a necessity.
Autofocusing is good without being great. The EOS RP is certainly snappy enough when focusing on still subjects, and it does a decent job with moving subjects, but it’s not on the same level as the Canon EOS R5 or 1D X Mark III (also on this list). So if you’re hoping to shoot action, the RP is not the right choice – but if you’re a landscape photographer, street photographer, or portrait photographer, the RP will suit you just fine.
As for the image quality: You get beautiful, 26 MP images (a resolution that, incidentally, sits in that sweet spot between storage-hogging files and subpar detail). The RP isn’t a low-light powerhouse, but high-ISO performance is decent and will keep you shooting even indoors or at night without issue.
Finally, the RP does offer 4K/24p recording, but it comes with a notable crop. This isn’t a huge deal for most videographers – you can always use a wide-angle lens and account for the crop factor – but it’ll cause problems if you need to record landscapes and other wide-angle scenes.
Overall, the EOS RP is an excellent little camera, and I highly recommend it for travel photographers, walkaround photographers, or photographers after a full-frame mirrorless sensor but aiming to save. It’ll even work for vloggers and videographers, provided you’re not hung up on full-frame 4K.
3. Canon 5D Mark IV
The Canon 5D Mark IV might be getting on in years, but it’s still a great all-around camera for enthusiasts and professionals.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is an incredible full-frame Canon DSLR.
It doesn’t offer a ridiculously fast burst mode (though its 7 fps is still useful). Nor does it offer superb high-ISO performance.
But it’s the best all-around Canon DSLR that you’ll come across.
Because the Canon 5D Mark IV is a full-frame camera that packs a big punch. It’s capable of shooting:
- 30.4 megapixel JPEG and RAW files
- 4K video footage (at 24 fps and 30 fps)
Its video capabilities are bolstered by the addition of C-Log. This feature didn’t initially come with the Canon 5D Mark IV, but has become very popular. C-Log increases the dynamic range of the Mark IV. Plus, with C-Log, you’ll have expanded post-processing options.
Another feature that stands out is the Dual-Pixel RAW technology. This allows for subtle adjustments after an image has been recorded. You can make small corrections in terms of sharpness, bokeh, and reduction of halos.
Oh, and did I mention that the Canon 5D Mark IV offers dual-pixel CMOS autofocusing?
This is an autofocus technology that’s perfect for working in Live View and video modes. It’s designed to create a smooth autofocus experience — so that you can easily focus in the field.
And speaking of autofocus:
The 5D Mark IV offers the same 61-point autofocus system as Canon’s former flagship model, the EOS-1D X Mark II. It includes 41 cross-type AF points. When using a single autofocus point, the autofocus performs well.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Mark IV’s new autofocus tracking feature, iTR AF. While iTR is designed to improve autofocus tracking, the opposite often occurs: tracking is slowed down substantially.
But all in all, the 5D Mark IV is a superb all-around camera. You can shoot virtually anything with it!
Related Article: Best Canon DSLR Camera Under $1000
4. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
The Canon 1D X Mark III is an action photographer’s dream, featuring top-notch autofocus, superb low-light image quality, and a rugged body.
When it comes to action photography, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the way to go.
It’s the most powerful Canon full-frame DSLR by far — and it’s the current flagship of the Canon DSLR lineup.
- 20.1-megapixel stills
- DCI 4K up to 60 fps
- HD up to 120 fps
Aside from its superb still capabilities, what makes this camera so amazing?
First, the EOS-1D X Mark III is designed to be a workhorse. It offers a deep buffer and incredible continuous shooting speeds:
- 16 fps using the optical viewfinder
- 20 fps with Live View
So if you are an avid fast action, sports, or birding enthusiast, the 1D X Mark III offers exactly what you need. And the EOS-1D X Mark III is powered by the new DIGIC X processor, which accounts for the insane shooting speeds listed above.
Additionally, the 1D X Mark III features Canon’s Dual-Pixel AF, which makes video and Live-View autofocus very effective. And the standard autofocus is extremely fast, both for stationary subjects and subjects in motion.
High-ISO performance is definitely better on the 1D X Mark III compared to Canon’s other full-frame DSLRs. You can shoot indoors or at night and come away with clean, professional files.
One last point: The EOS-1D X Mark III is one of the few full-frame DSLRs which is completely weather sealed. So you can feel confident using this camera in all sorts of conditions.
If you’re looking for a superb full-frame camera that can take a beating, the EOS-1D X Mark III is the camera to buy.
Related Article: How to Select the Best Canon DSLR Lenses (for Beginners)
5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Canon 6D Mark II isn’t especially flashy, but it offers beautiful image quality and a great shooting experience at a reasonable price.
Now, I’m going to state it up front:
The EOS 6D Mark II cannot compete with most of the other options on this list. Both the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Canon 1D X Mark III, for instance, are superior full-frame DSLRs.
The Canon 6D Mark II is an excellent camera. One that can help you capture stunning, professional-quality photos — without breaking the bank.
Let’s start with the good:
First, powering the camera is a 26.2-megapixel full-frame sensor. This is ample resolution for prints and enlargements. You can also do significant cropping without loss of image quality.
Second, the Canon 6D Mark II offers 6.5 fps continuous shooting. While this can’t beat the Canon 5D Mark IV (at 7 fps) or the Canon 1D X Mark III (at 16-20 fps), it still makes for some usable action photos.
Third, the Canon 6D Mark II is the only DSLR in this line-up with a fully articulating touchscreen. This is a great advantage when shooting from a very low angle or from high overhead. The actual touchscreen, however, is smaller than that of the 5D Mark IV or 1D X Mark III.
Now, the Canon 6D Mark II only has 45 autofocus points. And it doesn’t shoot 4K video — only full HD at 60 fps.
Finally, the Canon 6D Mark II viewfinder only shows 98% of the view captured by the lens.
The Canon 6D Mark II has some drawbacks. And it can’t compete with its (far more expensive) rivals.
But it still offers some impressive features. And at the end of the day, it’s a great pick — especially if you’re looking to save money!
Which Canon Full-Frame Camera Is Best for You?
If you’re looking for a camera that combines power, image quality, and video capabilities, the Canon EOS R5 is the way to go, assuming you can afford the premium price tag.
But the Canon EOS RP is an excellent budget pick and offers reasonable image quality and autofocusing plus a nice electronic viewfinder. If you’re after great images but don’t have much to spend, you can’t go wrong with the EOS RP.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is Canon’s best consumer full-frame DSLR. Buy it if you like the size and weight of DSLRs but want pro-level image quality.
The EOS-1D X Mark III is the perfect pick for sports and action photographers. Everyone else should steer clear, if only because of the eye-watering price.
And the EOS 6D Mark II is a well-priced — if aging — DSLR. Get it if you’re set on DSLRs and want full-frame quality for under $1500 USD.
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