4 Best Full-Frame Cameras for Beginners

If you’re just starting off with photography, DSLR cameras with a Micro Four Thirds lens system are generally the way to go. This is because they’re cheaper and act as a good entry point into the world of photography. With time, though, full-frame cameras have trickled down in price. And that’s why we’ve made a list of the best full-frame cameras for beginners on a budget.

best full-frame cameras for beginners

Full-frame cameras offer a lot of benefits compared to their Micro Four Thirds counterparts. To that end, full-frame cameras are lighter, have bigger sensors, and do not exhibit any sort of cropping. These benefits also prove to be helpful when recording videos. So, if you’re an upcoming content creator, here are some of the best entry-level full-frame cameras you can buy. But before that –

1. Sony Alpha a7 II

  • Included lens: 28-70mm
  • Sensor: 24.3MP
  • Video resolution: 1080p
Sony a7 II

Among all the cheap full-frame cameras, the Sony Alpha a7 II provides the best value. This is because the camera sports a fantastic body, and for a price less than the 4-digit mark, you also get a kit lens that gives you a wide range of focal lengths.

Despite the fact that the Sony a7 II is a few years old at this point, the camera is more than capable of clicking some excellent shots thanks to its large sensor. Add to that the camera’s 5-axis in-body stabilization, and the results are excellent, even when shooting in low light. Video recording is also quite stable thanks to the built-in stabilization, making it a good option for content creators.

However, one major flaw with the Sony a7 II is the lack of 4K video recording. If you’re only going to be clicking pictures, this shouldn’t bother you. But if you’re mainly getting it as a video camera, you may find it limiting over time.

If you have a strict budget of under $1000 and you want a camera with 4K recording, skip to the Canon EOS ROP. Having said that, from a photography point of view, users mention it can hold its own even years after launch. On that note, the photos are crisp, and the form factor is quite handy, making it a solid pick.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • 5-axis stabilization

What We Don’t Like

  • No 4K video recording

2. Canon EOS RP

  • Included lens: Nil
  • Sensor: 26.2MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
Canon EOS RP

The Canon EOS RP retails at a similar price as the Sony a7 II. However, Canon doesn’t include a kit lens in the package, so you will have to spend a little extra to acquire one. While it is more expensive, you will get 4K recording with the camera, which is superb for budding content creators.

The EOS RP is one of the most compact mirrorless cameras from Canon. This makes it easy to carry around, especially when traveling. Speaking of traveling, reviews mention the EOS RP is one of the best budget full-frame cameras for travel and street photography since it produces crisp shots with excellent autofocus.

You have to keep your hands slightly steady, though, when shooting in low light. While there is in-body image stabilization, it’s reserved only for videos. Users say it’s an excellent first camera for most people who want to dip their toes in photography and videography. The RF lenses can be slightly expensive, though, so account for that before making the purchase.

What We Like

  • Compact form factor
  • Excellent autofocus

What We Don’t Like

  • Stabilization only works for videos
  • Expensive lenses

3. Panasonic LUMIX S5

  • Included lens: 20-60mm
  • Sensor: 24.2MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
Panasonic Lumix S5

There’s a lot to love about the LUMIX S5. The video performance is excellent, there are two SD card slots, and the body is weather-resistant. It also has 4K video recording that is regarded to be the best in this segment in terms of quality.

If you’re a content creator or a YouTuber, the Panasonic LUMIX S5 is a no-brainer. Right from the video output to the 5-axis dual image stabilization, the camera can compete against much more expensive options. The dual SD card slots are a huge boon when recording long videos or short films.

The bundled 20-60mm kit lens — while not being the fastest — offers a wide range of focal lengths. So whether you want to record videos with a wide perspective or capture portrait shots, you won’t have to invest in a new lens as a beginner. As per reviews, the S5 is well worth its price tag and is a good starter camera — especially for videos. The battery life is average, though, so we’d recommend you also add some extra cells to your cart at the time of checkout.

What We Like

  • Excellent choice for videos
  • Dual SD card slots

What We Don’t Like

  • Average battery life

4. Sony Alpha 7C

  • Included lens: Nil
  • Sensor: 25.3MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
Sony a7C

The A7C from Sony is priced similarly to the Panasonic S5. However, Sony doesn’t include a kit lens, which will be an extra expense. For the extra premium, though, you’re getting a smaller form factor, an arguably better lens system, and superb autofocus.

The Sony A7C is the most compact full-frame camera on this list. In fact, it’s so compact that several users mention how they mistook it for an APS-C camera. Despite its handy footprint, Sony has not compromised on the capabilities of this camera.

Reviews say the autofocus, both when clicking photos and recording videos, is top-notch. The built-in IBIS also performs well when clicking in low light. However, the stabilization could have been better for videos. You’ll have to purchase a separate gimbal if you’re serious about videos. Additionally, the A7C’s battery life is a big improvement over the LUMIX S5, which is great considering it’s a compact camera.

If you’re on the lookout for a full-frame camera that’s versatile, can record excellent videos, and is ultra-compact, the Sony A7C is hard to pass.

What We Like

  • Compact form factor
  • Superb autofocus

What We Don’t Like

  • Stabilization for videos could have been better

FAQs for Full-Frame Cameras for Beginners

1. Is it worth buying a full-frame camera?

A full-frame camera is the best option if you’re looking to get into the world of cameras. However, if you don’t have the required budget, an APS-C system should also suffice for most users’ needs.

2. Is an APS-C camera good for video recording?

A camera with an APS-C lens system is a great option for recording videos. However, ensure you’re aware of the crop factor and pick up a lens accordingly.

3. Which lenses should I get as a beginner?

Apart from the kit lens, a 50mm prime lens (or nifty-fifty as they like to call it) is a good investment. The lens you want to use depends entirely on the type of subjects you want to click or record, so pick accordingly.

Capture Finer Details

Any of the best full-frame cameras for beginners from the list above should help you capture excellent photos and videos. Whether you want to learn photography or start a side gig with freelance photography, these cameras will provide excellent results without breaking the bank.

Last updated on 21 September, 2023

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