When you need the best of the best, what do you go for? Here are our picks for the best full-frame DSLRs you can buy this year.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera with 24-70mm Lens
It was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. The successor to the full-frame EOS 6D brought in a brand new sensor with 26.2MP of resolution and a hefty native ISO range of 100-40,000 (expandable to 50-102,400). It was the first full-frame Canon DSLR to use the powerful DIGIC 7 processor, and it brought on board a 3in vari-angle touchscreen LCD. There’s no 4K, so if that’s your bag you’d be better off looking elsewhere, but the EOS 6D Mark II is a powerful piece of kit, and a versatile workhorse for professional and amateur photographers alike.
2. Nikon D850
Nikon D850 Digital SLR Camera Body
Also known as the camera that absolutely blew everyone’s socks off in 2017, the Nikon D850 arrived with an incredible, mouth-watering spec sheet. It’s possibly the most well-rounded camera on the market right now – it’s just good for everything. The D850 packs a 45.4MP full-frame back-illuminated sensor that features a new pixel design for superior light-gathering. If you want speed over resolution you can shoot at reduced sizes or at a DX crop, and the sophisticated 153-point AF system will ensure you don’t get left behind. Add in the impressive battery life, the robust magnesium alloy body and the 4K video, and you’ve got something truly special.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Body
The latest in Canon’s EOS 5D line beloved by photographers and videographers alike, the EOS 5D Mark IV brought 4K to the range, albeit only at 30p. Still, it’s an impressively well-rounded camera, with 7fps continuous shooting, a terrific Dual Pixel AF system for shooting in live view and an intelligent viewfinder with 100% coverage that can display shooting information. The touchscreen interface works well too, and there’s a nice 21-RAW buffer that’s useful for fast shooting. The EOS 5D Mark IV is a terrific camera.
Pentax K-1 Mark II Digital SLR Camera
The successor to Ricoh’s first ever full-frame Pentax DSLR, the Pentax K-1 Mark II is a beauty to behold and a joy to use. Robust and weather-sealed, the K-1 Mark II brings a new pixel-shift mode that allows you to create a super-high-resolution image using the built-in image stabilisation system to combine four files into one. It keeps plenty of features from the well-received K-1 as well, including the 36MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the 33-point AF system, the unique cross-tilt LCD screen, the built-in astrotracer for night photography and more.
5. Sony A99 II
Sony Alpha A99 II Digital SLT Camera Body
Rumours of A-mount’s death proved to be greatly exaggerated with the introduction of the Sony A99 II, a full-frame DSLR that packs a punch. Its full-frame 42.4MP CMOS image sensor uses backside-illumination technology and a gapless design that makes light gathering as efficient as possible – there are also on-sensor phase-detection pixels to improve autofocus. It delivers astonishingly lush images at lower ISOs and holds its own pretty well at the high end. You won’t be disappointed.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body
It’s the flagship. The starship Enterprise of the Canon stable. It’s the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, and it’s an absolute unit. The beefy body's 20.1MP CMOS sensor uses Dual Pixel autofocus, and it has a 360,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is rock-solid and it not only shoots stills at a maximum rate of 14fps, but can also fire out 4K video at 60p. Whether you’re a professional or an advanced amateur, you’ll feel right at home. Engage.
7. Nikon D5
Nikon D5 Digital SLR Camera Body - Dual XQD
And here’s the action-oriented flagship for the Nikon stable – the D5. With 153 autofocus points, a generous native ISO range of 100-102,400, a hefty battery rating of 3,780 shots per charge and the ability to shoot 4K video, the D5 is a companion that just shoots and shoots and shoots. Its hefty weather-sealed body can take a kicking, and the AF tracking performance is frankly class-leading. It’s designed to allow you to pick it up and start shooting challenging subjects straight out of the box, and it does just that. Enjoy.
About the Author
Jon Stapley is a professional journalist with a wealth of experience on a number of photography titles including Amateur Photographer, Digital Camera World and What Digital Camera. See more of his writing at jonstapley.tumblr.com