If you’ve always wanted to own a full-frame mirrorless camera but have been put off by some of the price tags they carry, this roundup of budget-friendly camera options is for you.
In the not-too-distant past, the term budget-friendly cameras evoked feelings of angst in photographers because you did get what you expected. However, times have changed. Now, budget-friendly cameras are more feature-packed than ever. You might be surprised to know that many full-frame mirrorless cameras that fall into this category today feature many of the bells and whistles that much more expensive options do.
You can now get budget-friendly full-frame mirrorless cameras that feature incredibly advanced autofocus systems for much less than you think. In addition, the cameras have sensors that will help you create detail-rich images and image processors that deliver fantastic color rendition.
You’ll even find that some of these cameras pack fantastic IBIS, dual card slots, articulating touchscreens, high-capacity batteries and so much more. Features like these used to be withheld from budget cameras. Now, you don’t have to make so many compromises while being friendlier to your bank account.
Below, we’re going to look at five full-frame mirrorless cameras (listed in price order) that photographers with varying budgets can go out and buy without feeling like they’re making many compromises regarding feature sets and overall quality.
Nikon Z 5 — Incredible value for money
Nikon’s Z 5 is one of the best budget-friendly full-frame mirrorless cameras you can buy. This entry-level full-frame camera costs less than $1,400 and has a fantastic 24-megapixel sensor packed into a body with superb ergonomics.
The autofocus performance of the Z 5 is rapid and accurate, and it will help you capture whatever genre of photography you want. The native ISO goes up to 51,200, and the camera can rattle off 4.5 frames per second. In addition, there are five stops of IBIS, a large touch screen, dual card slots, weather sealing and more. As a result, the Nikon Z 5 is one of the market’s bang-for-the-buck full-frame digital cameras around. Check out our full review here.
Panasonic Lumix S5 — A hybrid powerhouse
The full-frame Panasonic Lumix S5 is one of the best hybrid full-frame mirrorless cameras you can lay your hands on. It also just happens to be very budget-friendly. This 24-megapixel full-frame camera is smaller than some Micro Four Thirds cameras. However, it’s bursting at the seams with features. The IBIS in the Lumix S5 is fantastic, and the build quality is excellent. I’ve used this camera in rain, snow, blowing dust and more, and it just keeps on clicking. The Panasonic Lumix S5 is a workhorse that delivers on all fronts.
Despite being contrast autofocus only, the autofocus system is speedy and accurate. Battery life is excellent, and the menu system is a no-fuss affair. Mix in class-leading 4K video, a fully articulating screen, dual card slots and well-laid-out controls, and you have a camera that not only won’t break the bank but will serve you well for many years without making you wish for more. Check out our full review.
Nikon Z 6 II — A solid full-frame mirrorless camera for under $2,000
The Z 6 II is another fantastic budget-friendly option from Nikon for those who want a full-frame camera that won’t break the bank. The Nikon Z 6 II features a 24.5-megapixel BSI (back side illuminated) sensor and dual EXPEED 6 image processors, which gives the camera a performance boost over the original Z 6. As a result, purchasers can expect a much-improved 273- point autofocus system as well as other performance improvements, including a 14-frame-per-second burst mode and reduced blackout times in the EVF.
Like other cameras in this price category, the Nikon Z 6 II features 5-axis image stabilization and two card slots, including one CFexpress slot. A large 3.2-inch LCD and the 3.6-million dot EVF make using the camera easy, while plenty of weather sealing will allow you to use the camera when the going gets tough. The Z 6 II also features a ton of enhanced video codecs, making it suitable for hybrid content creators. Find out what we had to say about it in our full review.
Canon EOS R6 — Stunning performance and top-notch ergonomics
The Canon EOS R6 has a modest-sounding 20-megapixel sensor. However, don’t let this one spec fool you. The Canon EOS R6 is a camera that can capture lots of detail while delivering an impressive dynamic range. So, no matter what environment you are in, the EOS R6 from Canon will provide the image goods. The Canon EOS R6 also features dual card slots and an articulating screen. The camera also boasts one of the best menu systems around.
On top of the tech listed above, you’ll find that the EOS R6 has a brilliant focusing system. Subject tracking in the R6 is on another level compared to other cameras. You’ll also get a gorgeous 3.69 million dot EVF, and a great LCD. The IBIS system offers performance that rivals Micro Four Thirds cameras. Plenty of weather sealing makes Mother Nature weak at the knees too. When it comes to budget-friendly full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Canon EOS R6 is a superb option.
Sony A7 IV — A full-frame cameras that’s bursting at the seams with tech
The successor to the camera that marked the arrival of high-quality cameras at low prices, the Sony a7 IV, packs more tech than you can shake a stick at while remaining pretty affordable at under $2,500.
So, what will your hard-earned money get you? Under the hood, you’ll find a 33-megapixel full-frame sensor. In addition, there’s 5-axis image stabilization, dual UHS-II card slots and a top-notch autofocus system. Battery life is fantastic, thanks to the battery technology that Sony uses. Perhaps, most importantly, the weather sealing on this camera compared to older Sony cameras is enhanced. Finally, don’t forget that the Sony a7 IV will give you access to one of the largest libraries of mirrorless lenses available. Check out our full review.