Claire Gillo and the AP team pick the best full-frame mirrorless cameras you can buy in 2022, from Sony, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic.

If you want the best of the best in the world of photography, this is arguably where you go. Full-frame mirrorless cameras represent the most advanced systems in imaging, in both stills and video, and everything about them is getting better with each release. In this guide, we’ve put together a selection of what we think are the best full-frame mirrorless cameras you can buy – a mix of the newest models, and older ones that still offer tremendous value for money. Whether you’re a beginner photographer, a seasoned enthusiast, or a hybrid content creator also interested in video, there should be an ideal camera here for you.

On this list, we’ve got cameras from the market leaders in full-frame mirrorless – these are (in no particular order) Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic. We’ve kept this list to ten, and made sure to include full-frame cameras for a range of budgets. So while there are going to be some controversial omissions here, we feel confident that there should be something here for every full-frame enthusiast. Our technical team has reviewed (or is currently reviewing) every camera on this list, and we’ve judged all of them to be outstanding in their own way. Whether that’s due to sublime image quality, lightning-fast autofocus, tremendous value for money or a class-leading video spec.

Andy Westlake reviewing the Nikon Z9 back in February this year. Copyright: AP

Our technical editor Andy Westlake reviewing the Nikon Z9 back in February 2022. Photo credit: AP

If you want to get to grips with what a full-frame sensor actually entails, take a read of our guide to APS-C vs full-frame sensor sizes. Not sure if a mirrorless camera is right for you? Our DSLR vs mirrorless guide should help.

How to choose a full-frame mirrorless camera

When buying a new full-frame mirrorless camera, there are a few key specs to pay attention to. You’re most likely not going to buy a camera that does everything to an exceptional standard, so it makes sense to focus on the specs you care about most. Here are the key attributes of full-frame mirrorless cameras:

Sensor resolution: The more pixels a sensor has, the more detail you get in your images. The highest-resolution full-frame mirrorless cameras are currently the Sony A7R IV and its successor the Sony A7R V, both of which use the same 61MP sensor. This is great for printing, enabling you to produce fantastic images full of rich detail. However, it’s not necessarily always the best option for all situations. High-resolution files take up a lot of storage space, necessitating expensive hard drives or cloud subscriptions, and also require powerful processors, which means a slower, pricier camera. If you prioritise speed over detail, a resolution of around 24MP is a more sensible choice.

Image stabilisation: If you want your camera to perform well in low light, or you often shoot using long lenses, IBIS (which stands for in-body image stabilisation) is a key feature to help you produce shake-free shots. Most modern mirrorless cameras now include this technology; it will often be referred to as ‘5-axis in-camera image stabilisation’ or something similar.

ISO range: A camera’s ISO range determines how high you can turn up the sensitivity of its sensor, which can be a boon in low light. The higher the top number in a camera’s ISO range, the better it can perform in low light. Be warned though, just because a camera can shoot at ISO 102,400, that doesn’t mean you’ll get useable results at that setting, as high ISO settings incur a lot of image noise. In our camera reviews we perform detailed image resolution tests to determine which ISO settings are actually useable, so check those out if you’re unsure (the full camera review is linked in every entry).

LCD screen and viewfinder: Mirrorless cameras don’t have optical viewfinders like DSLRs, so they have to either make do with electronic ones, or forgo them entirely. All the cameras on this list have electronic viewfinders (EVFs), but some are larger and more detailed than others. Generally, the higher the EVF resolution (expressed in dots) the better. LCD screens are also worth paying attention to, as if you want to shoot video, you’ll want a fully articulating screen that can be set to any angle

Burst mode: The faster the burst mode (expressed in frames per second or fps) on a camera, the better it will be at keeping up with fast action. You’ll also want to pay attention to the buffer depth, which is the number of consecutive images the camera can shoot before the processor needs to cool off (both figuratively and literally).

Video: If video is a high priority on your list then you’ll want to find a camera that supports 4K video resolution or higher. 4K can sometimes be marketed as UHD (ultra-high-definition television) and measures 3840 x 2160 pixels. It is plenty big enough to produce high end video footage however some of the cameras in our line up support 8K resolution, which goes as large as 7680 x 4320 pixels. For most 8K video is excessively big and so 4K should be more than enough.

Size and weight: How heavy a camera do you want? Mirrorless cameras used to have a reputation for being lighter than DSLRs, but as they’ve taken centre-stage in professional imaging, this has become less true. Budget mirrorless cameras tend to be a good deal lighter than the expensive ones.

Lenses: Finally, think about lenses. Each manufacturer’s system is different and there is a large variety of lenses out there. If you are switching from a DSLR system and want to keep some or all your old lenses you’ll need to purchase a compatible adapter mount to ensure they fit. Canon and Nikon offer full-functionality mount adapters that allow you to use DSLR lenses on their mirrorless cameras and still enjoy the benefits of autofocus and stabilisation.

So without further delay, here are the best full-frame mirrorless cameras available:


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for professionals

1. Nikon Z9 – £5,299 / $5,496

Nikon Z9 in hand, Andy Westlake (AP)

Nikon Z9 in hand. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 45.7 Megapixel Sensor
  • ISO 64 to 25600
  • 120fps burst mode shooting (low-res jpeg)
  • Max shutter speed 1/32,000 sec
  • 5-axis image sensor shift (up to 6 stops of image stabilisation)
  • Movie mode 7680 x 4320 (8K UHD)
  • Weight approx 1,160g

The Nikon Z9 is a reliable machine built to last and sits at the top of the Nikon mirrorless market. Weight-wise, unfortunately, this model is similar to that of a DSLR, however there are many benefits that come from this beastly mirrorless machine. These include the impressive 120fps burst mode shooting (low-res JPEGs only though at this speed), max shutter speed up to 1/32,000 sec and the 8K video resolution.

The Nikon Z9 is fast to focus, with 493 focus points, and the EVF is also worth a mention as it supports one of the brightest displays on the market. We were hugely excited to review this camera as it was arguably the first mirrorless model to properly make a go of replacing the professional DSLR, and the Z9 did not disappoint. It really is excellent.

This camera is the perfect model for the professional photographer who needs a great all-rounder, but the price does reflect this, so it won’t be affordable to everyone.

What we like:

  • Exceptional continuous shooting
  • AI-powered autofocus
  • Top-notch image quality

What we don’t like:

  • Body on the heavy side
  • As is the price

Best for: Professionals

Read our review of the Nikon Z9


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for beginners

2. Canon EOS RP – £1,050 / $999

Canon EOS RP on stone

Canon EOS RP on stone. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 26.2 Megapixel Sensor
  • ISO 100 – 40,000
  • 4K movies
  • Size 132.5 × 85 × 70 mm
  • Weight approx 440g

The Canon EOS RP is a superb choice for a variety of photographers and works out at excellent value for money, with the very good 4K video particularly worth highlighting. Its lightweight body is compact, and the vari-angle touch screen makes it easy to compose images. The AF system supports a whopping 4,779 positions, meaning pin-sharp results are easy to achieve.

If you’re upgrading from a DSLR system, you’ll still be able to use all your EF lenses either with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, or Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. It’s worth noting that EF-M lenses are not compatible.

In our review, while we felt that a few things about the EOS RP had been over-simplified, we found it to be a very likeable camera indeed, capable of capturing clean, punchy images at a range of ISO settings. This is a great camera for those just starting out, or those wanting to upgrade to a full-frame model without having to break the bank.

What we like:

  • Streamlined, easy-to-use controls
  • Fully articulating touchscreen
  • Good high-ISO performance

What we don’t like:

  • No in-body stabilisation
  • No AF joystick

Best for: Beginners

Read our Canon EOS RP review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for under £1000/$1000

3. Sony Alpha A7 II – £899 / $898

Sony A7 II in hand, review image by Andy Westlake

Sony Alpha A7 II in hand. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.3MP sensor
  • ISO 50 to 25600
  • Video resolution Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at 60fps
  • 3.0″ type TFT LCD
  • Weight approx 556g

The Sony A7 II was announced way back in 2014 so it’s by no means the latest mirrorless camera from Sony. It doesn’t come with the benefits of some of their newer models, like the higher resolution of the Sony A7 IV, or the faster focusing features of the Sony A7 III, however it is still one of the best in terms of value for money, hence why it has made the list. One of its flagship features is its in-body 5 axis image stabilisation feature; it was in fact the first full-frame digital camera to ever include this technology.

If you’re after a no-thrills simple mirrorless shooter, and primarily want to take still images, the Sony A7 II should be considered. With some shopping around, it is easy to find for well under £1000, which is an absolute bargain. Plus, if you go for a second-hand model, you can get it even cheaper!

What we like:

  • Can be nabbed for a bargain price
  • 5-axis stabilisation
  • Excellent viewfinder

What we don’t like:

  • No silent shutter option
  • Comparatively low resolution

Best for: Beginners and those on a budget

Read our Sony Alpha A7 II Review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for all-round use

4. Canon EOS R6 Mark II – £2,779 / $2,499

Canon EOS R6 Mark II review photo by Andy Westlake

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP sensor
  • ISO 100 to 102,400
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • Autofocus: 1053-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Size: 138.4 x 98.4 x 88.4mm
  • Weight approx 670g

A refreshed version of Canon’s full-frame all-rounder, the EOS R6 Mark II inherits plenty of its tech from the sports-focused EOS R3. The original EOS R6 was a resounding success, scooping our AP Product of the Year award in 2021, so we had high hopes for this Mark II version. While we’re still finishing off our testing of the new camera, it has seriously impressed us so far.

The new sensor has been fine-tuned for exceptional low-light performance, supporting autofocus in light levels as low as -6.5EV. Stabilisation is rated up to 8 stops of exposure compensation, which also helps when the light conditions get challenging.

One of the most exciting additions for a camera at this price point though is the fact that the EOS R6 Mark II inherits autofocus tech from the EOS R3. This means you get that spookily capable subject-detect autofocus, powered by AI, which can recognise and lock onto specific subjects including humans, birds, animals, cars, trains, aircraft and more. This tracking is available in all focus modes, and pairs beautifully with the EOS R6 Mark II’s 12fps mechanical shutter burst mode (this can go up to a whopping 40fps with the electronic shutter). And then this syncs up well with the deep shot buffer, offering up to 190 JPEG or 140 RAW files in a single burst.

What we like:

  • Pro-level autofocus system
  • Powerful burst and deep buffer
  • Highly capable in low light

What we don’t like:

  • Inevitable price increase from original

Best for: General, all-round use

Read our Canon EOS R6 Mark II review.


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for weddings and events

5. Canon EOS R5 – £4,299 / $3,899

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 with 24-70mm f2.8L IS USM lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 45MP sensor
  • ISO 100 – 51,200
  • Video 8K DCI or UHD at 30p
  • Size 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm
  • Weight approx 650g

The Canon EOS R5 is a hard one to knock, as it delivers on so many different levels. The full-frame high-resolution sensor produces excellent results in low light, and its video specs also deliver. All this makes it a great contender for anyone wanting to shoot both stills and movies.

The Canon EOS R5 has a possible 5,940 autofocus positions when shooting stills, and 4,500 in movie mode, meaning you can head into any video or photo shoot with absolute confidence that you’re going to get sharp results. It also shoots a headline spec of 8K video, as well as 4K 120p – although, of course, these do come with the strict time-limits due to overheating issues that dogged the camera at launch.

There’s not much more we can say here, except if you have the budget this camera is a winner!

What we like:

  • Gorgeous high-resolution images
  • Stunning electronic viewfinder

What we don’t like:

  • Infamous overheating issues
  • Very expensive

Best for: Wedding and event photographers

Read our Canon EOS R5 review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for video

6. Panasonic Lumix S5 – £1,600 / $1,697

Panasonic Lumix S5 - 24MP full-frame mirrorless camera, MT

The Panasonic Lumix S5  24MP full-frame camera mid-test by the AP team. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP sensor
  • ISO 100 to 51200
  • Video resolution 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)
  • 132.6 x 97.1 x 81.9 mm
  • Weight approx 714g

In a full-frame mirrorless camera market that is very much dominated by Canon, Nikon and Sony, Panasonic have done well to get noticed with their Lumix S5. Although it is a good enough stills camera for an entry level shooter, where it stands out and performs well against its rivals is with its 4K video feature, especially with its comparatively low price tag.

The Lumix S5 comes in a tough, weather-resistant body and is smaller and cheaper than the Lumix S1 and S1H, which use the same 24.2MP image sensor. In our review, we were full of praise for how much more sense the camera made now that Panasonic had managed to slim down the body, even if that meant giving up a few choice features like the 5.56-million-dot OLED viewfinder (the S5 uses a 2.36-million-dot unit).

If you want to stray from the main leaders in the full-frame market the Lumix S5 is a good choice. Plus, it uses the L mount, so you have the choice of a large variety of compatible high-quality lenses available from Panasonic, Sigma and Leica.

What we like:

  • Small and light for full frame
  • Great value for money
  • Impressive video spec

What we don’t like:

  • Animal AF lags behind Sony’s
  • Viewfinder doesn’t match S1/S1R/S1H

Best for: Video

Read our Panasonic Lumix S5 review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for landscapes

7. Sony A7R IV – £3,000 / $3,498

Sony Alpha A7R IV (MT)

Sony Alpha A7R IV with lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 61MP sensor
  • ISO 100 to 32,000
  • Video 4K UHD at 30p, 24p
  • Size 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm
  • Weight approx 655g

With a high-resolution 61MP sensor, the Sony Alpha A7R IV really stands out from the pack. Images from this camera can be printed on paper over A0 (1189 x 841mm) at 180ppi – that’s big! It’s also impressive to note that despite having such a high-resolution image sensor and lots of data to process, this camera is still capable of shooting up to 10fps. Although you are limited to 68 images before the camera needs to buffer.

As we said in our review, the level of detail you get from the A7R IV is pretty much second to none when it comes to full-frame. Of course, with those whacking great 61MP files, you’re going to have to have high-capacity cards to deal with them. It might have been nice to have seen some better RAW compression à la Canon, if only to keep those files a bit more manageable.

Still, to help, the Sony A7R IV comes with dual memory card slots. It also has an impressive 567 AF-point tracking feature. This means you can have great peace of mind when out in the field. Finally this camera comes in a strong and durable body build that can be put through its paces.

We’ve recently seen an update to this camera in the form of the Sony A7R V, which uses the same sensor as the A7R IV, but trades up to a much more powerful autofocus system. We’re sticking with the Mark IV version as our recommendation in this category, since landscape photographers don’t really need all those new focus points. Still, the A7R V does fix that irritating RAW compression issue, so it may be worth considering from that perspective (though £4,000 is a lot to pay for more efficient storage).

What we like:

  • Highest full-frame resolution
  • Comprehensive AF system
  • Solidly built

What we don’t like:

  • Huge files will fill up your cards
  • Convoluted menus

Best for: Landscape photographers

Read our Sony Alpha A7R IV review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for wildlife and sports

8. Canon EOS R3 – £5,879 / $5,999

Canon EOS R3 in hand (AW/AP)

Canon EOS R3 in hand with lens, as tested by AP’s Technical Editor. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.1MP sensor
  • ISO 100 to 102,400
  • 6K Raw video
  • Up to 8-stop IS
  • Weight approx 822g

Although the Canon EOS R3 comes with a slightly lower-resolution 24.1MP image sensor compared to its rivals such as the Nikon Z9 or Sony A1, it by no means should be disregarded. This camera offers some incredible features and produces outstanding results. Its ISO setting ranges from ISO 100 to a massive ISO 102,400, giving far more flexibility in low light, and the 6K Raw video feature is also worth mentioning as you can change settings like white balance in post production.

With advanced subject-detection autofocus and tracking, this camera would be ideal for any wildlife, sports, wedding or event photographer. Be aware that it is on the heavier end of the mirrorless camera market, so if weight is an issue then you might want to consider something lighter.

What we like:

  • Ground-breaking Eye Control focus
  • 30fps in full-res RAW
  • Very effective optical stabilisation

What we don’t like:

  • 24MP not enough for everyone
  • Overkill for most people

Best for: Wildlife and sports photographers

Read our Canon EOS R3 review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for professionals / video

9. Sony A1 – £6,500 / $6,498

Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II on Sony Alpha 1

Sony Alpha 1 with Sony FE 70-200mm F2.8 GM OSS II. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 50MP sensor
  • ISO 100 – 32,000
  • 30fps continuous shooting
  • Movie making with 8K 30p and 4K 120p
  • Weight approx 737g (with battery and memory card)

The Sony A1 sits at the very top of the mirrorless full-frame market and includes three key features – a high-resolution sensor, 8K video and 30fps continuous shooting capabilities. It also comes with an impressive 9.44 million-dot EVF that delivers outstanding accuracy. This camera is an excellent all-round performer designed for any photographer shooting any genre.

The only real negative drawback we can put on the Sony A1, as we said when we tested this glorious camera, is the price tag. For many, it will just be too expensive, costing roughly £1000 more than its market rivals the Canon EOS R3 and Nikon Z9. If you can make the most of all its many features however, the Sony A1 will be worth the investment.

What we like:

  • Amazing speed and quality
  • Exceptionally good EVF

What we don’t like:

  • Some Sony menu awkwardness
  • Very, very expensive

Best for: Professionals, and high-resolution video

Read our Sony Alpha A1 review


Best full-frame mirrorless camera for entry-level

10. Nikon Z5 – £1,259 / $1,296

Nikon Z5 with 24-50mm lens

Nikon Z5 with 24-50mm lens, as reviewed by the AP team. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 24.3MP sensor
  • ISO 100 to 51200
  • In-camera 5-axis VR image stabilisation
  • 273-point Hybrid-AF system
  • Size 134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm
  • Weight approx 675g

Last on our list but by no means least we have selected the Nikon Z5. This camera sits at the bottom of the Nikon range and can often get overlooked, however it’s a great all rounder and it works out as excellent value for money.

Key features of the Nikon Z5 include its compact build and lightweight design. It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so users can instantly share images and video, though this is fairly standard for cameras at this level. What’s more remarkable is its large ISO range, up to 51,200, which for a camera of this price and spec is pretty impressive. The Nikon Z5 also includes 4K video and a weather-sealed body making it a strong contender for those on a tight budget. Have a good shop around, as you get plenty in return for your money.

What we like:

  • Great price for full frame
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Good in low light

What we don’t like:

  • Big 1.7x crop on 4K video
  • Burst tops out at 4.5fps

Best for: Entry level and keen hobbyists

Read our Nikon Z5 review


Text by Claire Gillo, with contributions from Jon Stapley.


For more options, have a look at our latest mirrorless camera reviews, and our latest buying guides, including our guide to the best professional cameras.


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