Can I Get a Full-Frame Camera for Less Than $1,000?

Sony A7 II

Sony A7 II

Reader v.double.g has big photography needs, if not quite the budget to support them. Posting in the Tom's Guide forum, v.double.g writes:

In short, no, you can't. Those are pretty steep requirements. However, a few models will meet most — but not all — of those photographic needs.

Full frame, but no 120-fps video

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Sony A7
Sony's original A7 started a revolution with high-end mirrorless cameras; Canon and Nikon are just now catching up. The A7, which you can get with a 28-70mm lens for $998, has a full-frame 24.3MP CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100-25,600, a 3-inch tiltable LCD and a 0.5-inch XGA OLED electronic viewfinder. While this camera can shoot AVCHD or MP4 1080p video, its max frame rate is 60 fps.

Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera

Keep in mind that the A7 is about five years and three generations old; early reviewers mentioned that its JPEG image processing wasn't great and its battery life was short.

Canon EOS 6D
You can also get an international version of Canon's original EOS 6D ($900, body only), which came out in 2012. It has a 20.2-MP full-frame sensor, a wide ISO range of 100-102,400 and 3-inch fixed LCD. Its max video capabilities are 1080p/30 fps, though one advantage of choosing Canon is that there's a wider selection of lenses available.

Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera

120-fps video, but not full frame

Sony A6300
If shooting video at 120 fps is a priority, you can't go wrong with the Sony A6300, available for $998 with a 16-50mm lens. While it has a smaller, 24.2MP APS-C sensor, it can record 4K video at up to 30 fps and 1080p video at up to 120 fps. It's no slouch when it comes to still photos, either.

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Camera

Full-frame and 120-fps video, but more than $1,000

If you're willing to exceed your price cap, your options increase dramatically, but you'll have to spend upward of $1,500. In the interests of your wallet, we'll try and keep as close to your budget as possible.

Sony A7 II
The 2014 successor to the original A7, the A7II has the same full-frame, 24.2-MP sensor but a much improved grip, in-body image stabilization and a faster autofocus. However, the body alone costs $1,398.

Sony Alpha a7II Mirrorless Digital Camera

If you know of a camera that ticks the boxes of what reader v.double.g is looking for, share it in the comments.To get answers to your burning tech questions,head to the Tom's Guide Forum for the latest tips from our resident experts and your fellow members. You can also comment on this article or email us directly at

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.