Best full frame DSLR 2015: Canon vs Nikon vs Sony

The cheapest full frame DSLRs are surprisingly affordable, but which the best full frame DSLR overall?

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

Price: about £1199/US$1399, body only | Megapixels: 20.2 | Autofocus: 11-point AF, 1 cross-type | Screen type: 3-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 4.5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p

An excellent choice for the enthusiast and club photographer looking for a full-frame DSLR. These users will find that they have just about everything they need, and a bit more besides. Along with the Nikon D610, it's the cheapest full-frame DSLR on the market, and while it has a basic autofocus system and a modest continuous shooting speed, it delivers great image quality and the three-dimensional feel of the larger sensor size.

Nikon D610

Nikon D610

Price: about £1199/US$1497, body only | Megapixels: 24.3 | Autofocus: 39-point AF, 9 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 921,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 6fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p

Nikon's hasty successor to the ill-fated D600 is actually a very good camera. Along with the Canon 6D, it's currently the cheapest way to get into full-frame photography, and offers good specifications for the money, including a 39-point AF system and 6fps continuous shooting. To a degree, the D610 is overshadowed by the newer D750 and its vari-angle screen, but the D610 is cheaper and produces the same level of image quality.

Sony Alpha A99

Sony Alpha a99

Price: about £1499/US$1998 body only | Megapixels: 24.3 | Autofocus: 19-point AF, 11 cross-type | Screen type: 3-inch articulating, 1,229,000 dots| Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p

The first full-frame interchangeable lens camera with an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the a99 also features a versatile articulating rear screen. The camera is based on a 24.3Mp sensor that delivers plenty of resolution. The a99 performs well, though the AF system struggles to keep up with the competition and the selectable AF points are clustered around the centre of the frame. That's a shame, as the a99 has many virtues and useful extras.

Nikon D750

Nikon D750

Price: about £1749/US$2297 body only | Megapixels: 24.3Mp | Autofocus: 51-point AF, 15 cross-type | Screen type: 3-2 inch tilting, 1,229,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Maximum video resolution: 1080p

Though it has the same pixel count as the D610, the D750 has better AF, metering and video systems as well as a wider sensitivity range, making it a more enticing option for dedicated enthusiast photographers. Some may have hoped for 8fps or faster shooting however. It also has a tilting screen, which is good, but a fully-articulating screen would be better. The D750 is a good choice for enthusiasts, but while the cheaper D610 is still around, that's a strong candidate too.

Nikon Df

Nikon Df

Price: about £1999/US$2747 body only | Megapixels: 16.2 | Autofocus: 39-point AF, 9 cross-type | Screen type: 3.2-inch, 921,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5.5fps | Maximum video resolution: N/A

The Df is styled to look like Nikon's classic FM-series 35mm film SLRs. It may not be the camera for everyone, but many enthusiasts will love the Df's retro styling and go-anywhere capability – and a few will love the fact that it doesn't shoot video! The Df uses the sensor from the Nikon D4s to deliver excellent low-light performance, though it doesn't match the D4s's continuous shooting speed. It looks wonderful, but the price seems high.