Which full-frame camera for travel?

4 compact but powerful cameras, Sony A7C, Canon R8, Nikon Z5 and Panasonic S5 II.

A full-frame camera does not seem ideal for the tourist, as APS-C or Micro 4/3 are more compact and lighter, therefore more practical on the move. However, new full-frame models have recently appeared which are just as compact and light while offering optimal image quality in all shooting conditions, especially in low light. Recent cameras are also equipped with a very powerful autofocus.

Thanks to the mega zooms that are available for most brands, you can go on an excursion or a trip with a single lens that will cover all the usual focal lengths. However for landscape or indoor shots you may need a wider angle of view, so a wide angle zoom will be better in this case.

A model of camera may be better suited to one type of shot than others. To save you from spending a significant amount of money on a camera + lens set that might not be ideal for your own use, here is a comparison that will give you the specifics of the four most popular cameras and tell you what they are best for.

Updated February 21, 2024: The announcement of the Panasonic 28-200 lens changes the tables.

From left to right (image generated by Camerasize.com):

  1. Sony A7C with Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD.
  2. Canon EOS R8 with Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM.
  3. Nikon Z5 with Nikon Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR.
  4. Panasonic S5 II with Lumix S 20-60mm f/3.5-5.6 (no mega zoom exist in L mount).

Appareil plein format Sony, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic

These cameras can also use APS-C lenses for greater telephoto, and a wider choice of lenses, but this reduces the resolution to 10 megapixels. This also reduces the dynamic range.


  Sony A7C Canon R8 Nikon Z5 Panasonic S5 II
Pixels (million) 24 MP 24 MP 24 MP 24 MP
Resolution in 3:2 6000x4000 6000x4000 6016x4016 6000x4000
Digital zoom 2x 4x - 2x
Light sensitivity (ISO) 100-51200 100-102400 100-51200 100-51200
Number of focus points 693 1053 273 779
Autofocus PDAF Human eye PDAF Human eye PDAF Human eye PDAF Human/animal eye
Mechanical speed 1/4000 30s 1/4000 30s 1/8000 30s 1/8000 60s
Electronical speed 1/8000 30s 1/16000 30s 1/8000 30s 1/8000 60s
Burst mec./elec. 10 fps 6fps / 40 fps 4.5 fps 9 fps / 30 fps
Pre-shot - Yes - -
Panorama - Yes - -
Hi-Res (Pixel shift) - - - 96 MP, 12000x8000
Timelapse Yes Yes Yes Yes
Focus stacking - - - Yes
HDR Yes Yes Yes Yes
AE bracketing Yes Yes Yes Yes
WB bracketing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Focus bracketing - Yes Yes Yes
IBIS 5 axis - 5 axis 5 axis
Video 4K 30p, FHD 120p 4K 60p, FHD 180p 4K 30p, FHD 60p 6K 30p, 4K 30p, FHD 120p
Video format H264 H265 H264 H265
Video time limit 13 hours 2 hours 30 mn Unlimited
Microphone socket 3.5 stereo 3.5 stereo 3.5 stereo 3.5 stereo
Earphine socket Yes Yes Yes Yes
Autonomy 715 images 370 images 470 images 370 images
Work in charge * - - - Yes
Bluetooth 4.1 4.2 4.2 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11c 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n/a 802.11a/n/ac
Integrated flash - - - -
Viewfinder 2360 K, 0.6x 2360 K 0.7x 3690 K 0.8x 3680 K 0.78x
Touch screen Focus Yes Yes Yes
Screen, definition 921 K 1620 K 1040 K 1840 K
Screen, moving Articulated Articulated Inclinable Articulated
Remote control Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stockage SD UHS II UHS II 2 x UHS II 2 x UHS II
Weather sealed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dimensions 124 x 71 x 53.5 mm 132.5 x 86 x 70 134 x 100.5 x 69.5 134 x 102 x 90
Weight with battery 509g 461g 675g 744g
Year 2020 2023 2020 2023
Price body only 1500 € 1800 € 1200 € 2000 €
Kit lense 28-60mm f4-5.6 24-50mm f4.5-6.3 IS 24-50 f4-6.3 20-60 mm f3.5-5.6
Kit weight 680 g 670 g 870 g 1090 g
Kit cost 1800 € 2000 € 1500 € 2500 €
Mega-zoom / Zoom Tamron 28-200 f2.8-5.6 Canon 24-240 f4-6.3 IS Nikon 24-200 f4-6.3 VR Lumix 28-200 f4-7.1 OIS
Zoom weight 575 g 750 g 570 g 413 g
Zoom cost 700 € 900 € 1000 € 1000 €
Wide angle Sony 20-70 f4 Canon RF 15-30 f4.5-6.3 IS Nikon Z 14-30 f4 Lumix L 20-60 f3.5-5.6
Wide angle cost 1000 € 700 € 1300 € 400 €

* Work in charge: You can film while the camera is charging via the USB cable.

Which one to choose?

Sony A7C, a modern look

This model abandons the look of old film cameras and will not make you seem anachronistic among other spectators using their smartphone to photograph or film an event. It's the most compact, not the lightest on its own, but it is with the mega zoom lens.



Canon R8, for action

Canon has reused the sensor and processor from its most popular professional model, the R6 II, in a compact and lightweight body, the lightest of the four, so a real benefit for travellers. With its excellent autofocus and burst speed, it offers what it takes to never miss a shot, in an affordable package. You would almost think that Canon wants to get you into the RF system so that they can sell you their expensive lenses afterwards ;)



Nikon Z5, good ergonomy

The Z5 is designed with a concern for economy and uses components already used on reflex models, it shines only by its comfort of use. It is economical if you are satisfied with the kit lens, but the price of other lenses cancels this advantage. Is more photo oriented than video.
The images in RAW format are worth those of competitors but in JPEG are almost ridiculous.



Panasonic Lumix S5 II, for video or dedicated photographer

The S5 II is the biggest and heaviest of the bunch, and heavier than the S5 model before it, so Panasonic isn't looking to reduce travellers' baggage.
It's not the best for travel unless you mainly want to shoot videos in which case it offers superior capabilities to the others.
My personal experience with the high-resolution mode: At 20mm images have the same definition as in 40mm, but with a wider angle. You need a tripod and the self-timer.