The 8 Best Large Resolution Cameras to Buy in 2017

Shop for the cameras that have the most megapixels

When it comes to a large resolution camera, you’ll find the very best photos result from having the largest sensor, the most megapixels, excellent lenses and higher-quality components than any other camera class. That’s not to say that other cameras won’t offer fantastic photographic results or that having a large resolution guarantees great results. Ultimately, there are several factors that go into picture quality such as lighting, depth of field, aperture and focus, and they all can play key roles in how a photographer can capture the best photo and video available.

If you’re looking for a high-resolution camera, Canon’s EOS 5DS R is the crème de la crème, offering an incredible 50.6 megapixels of resolution. Make no mistake about it, the EOS is determined to be a primary shooter and while it offers 1920 x 1080 30fps video capture, this full-frame camera is all about the still photo. The hefty price tag is just for the body only, no lens included, but Canon offers a slew of EF-series lenses that can be utilized with the EOS. Lenses aside, Canon added a low-pass filter to help take full advantage of the 50.6-megapixel CMOS sensor to deliver even higher resolution images and increased sharpness.

The body of the camera itself is typical Canon style, black and textured with no real special features that help make it stand out from the crowd. That said, it offers fantastic ergonomics in the hand while shooting and a weather-sealed body protects it against the elements. The 3.2 fixed-position LCD pairs with a 100 percent coverage viewfinder that offers .71x magnification, which is excellent. To aid with shooting, Canon added a whopping 61-point autofocus that is among the highest precision of any DSLR on the market today. If a staggering amount of detail is what your photography needs are all about, this is the one to buy.

While it may be the lone camera on this list under $1,000, Olympus’ OM-D E-M5 Mark II offers a 40-megapixel TruePic VII image processor. Up to 40 percent smaller and lighter than the traditional DSLR, the Olympus has an ergonomically friendly weather-sealed body that’s splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof. And even though it's the cheapest on the list, it doesn't skimp on features. It has a powerful five-axis image stabilization system to reduce blur resulting from a shaky camera hand and 10 frames per second high-speed shooting. As with most full-frame cameras, the Olympus includes video, but goes beyond some of its higher-priced competition by offering 1080p Full HD video capture at 60, 30, 25, and 24fps.

One area where the Olympus does fall with its budget listing is battery life. At 310 photos, it’s short, but the partnership of image quality and budget pricing means a (separately purchased) secondary battery isn’t out of the question. Beyond battery, the Olympus helps view captured photos and peruse the menu on a three-inch LCD display that flips out to the side and rotates 270 degrees in total. The interactive electronic viewfinder offers complete control at eye level for capturing day or night shots whether you’re in the studio or on a mountaintop. Throw in WiFi for transferring photos to a smartphone or computer and the result is a fantastic budget-friendly shooter that makes an excellent camera, especially if you’re into landscape and portrait image capture.

Released in 2014, Nikon’s leading full-frame D810 camera still sets the bar for battery life at over 1,200 photos on a single charge. It's powered by a 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and has 30 percent faster image processing (the EXPEEED 4 image processor). A 51-point autofocus system assists the megapixel-heavy sensor with results that can easily track and capture moving subjects. While some cameras struggle to process higher-resolution photos, the D810 sets the bar by letting the user check focus at 100 percent almost instantly after hitting the shutter button. Shooting at frame rates of 5fps and 7fps in DX crop mode makes the D810 perfect for moderately-paced sports photography.

If the battery life didn’t already impress, Nikon takes things a step further and offers an even higher capacity battery with additional grip for ergonomic comfort that jumps from 1,200 photos to a jaw-dropping 2,070 shots on a single charge. And it's all housed in a rugged and weather sealed magnesium alloy body that is protected from the elements, including dust and moisture. Even though it's been on the market a few years, it shows no signs of slowing down and that’s good for both the casual user looking to learn more and professionals who know exactly what they want.

Sony’s a99II is an eye-popping full-frame 42.4-megapixel Exmor R CMOS camera that offers an excellent combination of both great design and great image results. The special “gapless-on-chip” sensor design offers improved low noise and high dynamic range image results expanding the ISO from 100 to a range of 102,400. Additionally, Sony has included 79 hybrid detection points for autofocus that handles the tracking and capturing of fast-moving subjects with absolute ease. While image results may be the highlight of the Sony’s CMOS sensor, the inclusion of 4K video recording with full pixel readout or Super 35 offers outstanding results and includes the use of image stabilization to help keep the video from appearing too shaky. As for stabilizing images for still photos, a half-press of the shutter button will allow the five-axis in-body image stabilization to offer a preview of the image result, so the user to adjust the shot before fully depressing the shutter.

At 1.7 pounds, the a99II has a compact and rugged magnesium alloy body that offers a very solid and durable build without feeling too heavy. There’s plenty of protection against the elements with seals around the main buttons, dials, ports and doors all offering dust and moisture-resistant protection. The shutter button itself has been designed to handle more than 300,000 shutter releases ensuring long-lasting performance all while considering high-speed continuous shooting up to 12fps. Additionally, the silent control dial on the front of the camera has been re-engineered to rotate freely, which allows for smoother control over settings in video mode. The multi-hinged LCD display rotates in several different directions accommodating different shooting styles to help best capture and preview your images.

When it comes to durability and toughness for the elements, Pentax stands above the rest and their 36.2-megapixel strong K-1 full-frame DSLR is no exception. Constructed of a sealed magnesium-alloy with 87 points of weather-sealing, the K-1 is built for toughness. At 2.22 pounds, there’s a bit of a tradeoff for the heavy material, but the ergonomics make it comfortable to hold. Rounding out the exterior is the 3.2-inch LCD display that can be tilted among multiple axes: 44 degrees down, 90 degrees up and 35 degrees left and right. Beyond the exterior, the K-1 performs admirably with a 33-point autofocus system, as well as a sensor-shift stabilization system that aids your efforts to take steady shots while shooting by hand. It also comes with an exceptionally wide dynamic range and Pixel Shift shooting mode.

While the LCD-based menu offers the full slew of options and features, the multi-function dial on the camera’s top plate can save you a trip. This “third dial” offers on-the-fly changing of options like ISO, exposure compensation, bracketing and more, allowing a photographer to swiftly adjust for the next photo using as little time as possible. With so many positives for the K-1, it’s unfortunate to see that Pentax only allotted for 1080p video but at 30fps. With most full-frame shooters, video is a secondary priority, but it would be nice to have a 60fps option available to help match the impressive raw image quality. On the plus side, the camera is equipped with WiFi, GPS and an electric compass.

Canon’s quest to dominate the full-frame market continues with the EOS 5D Mark IV and its 30.4 megapixel DIGIC CMOS sensor. The larger resolution of the Mark IV offers a superb balance between resolution and dynamic range while still maintaining Canon’s reputation for top-notch color output. To assist with capturing the perfect shot every time, Canon included a fast and accurate 61-point autofocus system, as well as up to 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed to make sure you capture fast-moving subjects with ease. It’s the latter bit that makes the Mark IV perfect for photographing weddings, portraits and sporting events.

Canon designed the Mark IV to be tough and, while it’s ergonomically comfortable and lightweight for a full-frame camera at 1.8 pounds, the addition of weather sealing makes it suitable for the elements. Additionally, Canon added 4K video resolution at 30 fps with a super easy-to-use interface and a quick method for grabbing 8.8-megapixel single images from your video footage. Throw in ISO range from 100-32000 with 50-102400 expansion and it’s easy to see why the Mark IV is a full-frame photographers dream. Rounding out the feature set is a 3.2-inch fixed-position LCD touchscreen that allows you to thumb through the menus and select options, as well as swipe through images and pinch-to-zoom, which feels right at home due to the smartphone world.

Pentax’s 645Z may have been released in June 2014, but the 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor camera is still a photographer’s delight. With a battery life that exceeds 650 photos and glowing five-star reviews on Amazon, the 645Z is proof that age doesn't always have to matter. As a medium format camera, there’s no question the price tag is going to be very high before you even add in the purchase of the lens, so it's definitely not geared for the casual shooter. Medium format excels at enlarging photos without losing detail and does so better than a standard DLSR camera.

There’s a little bit of a learning curve with the Pentax, but once you get a hold of the camera’s feature set, it’s a dream come true for landscape shots. It might be easy to sum up the Pentax as an oversized DSLR with a larger sensor, but at 3.42 pounds you’re going to know when you’re holding the Pentax. But despite its hefty weight, it’s ergonomically designed to be both comfortable and at the ready on a moment’s notice. The tiltable 3.2-inch LCD monitor is perfect to preview images right after capture. There are 27 autofocus points to help track a subject with manual focus equally as viable with the bright viewfinder.

Ultimately, the Pentax comes down to image quality and it is incredible. Photography is colorful and full of life, with dynamic range (up to ISO 204,800) that can be stretched to the limit. Full HD video capture at up to 60fps is outstanding and as vibrant as one could imagine with such a high-resolution shooter. So if you’re looking to capture and print at the highest detail, the 645Z is calling your name (and wallet).

Sony’s A7R II full-frame mirrorless camera offers an incredible 42.3 megapixels of resolution that's paired with the largest backside-illuminated sensor on the market. There’s no question that Sony’s A7R II is a weather-sealed, ergonomically pleasing camera that’s only real flaw is its shorter battery life (it can shoot just 340 images before recharge). However the excellent low-light performance and built-in image stabilization will have you all but ignoring the short battery life. The CMOS sensor itself offers superb resolution and noise performance, so still images and video that are nothing short of spectacular. Additionally, the 399 on-sensor autofocus detection points are so good, they can focus on the subject’s eyes even while in motion.

The inclusion of 4K video is notable since it’s not generally offered with full-frame high-resolution cameras where the focus is very much on still photo results. Capturing 4K in full-frame or Super 35 format with a full spread of manual controls provides compelling results that help make the Sony an incredible feature-to-price purchase.

Whether it's video or images, the five-axis in-body image stabilization adds accurate compensation for blur by offsetting camera shaking by moving vertically, horizontally, pitching, yawing or rolling to ensure stable image and video capture. And the three-inch Xtra Fine LCD display is offered in tandem with a Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder to make sure you see everything in frame before snapping away.

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