If you are into fashion or have landed a gig of being a fashion photographer, you are probably checking out which option is best for you. There are multiple options out there that deliver some excellent qualities and detail, however, there are some things that make a camera better for fashion photography. I have started as a fashion photographer myself and have made quite the number of mistakes at the start, especially in terms of gear, but I have learned a lot and I can comfortably help you now. So you won’t make the same mistakes.
Like every type of photography, fashion photography requires some distinct characteristics, qualities, and features from a camera. Also, I can say that fashion photography is growing today more than ever with the rising number of fashion bloggers out there that require professional photoshoots. Today I will provide you a guide on getting the best camera for fashion photography. We will first take a look at the best options and then we will check out the tips that make a camera better than the rest for fashion photography. Now let’s get on with it.
The Top 5 Best Cameras For Fashion Photography
5. Nikon D3300
I am going to start this list with one of my favorite entry-level DSLRs of all time, the Nikon D3300. This camera is also extremely affordable and will deliver you some excellent qualities that will let you progress in your new hobby while delivering great performance for fashion photography.
This camera is equipped with a 24MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor that has no low-pass filter. This delivers great images and combined with the Expeed 4 image processor you can have plenty of fun with this camera. The ISO range of this camera spans from 100 to 12,800.
The Nikon D3300 has a good 11 point autofocus system with 1 cross-type point. It has the AF assist illuminator and a 3D tracking AF system. I should also state that this camera has a 5 fps burst shooting mode.
4. Fujifilm X-T30
I have to admit that I am a big fan of Fujifilm cameras for a lot of reasons, but for fashion photography, I think that the Fujifilm X-T30 will deliver a great balance between quality and features. Before starting I should state that this camera is pretty light at 383 grams and is pretty small which is amazing.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with an advanced 26.1MP backside-illuminated X-Trans APS-C sized CMOS IV sensor, which delivers delicious photographs. It also has the X-Processor 4 to deliver a great performance in terms of speed and performance.
This amazing camera has a great hybrid autofocus system that uses contrast and phases detect points, a total of 425 to deliver a speedy and responsive performance. I should also state that this camera can shoot up to 20 frames per second in burst shooting mode which will come in handy.
3. Pentax K-70
Coming up next we have the Pentax K-70, a camera that was marketed for outdoor photography when it was first released, but through testing many users have decided that it is one of the most impressive models for portrait and fashion photography, so let’s take a look.
This camera is packed with an APS-C sized 24.2MP CMOS sensor that delivers a great performance thanks to its lack of anti-aliasing sensor for superior detail retention. This is a mid-sized DSLR that weighs about 688 grams in total, with the batteries and memory card inside but has a mediocre battery life of 410 shots.
The autofocus performance of this camera is pretty good with its SAFOX X system with 11 AF points of which 9 are cross-type super accurate points. It is pretty sensitive and can focus down to -3EV. Without forgetting I should state that this camera can shoot 6 frames per second in burst shooting mode.
2. Sony Alpha a9
The Sony Alpha a9 is released as a flagship-level camera that is top of the crop in the mirrorless market. It is super quick, has a great sensor, tracking performance for ages and so much more.
This camera is packed with a full-frame 24.2MP Stacked CMOS sensor that is pretty much excellent in terms of shooting stills. It also takes help from the Bionz X image processing engine and it has a 5-axis image stabilization system.
This camera’s biggest selling point though is its speed, as it has a 693 point hybrid autofocus system that covers 93% of the scene. It also has tons of features that will help you get better results such as the enhanced Eye-AF, which combined with the 20fps continuous shooting mode you can’t compare it to anything else.
1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III
On top of the list, we have one of the best full-frame DSLRs in the market so far, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. This camera has no disadvantages, like no weak points, well you can say that somewhere it can be better, but overall it is one of the most balanced cameras in the market.
I should state that the Canon EOS 5D Mark III packs a full-frame 22.3MP CMOS sensor that combines well with the Digic 5+ image processor at delivering speed and keeping the noise pretty low at its full ISO range that spans from 50 to 102,800.
This camera has a sophisticated 61 point autofocus system that is one of the fastest I have seen and it tracks subjects extensively. It is the very best for fashion photography since it is perfect in terms of performance, but it also comes at a price that can be justified.
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Qualities You Should Check Out in a Camera for Fashion Photography
Fashion photography, in my opinion, is not just a form of advertisement it is a form of art, and you can achieve some beautiful and tasteful photographs while employing different techniques. I have also found out that fashion photography is one of the best ways to make a name for yourself as a photographer since you are in contact with people all the time. Be it with models, fashion brands, designers and production teams. You can create a great social circle. Of course, I should mention that fashion photography is not always the easiest type of photography, you need to factor in a lot of things including light, exposure, angles, environment, the colors, your model and a lot more. I will try to show you the way to choose the best camera for this purpose, and I think in the end you will be more than ready to buy yourself a great camera.
This is one of the first things you should check out before deciding on a camera if it will fit your budget. I always recommend setting a budget before going shopping so you don’t end up with unnecessary expenses. After you set your budget go check out the cameras that fit that range. I also suggest you buy a cheaper model at first if you are a beginner, a camera from a big name brand which you can build and upgrade on. There are many options out there that fit into that category and most of those cameras already deliver great performances. However, if you are buying your second camera or you have a bit more extended budget you can check out more advanced models that deliver high-end qualities.
The sensor is the biggest quality that will determine if your camera is good or bad, also for fashion photography the quality and detail retention of the subject should be superior. Let’s discuss sensor size first. First off you have the option of getting a crop sensor, where the frame size is reduced. The image quality might be lower than most advanced models out there with bigger sensors, but still, they deliver excellent results. These are also cheaper than the others and but then again these are not the top of the crop. If you want to go to the highest quality you should check out cameras with full-frame sensors. These are a little more expensive but the image quality and detail retention are superb. For beginners, I recommend crop sensors, since you can build a good lens lineup from which you can upgrade on.
Megapixels are the other aspect of the sensor and you need to take a look at them as well. You might already know that the more megapixels the sharper the image overall. So if you need more detail you should get the camera with the highest megapixel count that your money can afford. Some of the cameras with high megapixels deliver a lot of detail and sharpness, enough to deliver a billboard-sized image without any loss in quality, which is marvelous.
The autofocus system is one of the crucial parts of every camera, which is especially true for fashion photography. You should pay attention to the focus system of the camera you want to buy. This is not just the case of having the most focus points, but the autofocus system overall. These days you will see hybrid autofocus systems and some systems that utilize dual pixels such as Canon. You need accuracy and speed, as well as sensitivity in different light conditions. Face detect features are more than welcome here so you can keep track of the subject with ease. Whatever you do, check the autofocus system and search for reviews on its performance.
The speed of the camera depends on different things. I will tie-up with the aforementioned first, the autofocus system. This is a crucial component of the speed aspect of the camera, how fast can it focus on the subject and keep it there while it is moving. If the autofocus system is not fast and responsive it is probably not the best pick for you. You should also check the processing engine of the camera which is responsible for processing images and it will boost the speed of the process. Then you should check out the burst shooting speed or continuous shooting speed of the camera to see just how fast can it shoot, somewhere between 5 and 8 is pretty good for fashion photography, but the more the merrier.
This is also a very important factor you should count in before buying a camera for fashion photography, especially if you will shoot away from the studio frequently. Fashion events last the whole day most of the time, and if your camera has a poor battery life it will make your life difficult overall. For that reason, you should choose a camera with extensive battery life. If you are intent on a camera that has a poorer battery life you should probably check spare batteries and a good charger to keep it in your camera bag. Either way, it is pretty handy to have a spare camera to keep things safe just in case.
For fashion photography, the size of the camera is one of the most important things. After all, you will have to carry your camera in your hands and neck all day long, which can get a little tiring overall. However, this doesn’t mean that heavier cameras are not good options, you should check out the ergonomics of the camera. You should read about the weight distribution of the camera, and also how it fares when coupled with larger and heavier lenses. You need to feel comfortable with your camera all the time, and not have difficulties handling it. If that is the case you should probably check out a different camera. Mirrorless models are the best in this aspect, as they are light, compact, and better models have exceptional ergonomics.
I think that now you are ready to get the best camera for fashion photography. It might not be as easy as you have imagined but it is also not very difficult. Following the tips above you will be well on your way to get the best one for your needs. Also, don’t forget to check out the top picks if you want a fail-safe model since all of them to deliver fantastic qualities that fit the needs of a fashion photographer.