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The Best Cameras For Forensic Photography – 5 Picks Reviewed

Forensic Photography, which is also known as “crime scene photography”, is a crucial technology that is used in the field of forensics.

It plays a major role in crime investigations and aids in investigative procedures. This type of photography sure requires skills and knowledge since every photo that was taken at the crime scene, most likely will be called into court as a shred of evidence.

In today’s article, I have rounded up what I feel are the best camera for forensic photography.

A Quick Look at My Favorite Forensic Cameras

Best Entry-Level
Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

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Most Affordable
Canon EOS Rebel T7

Canon EOS Rebel T7

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Best High-End
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Best Runner-Up
Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D

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Best Overall
Nikon D850

Nikon D850

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Key Takeaways

  • Since I enjoy forensics, I want to work as a forensic photographer.
  • If you are one of such photographers, you should be aware that a top-notch camera is required in this situation.
  • Given that the Nikon D850 is the goat in this situation, I would choose it.
  • If you’re on a limited budget, this is a fantastic alternative. Your bank account won’t suffer, and the Canon EOS Rebel T7 will deliver outstanding results.
  • Before buying a camera for forensic photography, you must consider several factors, including exposure, depth of field, and other factors.

Top 5 Best Cameras for Forensic Photography:

5. Nikon D3500 – Best Entry-Level

What I Like

  • Really Comfortable and well Built
  • Hard to beat the APS-C CMOS sensor

What I Don’t Like

  • Fixed Rear Screen

Starting things right away, with a known pick from Nikon, the one and only Nikon D3500
D3500 elbow through the crowd thanks to its friendly usage for beginners and the unbeatable value it brings to the table at the price point.

A DSLR usually is a bit heavy to carry around; surprisingly enough, that’s not the case with the D3500, this is a relatively lightweight and compact DSLR. It feels really comfortable in hand thanks to the solid and deep grip.
The rear LCD comes in 3 inches and is quite bright with 921.000 dots that provide plenty of details.

It has 11 autofocus points, which is understandable for a budget and entry DSLR while that is nothing groundbreaking, the APS-C CMOS sure is. It kicks out a whopping 24.2MP content, making it quite hard to beat at this range – it is also regarded as one of the best CMOS sensors to this day.
Movie recording is limited at Full HD at 60FPS, well we can’t even call that a limitation since that is more than enough for crime scene photography.
As far as battery life, it is CIPA rated 1,550 shots per charge.

Why should you buy it?

This lens delivers friendly usage for beginners and an unbeatable value, so it is totally worth a purchase.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon D3500

4. Canon EOS Rebel T7 – Most Affordable

What I Like

  • Easy to Use
  • Well built
  • Well Priced

What I Don’t Like

  • Outdated 9 points autofocus
  • No touchscreen nor tilt

Coming next, pretty much a rival of the above option, the latter one being only a tad cheaper. If you are looking for a great DSLR camera to ease yourself into forensic photography at a bargain price, the Rebel T7 is your friend.

It is the successor of the T6 and just like it’s its brother, the Rebel T7 is one of the smallest DSLRs on the market. The grip comes wrapped in textured rubber that rewards in a solid and comfortable handhold. The body is mostly plastic, but it is reasonable for the budget price.

Just like the pick from Nikon, the Viewfinder is a 3inch LCD screen that is bright and clear but it is fixed and lacks a touch screen.

Under the hood, Rebel T7 sports a modern 24MP image sensor that differs a bit from the D3500. As for the rest of the internals and hardware spec pretty much inherited the same ones as its predecessor T6.
It has a rapid-fire shooting of 3 fps and a 9-Points Auto Focus system. Overall, it delivers pleasing images and is capable of recording content at Full HD 1080p / 30fps.

As for battery life, it falls compared to Nikon’s battery life. However, it is still more than a mirrorless camera can provide, the Rebel T7 is capable of lasting 500 shots per charge

Why should you buy it?

This camera has a solid and comfortable handhold, so you can work on your forensics for hours and you won’t be tired.

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Sample Pictures of Canon EOS Rebel T7

3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Best High-End

What I Like

  • 30MP sensor is steps ahead of 24MP rivals
  • Great Video Capabilities
  • Well built , and solid handling

What I Don’t Like

  • Expensive for Beginners
  • Big and Bulky

Enough with the budget cameras, let’s spice things up with a high-end one, the Canon EOS 5D MARK IV; a camera that boasts a huge array of high-end features, like a full-frame CMOS sensor and Canon’s latest AF system.

Unlike its predecessors, the Mark IV is also blessed with a full touchscreen interface and a brilliant LCD touchscreen that is quite responsive and sensitive. It is really well built and it has weather sealing to help it stand against the elements while having a really comfortable grip.

The star of the show here must be the enhanced autofocus performance, which is a 61-points AutoFocus system. Also, the addition of Wi-Fi is a gamechanger when transferring images seamlessly to your smartphone.

What makes this camera a powerhouse, is the 30.4MP CMOS sensor and its capability to shoot 4k DCI videos that are considered cinematic quality. So be it stills or recordings during a crime scene, excellent quality is granted.

As for battery life, Canon Claims that it can go around 900 shots on a single charge.

Why should you buy it?

This camera has really well built and it has weather sealing to help it stand against the elements.

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Sample Pictures of Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

2. Canon EOS 90D – Best Runner-Up

What I Like

  • Excellent pixel resolution , best in class
  • Great Video Capabilities
  • Well Built

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s no sensor-based stabilization

Next, we have a camera that was released not so long ago, 2019, and that’s the Canon 90D. Being a newly released DSLR, instead of following the mirrorless footprints like its competitors, seems like Nikon can’t let go of DSLR cameras. With this one, Canon sure puts the mirrorless rivals to shame.

The 90D doesn’t stray away from the blueprint philosophy of its predecessors. It sports a discreet black finish with a swing-out touch LCD viewfinder and it is splash and dust resistance.

As soon as you hold it you will notice it has the same comfortable grip that you find in the previous versions. The LCD itself is a 3inch panel with 1,040k dots of resolution while being really sharp, bright, and responsive.

When it comes to the image quality, that’s a whole new era compared to its brothers. It packs a 32.5-megapixel sensor making it the highest-resolution APS-C DSLR released so far; hands down to Canon engineers for cramming 32 megapixels onto a really small APS-C sensor. As far as recording goes the 90D is capable of recording in 4k UHD resolution, further full HD gets a boost of 120fps.

90D Promises to get you through 1,300 photos per charge thanks to the viewfinder not being much of a battery drainer.

Why should you buy it?

This lens has excellent pixel resolution and is the best in its class, so you won’t make a mistake purchasing it.

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Sample Pictures of Canon EOS 90D

1. Nikon D850 – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Insane stills resolution
  • Lightning fast autofocus that doesn’t miss

What I Don’t Like

  • The optical viewfinder covers only 98%
  • Wi-Fi connectivity could be better.

When the 850 first debuted, Nikon shook the camera industry and gave a hard blow to the competition.

The Nikon D850 is a versatile camera that will accomplish everything you ask it to.
It is billed as one of the best DSLRs ever made, and pretty much we can see why.

It is weather-sealed with a magnesium alloy finish that gives the camera, the chance to shoot in cold temperatures. What’s more, you can use the 850 in the dark, thanks to the backlit illuminated buttons, also this hugely contributes to avoiding getting extra lights that ruin your Nightvision photography.

Under the hood, it is driven by a whopping 45.4mp image sensor that results in excellent quality, the images come crisp and colorful. It has a continuous shooting speed of 7 Fps and can record at 4k full resolution without a problem. No doubt that the judges will love your picture quality.

The battery life is also quite efficient, capable of lasting up to 1,840 shots, some mirrorless competitors can’t achieve even half of that.

Why should you buy it?

The Nikon D850 is a versatile camera that will accomplish everything you ask it to.

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Sample Pictures of Nikon D850

Things You Need to Know Regarding Forensic Photography

Your Camera:

The most used camera in a crime scene is a Digital SLR camera, it should also have twelve or greater megapixel image sensors. Those kinds of cameras are capable of providing enlargements to 16 x 20″ for the court evidence.


The photos must be correctly exposed, correct exposures are necessary for the film to be captured in detail at all parts.

Depth of Field:

This is the area in a photo where objects are in a sharp focus, so the images you want to provide as evidence need to be as sharp as possible.

No Distortion:

They should be as free as possible from distortion so the judge can get a good perspective. To avoid this try to get a proper lens for your camera.

Final Words:

I don’t expertise in this field, but I know that is a hard type of photography, so it will take a while for you to adapt to it. Reading instructions and looking at photos online isn’t going to hone your skills, so you want to practice on your own when you find the chance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is forensic photography exactly?

Forensic photography is a type of photography that is also known as crime scene photography. It is also documentation of the scene in which something happened.

Is forensic photography dangerous?

Not really! Many photographers worldwide work as forensic photographers, and nobody says that it is a dangerous kind of photography.

What type of camera is better for forensic photography?

When searching for the best camera for forensic photography, you will notice that many lists of DSLR cameras will appear. That’s because DSLR cameras have a more powerful sensor within.

Further Reading:

If you liked what you read so far, I would advise diving deeper into the rest of my articles.

Here you have the Steadicams for a DSLR camera, next some mirrorless cameras under $500.Or if you need some security, you will find some great security cameras here.

If you own a Sony A6000 and need some lenses, you can find the best Sony a6000 lenses here. Or was it a few gimbals for your Canon 70D?

Until next time, enjoy.