A lot of people make the mistake of buying a really expensive camera for portrait photography and forgot to invest in the camera lens, which might be even more important for portraits photography.
It’s not the camera that makes the shallow depth of field or blurred background aka bokeh in a great portrait, it’s the camera lens. You need a sharp camera lens that opens up to at least F 1.8 .
This will give you the narrow depth of field that many stunning portraits require.
Here is my list of best cameras, lenses and complete kits for portrait photography.
I will also touch upon street portrait photography since it’s a big thing of what I do.
Beginner / entry-level camera & lenses for portrait photography
Mid-level portraits photography camera
2 amazing cameras for street portrait photography
I do a lot of street portraits. Almost every day.
For street portraits, I use these two street photography cameras. And the great thing about having a mirrorless camera for street portraits is that you can’t change lenses, so you just stick to your camera and stop dreaming about the next camera lens you think will make your portraits better.
Fujifilm x100f: My favorite camera for street portraits
A couple of street portraits shot with the Fujifilm x100f
Ricoh GR II: My secondary camera for street portraits
I say the Ricoh GR II Digital is my secondary camera for portrait photography, but it’s actually the camera I use the most because I can fit the small camera in my pocket every day. And I try to have the Ricoh GR II on me every day.
When I go to the streets to do portrait photography, I use the Fujifilm x100 f.
In terms of finding a camera for portrait photography that gives you the most value for money, the Ricoh GR II isn’t a bad option.
Amateur portrait cameras
So, as for amateur I’d advise you to take a closer look at cameras with crop sensor, the price of which will vary up to $ 2,000 (without counting the cost of the lens, which can also be worth a lot). Among the most popular models for portrait photography novice photographers can note following:
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Portrait with a DSLR camera
To make a good portrait with a DSLR camera is not as hard as you might think.
A lot of it comes down to the numbers. When you have shot 10000 portraits of yourself, family and friends, that’s when you will go from good to great.
But let me answer your question first. Here are some camera which you can buy
- Canon EOS 5Dsr
- Nikon D810
If you have less budget go for Canon 80D and lens I would suggest is 50mm STM or 85mm.
Want to see some of my portrait photography?
- My Street Portraits in black and white.
- My Street Portraits in color.
- My black and white Street Photography.
- My street photography in color.
- Tips for street photography.
I wish you all the best finding the right digital, DSLR or mirrorless camera for your portraits.
Portraiture: Camera settings for a great portrait
In order to perfect portraits, it really helps to have a camera made for portraits, a great model who knows how to pose for a photo and most importantly, know what you are doing behind the camera.
Besides having great light and a good background you need to understand how to use the camera settings for each scenario. Setting up the camera in a studio, outdoors in cloudy weather and on a sunny day, indoors or in the dark will be very different.
Studio setup for shooting portraits is most often in a closed aperture that does not open more than 4, exposure is not faster than 500, ISO as small as possible. About the same parameters in sunny weather. The general rule for all settings is a low ISO and not a very open aperture. Of course, everything depends on what your lens is. Because a fully open diaphragm can make great pictures, but not with any optics.
What kind of camera lens is great for portrait photography?
When it comes to camera lenses for DSLRs you can pick between Prime lenses and zoom lenses. The prime lenses do really well for portraits photograph, with the advantage of having a wider maximum aperture, compared to a zoom lens covered in the same focal length.