If you want to have a go at food photography a dslr camera is essential
If you want to capture the best photos of food an interchangeable lens camera is crucial. Whilst the top end point and shoot cameras are exceptionally good (I have managed to capture some awesome photos with myCanon G1X bought from warehouse Express for a vacation to Italy a few years back) they are not the best camera for food photography. Point and shoot simply don’t have the close up photography ability to capture decent photos of food.
I have dabbled with mirrorless interchangeable cameras in the past, and whilst they are impressive and the technology is ever improving I have to say that I still prefer my dslr set up. Even though mirrorless cameras have come a long way over the last few years, dslrs still have superior image quality and have a wider range of accessories available for them. How long this will remain the case only time will tell, but dslr cameras have the upper hand at the moment.
We have already established that the dslr camera is the best camera for food photography so the next question has to be “What is the best dslr camera for food photography?” With so many dslr cameras to choose from buying the “perfect” camera is not easy. At the end of the day the choice is down to personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with. I shoot a Canon 6d (I got it from Warehouse Express for a great price) but being a Canon fan since my first 450d I not only like the ergonomics and user friendliness of Canon cameras, but I have invested a lot of money in lenses, flashes and other bits and pieces that only work with Canon cameras.
At the end of the day Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax etc. all make excellent dslr cameras that are capable of capturing stunning photos. The build quality of each brand is similar, the image quality of each brand is similar and, despite what many people say, neither brand is better than the other. My advice is to go and look at each brand, take some test shots with each brand, play around with the menu of each brand and see what brand feels the most comfortable for you. The best dslr for food photography isn’t a Nikon or a Canon, Pentax, Olympus or Sony – or any other brand.
I am sure you’re now wondering and want to know what is the best dslr camera for food photography? Well how about this………….
The best dslr camera for food photography doesn’t need to be full frame
There are certain photography genres where you really need a full frame camera (I shoot a Canon 6d I bought from Warehouse Express) to get the best shots, and two examples include portrait and landscape photography. In both of these situations the larger sensor and superior image quality of a full frame camera is needed to get commercial photos you can sell.
When taking photos of food you don’t need such detailed photos and a dslr camera with a crop sensor will produce photos with image quality that is plenty good enough. You can, of course, use a full frame camera for food photography, and I do use my Canon 6d (see the pros and cons here) rather than the Canon 7d I also own. The point I am trying to make is that if you intend to shoot food there is no need to dig extra deep and splash out on a full frame camera if you don’t want to, or have the budget to do so.
You don't actually need a full frame dslr for food photography I admit I do use my Canon 6d
The best dslr camera for food photography doesn’t need to be fast
There are certain photography genres where you need a fast camera, i.e. one with quick processors, to get the shot, such as with motor sports photography. I like to shoot motor spots and the camera I use for this is a Canon 7d (from Warehouse Express) which I bought specifically for this purpose. The Canon 7d not only has dual processors but also has exceptionally fast auto focus, which makes it perfect for fast moving subjects. When taking photos of food there is no need to have a fast camera – because food is stationery and doesn’t move.
You can, of course, use a fast camera for taking photos of food but there is no need to specifically go out and buy a fast camera for food shoots if you don’t already have one.
I do love my Canon 7d but such a "fast" camera is not needed for food photography
The best dslr camera for food photography doesn’t need to “look the part”
This may seem like a strange thing, but I have come across instances in the past where a photographer was not given the job because he didn’t have the “right” photography equipment. This may sound strange but it is true, and some people want you to use what they perceive is the “best camera” to take the photos.
Here’s a real life example for you……..I had a photo buddy who shot a small Sony dslr set up and when he quoted for a portrait shoot the client asked what photography equipment he would use if he won the contract. Naturally, he said Sony and the client mentioned something about “Nikon or Canon” and my buddy was told on the spot he wasn’t going to be used for the shoot.
I have even been the subject of “photography gear snobbery” myself. During a corporate headshot shoot I got a “You’re using a 6d? I could get better photos using my Canon 5d” comment from one of the models. This lady was obviously a photography enthusiast, after all she had gone and dropped a few thousand quid on a professional spec camera, but to actually say it to me (as the paid photographer) I thought was uncalled for.
You won’t get these comments taking photos of food and it doesn’t matter what brand or model of camera you use to take the photos.
At the end of the day you can use any dslr camera for food photography, and it really needn’t be anything too special or too expensive.
My first dslr - The Canon 450d. It may be old but it is still good enough to capture shots that sell
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.