Street photographers are always searching for the best street photography camera. Luckily, there are always new cameras developed and released on the market.
So, what is the best camera for street photography? It depends on what you are photographing. Candid images are going to be challenging to capture with a hefty DSLR camera. Architectural images won’t have the HDR (high-dynamic range) they deserve from a point-and-shoot.
But the camera is not the only important factor for great images. A stunning photograph comes from a multitude of areas. You need a useable camera and a quality lens, of course. But patience, planning and confidence are just as essential.
What to Look for in a Street Photography Camera
There are a few things your camera will need for capturing street photography. No matter what your focus is, shooting in RAW is a must. It gives you more play when editing your images. A system that allows you to change your lens is a plus, but not a necessity. What is the best focal length for street photography? You’ll get the best, most inclusive shots with a medium-wide lens. Around 28mm, in my experience.
A High ISO range is beneficial in low-light conditions. Perfect for shooting behind windows and night-time photography. Portability is also essential. You may find yourself traipsing far-and-wide over a city, capturing all it has to offer. You don’t want to have a camera that is too bulky.
Speed is essential in capturing those moments that happen in a blink of an eye. A high burst rate is really useful. It will allow you to have more chance to snap an image at the perfect moment.
A large, bulky camera is easily spotted a mile-off. This can stop you from catching those candid shots. It will not fit in your pocket for discreet, spy-like captures. A poorly designed camera body also means more time to navigate through those buttons and settings.
DSLRs are not for every type of street photography. If you want powerful sensors, high framerates, and other fancy features, you’ll pay a lot. And the camera will be big and heavy. If you want a smaller, cheaper package (say, under $1000), you have to make sacrifices on other fronts.
For some, a DSLR camera is still the preferred type for street photography. So, let’s see the camera options I recommend.