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In part 1 and part 2 of the best camera for food photography series, I went over the difference between full frame and crop sensor cameras and how they impact your final images.
Now we’re going to dig into your food photography goals to determine the best camera for you! Now is the time to jot down what you want out of food photography. Don’t hold back!
Unsure of where to start? Don’t worry, I’m going to guide you through some questions and give you suggestions on which camera will work best. Let’s get started!
What’s my budget?
I hate to start brainstorming with price in mind, but the reality is your budget plays a part in which camera you choose.
If your budget is limited, consider investing in a crop sensor; they are cheaper than full frame cameras.
You can also consider purchasing a used camera. Most camera manufacturers sell certified refurbished cameras. Just do your research and only buy from a reputable seller.
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Where/how will I be shooting?
Think about whether you have a large space to shoot or a small space. Full frame cameras work better in smaller spaces since you can get closer to your subject. If your space is small and you’re considering a crop sensor, think about purchase a wider lens.
Will you be shooting freehand or are you planning on using a tripod? I started out shooting freehand, but could never get over camera shake. I tried increasing my shutter speed, but that left me with too little light.
If you suffer from shaky camera hands and are anti-tripod, consider a full frame camera. They perform better in low light which can arise from increasing your shutter speed to overcome camera shake.
Who are my ideal clients?
Are you taking food photos as a hobby, or is your goal to work with clients?
If food photography is strictly a hobby and you are only posting to social media or a blog, then a full frame camera may be overkill.
However, if you are planning on working with brands you might want to consider the added benefits from a full frame. The sensors in full frames are of higher quality, so the pictures they produce are also of higher quality. This will come in handy when working with brands that want to blow up your photos for print media campaigns.
What style of food photos do I want to create?
Are you more of a dark & moody or light & bright kind of person? Finding your style takes time, so don’t worry if you’re unsure.
You can take beautiful photos with any camera; however, if you think you might gravitate more towards dark & moody, you would benefit from the superb light sensitivity on full frames. If you plan on creating photos with a lot of light, either camera will be a great choice.
What is my light source?
Natural light can be tricky and inconsistent. If you don’t catch it at the right time, you may find yourself chasing the last rays. Full frame cameras perform better in low light; so you can crank up your ISO to chase the light without having to worry about sacrificing the quality of your photos.
Artificial light, on the other hand, is my favorite! It’s easily controllable, so you never have to worry about having too little. It’s an ideal light source for crop sensors since they don’t perform as well in low light.
Do I see myself upgrading my camera in the future?
This is a hard question. When I purchased my first DSLR, I would have answered “no”. But after shooting with a crop sensor for 2 years, I realized it had its limitations.
My goal with this series is to highlight the pros and cons of both cameras so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you feel limited. My hope is that you learned how to maximize whichever camera you choose, and pick the best camera to help you achieve all your food photography goals!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me in the comments or send me a message on my contact page.
New to food photography? Check my blog post on 6 Tips to take Seriously when Starting Food Photography
Looking for some gear setups based on budget? Check out Minimalist Baker’s post called The Camera Bag.