Fuji vs Sony: Two Mirrorless Camera Giants Compared

When it comes to mirrorless digital camera technology, two names, in particular, stand out from the rest. Fujifilm and Sony are both capable of producing a phenomenal mirrorless camera, but which brand is better?

This page will explore the Fuji vs Sony debate. While both names produce a fair range of options, their main area of competition is their mirrorless lines.

For this reason, we’ll focus on the mirrorless offerings from both brands and attempt to identify what makes each name better for different people. If you’re looking for a new camera but are unsure which way to go, read on.

Fuji and Sony Make Great Mirrorless Cameras

It’s impossible to explore the Fuji vs Sony debate without discussing mirrorless cameras. Both Sony and Fujifilm have produced some fantastic options in this category over the past few years.

A newer, lighter and more compact format, mirrorless tech is an area of photography where innovation and competition are often at their fiercest.

Sony Overview

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Sony is a brand well-known for its innovation and compelling line of full-frame and mirrorless options.

The Sony family of mirrorless cameras is growing all the time and truly contains some of the best cameras on the market. In general, the ‘a’ line of cameras from Sony are marketed as pro-level machines that come with the convenience and ease of use of a consumer product.

Expect light, powerful cameras that are quick to focus and perform well in a broad range of lighting conditions. To get an idea of what the Sony brand stands for, we explore two of their cameras below.

A Higher-End Example: The Sony α6600

Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

One of the most powerful mirrorless cameras in the Sony ‘a’ line is the α6600 APS-C camera. While it’s likely to be out of budget for many people, the overall feel of this product characterizes Sony’s reputation in the mirrorless space.

The α6600 is a rapid, 11fps camera with a bar-setting autofocus system. Getting your subject in focus happens at blistering speed with this camera. Versatility and power really are the name of the game here.

The 5-axis image stabilization technology stands out here too. It’s taken from Sony’s line of super-premium full-frame cameras. Even when moving around, the α6600 stays mercifully steady for your images.

The ‘Budget’ Option: The Sony α5100

Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)

Down in the more-affordable region of $400-$500, the α5100 is understandably less powerful than its bigger brother, but still hits many of the same key notes. The familiar Sony autofocus and rapid shooting capabilities are still here.

The reliable Sony image quality and versatile dynamic range are also a joy to experience.

Even at this ‘lower end’, the α5100 uses an interchangeable lens system to adapt to a wide range of environments.

E-Mount Lenses

Practically all Sony cameras from the past several years use their E-mount format. While the choice available doesn’t quite match up to the likes of Canon or Nikon, there’s plenty to choose from in 2021. As a general rule, the optical performance of Sony lenses is quite highly regarded.

They’re not cheap, but they’re no slouch either.

Sony Strengths

We’ll now run through some of the major factors that define the Sony identity in 2021.

It’s worth mentioning that this section is far from exhaustive and will vary slightly from camera to camera. If you’ve picked up an entry-level Sony Cybershot, don’t expect it to have the best autofocus in the world!

Speed

As a general rule, Sony cameras are lightning-fast, especially once you’re in the mid to high-end price range. Expect a camera that can shoot a ton of photos in quick succession and that can focus in on a subject in record time. Everything from shutter speed to processing is impressive.

Speed has been a primary part of the Sony advertising message for a while now. It’s true that you can’t always trust the marketing lingo, but these cameras really are some of the fastest around.

Autofocus Technology

Sony aren’t the only camera brand that offers great autofocus systems, but they’re definitely one of the best. As a general rule, the number of focus points, extra features and ease-of-use considerations here deserve a great deal of praise.

Unsurprisingly, the speed of these systems sets standards within the photography industry. Your chosen subject will sharpen practically the moment you start to focus on it. Moving subjects in particular are handled very well by Sony systems.

Battery Life

This is an area where Sony far outweighs its challenger. Sony cameras typically last a fair bit longer than their Fujifilm counterparts. This isn’t true of each individual camera, but it’s definitely the overall theme.

APS-C Flexibility

In many Sony cameras, the ability to crop into APS-C mode gives users increased flexibility when shooting. Being able to switch between different focal lengths on the fly like this goes a long way in improving the versatility of your setup.

Lenses

If you compare the line of Sony lenses to competitors like Canon or Nikon, the available selection starts to seem a bit limited. That said, there’s still plenty to choose from with the E-mount line of lenses, and the optical performance you get is impressive overall.

Sony Drawbacks

This section will touch on some of the things that put Sony mirrorless systems at a disadvantage vs Fujifilm.

Battery Life

While these systems certainly do well in terms of battery life against Fujifilm, it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. These cameras still die far sooner than, say, a Canon DSLR.

This mostly comes down to the size of the unit; what you gain in portability you lose in available battery capacity.

Lack of Budget Options

This is especially true when it comes to the available lenses. If you’re looking for a camera brand with great budget options, Nikon or Canon might be a safer bet. Relatively affordable Sony cameras exist, but the brand focuses on higher-end models as a general rule of thumb.

Electronic Viewfinder

An entirely digital system brings with it a double-edged sword: a completely electronic viewfinder. This won’t be an issue in many cases, but for low-light astrophotography and similar environments, the noise on your LCD could prove irritating.

Fuji Overview

Fujifilm maintains a unique brand identity in 2021. On the one hand, the company is at the bleeding edge of new camera innovations. On the other, they remain dedicated to products that celebrate the feel and experimentation of film photography.

This makes a typical Fujifilm fan someone with an eye for nostalgia who nevertheless enjoys modern-day conveniences. There’s a fair amount of mirrorless options to choose from.

This brand’s line of mirrorless products are known as the ‘X Series‘. This family of cameras is designed to make users “fall in love with photography”.

In layperson’s terms, this means they perform very well, are easy to customize and use a retro aesthetic in an appeal to the nostalgic consumer.

The Powerhouse: Fuji X-H1

Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/Vertical Power Booster Grip Kit

One Fujifilm X camera that captures what the brand is capable of is the X-H1. This powerful APS-C system comes with a phenomenal level of ISO sensitivity and user control. This is a camera that can be tweaked and tuned to your heart’s content. Customization in general is an area where Fujifilm does particularly well.

The LCD display on the X-H1 can fold away out of view, encouraging users to rely on the viewfinder when composing shots. This ‘traditionalist’ approach to photography is something that sets the brand apart.

While it’s not for everyone, Fujifilm remains a popular choice among enthusiasts who are serious about their photography.

A More Affordable Option: Fuji X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Brown with Fujinon XC15-45mm Optical Image Stabilisation Power Zoom Lens Kit

A product that’s more affordable for many of us is the X-A5. Even at this lower price point, the versatility and flexibility here stay true to the Fujifilm name. This is a camera that adapts well to a wide variety of shooting scenarios and gives users a surprising level of control.

Fujifilm Strengths

There are a number of factors that make Fujifilm a fantastic choice whether you’re a professional or complete novice. As before, remember that these strengths apply generally and can’t be taken as universal endorsements for every single product the brand makes.

Your Instax camera might print nice portraits, but it’s not going to establish you as a professional photographer!

Longevity

This is one area where Fujifilm really shines. It’s not unusual for brands to release firmware updates for a few years after releasing a camera. The difference with Fuji is that these updates keep coming, sometimes several years after a camera in question was considered to be discontinued.

If you’re looking for a brand that supports its products for their lifespan and then some, this is a great way to go. Image quality alone can see huge improvements through firmware updates.

Customization

Tinkering and reprogramming isn’t a deal breaker for everyone, but if customizing your gear matters to you then Fujifilm is a great choice. The X series comes with customization built in as standard.

A good example of this customization is the ‘Q menu’ on the X series line of cameras. The ‘Q’ button brings up a programmable menu of settings options that users can tweak to fit their preferred approach. Prefer to keep your aperture or ISO settings handy? Prioritize them in the Q menu!

Weather Sealing

This is another area where Fujifilm does well vs Sony. While Sony weatherproofs the majority of their lineup, the sealing doesn’t quite hold up compared to Fuji. The most critical electrical components are protected very well by this brand.

If you do a lot of outdoor shooting, or are a fairly clumsy photographer in general, Fujifilm might be the way to go.

Old School Sensibilities

Not everyone loves this aspect of the brand, but this company maintains a solid ‘retro’ appeal. The technology under the hood remains as modern as the next brand, but the design choices and approach to color science are heavily influenced by the company’s film-based roots.

On most Fujifilm cameras, users have the option to use built-in filters designed to capture the ‘feel’ of shooting in film. For that warm, otherworldly quality that digital cameras can struggle to capture, Fuji is a great way to go.

Fujifilm Cons

Whether you’re looking for a new mirrorless camera, or just want to know about the brand in general, it’s worth noting that some aspects of the Fujifilm brand leave room for improvement.

Old School Isn’t For Everyone

We’ve touched on this one already, but some of the old school sensibilities of this brand can frustrate more than they excite. The brand leans heavily on its high-resolution viewfinder technology, for example.

The aim of design features like this is to encourage users to take a more ‘traditional’ approach to composing their shots, using the viewfinder over the LCD to check images. Some people love this attitude, others prefer to look elsewhere.

Battery Life

It can be argued that this is more of an issue with mirrorless technology than it is with Fujifilm. However, this is one area where Sony does better overall. It might be worth picking up spare batteries and portable chargers if you’re going to be working for extended periods of time.

Price

Fujifilm places an emphasis on their craftsmanship. Elements of their cameras are hand-milled and an incredible level of detail goes into their camera bodies and lenses. While this is certainly a strength in another light, it can drive prices up considerably.

Add this to the stylish but unnecessary retro design choices, and you’re dealing with an expensive gear list. This is particularly true of the Fujifilm X line.

Lackluster Third-Party Support

If you need lots of accessories for your shooter, this brand probably isn’t the best choice for you. Third-party support in general is pretty poor.

Sensor Size Limit

At the time of writing, Fujifilm doesn’t make a full-frame sensor camera. The term ‘full-frame sensor’ has become something of a buzzword when it comes to marketing cameras. That said, a lack of any option at all will turn some consumers off.

Conclusion

The true answer to the Fuji vs Sony debate is that no one brand is truly better than the other; it all depends on your personal preferences. If you love a retro feel combined with cutting-edge digital conveniences, Fuji is a great way to go.

If speed and autofocus are a priority, it’s hard to go wrong with Sony. Whichever brand you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Camera Brands: Comparing Sony, Fuji, Canon, and More

Digital photography has reached a phenomenal level of maturity. The number of genuinely amazing brands competing in the same market is staggering. Photography has always been a world characterized by innovation.

In the past several years, though, this innovation has really picked up. So which are the best camera brands today? Are they much of a muchness, or is it worth digging a little deeper? This article will dive into the wonderful world of today’s camera brands.

We’ll identify what sets each camera brand apart and where each falls a little short of the mark. One of the best ways to become a better photographer is to know your stuff when it comes to camera brands. Understanding your tools will make you much better at your craft!

Best Camera Brands: Sony

A behemoth camera brand from Japan, Sony has been providing cameras for the commercial market since the 80s. Sony’s first step into photography came with their Mavica line of film-based cameras. Their offerings have been rising to dizzying heights ever since.

Today, Sony offers a broad range of products for a professional photographer. While some entry-level options are available, the Sony brand is more commonly associated with pro-grade devices. Compact, mirrorless, and even cinema-quality cameras are all sold by Sony.

Mirrorless Cameras – A Sony Strength

Sony’s mirrorless cameras are what keep them on the map of digital photography; they’re what make the company one of the best camera brands around. A lighter, more compact answer to the older DSLR format, mirrorless cameras can offer incredible optical performance at a fraction of the weight.

Sony α9 – The Best of the Best

The α9 is probably Sony’s best camera to date. If you’re wondering why Sony is known as one of the best camera brands, this device should tell you why. This full-frame mirrorless beast packs a phenomenal level of punch for professionals.

It’s far from an entry-level option, but it defines Sony’s identity in the market.

Sony a9 Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (Body Only) (ILCE9/B),Black

Sony Strengths

  • Incredible mirrorless line
  • Often on the bleeding edge of camera innovation
  • One of the strongest camera brands for cinema-level performance

Sony Weaknesses

  • Not many affordable options
  • Limited lens choices compared to some competitors

Canon

Canon is one of the most well-known camera brands around, and for good reason. The Canon suite of products has grown to gargantuan proportions and shows no signs of slowing down. This Japanese camera brand has been around in some capacity since the 1930s.

This long legacy of camera innovation shows most prominently in the strong line of Canon DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras.

DSLR – The Canon Strength

The list of Canon DSLRs with awards is impressively long. This particular product line is defined by its versatility and performance. Canon has been producing excellent DSLRs for years and there are tons of different lenses available.

While a little bulkier than their mirrorless counterparts, these cameras are what make Canon one of the most talked-about camera brands in 2020/21.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

A strong contender for the title of best Canon camera is the EOS 7D Mark II. The onboard processing and optical performance of this full-frame machine is truly breathtaking.

While this is one of the priciest cameras Canon sells, its strengths reveal a lot about the brand’s reputation and are not unique to this specific model.

The flexibility, performance and reliability of the 7D can be found throughout the Canon family of products. Everything from the 5D Mark IV to their more obscure options is usually great.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Convenient Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Another area where Canon does particularly well is the brand’s excellent line-up of more compact cameras. If you’re looking for a good beginner’s camera, Canon is among the best camera brands out there.

Canon Strengths

  • Excellent DSLRs
  • The legendary EOS range
  • Some great compact cameras

Canon Weaknesses

  • Not great for mirrorless cameras

Nikon

If you’re looking for camera brands with tons of choice when it comes to interchangeable lenses, Nikon is a great bet. Not only does Nikon make a boat-load of lenses themselves, plenty of third-party companies make options that work too.

Nikon Pro-Grade DSLRs

Just as with Canon, many professional photographers use Nikon DSLRs for their work. The strong line of Nikon options offer a great deal of flexibility and performance. The variety really stands out with this brand in particular. There’s almost definitely a Nikon DSLR that would fit your specific requirements.

Nikon Mirrorless Cameras

The Nikon ‘Z’ series is the brand’s line of mirrorless cameras. There’s something for everyone here, with models aimed at a diverse spectrum of customers. The Z7 II is one of the Nikon full-frame cameras that stands out for its attention to detail and blistering speed.

Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body Black

Compact Cameras – A Nikon Twist

Nikon is also a strong choice for those who need something a little simpler. The Nikon family of compact cameras is sizeable, with prices to suit virtually any budget. The ” Nikon coolpix” trademark is aimed at the casual photography market in particular.

Nikon Strengths

  • Tons of choice for interchangeable lenses
  • Pro-grade DSLRs to compete with Canon
  • Some stunning full-frame options

Nikon Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t necessarily have a “specialism”

Panasonic

Yet another Japanese camera brand, Panasonic has been making cameras since the early 1900s! While the Panasonic suite of cameras is diverse, the current focus for this brand is their line of full-frame mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. The brand is also a popular choice among videographers.

While Panasonic isn’t the biggest player out there, they still sell some excellent products

Panasonic Lumix Line

The Lumix line is packed full of options for photographers of all experience levels. The mirrorless variants of these cameras are particularly impressive. The Lumix S Series is crammed full of exciting technology that helps Panasonic compete in a crowded marketplace.

Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Panasonic has spent many years investing in its offerings of micro four thirds cameras. The technology behind this venture was developed in collaboration with another camera brand, Olympus.

Micro four thirds technology allows for cameras that are significantly lighter, thinner, and more versatile. If you’re looking for a more compact, modern camera, Panasonic might be the right choice for you.

Panasonic Strengths

  • Full-frame mirrorless options with excellent image-quality
  • Micro four thirds cameras for improved portability
  • Great video recording options

Panasonic Weaknesses

  • Not the biggest name out there

Fujifilm

Fujifilm is dedicated to maintaining its legacy as a film-focused camera company. While this brand is behind an impressive amount of digital camera innovation, their bread and butter, at least in terms of reputation, is their film cameras.

Film Offerings

The warm richness of film photography is celebrated with the Fujifilm line of products. The brand has an eye for the nostalgic. The Instax suite of cameras, for example, aims to recapture people’s love of instant print cameras and film development.

Even the digital cameras from Fujifilm hearken back to the good old days of film photography. Built-in overlays and filters allow users to create film effects on their photos.

Fujifilm X System

The Fujifilm X system brings traditional styling and bleeding-edge technology together in an exciting line of digital camera options. The Fujifilm X T4 is perhaps the best option in the series. Its CMOS sensor, onboard image processing, and unique design are characteristic of the Fujifilm brand.

APS-C Mirrorless Camera Options – A Fujifilm Focus

A huge focus for Fujifilm is the brand’s APS-C mirrorless camera products. An astonishing amount of attention to detail goes into their color technology and scene accuracy. Fujifilm customers often receive firmware updates several years after an initial purchase.

This is great to see in today’s world of planned obsolescence.

Fujifilm Strengths

  • Great for film lovers
  • A unique line of digital cameras with classic stylings
  • A great option if you’re looking for a new mirrorless camera

Learn about Sony vs Fuji here

Leica

Leica is one of the oldest brands around, having first started out in the mid 1800s. While the name is still known among enthusiasts and some professional photographers, Leica has found the transition into digital camera technology quite challenging.

Full-Frame Technology

A primary focus for Leica over the past few years has been the brand’s line of high-end, full-frame cameras. While many of these products are gorgeous, with some impressive performance achievements, the pricing and variety leave a little to be desired.

Leica Akademie

An effort to re-establish the Leica name, the Leica Akademie aims to introduce newcomers to the wonders of digital photography. From insights into full-frame camera technology, to getting to grips with the basics, courses are available for a broad range of potential students.

Strengths

  • Bold new innovations into digital camera technology
  • Longstanding company that’s existed much longer than most
  • A unique, stylish approach to photography

Weaknesses

  • Waning popularity and relevance in the cut-throat world of the digital camera market

Olympus

Olympus has become well-known for its mirrorless offerings. While many cameras in this brand’s line-up offer excellent image-quality and optical performance, the Olympus name remains associated with cameras that are very affordable.

If you’re on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice performance, Olympus is a great option.

Digital Camera Tech With a Retro Twist

The Olympus family of mirrorless, digital cameras is packed full of modern technology while staying true to the brand’s film-based roots. These cameras are rugged, stylish, and most importantly, strong performers.

Price points are available to suit a broad range of needs, and the Olympus suite of lenses is also surprisingly versatile. While they’re not the biggest name on the block, many professionals in the know would recommend Olympus in a heartbeat.

Explore the World with Action Cameras

Olympus has a strong reputation for action cameras with rugged designs and waterproofing technology. For snorkeling, hiking, and general exploring, the Tough TG 6 is a great choice.

Check out our guide to great underwater cameras.

Olympus Strengths

  • A great balance of affordability and high-end performance
  • Uniquely designed cameras with a retro twist
  • Very portable products

Olympus Weaknesses

  • Olympus only offer micro four thirds cameras. This format can be great, but more flexibility could help their popularity.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section will touch on some of the most common questions concerning camera brands.

What’s the Best Camera Brand for Beginners?

Canon has spent many years perfecting its control systems and as a general rule, they’re fairly easy to navigate and even self-program. Many Nikon cameras do well in this regard also.

Which is the Best Pro Brand?

The answer will depend on your specific preferences. If you prefer mirrorless cameras, Sony is probably a safe bet. For strong DSLRs, either Canon or Nikon is a great choice. All of the camera brands on this page offer some great products in the point-and-shoot category.

What’s the Cheapest Camera Brand?

In terms of compact cameras with fewer compromises on quality, Nikon has some fantastic options in this bracket. Olympus is another name frequently associated with affordable cameras that don’t sacrifice much on quality or performance.

What if I Like Film Photography?

Fujifilm is a camera company that still places an emphasis on film-based photography. It’s also worth remembering that you may be better off exploring the second hand market too. There are tons of great vintage cameras that might have what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s Canon, Sony, Leica, or a different name entirely, the perfect camera brand will be different for everyone. For example, Olympus receives criticism for its lack of full-frame options, but if this doesn’t matter to you, their cameras could serve you incredibly well.

Or take Canon, for instance. The photography giant is well-known for its gigantic line of high-performance powerhouses. The thing is, though, if you just need a point-and-shoot for your casual photography needs, their cameras can be a little over priced.

It’s best to spend some time figuring out what you actually need from your photography gear. This will make it much easier to make a decision that works for you. Don’t be afraid to rent a camera first before buying. This can let you get a feel for a product at a fraction of the actual cost.

Whichever brand you choose, we hope it serves you well!

Best Camera for Snorkeling: Waterproof models for Underwater Filming

Snorkeling brings you face to face with some of the most exciting photography subjects around. The best underwater camera will make those seafaring shots a breeze.

While your average digital camera comes with some weatherproofing, the last thing you want to do is submerge an expensive DSLR underwater. You’ll need to make sure you’re using some more specific gear.

This buying guide will explore some of the best cameras for snorkeling that are on the market. We’ll discuss the features that set them apart, their value, and how they weigh up against the rest of the competition. If you’re looking to pick up a new underwater camera, you’ve come to the right place.

Our Top Picks: Best Camera for Snorkeling

The list below contains some of our favorite snorkeling cameras. We’ve ranked them for price, feature set and overall performance. Read on to find the best underwater camera for you.

1. Nikon Coolpix W300 Underwater Camera

This option from Nikon gets a lot of things right. This is an underwater camera that’s built for adventure. The water, dust and shock proofing are all rock-solid and should keep your camera functional for years to come.

This machine is capable of producing some absolutely stunning high-resolution shots. The 4K video and time-lapse features are also excellent. This waterproof camera has everything you need to get some phenomenal underwater photography.

With a 5x optical zoom, built-in wireless connectivity and a temperature tolerance of -10 to +40°C, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is one to beat.

Pros:

  • Great underwater camera for snorkeling
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Handy connectivity features

Cons:

  • The autofocus is a little slow

2. GoPro Hero 7

The Hero 7 is a couple of generations behind the more recent Hero 9. This makes it an excellent option if you’re looking for a camera for snorkeling that won’t break the bank. The rugged design and solid waterproofing make this a brilliant underwater camera with some familiar GoPro features.

The intuitive touchscreen LCD on the back of this underwater camera is refreshingly easy to use. If you’ve used a GoPro in the past, you’ll know they’re designed to be easy to use and can capture a stunning moment instantly.

For dazzling 4K memories, the video mode on the GoPro Hero 7 works very well. The time-lapse feature can produce some brilliant clips too. Image noise is a key consideration when looking for snorkeling cameras.

The image stabilization on the Hero 7 keeps your shots stable even when you’re racing through the seas. With intelligent voice controls, stunning high-resolution shots and a burst mode that can capture 15 photos a second, this underwater camera is a fantastic choice.

Pros:

  • Familiar GoPro features
  • Fast burst and time-lapse modes
  • Probably the best underwater camera if you’re on a budget

3. Olympus Tough TG 6 Underwater Camera

This super-tough option is one of Olympus’s stunning underwater cameras. The rugged design, 8x optical zoom and 5 underwater shooting modes make this a waterproof camera that gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

The specific lighting conditions, weather, and color palette of the underwater scene you’re shooting will demand a broad range of camera settings. Fortunately, the scene modes specifically designed for underwater work on the TG 6 do a great job of adapting on the fly.

These modes include 3 white balance options which is a great touch. This is perhaps the best underwater camera on our list if you want to get up close and personal to your sea-dwelling subjects. The 4 macro photo modes on the TG 6 keep your focus razor sharp, even at short distances!

When Olympus say tough, they mean it. The TG 6 is water, dust, shock, crush and freeze proof. The built-in anti-fog technology also goes a long way in keeping your lens clear when working underwater.

The killer lens system, excellent shooting modes and durable design make this one of our favorite snorkeling cameras.

Pros:

  • Super-durable
  • Brilliant underwater shooting modes
  • Anti-fog technology

Cons:

  • The lens cover isn’t included; it’s a $50 optional extra

4. Fujifilm XP140 Camera for Snorkeling

This is another camera on our list that’s very reasonably priced; finding an underwater camera for snorkeling doesn’t have to break the bank. The rugged, waterproof design of this 16.4 megapixel camera keeps it ready for action no matter what you throw at it.

The best underwater camera will make it easy to get creative when exploring the fabulous world of the sea. The cinemagraph, time-lapse and macro modes on the XP140 give users a fantastic level of flexibility when shooting.

If you’re worried about losing your device to the great depths of the sea, don’t worry; the included strap is designed to float if you accidentally lose your grip.

While a good camera for snorkeling won’t necessarily have the most powerful sensor on the market, you may be surprised by how good the videos and images taken by this camera look. With fantastic adventure proofing and a strong level of performance, this camera for snorkeling is tough to beat.

Pros:

  • Handy wireless connectivity features
  • Gorgeous underwater photos
  • Flexible shooting modes

Cons:

  • The controls are a little clunky

5. Olympus Tough TG 5 Camera

Another option from the Olympus line of sturdy underwater cameras, the TG 5 packs a whole lot of punch into a portable form factor. The snappy sensor on this camera dramatically boosts both low-light performance and noise reduction.

You’ll be able to get some gorgeous shots even in some murkier scenarios. You’ll benefit from some stunning image processing too thanks to the TG 5’s dual quad core system that allows for stunning color accuracy and dynamic range adjustments.

Like any good underwater camera for snorkeling, this option comes with dust, water and shock proofing as standard. Olympus has put a lot of thought into the design of the TG 5 so you can focus on exploring the ocean’s secrets.

It’s worth mentioning that this model is waterproof up to 50ft, so you may want to consider an option with a higher tolerance if you need a camera for scuba diving.

Pros:

  • Good onboard image processing
  • Super sturdy design
  • Decent low-light performance

Cons:

  • Not quite tough enough for scuba diving

6. AKASO EK7000 Waterproof Camera

A super-affordable answer to the GoPro line, this is one of the most affordable underwater cameras we’ve ever reviewed. While the EK7000 isn’t the most powerful option around, the portable design and killer price point more than compensate for this in our opinion.

In many ways, the EK7000 stands as a testament to how far camera technology has come over the past few years. It’s still 4K capable, waterproof up to 100ft, and designed with some surprisingly smart wireless features, all for less than $50!

The included protective case that comes with this snorkeling camera goes a long way in keeping the device protected. The EK7000 is built to withstand a fair bit of punishment. A nice feature of this model is the included wireless remote that lets users control the unit hands-free.

When it comes to snorkeling, this offers a fantastic level of versatility for an activity that already gives you plenty to think about. If you’re looking for a crazy-cheap underwater camera for snorkeling, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Pros:

  • Ridiculous price considering the performance
  • Tough, waterproof design
  • Portable footprint

Cons:

  • The video compression and image-quality are decent but not excellent

7. Kodak PIXPRO WPZ2 Underwater Camera for Snorkeling

Wi-Fi connectivity, waterproofing and a rugged design make this camera from Kodak a great option for snorkeling pics. The 16 megapixel CMOS sensor is far from the most impressive, but it’s no slouch when it comes to underwater photography either.

This camera produces shots with good image quality and strong color accuracy. Even underwater environments with lower lighting conditions shouldn’t be too much cause for concern.

The lightweight, portable design of the WPZ2 makes it easy to carry with you when swimming. Your movements shouldn’t cause too much motion blur either thanks to this camera’s electronic image stabilization. The bright yellow color of the camera body is also super-easy to spot if accidentally dropped.

The connectivity features of this camera are a nice touch for speedy photo sharing on the go. Underwater cameras are a common “bring-along” for holidays, so the ability to effortlessly share to social media is great.

Pros:

  • Great image-quality and optical performance
  • Super-tough design
  • Connectivity features as standard

Cons:

  • No 4k video

8. GoPro Hero 9

The Hero 9 is a compact camera built with reckless adventure in mind. There’s an impressive level of optical performance crammed into this thing. Forget 4k video, the 5k capabilities of this GoPro are stunning. Expect gorgeous videos and crisp still shots.

Underwater cameras like this don’t come cheap, but they’re well worth the money if you have it. Everything from the video smoothness to the convenient touch controls screams quality. GoPro has spent nearly a decade building a strong reputation in the world of “adventure cameras”.

Their experience is certainly evident with the Hero 9. The waterproofing on this camera is good down to 33ft, making it a great option for snorkelers. If you’re familiar with a GoPro setup, this will probably be the best waterproof option for you.

Definitely not a budget option, but with more than enough firepower to make it worth your while, the GoPro Hero 9 is one of the best waterproof cameras available in 2021.

Pros:

  • Stunning image quality and video performance
  • Super portable
  • Handy GoPro features

Cons:

  • Photos can take a little while to fully process which can be frustrating when taking shots in quick succession

Related

How to Pick the Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling

This buying guide features what we feel are some of the best waterproof cameras on the market. That said, it’s worth understanding what makes an underwater camera great in the first place. Picking a camera for snorkeling need not be confusing!

Read on to get to grips with the key features to look out for.

Check the Waterproofing Rating

While it goes without saying that any camera for snorkeling needs to be waterproof, it’s also worth double-checking just how waterproof a particular model actually is. Make sure your chosen camera can tolerate the depths you’re going to be swimming at.

If you’re scuba diving, a camera with 100ft+ of protection should be a minimum. Watch out for terms like “water resistant” too, as this describes devices that can tolerate the odd splash but definitely shouldn’t be used underwater.

Learn about IP ratings here

Float Strap

The last thing you want when shooting is to risk losing your camera underwater. The best underwater cameras use float straps designed to keep your device at the surface of the water in the case of accidental drops. Always check for features like this before buying.

Image Stabilization

Another feature of the best underwater cameras is strong image stabilization. When shooting underwater, your stability is constantly compromised. Not only are you constantly treading water, you’re also at the whim of the movements of the sea!

The solution to this issue is image stabilization. Opt for optical stabilization if you can afford it.

Final Thoughts

The best underwater camera is the one that fits your requirements and budget. Consider your needs closely and weigh the options we’ve explored in this guide.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Polaroid Camera for Kids: Top Picks And Reviews

An instant camera can be an amazing way to introduce your kid to the excitement of taking their own photos. Good instant cameras for kids are easy to use and reward children with a photo they can physically hold in their own hands.

For some kids, polaroid cameras are the first encounter with something that becomes a huge part of their lives. If you’re wondering which instant camera to go for, you’ve come to the right place.

This page will run through some of the best polaroid cameras for kids and describe what to look out for when choosing an instant print device.

What Is A Polaroid Camera?

In case you’re wondering, “polaroid camera” is a catch-all phrase used to describe “instant cameras”. An instant camera is typically a small, handheld camera that uses self-developing film or a built-in digital printer.

What this means is that after pressing the shutter button to capture an image, the camera prints out a small photo that is either ready immediately or develops after about a minute.

The instant print aspect of Polaroid cameras make them a fantastic gift option for kids; they’re a great way to save precious memories instantly.

Top Picks – Best Polaroid (Instant) Cameras For Kids

The list below contains some of the best polaroid cameras available today. We’ve listed them primarily for their quality, value for money and overall performance.

1. Polaroid Snap

Straight from the horse’s mouth, the Polaroid Snap is the iconic brand’s modern twist on their classic format. Photos are ready instantly without any time wasted waiting for ink to develop.

One bonus with the Polaroid Snap is that it’s designed to combine some of the modern conveniences of a digital camera with the nostalgic novelty of using an instant device.

There’s plenty for kids and adults alike to appreciate here. Photos can be taken in color, black & white, or a vintage-style sepia, leaving plenty of room for experimentation for a budding photographer.

The quality of the photos is more than high enough for the 2×3-inch photo paper that the Polaroid Snap uses. Modern considerations on the Polaroid Snap include the slim form factor, built-in self timer, an SD card slot and photobooth mode.

The “ZINK” photo paper used with the Polaroid Snap is made with durability in mind. Your kids’ photos will stay bright and crisp for years to come. Overall, this is an instant print camera that gets a lot of things right. If you’re looking for a fun starter camera for your kids, it’s a great option.

Pros:

  • Kids will love how easy it is to use
  • The form factor is super-slim compared to older Polaroid Cameras
  • Some nice modern conveniences like photobooth mode

Cons:

  • The “ZINK” photo paper is quite expensive
  • Some users report occasional issues with image quality when printing. A recent firmware update should have fixed the issue

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

The Fujifilm Instax Mini is available in a variety of different formats. The ‘9’ model is a great option for kids who are new to instant cameras. The fun, easy-to-use design and capable lens system produce credit-card-sized memories that can last a lifetime.

If your kids love to take selfies, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 should suit them well. The included selfie lens makes it easy to capture adorable shots with friends and family. The close-up lens attachment that comes with the Instax Mini 9 adds a surprising level of versatility to a kids’ camera.

The automatic exposure settings on this digital camera make it easy for even a complete novice to capture fun shots they’ll love. Fujifilm maintains a reputation as a film-focused camera company.

This philosophy is evident in their handy “Mini Film” photo paper that prints high-quality images that capture your best memories in all their glory.

Pros:

  • Included selfie camera that lets you see what you’re shooting
  • Super easy to use
  • The Instax Mini comes with Fujifilm’s film-focused reputation

Cons:

  • The quirky design might put some “too cool” kids off

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

While we’re on the subject, the Fujifilm Instax Mini line features a more mature older brother. This model comes with increased control, a boost in image quality and a “neo-classic” design. If you have older kids, the Instax Mini 90 may be worth considering.

The ability to disable the built-in flash and manually tweak exposure settings make this a more serious option for those with a bit more photography experience. The six shooting modes provide a decent level of flexibility for a broad range of photography scenarios.

The “kids mode” in particular is great for those times you just can’t get your little ones to sit still. The low and high key modes allow tinkerers to experiment with lights and shadows to their hearts’ content.

The features above, combined with a handy self timer and Fujifilm’s’ excellent film technology, make the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 a brilliant choice for a digital camera with instant print magic.

Pros:

  • Increased control over flash and exposure settings
  • Six shooting modes
  • Stylish “neo-classic” design

Cons:

  • The size of the printing paper is smaller than other options

4. Polaroid Originals OneStep+

This is a great way to introduce your kids to the classic Polaroid format. The announcement of the OneStep/ Originals line was great news for enthusiasts who still remember how much fun they had with their Polaroid cameras in the past.

This update to the format brings performance and digital camera convenience by the bucket load. The built-in Bluetooth functionality on this instant print camera lets you control your shots from a smartphone.

One of our favorite features that this connectivity brings is the sound triggers that let you activate the shutter by clapping loudly. This makes impromptu selfie shots much easier to accomplish. The 89mm portrait lens on this digital camera can really help your kids up their photography game.

The double exposure mode on the OneStep+ is loads of fun too. It lets users set up awesome shots with artistic overlays. Cameras like this can help your kids get to grips with the art of photography quite quickly.

While this option is a little on the pricey side, it’s tough to argue with the feature set.

Pros:

  • Great modern features in a classic format
  • Larger, high-quality prints
  • Artistic double exposure mode

Cons:

  • The price means it would be quite a special gift

5. Kodak Mini Shot 3 Retro 2-In-1

The Kodak Mini Shot comes with its own unique twist. This digital camera quickly and conveniently prints cute memories in a square format. The square prints look great in a kid’s scrapbook or on their bedroom wall.

For users who prefer the classic film look, images can be printed with an iconic white border instead. The included Kodak app works with both Android and iOS smartphones and offers some creative features that your kids might enjoy.

Users can quickly add stickers and fun effects to their images before printing for a unique touch on the memories you capture. Kodak uses “4Pass” technology for their prints. Branding language aside, this means their photo paper is designed to deliver high-quality prints with 0 smudging or blemishes.

With a print speed of just 50 seconds and an image quality that catches the eye, this retro edition of the Kodak Mini Shot is well worth a look.

Pros:

  • Fun, square design
  • “4Pass” technology for superior quality prints
  • Portable design

Cons:

  • The battery life could be better

6. Lomography Wide Lens Camera

Powered by 4 AA batteries, this option from Lomography is bulkier than most. Your reward for dealing with a bigger body is much larger, wider shots on a roomier printing format. If you want a gift that will give your kids more space to shoot, this one is worth picking up.

The wide lens system on this camera makes it much easier to capture larger subjects. Other considerations like the exposure settings, optional color gels and compatibility with Fujifilm paper make this a versatile piece of kit in the right pair of hands.

The long exposure setting in particular is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. It produces artistic, ‘streaky’ images that add a nice touch to your family’s memories. The flexible feature set and super-wide lens more than make up for this camera’s bulky construction.

Pros:

  • Roomy, wide shots
  • Fun exposure settings
  • Creative optional accessories like color gels

Cons:

  • A little bulky

7. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Another wide angle option, the Instax Wide is Fujifilm’s most formidable instant camera. With a higher resolution and better automatic settings than other instant options from Fujifilm, this model is for kids who take their photography a little more seriously.

For colorful, vibrant shots, the automatic settings on the Wide 300 do an excellent job. The low and high key settings make it super easy to play around with the light and shadows in each image. This is an instant camera that gives kids more control than they might be used to.

The classic design of the Wide 300 will make older kids feel like the real deal while shooting. While this option used to be a pricier choice, it’s come down considerably in recent months. If you like what you see, it might be a good idea to pick it up while you have the chance.

Pros:

  • Sharp, wide prints
  • Intelligent shooting modes
  • Creative double exposures

Cons:

  • The photo paper comes out to about $1 per print

Characteristics of a Good Instant Camera

When finding a good Polaroid camera for your kids, it’s important to know what to look out for. The market for this kind of camera has exploded in recent years, so it’s worth getting clued-up to avoid wasting your money.

The list below contains some of the key things to look out for.

Ease of Use

More traditional cameras can be pretty overwhelming, even for adults! A good kid’s camera will keep things simple. Look for options with strong automatic controls that can be switched on easily. Some cameras will offer manual controls too and this can be a good thing.

Just make sure it’s easy to switch automatic mode back on again to avoid confusion.

Quick Settings Switching

Fiddling around with manual controls might appeal to some bigger kids, but it’s worth making sure the camera you buy offers a decent variety of shooting modes. These modes should be accessible at the push of a button and adapt the camera to a variety of different scenarios.

Settings for selfies, close-up shots and wider angles are all pretty common, so think twice if you find an option that doesn’t mention any of these.

Simple Timers

A good polaroid camera for kids will make selfies and timed shots simple. In some use cases, a self timer is an essential aspect of a good instant camera. Look for Polaroid cameras with simple, convenient self timers.

Price Per Print

The price of the camera itself is half the battle. It’s also important to think about how much each printed photo will cost in the long run. Some brands offer a small pack of free prints while charging steep prices for refills.

Take a look at the different options available and keep the average cost per printed photo in mind. Consider cameras with more affordable printing setups.

Related

Final Thoughts

The best polaroid camera for kids will be different for everyone. Some children love diving into the details of a hobby, while others prefer a more laid back approach. Take the time to think about the kid you’re buying for and consider an option from this list that fits the bill.

Best Camera for Night Photography: Picks For Low Light Shooting

Night photography involves some of the most challenging subjects for beginner and pro photographers alike. While low-light environments take a little more work to capture effectively, the payoff can be huge.

Night sky photography can reward you with stunning images if you’re using the right equipment. The thing is, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent a camera from performing well at night time, so it’s worth making sure your gear is up to the task.

This page will explore some of our picks for the best camera for night photography. We’ll discuss their strengths, weaknesses, and why they’re so great for the task at hand.

night-photography

Best Cameras For Night Photography: Top Choices

The cameras in this list have been picked for their fantastic night photography performance.

1. Sony a7 III

This thing tackles night sky photography like it’s a walk in the park. The ISO performance in particular deserves a whole lot of praise. When you’re dealing with night photography, every last inch of light sensitivity counts, so the ISO range of 50 to 204,800 is great to see here.

Another welcome addition with the a7 III model is Sony’s “BIONZ X image processing engine”. In layperson terms, this means reduced image noise and better onboard image processing overall; your images have a better chance of turning out as planned.

Poor light conditions and similar obstacles that emerge in night sky photography can make unwanted blur far more common. Image processing like this make things much more manageable.

When taking images of the night sky, you’re likely to be using a tripod. For any other photography task, the 5-axis stabilization system on the Sony a7 III will go a long way in keeping your shot shake-free.

Pros:

  • Lightweight body with decent battery life
  • Brilliant high ISO performance
  • Great onboard processing

Cons:

  • Video recordings are capped at 29 minutes and 50 seconds which is quite a let-down

2. Nikon D810 DSLR

This is one of our favorite cameras for night photography. The max ISO is expandable up to 51,200 for stellar low-light performance and some jaw-dropping images of the night sky.

This is one of the most premium cameras that Nikon sells. While not everyone needs this level of firepower, this camera is a fantastic choice for those serious about their night photography. The super-wide dynamic range will make it easier to capture the night sky with confidence.

Other features on this camera that begin to justify the price include the 51-point AF system and new, smaller RAW image format. The former will keep your images razor-sharp, while the latter can save you tons of drive space without compressing your shots.

The overall speed, precision and performance of this model from Nikon makes it a strong candidate for best night photography camera.

Pros:

  • Huge expandable ISO
  • Excellent Wide dynamic range
  • Convenient smaller RAW file size

Cons:

  • Some features like image overlay are restricted for smaller RAW files

3. Sony a7S II

This mirrorless offering from Sony is a low-light powerhouse. Don’t let the numbers mislead you; the lower number of megapixels on the a7S II actually makes elements of night sky photography easier.

While it might seem counter-intuitive to recommend a camera with a lower resolution, it makes several common astrophotography artefacts much less noticeable. In short, fewer megapixels can be more forgiving when working with night photography.

This isn’t true for every camera, but the sizeable sensor and fantastic dynamic range on offer here make this an excellent camera for night photography. Photographs produced by this camera feature, rich, deep, true-to-life colors that are remarkably easy to tweak in post production.

If you’re serious about taking photos of the night sky, this full-frame camera is a phenomenal choice. When released in 2015, the a7S II was the first full-frame camera to offer built-in 4K recording. This level of innovation and quality are fast becoming characteristics of the Sony brand.

Pros:

  • Probably the best low-light option out there
  • Wide dynamic range for jaw-dropping night photography
  • Full-frame 4K recording

Cons:

  • The settings menus can be a pain to navigate

4. Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

You may have noticed the prevalence of two particular brands in this article: Nikon and Sony. There’s a reason for this; they’re the two best producers of cameras that work well for night photography. Their sensor choices and onboard processing lend themselves very well to this type of work.

This isn’t to say that Canon and others don’t have good options, it’s just that Nikon and Sony both have several products that take glorious photos of the night sky. The Nikon Z6 is a great example of this. The adaptability, low-light performance and overall polish of this full-frame camera make it an excellent option.

The Z6 is compatible with Nikon’s line of Nikkor lenses. If you’re looking for a good lens for night photography, this is a line worth checking out. There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to the Nikkor line, making this a versatile tool in the right pair of hands.

Pros:

  • Ultra-adaptable, full-frame camera
  • Great low-light performance for night photography
  • Reasonable price considering the feature set

Cons:

  • The battery life isn’t great and third-party options are hard to come by

5. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Weather resistance, excellent low-light performance and a built-in “astro tracer” mode make this one of the best night photography cameras there is. A camera for night time shoots needs to feature a broad dynamic range, ISO and shutter speed.

Luckily, the K-1 Mark II has all of these by the bucket load. The “astro tracer” feature of this full-frame camera significantly extends the exposure of your image for bright, gorgeous shots of the milky way. Another killer feature that’s worth mentioning is Pentax’s “Hand Held Pixel Shift Resolution”.

This powerful process compiles up to four images together for a final result with superior color rendition and sharpness. In the context of night time shooting, this can make for some stunning images that far surpass the result of an unedited shot.

When it comes to finding the right lens for night photography, the selection of compatible options for Pentax cameras is comparatively small. Fortunately, there are a few gems that perform fantastically.

Pros:

  • Built-in modes that are perfect for night photography
  • Brilliant ISO sensitivity range
  • Full-frame camera

Cons:

  • Fewer compatible lenses available

6. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The 5D series from Canon has developed something of a cult following in the world of photography. In fact, the series regularly makes it into the top three for many of our “best of” lists. The versatility, reliability and all-round fantastic performance of the Mark IV make it a welcome addition to anyone’s gear.

The performance in darker conditions is very impressive here considering the megapixel count. You’re not just upping your milky way game with the Mark IV, you’re also buying a camera that can tackle virtually any scenario you throw at it.

Canon has spent years establishing itself as a photography powerhouse and this model brings a wealth of versatility with it. Stunning video capture, best-in-class onboard processing and staggering color reproduction are just some of the things take make this camera great.

Pros

  • Excellent sensitivity for night sky shots
  • The 5D line has an excellent reputation

7. Fujifilm X-T2

Another option with weather sealing for protection from the great outdoors, the Fujifilm X-T2 is no slouch when it comes to capturing the milky way in all its glory. The ISO range on this mirrorless camera can be boosted up to 51,200 for excellent performance in poor light conditions.

Getting the exposure right is critical when take photos at night time. Fortunately, the settings dial on the X-T2 is a breath of fresh air to use. Your ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation are all a twist away.

For when you feel like getting creative with your shots, the range of “film simulation modes” on this model can create some impressive effects. Fujifilm maintains a strong “film-focused” brand and this lives on in their line of digital cameras.

Up to 15 modes give a rich variety of color temperatures and create the impression that you’re switching films on the fly.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-control settings
  • Fujifilm’s unique “film” modes
  • Excellent night time performance

Cons:

  • The price is quite an investment

Finding a Good Lens for Night Photography

The camera body is only half the battle; you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right lens too. The good news is that there’s plenty of choices available. Choosing the right model for your requirements means getting to grips with what makes a lens a good candidate for night time shooting.

Image Stabilization

When capturing images of the sky, the most common subject for night time shots, you’ll almost definitely be using a tripod, as astrophotography involves much longer exposures and wait times. For this reason, you don’t need to prioritise stabilization features.

That said, stabilization is useful for a huge list of other applications, so it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind.

Wide Angle

To capture the heavens in all their glory, it’s best to use a wide angle lens. This will give you the space you need to get a fantastic shot of the sky.

Prime Lenses

As a general rule, prime lenses are an excellent choice for night photography. You won’t have to worry much about zooming in or out as your subject is vast. Manufacturers of prime lenses tend to double down on optical performance to compensate for the lack of zoom.

Our Top Pick

In our opinion, one of the best lenses for photography in this category is the Nikkor 50Mm Prime Lens. It’s packed full of anti-noise and high-ISO considerations that produce beautiful images in even the darkest settings.

A great budget lens with a strong wide angle and night time performance is this option from Rokinon. Another great choice is this behemoth from Zeiss.

Night Photography – The Fundamentals

If you’re new to astrophotography, a few things might be alien to you at first. This section will run through the absolute basics.

Sensor size

The sensor is the most critical part of taking low light photographs. Since the sensor is what actually captures the light, the larger your camera’s sensor is, the more light(and detai) it can capture.

For any decent night photography, you’ll want at least an APS-C sensor. If you’re really serious, don’t settle with anything less than a full-frame sensor.

Read more about APS-C and full frame sensors here.

High ISOs

ISO determines your camera’s sensitivity to light. For taking photos of the night sky, you’ll generally want to set the ISO on your camera quite high. 1600 tends to work well for your average camera.

If you’re using one of the options from this list with phenomenal performance even at a high ISO, you can afford to push that number much higher.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range describes the full spectrum of light present in a given scene. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to find a camera with a broader potential dynamic range. This will give you the flexibility you need to capture the stars effectively.

Exposure

Understanding how to set the right exposure for your image is key to getting a good night time image. Read up on the basics of exposure and then practice, practice and practice again. Our digital photography guide is a good place to start. This guide from Photo Genius is also a great resource.

Megapixels Aren’t Everything

It can be easy for newbies to get waylaid by the “bigger is better” mantra when it comes to picking up a new camera. In reality, a higher resolution can let you down when it comes to astrophotography.

It depends on the size of the sensor you’re using, but some high-megapixel options can make artefacts from the movement of stars far more noticeable. The frustrating thing is that some products that do have lots of megapixels can actually be great for night shoots.

The important thing to remember is that megapixels are just one small part of the picture. You also need to weight up things like sensor size, light performance and exposure options.

Related

Conclusion

The best cameras for night photography will produce our favorite kind of photos: images that truly create a lasting impression. The night sky is packed full of wonder for those with the patience to capture it. You just need the right kit and bit of know-how.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

Best Swirly Bokeh Lens: What they are and Top Picks

“Swirly bokeh” sounds more like a magic spell or complicated cocktail than it sounds like a photography characteristic. So what does the term actually mean and when is it useful in photography?

This page will answer all of your burning swirly-bokeh queries. We’ll explore the swirly bokeh effect, how to achieve it and when it’s most impactful in photography.

What Does Bokeh Mean?

The word bokeh comes from the Japanese word “ボケ”, or “boke”, meaning blurred. A bokeh effect is where the background of an image is soft and out-of-focus. It’s a benchmark for good photography when it comes to portrait shots and other professional contexts.

If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy way to make your images more visually appealing, a strong bokeh is a great way to go.

What’s a Swirly Bokeh?

swirly-bokeh-example

Technically speaking, a swirly bokeh is often the result of a defect or poor focusing on a particular lens. A swirly bokeh is an out-of-focus background with streaked and, well, swirly lines throughout.

In a world of modern photography that seems obsessed with ultra-sharp focus, this effect can be quite rare and pleasant. For a more dramatic, magical or movement-focused theme for your images, it can be fun to try out this bokeh effect when shooting.

How to Achieve Swirly Bokeh Effects

Not every portrait lens will be able to produce what you’re looking for. As a general rule of thumb, older lenses are the way to go. Vintage lenses can be even better, and more affordable, if you can get your hands on them.

The reason for this, is that the swirled effect is technically an error on the part of a lenses’ optics. Older devices typically don’t have the modern innovations that we’ve come to expect today.

It’s worth doing your research and making sure a particular lens will be able to blur your shots in the way you’d like it to. Bare in mind that with many of these lenses, manual settings may be your only option.

Temper Your Expectations

It’s worth noting at this point that even the most old-school, vintage, gem of a lens won’t just produce a swirly bokeh on everything you capture. You’ll need to choose the right subject and environment to get the effect you’re looking for.

As a general rule, backgrounds that are busier with lots going on lend themselves much better to a swirly effect. Less modern lenses struggle to process these backgrounds accurately and leave an interesting blur as a result.

Best Swirly Bokeh Lens – Our Top Picks

The list below contains our top picks for lenses that can produce interesting bokeh effects. Their strengths aren’t always quite so apparent in other areas but for interesting background blur, they’re some of the best.

1. Helios 44 2 58mm

This soviet-era lens comes with a lot of history attached to it. It’s compatible with Canon’s line of EOS cameras and produces some lovely photo results if you’re willing to play around with it. With a little patience and knowhow, this lens can produce some stunning shots.

The settings ring for aperture is reversed which you’ll need to get used to. Other aspects may be different to what you’re used to as well. If you’re willing to tolerate these quirks, the Helios 44 2 can create some truly unique photos.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Canon EOS cameras
  • Produces beautiful photos if you’re patient
  • Packed full of history

Cons:

  • The aperture ring and other settings don’t use modern layouts

2. Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster

This old-school lens is compatible with Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mounts. It’s capable of some lovely bokeh results and is also remarkably fast for a lens this old. The 11-blade diaphragm for ultra-smooth bokeh effects.

The aperture range of f/0.95 to f/16 on the Speedmaster is comparatively huge; you’ll have more flexibility to work with than you might expect. The images this lens produces usually have fantastic colors that are wonderfully warm and soft.

If you have a compatible camera and are a bokeh fan, this one is well worth considering.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Sony E, Canon RF and Nikon Z-Mounts
  • Beautiful soft colors
  • Great for bokeh photos

3. Samyang F1.4/35mm

The bokeh results of this Samyang lens aren’t quite as pronounced as other options, but it can produce some stunning shots with the right background and subject. If you’re using a Canon M camera, this lens should fit just fine. It’s also compatible with some Nikon, Pentax, Sony A and Sony E cameras.

Check listings on Amazon, etc, to double check compatibility with your model. The anti-reflection coating on this lens goes a long way in keeping your shots crisp and clear. Some wonderful bokeh work can be achieved with lenses like this.

The removable petal-shaped hood on this model comes in handy surprisingly often. Overall, this is a great option for bokeh lovers.

Pros:

  • Decent compatibility with multiple brands
  • Anti-reflection coating
  • Great bokeh results

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

4. Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm f 2

This funky option is a little slower than its modern counterparts, but it will reward you with some stunning bokeh if you have the patience. The manual focus is smooth and relatively precise, just don’t expect any autofocus conveniences with this lens.

The background blur results on this Carl Zeiss lens are really something quite special. It’s worth taking the time to get to grips with it if you’re looking for a photo that’s a little more unique.

Pros:

  • Produces very unique photos
  • Smooth manual focus

Cons:

  • Fewer modern conveniences like autofocus

5. Lensbay Twist 60 EF Lens

Sharpness is far from this lens’ forte, but that’s actually a good thing in the world of bokeh. The soft, muted tones of this accessory lend themselves very well to this type of photography. As with most of the options on this page, manual settings are your only option.

Don’t worry though, the focus settings work very well and are nice and smooth. You’ll need to use something else if you’re shooting moving subjects or rapidly refocusing on the fly though. Expect the edges of your frame to be quite blurred when using the Lensbay Twist.

This won’t be an issue if your subject is framed bang in the center, but will be disappointing if your photography needs something a bit sharper. Overall, this lens can capture some gorgeous shots if you know what you’re doing; it’s something of a tinkerer’s dream!

Pros:

  • Stunning results if you have the patience
  • Responsive focus
  • Compatible with Sony E, Nikon F and Canon EF

Cons:

  • Not one of the sharpest lenses in the world

6. MC-Zenitar 50mm

This one might be last on our list, but don’t let this fool you. The MC-Zenitar can take a phenomenal photo if you have the skills. This is a relatively modern lens, meaning you’ll have some of the contemporary conveniences that modern photographers enjoy.

It’s compatible with Canon EF mountings, so be sure to double-check your own camera before purchase to avoid disappointment. In terms of bokeh and unique effects for your photo, this is a great choice.

The two things that stand out with this lens are the soft, out-of-focus effect and the comparative speed of the unit. Both of these features make good bokeh photography much easier to master. The price point on this accessory is quite reasonable considering the results it can achieve.

Pros:

  • Relatively modern lens
  • Comparatively speed with a wonderful out-of-focus effect
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not great for sharp images

Related

Final Thoughts

As this is a pretty niche pocket of photography, the chances are that the person reading this is something of a hobbyist. This likely means you’re willing to splash out on less “useful” and more “special” lenses.

Having said this, it’s still worth considering what you expect out of a new lens. If you’re only interested in something that can produce unique bokeh, one of the cheaper vintage options on this list will serve you well. If you need a bit more versatility, though, it’s worth considering a more modern lens from this page.

A more modern lens can still achieve the out-of-focus result you’re aiming for while staying useful in a broader range of applications. Whichever lenses you choose, we hope you have fun using them!

Best Camera for Nature Photography: Top Picks for Wildlife Photos

Wildlife photography is right up there as one of the most popular pursuits for new photographers. There’s so much to capture in the great outdoors; the number of subjects to choose from is staggering. The thing is, nature photography means different things to different people.

The world of wildlife photography includes landscape photography, macro photography and everything in between. Your chosen subject will heavily influence the camera you choose and the gear you use with it.

This page will explore some of the best cameras out there for great nature photography. We’ll discuss their differences and what each camera is best for.

Types of Digital Camera for Nature Photography

The first thing to do is determine the type of camera you’re looking for. The best camera for your nature photography will depend on what you need it to achieve. Read our guide below to get a clearer picture. We feature a number of options for a range of budgets.

DSLR

DSLR cameras are an incredibly versatile option that can accommodate a wide variety of different lenses. The power of this option lies in the ability to capture flexibly by switching lenses on the fly. Need to take a wide angle shot of a beautiful sunset? Switch to the right lens.

Need great low light performance? Switch to a lens that can deliver great low light performance results. Need to up your dynamic range? You get the picture. DSLR cameras come with built-in versatility. They’re not cheap, but they’re trusted by wildlife photographers around the world.

DSLR Pros

  • The ability to switch lenses makes them super versatile
  • The format is mature which means you shouldn’t have any trouble picking up compatible accessories
  • Excellent image quality and dynamic range

DSLR Cons

  • The mirror system in these cameras makes them significantly heavier than other options.
  • Even low-cost DSLRs are a big investment

Mirrorless

As the name suggests, mirrorless cameras don’t use a mirror system to capture shots. As a result, they tend to be much lighter and easy to carry than a DSLR. Portability is an important consideration when it comes to nature photography.

A camera that’s easy to take with you can make outdoor shots much simpler. Some mirrorless cameras come with an integrated lens. While arguably less versatile, the increase in portability is worth it for some photographers. Companies like Sony offer some great mirrorless cameras with integrated lenses, for example.

In our opinion, the best mirrorless cameras for outdoor shots come with a system for using different lenses. A dedicated lens can struggle to offer enough dynamic range, iso range, or general flexibility.

Mirrorless Pros

  • Generally lighter and more portable than DSLRs
  • Some options are still flexible with interchangeable lenses
  • More powerful sensor options than a point-and-shoot

Mirrorless Cons

  • The format is less mature meaning there’s slightly less choice available
  • These are not cheap cameras

Point-and-Shoot

Some pros turn their noses up at point-and-shoot options. The reality is, however, that not everyone can afford to fork out $2000+ on a brand new premium camera. Brands like Canon, Nikon and Sony offer some point-and-shoots that can still deliver high-quality shots.

These options use a dedicated lens which means you’re sacrificing some versatility and power for a lower price point. These cameras can be a great jack-of-all-trades for photographers on a budget. In the right conditions, they can still get excellent results.

If your needs are more general and you’re not after anything pro-grade, it might be best to choose one of the cameras below. We’ve featured options that are our top choice in this category. They deliver a surprising level of performance considering their format.

Point-and-Shoot Pros

  • Usually much more affordable
  • More compact and lightweight

Point-and-Shoot Cons

  • Less versatility from a dedicated lens
  • Much smaller sensors
  • Fewer manual control options

Best Camera for Nature Photography: Our favorite DSLRs and Mirrorless options

1. Nikon D850 DSLR

The Nikon D850 is one of the best cameras out there for nature photography in our opinion. It’s a full-frame sensor DSLR with fantastic low light performance, 4K video and a brilliant af system.

The af system on this DSLR camera comes with a whopping 153 af points. This translates to a camera that can capture stunning detail for your nature photography. The “3-D tracking” makes it easy to follow moving subjects like animals.

The 4k video options are also great for nature photography. This camera can produce some jaw-dropping time-lapse videos of nature.

Pros:

  • Loads of af points for crisp nature photography shots
  • High-resolution shots at five fps
  • Compatible with Nikon’s NIKKOR lenses

Cons:

  • The autofocus is powerful, but it takes some getting used to

2. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR

A number of features on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV make it one of the best cameras out there for those interested in nature photography. The powerful shooting speed, battery life and image quality add up to a fantastic package.

This is another full-frame camera. This gives users increased flexibility to capture everything they’re shooting. With a continuous shooting speed of up to 7 frames per second, moving subjects should be no match for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

This option from Canon is weather sealed, offering some much-needed protection when shooting outside. The Canon EOS line is well-known for its stunning range of lenses. Nature photography is all about versatility, so it’s important to choose a camera with a sensor that can handle the right lenses.

The 30.4 megapixel, CMOS sensor on this Canon EOS camera can handle a huge catalogue of high-performance lenses.

Pros:

  • Great frame rate for fast-moving, continuous shots
  • Weather sealed for outdoor protection
  • Powerful, flexible sensor
  • Great image stabilization

Cons:

  • The 4K 1:7 zoom ratio can make 4K videos a bit fiddly

3. Sony a6500 APS-C Mirrorless Camera

Over the past few years, Sony has done a phenomenal job of cornering the mirrorless camera market. Their range of cameras in this category has a great reputation – and for good reason. The Sony a6500 APS-C is a great option for nature photography.

The interchangeable lens system, fantastic iso range and staggering number of af points make this our top choice for mirrorless camera.

There are 425 af focus points on the a6500. This makes it astonishingly easy to tune into your subject with a high level of detail. Combine this with Sony’s “lock on” and image stabilization features, and you’re dealing with a device that’s perfect for capturing moving subjects.

Color accuracy and light performance are important in any genre of photography. In wildlife photography, the range of colors and lighting conditions on display is huge. The high dynamic range on this camera makes it easier to achieve an excellent level of color accuracy in multiple conditions.

Pros:

  • Weather sealing protects from moisture and dust
  • 425 point af system
  • Powerful APS-C sensor
  • Frame rate of up to 11 fps

Cons:

  • The touch-screen LCD isn’t very responsive

4. Olympus OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Camera

Outdoor photography can involve a lot of moving around. Readjusting your grip on your camera can cause a surprising number of delays and image noise. The body of this option from Olympus handles ergonomics with a capital ‘E’.

The body of this camera is equally comfortable to hold whether in a vertical or horizontal orientation. The comparatively lightweight body of this model really shines when it comes to telephoto shots. It’s possible to attach a huge telephoto lens to this bad boy and still take shots using just one hand.

This is among the best cameras we’ve seen for portable, telephoto shots.

The ISO range on the OM-D E-M1X is nice and wide, giving you plenty of flexibility for both low light and bright light scenarios. Moving subjects are also easy to handle thanks to the fantastic image stabilization system that keeps moving subjects in focus.

Speaking of focus, this camera uses 121 af points with cross-type phase detection. This further boosts this device’s ability to capture fast-moving subjects.

Pros:

  • Super-fast focusing with 121 af points
  • Flexible ISO range
  • Great ergonomic design
  • Two batteries for excellent battery life

Cons:

  • The UI for menus is a bit overwhelming at first

5. Nikon COOLPIX P900

If you’re going to use a dedicated lens setup, this camera definitely packs a punch. The 83x optical zoom on this model is amazing for getting up close and personal from a distance. This is great for photography involving birds and similar animals.

This shooting speed on the P900 is fantastic for a point-and-shoot. You can take shot after shot with virtually no lag at all. Continuous shooting is easy with this camera. The ISO range here is among the best we’ve seen on a camera in this category.

Even night-time shots come out crisp and detailed. A lot of outdoor photography involves stunning time lapse sequences. The P900 has a fantastic set of automatic time lapse options that produce beautiful videos with excellent levels of consistency.

The built-in GPS is a nice touch for nature photography that involves multiple locations. Wi-fi and NFC connectivity is also included out of the box.

This is a relatively expensive option in the world of point-and-shoot photography. However, the increased price brings the power and responsiveness that outdoor photography calls for.

Pros:

  • Fantastic x86 optical zoom
  • Great built-in Wi-fi and GPS
  • Fast continuous shooting

Cons:

  • Quite heavy for a point-and-shoot

2. Panasonic FZ80K

This is an excellent option if you do a lot of landscape photography. The FZ80K features a wide angle lens capable of capturing natural landscapes in all their glory. The built-in panoramic wide shot features make it super-easy to capture shots you’re proud of.

If you spot a feature in the landscape you’d like to hone in on, the 60x optical zoom should be more than enough to get in close and personal. Low light performance is decent on this model; evening and sunset shots look beautiful with minimal effort. Continuous shooting is possible at up to 10fps.

Panasonic has designed this machine to be an excellent “all-rounder” and it appears to have worked. This is a surprisingly versatile device that will do a fantastic job in most outdoor photography environments.

Pros:

  • Brilliant landscape pictures
  • 60x optical zoom
  • Relatively powerful sensor

Cons:

  • The lens fogs up quite easily

Related

Wildlife Photography – Features to Look out For

If you’re still unsure which model to go for, take a look at our guide below. It outlines some of the most important features to look out for when looking at new cameras.

Frames Per Second

The fps of a device determines how well it captures shots at speed. The higher the fps, the better your results when shooting continuously. A good baseline to look out for is 5fps. Anything lower than this and you’re likely to be disappointed.

Sony is well-known for producing super-fast cameras capable of 12+fps. If you’re likely to be shooting lots of moving subjects, a higher fps is worth considering.

RAW Files

Depending on the type of work you’re doing, the ability to save RAW files when shooting can significantly boost your options in post production. The RAW format gives you much more flexibility when editing the look of your photos later on.

ISO Range

Your camera’s sensitivity to light is determined by its ISO range. The higher the range, the more flexible it will be for a wide variety of lighting conditions. A “normal” range is typically around 200 – 1600, but more premium options can go much higher.

Battery Life

Poor battery life can really let you down when taking photos outside. If you’re miles away from a charging point, you need a machine that can run for a long time. Look for options with:

  • Fast charging times
  • Long-lasting batteries
  • Multi-battery extras

Cameras with light, affordable batteries are a great option; packing a couple of spares when on the move can save you a lot of time and headache.

Dynamic Range

When shooting outdoors, you’re likely to encounter a wide range of colors and lighting conditions. Cameras with a good dynamic range are capable of maintaining high levels of accuracy in a broader spectrum of lighting conditions. Check each model’s dynamic range state before purchasing.

Live View

Live view is the view you get through the LCD of your device. It provides you with crucial information when composing your shot. It’s best to pick models with high-performing live view LCDs. Consider the following:

  • Does the LCD pivot and rotate to accommodate multiple shooting positions
  • Is it a touchscreen? Does this matter to me?
  • How accurate is the image displayed on the LCD?

Use these questions to find the best model for your requirements outdoors. A laggy or inaccurate viewfinder can really let you down in certain contexts.

Resolution

It seems obvious, but it’s worth mentioning just in case. The megapixels on offer don’t paint the whole picture. However, low resolution cameras are likely to let you down when tackling the long list of challenges presented by wildlife shots.

Conclusion

You may have noticed when reading through this page that there’s a whole lot of choice out there. If you’re a beginner, this may feel a bit overwhelming. The thing about outdoor photography is that it’s very varied; the type of photos being taken can differ hugely from person to person.

To help narrow down your search, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need a camera that takes great close-up shots, great wide shots, or both?
  • Am I likely to be working in lots of different lighting conditions?
  • Am I interested in animal photography, or do landscapes appeal to me more?
  • Will I be taking photos in one or two places, or am I likely to be moving around lots from place to place?
  • Can I afford to splash out, or do I need a more conservative option?

These questions are designed to get you thinking about your requirements for nature photography. The clearer you are about what you actually need your device to do, the easier it will be to find the right model.

Another consideration worth mentioning is how future-proof you need your new tool to be. If you’re planning on expanding your kit as you become more familiar with the art form, a model that accepts multiple lenses might be your best bet.

There’s no point buying a >$300 point-and-shoot if you plan on building up to pro-grade shots in a couple of years. A more versatile DSLR or mirrorless model can come with built-in “future proofing” for lens upgrades further down the line.

Whichever brand and model you go for, we hope you have fun shooting with it!

Best Camera for Newborn Photography: Top Picks and Reviews

Any parent of a newborn baby will tell you how quickly the first few years go by. It’s a challenge to capture those first moments before they’re gone forever. Newborn photography takes a fair bit of patience and trial and error to get right.

Without the right camera, baby pictures can be a nightmare to capture. Without a camera with features like image stabilization to increase your control, you might be disappointed by the end result.

So what’s the best camera for newborn photography? Read on to learn more.

Types of Camera for Newborn Photography

Depending on your budget, there are a few different types of camera that you might want to consider. Newborn photography doesn’t have to cost the earth, but if you can afford to invest in the right equipment, your photos will more consistently come out with the image quality you need.

DSLR Cameras

DSLR cameras are used by plenty of newborn photographers thanks to their versatility and responsiveness. The great thing about a DSLR is you can switch lenses on the fly to suit your needs. This flexibility increases your level of control when shooting.

You’re much more likely to produce high-quality newborn photography if your camera can handle a wide variety of tasks. The manual settings on a DSLR offer further control over your work.

DSLR Pros:

  • Versatile cameras
  • Usually have great image quality
  • Plenty of choice available
  • Used by professional photographers

DSLR Cons:

  • They can be quite bulky, especially with certain lenses
  • DSLR isn’t the cheapest option out there

Mirrorless Cameras

As you may have guessed, mirrorless cameras work without any mirrors. What this means for consumers is that mirrorless cameras are significantly lighter and less bulky than some DSLR options. If you want to capture newborn shots yourself, a lighter camera might be the wise move.

Brands like Sony produce some excellent mirrorless products that produce stunning photos with remarkable image quality. You have a choice between products with a dedicated lens that can’t be switched or you can choose a model with an interchangeable lens system instead.

Mirrorless Camera Pros:

  • Easier to carry around with you
  • Can produce beautiful photos
  • A more modern format
  • Can offer great manual control options

Mirrorless Camera Cons:

  • Can be quite expensive
  • Less choice available

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Newborn photographers don’t usually use point-and-shoot cameras, but that doesn’t mean they can’t produce great newborn shots. In fact, if you’re looking to capture shots at home, a point-and-shoot might be perfect.

If your main goal is having a lasting memory of your newborn, these cameras can do a great job. Point-and-shoots are generally considered a jack-of-all-trades option that’s significantly cheaper than other cameras. They use one dedicated lens designed to handle most tasks reasonably well.

Point-and-Shoot Pros:

  • More affordable
  • Easy for beginners
  • Designed for consumers rather than photographers

Point-and-Shoot Cons:

  • Use smaller sensors and less powerful lenses
  • Can struggle in low light conditions
  • Fewer manual control options

Best Cameras for Newborn Photography

The list below contains some of our top picks for cameras well-suited to newborn photography.

1. Fujifilm X-T30

This mirrorless option strikes a welcome balance between cheap and crazy-expensive. It comes with a suite of features that make baby photography much simpler.

The APS-C sensor on this camera is more than capable of capturing beautiful newborn shots. Fujifilm has included some great face-tracking, image stabilization and auto focus considerations with this camera. A newborn is far from a still subject. The best cameras can keep a wriggling newborn in focus!

To avoid disturbing your baby when shooting, the silent shutter mode on this model will keep things nice and quiet. The X-T30 also does a great job in both low light and bright conditions, giving you plenty of flexibility and control when shooting.

Pros

  • Does well in low light conditions
  • Great APS-C sensor
  • Silent shutter mode

Cons

  • The control buttons are a little fiddly for newbies

2. Canon EOS 5D Mark III

This full-frame DSLR is definitely not a budget option. However, the EOS 5D line is one of the strongest camera lines Canon has ever produced. These devices are trusted by photographers around the world – and for good reason.

The 5D Mark III can shoot continuously at 6fps, making it easier for you to get the perfect shot. The 61-point autofocus system locks on to subjects with ultra-sharp precision. Your baby will always be in focus.

Pros:

  • One of the best camera lines on the market
  • Full-frame camera
  • Award-winning design

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Fairly heavy

3. Nikon Coolpix B500

This is an option that will leave you plenty of money left over for nappies! The Nikon B500 is a very reasonably priced point-and-shoot with plenty of bang for your buck.

The Coolpix B500 was designed with usability in mind. Even a complete novice shouldn’t have too much trouble with this camera. The UI and control buttons are easy to use, and the 16-megapixel lens does a great job in well-lit conditions.

This camera comes with a battery life for up to 1240 shots, giving you plenty of time to get the great images you’re looking for. When you first start to take photos of babies, you soon learn that it’s a process of trial and error until you get the photo you want.

Pros:

  • An excellent budget camera
  • Easy to use
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Nikon’s wireless “Snapbridge” app for transferring shots needs some work

4. Sony Alpha A7 III

This is a full-frame, mirrorless camera that delivers astonishing results. If you’re looking for the best possible photos of your baby, this is an excellent choice. The color accuracy, dynamic range and manual control settings on the A7 III make it one of the best mirrorless options on the market for the price.

You may have noticed that babies don’t always love sudden noises. The silent mode on this camera does a great job of capturing stealthy shots quickly. Other factors like image stabilization, continuous shooting and shutter speed are all up-to-par.

This option isn’t cheap, but it’s hard to deny quality like this.

Pros:

  • Full-frame camera
  • Superb, consistent results
  • Relatively lightweight

Cons:

  • Complicated controls
  • Expensive

5. Olympus OM-D E-M10

At number five, we’re back in the land of the reasonably-priced. The onboard image processing capabilities of the OM-D E-M10 are remarkable considering the price point. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to reducing image noise. Even a novice can take fantastic shots with this camera.

This ease of use is boosted by the adjustable tilt-LCD that’s designed with convenience in mind.

Once you’ve got the images you need, it’s super-easy to share them with loved ones via the built-in Wi-fi feature. No matter where you are with your baby, the lightweight and compact body of this model should make it much easier to take shots on the go.

Pros:

  • Great connectivity features
  • Reasonably priced
  • The housing is well-designed to protect from dust

Cons:

  • The body could be more durable

6. Canon EOS R

The lens adapter on this mirrorless camera means it plays well with Canon’s wide range of phenomenal DSLR lenses. In many contexts, this can give you a wonderful blend of mirrorless convenience with DSLR flexibility.

If you’re looking for a versatile camera that can tackle any newborn photography scenario you throw at it, this is a great choice. The electronic shutter on this model will leave even the most sensitive newborn undisturbed.

Other features that make the EOS R well worth considering include the powerful sensor, fantastic autofocus system and rock-solid low light performance.

Pros:

  • Works with Canon’s DSLR lenses
  • Silent shutter
  • Excellent image quality

Cons:

  • Not a budget option

7. Pentax KP DSLR

The APS-C, CMOS sensor on this offering from Pentax makes it a great contender for best camera for newborn photography. This device produces images with a great level of color accuracy and dynamic range considering the price.

Pentax’s “pixel shift resolution system” does a decent job of correcting for things like motion blur, something you might find useful when shooting images of your little one. The relatively compact body of the KP makes it easy to reposition to get the shot just right.

The ISO sensitivity on this camera is much higher than average, giving you extra control in a broad range of lighting conditions.

Pros:

  • High ISO Sensitivity
  • Great at reducing motion blur
  • Compact build

Cons:

  • This camera isn’t compatible with most IR remotes

8. Panasonic LUMIX LX10

If this was a list dedicated to point-and-shoot cameras, this one would be near the top of our list. This is a brilliant option for beginners and has a large enough sensor for intermediate photographers too. The great thing about cameras like this is they’re designed to be intuitive.

With virtually no experience, you’ll be capturing stunning 4K video and high-resolution images of your newborn in no time. The manual shooting mode on the LX10 gives you a surprising amount of control when working.

The included Wi-Fi connectivity features make it trivial to share your baby pictures online quickly. If you want to capture memories with both you and your baby, the tilting selfie LCD works very well and is easy to operate.

Pros:

  • Good for beginners and intermediate photographers
  • Stunning 4K video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Cons:

  • For this price, you’re not far off an entry-level DSLR

9. Nikon D5600

Last, but certainly not least, on our list in the Nikon D5600. Baby photography comes in all shapes and sizes. Each photographer’s situation is likely to vary. The built-in auto and scene modes on the d5600 do a fantastic job of adapting on the fly.

Users are free to choose between natural, color-accurate shots, vivid images or something in between. If you want extra control over your newborn pictures, the manual settings let you tweak everything in fine detail.

Good cameras for newborn images make it easy to capture beautiful moments lightning-fast. Babies have a habit of doing something adorable right up until you try to take a photo. The continuous shooting mode on the D5600 captures tons of images every second.

Pros:

  • Effective scene modes
  • Fine manual controls
  • Never miss a moment with continuous shooting

Cons:

  • The app Nikon uses for their connectivity features doesn’t work very well

Related

Conclusion

The best camera for newborn photography is one that fits your budget and expectations. Have a think about the calibre of images you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re considering cameras for newborn images that are studio-quality, you can probably afford some of the more premium options on our list.

Remember that this isn’t necessarily the right way to go. Reasonably-priced compact cameras can still capture gorgeous shots of your little one. It’s all about figuring out what works for your family.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you get the photos you’re looking for!

Camera Phone vs Digital Camera: Head to Head Comparison

The image quality produced by good smartphone cameras is absolutely staggering compared to the early 2000s camera phone. Software optimizations, sensor improvements, and overall innovations have turned smartphone cameras into a genuinely good option for taking beautiful photographs.

So what’s the point in a digital camera then? If smartphone cameras are so great, why spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a redundant product? Well, because that’s an over-simplification. Digital cameras still outperform smartphone cameras in several key areas.

It’s less about which is better, and more about which is better for you. This article will explore the camera phone VS digital camera debate. We’ll outline the different types of digital camera available, comparing image quality, low light performance and everything in between.

Types of Digital Camera

Not all smartphones are created equal; the same is true of digital cameras. If we’re going to settle the camera phone vs digital camera debate, we’ll need to understand the kind of cameras we’re comparing smartphones to.

Digital Cameras – DSLRs

A DSLR camera is still a photographer-favorite around the world. DSLR is a digital camera format that’s reached a strong level of maturity over the past five or so years. What this means, is that the number of available cameras and accessories is huge.

The main strength of DSLR cameras that smartphones lack is the ability to physically change the camera lens you’re shooting with. It’s true that most flagship smartphones come with two or three lens options these days, but a DSLR can accommodate endless variety.

Want to boost your dynamic range? Low-light performance? Image quality? There’s a lens for that. Of course, this all comes at a premium, but the versatility that comes with an interchangeable lens system makes these cameras worth it for the committed photographer.

Digital Cameras – Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras are a more modern format that uses a mirrorless system to take photos. The main advantage of this type of camera is that they’re much lighter and compact compared to your typical DSLR.

A good mirrorless camera uses an interchangeable lens system for the same level of versatility as a DLSR. Similar to a smartphone camera, these devices use a digital shutter, which allows for silent image capturing.

The max frame rate on a high-end mirrorless option will far outpace your average camera phone, however.

Digital Cameras – Point-and-Shoot

Point-and-shoot cameras are often outpaced by a high-end camera phone these days. They’re designed as easy-to-use, entry-level devices that still produce decent image quality.

The main reason that this type of camera is sometimes outperformed by a camera phone is that they’re typically marketed at the cheaper end of the price spectrum. A premium point-and-shoot camera can still run circles around a camera phone in certain contexts.

Camera Phone vs Digital Camera – Sensor Size

The sensor of a camera, whether in a camera phone or a digital camera, is what determines the capabilities of the machine. Camera sensors on a flagship smartphone are a masterclass in efficient design.

They have to be capable of producing stunning shots in a comparatively minuscule form factor. The past five or so years of camera phone development have truly pushed the envelope when it comes to sensor performance.

The thing is though, sometimes size really does matter. A high-end digital camera sensor just has so much more real estate to work with. A larger sensor size means that every pixel your digital camera has to work with is more responsive to light input. In short, more size means more power.

A full-frame digital sensor expands things to a range that a smartphone camera can’t get close to. One day, new advances in camera technology will make the dedicated digital camera a distant memory. For now though, sensor size is one of the things that keeps them relevant.

Low-Light Performance

Larger sensors and more powerful lenses allow digital cameras to perform much better in low-light conditions. A good digital camera comes with an ISO range that camera phones just can’t touch. ISO range determines a camera’s sensitivity to light.

The more range you have to play with, the more flexible your camera will be in a range of lighting conditions. Backlighting can be a huge challenge for camera phones. When light is coming from behind your subject, automatic settings like exposure and ISO adjustments can kick in and wash out your image.

A powerful camera performs much better at adapting to these tricky shooting scenarios.

While it’s true that low-light performance is still an area where camera phones struggle, it’s worth mentioning that some incredible progress has been made in the past few years.

Google’s development of “Night Sight“, a post-processing feature that dramatically improves low-light performance, has redefined the camera phone vs digital camera debate when it comes to poor lighting conditions. Smartphones still have some catching up to do, but they’re getting there.

Phone VS Digital – Manual Controls

Automatic settings are fantastic… until they get in your way. In certain contexts, the photographer will simply know better than the camera. In these situations, you need good manual controls. The available options vary wildly from smartphone to smartphone but in general, they leave a lot to be desired.

A good digital camera will let you control every aspect of your image. Lighting conditions, composition, white balance, colour palette and movement are all incredibly hard to predict from moment to moment. Being able to adjust on the fly can take your photography to the next level.

The manual control options on smartphones can still offer some great functionality. It would be unfair to say that all phones aren’t photographer friendly. Even the “simple is better” iPhone has some decent manual controls these days.

The “Ultra” line of phones from Samsung come with some very granular settings options for tweaking photos to your heart’s content. If you can get over the idea of controlling them with a slippery touchscreen, they do a great job.

Third-party android apps can take your smartphone camera controls to the next level. While they don’t necessarily offer the same level of control as digital cameras, it would be unfair to say that every smartphone is bad with manual controls.

The trouble is that even with all the tweaking in the world, the smaller sensor on a smartphone still might not be up to scratch.

Smartphone VS Camera – Auto Modes

This is one area that smartphones can sometimes hold their own in. Developments in deep learning AI and automatic software on smartphones over the past few years has lead to some seriously high-quality automatic performance.

The names that spring to mind include Google’s line of Pixel phones, Samsung’s flagships and, of course, the iPhone. These three names continue to test the limits of what is possible on a high-quality smartphone camera.

While automatic settings aren’t always enough, they do a fantastic job for a large proportion of most reasonable photography scenarios. The power that comes with being able to point your phone at something, press a button and trust that it will know what to do is hard to deny.

This isn’t to suggest that digital cameras don’t have good automatic modes themselves, it’s just that smartphones aren’t always outshone so obviously in this category. Brands like Sony are well-known for delivering mirrorless camera after mirrorless camera that consistently delivers excellent automatic performance.

Canon’s line of cameras, with excellent “scene” modes, also deserves an honorable mention. One area of the automatic world where a traditional camera still does much better than a smartphone is autofocus.

Autofocus Points

We’re about to oversimplify things in this section, but bear with us. As a general rule, the more autofocus points a camera has, the better it is at keeping things in focus. Typically, phone cameras use three types of autofocus:

  • Contrast detection
  • Phase detection (higher-end models)
  • Laser autofocus (rare – some camera phones)

While these three phone camera systems work well, they’re just not the same as what a professional photographer is used to.

The scope for autofocus on a digital camera system is much, much broader. A camera used by a professional photographer will likely have upwards of 50 focus points. This is especially useful for photography focused on moving subjects.

The higher the focus point count, the easier it will be to keep moving things in focus.

Phone VS DSLR – Optical Zoom

The iPhone and its competitors are capable of some jaw-dropping photography. Even a complete novice can take a photo that impresses on a flagship mobile phone. One area of photography where a phone can struggle, however, is zooming in on a subject.

In perhaps the past three years, cameras on mobile phones have exploded in terms of performance. Most flagships now sport two or three incredible portable lenses. One of these is typically an “all rounder” lens and another is often a wide angle or telephoto option.

These lenses have certainly made it easier to take great photos, but they still rely on digital zoom. As is often the case in this kind of discussion, it all comes down to size. Mobile phones just don’t have the space to include a proper optical zoom lens.

For example, Samsung’s top-of-the-range flagship, the S20 Ultra, offers a 4X zoom. While impressive for a phone, this is absolutely tiny compared to even an entry-level compact camera. When you use a software-based zoom, you’re essentially cropping a pre-existing image.

It doesn’t take long before your photo begins to suffer. Phone cameras can zoom fairly well these days, but it will be a few more years at least before they can compete with traditional cameras.

Image Processing

The sensor and lens is only half the battle when it comes to good photography. Image processing can work wonders and turn even a mediocre photo into something beautiful. Both traditional cameras and smartphones take advantage of some staggering software magic.

Take Google for instance. The search giant is first and foremost a software company. Decades of software development go into the Android platform. The Pixel line of smartphones in particular, feature some phenomenal processing that turns relatively underpowered lenses into powerhouses.

Artificial focus points, advanced tracking, AI predictions and everything in between go into a device that’s remarkably intelligent at knowing how to make an image good on the fly.

The space available to traditional cameras means they have considerably more power to play with in this area.

On-Board Processing

More physical space means more room for dedicated image processing chips and color correcting hardware. These lead to an end result that is often far more impressive than that produced by a smartphone.

The more powerful processing options on traditional cameras also give users increased flexibility when editing their shots manually. Saving in the RAW format is a given on basically all modern cameras. With smartphones, it’s hit and miss.

On-Camera Focus Stacking

Focus stacking is a process whereby multiple images of the same subject are combined to produce a superior focus than would be impossible from a single image. Traditionally, focus stacking relied on propriety external software that would be used in post production by professional photographers.

While this is still the case, some of the best modern cameras offer on-board focus stacking. Say you’re taking photos of something super-detailed like jewellery. The intricate lines and details can be very difficult to capture. Focus stacking can make this kind of photo much simpler.

Nikon and Sony produce some fantastic cameras with on-camera focus stacking.

Camera phone Pros

After reading this article, you’d be forgiven for concluding that we don’t like smartphone cameras, but this simply isn’t true! While traditional cameras outperform smartphones in several areas, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth the extra money for everyone.

They’re Always With You

The reality is, the best camera is the one you have with you. If a time-sensitive photo opportunity presents itself, your main priority is going to be capturing it. Quickly grabbing your mobile, which is always in your pocket, and taking a shot will probably produce an amazing photo at least 80% of the time.

They’re Multi-Purpose

A traditional camera is just… a camera. A smartphone can take phenomenal photos while doing a million other tasks for you. For most people, it just comes down to cost. Your average Android or iPhone costs somewhere around the $1000 mark. This is also true for a mid to premium-range camera.

Most people can only afford one or the other, not both. Traditional cameras are increasingly becoming the tool of the enthusiast rather than the casual photographer.

Their Photo Software is Incredible

Some traditional cameras have great on-board software, but their UI and ease of use can be very hit and miss. Mobiles have to be convenient and easy to use or they simply wouldn’t sell. What’s more, the best options come with processing and auto modes that are truly staggering.

The bleeding edge of mobile phone photography is incredibly competitive and will only become more impressive as the years go on.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is Better – a Smartphone or a Digital Camera?

In terms of raw performance, probably a traditional camera. In terms of portability and convenience, a phone is often more than good enough. It all comes down to the individual user and what they need out of their device.

What’s the Best Smartphone Camera?

Either the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra or the iPhone 12 Pro. Both options are seriously impressive and are unlikely to disappoint. In most cases, your favorite will come down to personal preference. Both options have their own approach to saturation and how “warm” their images look.

What’s the Best Traditional Camera?

This depends quite heavily on your use case, but the Canon 5D Mark IV is a phenomenal choice. The Sony A7 III also deserves a mention.

What’s the Best Camera Brand?

For mirrorless cameras – probably Sony. For DSLRs it’s a tough question, but both Canon and Nikon consistently deliver on quality and performance. It’s worth mentioning that your specific photography needs will strongly influence the best camera for you.

Related

Conclusion

Camera phone photography has come leaps and bounds since their inception. While traditional cameras are capable of producing far superior results in many contexts, the question is whether this raw performance is worth it for the average consumer.

If you’re a professional photographer then it’s likely to be no question; a traditional camera will be your best option time after time. However, if your main goal is to take great pictures of your friends and what you get up to, a phone will likely be more than enough.

You can line up countless shots taken by pro-grade cameras and compare them to the results of your average phone and most people probably will be able to see the difference. The question is, does this difference represent $1000- 2000 worth of value? Maybe – it depends on who you are.

Best Camera for Interviews: 10 Picks For Great Shooting

Surprisingly, one thing that novice interviewers forget when starting out is how important it is to get a decent camera for their interviews.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the questions you’re going to ask and how you’re going to steer the conversation, that finding a decent camera can be pushed to the back of your mind.

Unfortunately, the best interview in the world will be a let-down if you can’t hear the answers given or see the person being interviewed. Finding a camera that will serve you well is an important first step in becoming a good interviewer.

This post will list some of the best cameras for interviews. We’ll discuss a range of options from the budget all the way up to the luxury ticket items. We’ll also run through some important factors to think about when preparing your interview setup.

Read on to make sure your gear is interview-ready.

Best Camera for Interviews: Our Favorite Picks

If we were to switch careers and become interviewers, these are the cameras we’d use.

1. Sony Alpha 7 Mirrorless Camera

This is one of Sony’s many mirrorless cameras that come with high-quality video capabilities. The hybrid autofocus system and stellar image stabilization features make his one of the best video tools for interviewers. It’s easy to use and the lightweight build makes it super-easy to take with you.

The full-frame lens on the A7 gives you plenty of crop-free space to work with. A great interview video is stable and consistent. Sony has built a fantastic reputation for producing products that deliver excellent video quality every time.

Your interviews will be stable, crisp and hassle-free. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but it’s a strong contender for Sony’s best camera.

Pros:

  • Great video and audio quality
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Compatible with E & A mount lenses
  • Full-frame sensor

Cons:

  • The low-light performance could be better

2. ORDRO 4K Video Camera

This is a fantastic 4k video camera that delivers professional-grade, high-quality films. The onboard image processing on this offering from ORDRO blasts through your shots quickly and efficiently. Interviewers need to move quickly and deliver work with a high level of consistency.

The best video camera will make it easy to work under pressure. The simple UI, handy touchscreen LCD and brilliant image quality all go a long way to make your interviewing tasks easier. Further bumps to productivity come in the form of a bonus IR remote and extra battery.

The stereo microphone on this model adds a welcome boost to audio quality to keep your interviews crisp and clear. It’s possible to use this 4k video camera while charging, making it an excellent choice for those long days with endless interviews.

Pros:

  • Packed with productivity-focused extras
  • One of our favorite video cameras
  • Included stereo microphone

Cons:

  • No optical zoom

3. Fujifilm X-T4

The stunning video performance on the X-T4 makes it one of the best cameras for interviews. The in-body (as opposed to digital) image stabilization keeps your videos steady and stable throughout. Video cameras are worthless if their videos are shaking all over the place.

Fujifilm has updated the face tracking and autofocus software on the X-T4 to keep your interviewee sharply in focus for every second of your video. We recommend picking up the optional vertical battery grip for this model. It adds two extra batteries for a much-needed boost to battery life.

With or without the grip, the enhanced battery performance on the X-T4 holds up quite well to scrutiny. If you can afford to invest in a more premium camera, this Fujifilm will prove a fantastic addition to your interview arsenal.

Pros:

  • Some of the best video face tracking we’ve seen
  • Optional battery boost from the extra grip
  • Also produces stunning stills

Cons:

  • You’ll need to attach an external microphone to guarantee good audio recording

4. Sony CX405

If this article was titled “best camera for interviews – budget edition”, the CX405 would at the top of our list. If you need an interview camera that can get the job done without breaking the bank, this is a video camera that’s well worth considering.

While the audio recording isn’t ground-breaking, you’ll have plenty of money left over for external microphones, which are virtually a must-have anyway! Sony’s “steadyshot” and “BIONZ X image processing engine” work in tandem to produce some pretty impressive video considering the price.

There’s a suite of nifty software features that make this an attractive product for those who want to shoot interviews effectively. The dual shooting mode lets users record videos in two formats simultaneously, boosting flexibility in post production.

The face detection, intelligent auto and anti-motion blur make this an excellent budget interview camera. Just make sure you consider an external microphone for consistent audio quality.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Surprisingly good image quality
  • Dual recording mode

Cons:

  • The microphone isn’t very impressive

5. Canon Powershot G7 X Mark III

This option from Canon is geared towards video content creators. For our money, it’s their best video camera in this category. The design is built from the ground up to produce excellent video with an easy-to-use control system.

Expect fantastic 4K videos, brilliant audio flexibility thanks to the 3.5mm mic input and buttery-smooth recordings at 120 frames per second. Canon has been putting a lot of thought into their video cameras in recent years and this really shows on the G7 X Mark III.

The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity features make it refreshingly easy to share your interviews on social media. If you’re streaming an interview live, it’s possible to stream live to your YouTube channel if you login with your details.

Canon produces a modest range of external microphones that are compatible with this camera right out of the box. The low-light performance of the Mark III is very strong; your interviews will still look great even if your setup isn’t perfect.

Pros:

  • Excellent live-streaming and sharing options
  • 120 frames per second video
  • One of Canon’s most well-thought-out video cameras

Cons:

  • Quite pricey for a compact
  • The autofocus is disappointing compared to Canon’s other cameras

6. Canon EOS 80D

If you need a camera that’s good for both interviews and still images, the EOS 80D is a great choice. Canon promises “professional quality sound” for filmmakers. Canon sells a range of lenses that are well-suited to video recording.

The flexibility of a DSLR like this means you can tweak your setup to your heart’s content to get your interviews just right. The manual controls on the EOS 80D allow you to fine tune your interviews in great detail.

Your options for frame rate and codec are reasonably varied on this model, giving you plenty of flexibility for how you film your interviews. Videos can be recorded in either MP4 or MOV formats.

Canon’s fantastic utility software allows users to connect a PC to their camera from anywhere for speedy file transfers and post production tasks.

Pros:

  • Good audio out of the box
  • Granular manual controls
  • Canon’s utility software comes in handy

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

7. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

This is a compact, no-nonsense camera that produces great video at up to 30 frames per second. The Panasonic Lumix line is a step above “bargain basement” while still maintaining an affordable price point.

If you’re looking for a point-and-shoot camera that can hold its own, this is a great option. Cameras for interviews should make it easy for you to keep on eye on your setup and video results. This Panasonic camera does exactly that.

The viewfinder of the FZ80 is surprisingly high-resolution at 1170k dots, meaning you’ll always have a crystal clear view of the subjects in your interviews. The built-in Wi-Fi feature and “travel ready” design considerations on this camera make it a great choice for the busy interviewer.

Pros:

  • An affordable video camera
  • Full HD at 30 fps
  • Decent dynamic range

Cons:

  • Doesn’t do too well in low-light scenarios

8. Canon Vixia HF R800 Video Camera

This is another strong contender for “best camera for interviews”. The color reproduction, optical image stabilization, x57 zoom lens and ergonomic design make this an excellent camera for an intermediate or beginner interviewer.

The controls, settings UI and overall design on this camera are laughably simple to get to grips with. It shouldn’t be a challenge to get started, even if you’re a complete novice. The HF R800 plays nicely with virtually any external mic that uses a standard input.

Flexibility for accessories like tripods is also well thought out here. Overall, this is one of our favorite cameras for interviews.

Pros:

  • x57 zoom lens
  • Audio input for externals mics
  • Fantastic color reproduction

Cons:

  • If you like strong manual controls, this camera isn’t for you

9. Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless Camera

The APS-C, CMOS sensor on this mirrorless camera from Sony produces stunning image-quality for a reasonable price. A number of factors make this a great camera to consider for recording interviews.

Sony has crammed plenty of choice into the video and audio recording controls on the A6000. A wide variety of frame rates, codecs and audio options are available. This should give you plenty of versatility when working in a variety of different interviewing scenarios.

The button layout is refreshingly intuitive on this model; it won’t take you long at all to get up to speed. Chances are, you’ll also want to occasionally take photos with your new piece of kit. Fortunately, the A6000 is a phenomenal still-image camera that’s capable of taking beautiful photos with minimal effort.

Pros:

  • A fantastic “all-rounder” camera
  • From Sony’s brilliant line of mirrorless cameras
  • Reasonably priced considering the feature set

Cons:

  • The standard kit lens doesn’t have a zoom ring

10. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The 20.4 megapixel live MOS sensor on this mirrorless camera packs more than enough punch for even the most demanding interview environment. This Olympus camera comes with an auto focus system that frankly embarrasses a huge proportion of the competition.

121 cross-type auto focus points lock onto your subject and keep them crystal clear for every second of your video. This is particularly useful if you’re interviewing someone who gesticulates or moves around a lot when they’re talking.

The quad-core image processor on this camera does a phenomenal job of producing picture-perfect results time after time. A camera like this doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it in our opinion. Videos are recorded in full HD and have impressive levels of color accuracy and resolution.

Pros:

  • Fantastic onboard image processing
  • High-end focus and shooting features
  • Compact form factor

Cons:

  • High-end features come with a higher price

Related

Preparing Your Interview Setup

The best video camera in the world will still let you down if you haven’t put any thought into your setup. A huge component of successful video recording is being prepared. Your main questions should be:

  • Is my subject (interviewee) comfortably in frame and in focus?
  • Can the questions and answers in my video be heard clearly?
  • Have I kept distractions to a minimum?

These questions are designed to get you thinking about what you’ll need to get right if your camera is going to produce good results for you.

Tripod

Even the most premium camera will benefit from a tripod, or at least a level surface, in an interview scenario. The vast majority of interviews take place in a static, seated location. For this reason, you don’t need the flexibility that comes with holding your camera in your hand.

Double-check the compatibility of any camera you’re considering. You might need a hot shoe mount to get your tripod to fit. A stable camera is an effective interview camera.

External Microphone

An external microphone is definitely worth considering. Even some of the best cameras for interviews will need some extra support when it comes to audio recording. If you’re planning on making a career out of conducting interviews, then an external microphone is a must.

The main content of any interview is the words that are being exchanged. For this reason, getting your audio crisp and clear should be your top priority. Ask yourself if a microphone attached to your camera will be enough.

It might be worth using a dedicated mic that your interviewee wears instead.

Lighting

Some interview cameras offer good low light results, but in general you’ll need to light your room or environment effectively. Consider the shadows your lighting setup is likely to cast and adapt to make sure everything is perfect. A dimly-lit room isn’t conducive to a killer interview!

Consider the standard three-point lighting setup and see how you can tweak your environment to get the perfect video.

Final Thoughts

The best interview camera is the one that meets your needs. It’s great to have ambitions, but you should buy the equipment that best fits your current situation. It’s no good spending over a grand on a new piece of kit if you’re just starting out.; interview filming is a relatively simple process.

It’s a static shooting environment with minimal changes. Your main concerns should be audio results and decent lighting. A budget camera can do very well in this scenario.

That being said, you want to make sure you’re buying a camera that has the potential to grow with you. If you think your career in interviewing has legs, a hyper-budget camera will show its price pretty quickly. A camera with an interchangeable lens system is a great way to go in our opinion.

The ability to switch lenses and update your kit with them further down the line breathes a whole lot of versatility into your approach. In this case, we recommend picking up one of the mirrorless or DSLR cameras from the list above and buying more premium lenses as and when you need them.

If your interviewing is more of a one-off or every-now-and-then scenario, the budget options from this page will serve you very well.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!