How to Choose the Best Camera for Portait Photography

Whether you’re an amateur or you’re just getting started with a photography career, you may be wondering about the camera and the lenses that will be best suited to your needs. The selection of the right equipment is heavily dependent on the type of pictures you’d like to take.

Portrait photography comes with a number of specifics. Light conditions, whether you’re shooting indoor or outdoor and your budget will all play a role. The following guide will shed some light on the essentials, as well as the brands that are known for high quality portrait photography equipment.

Does the Brand Matter?

Usually, people looking for photography equipment opt for the two most prominent options – Canon and Nikon. Both of the brands have dedicated fans who swear by the quality of the cameras and the lenses.

Both companies make great cameras and choosing one or the other is a matter of individual preference and feeling. The camera body should be easy to grip and hold. One more important thing to keep in mind is that both camera bodies and lenses get outdated pretty fast. Thus, it’s not a good idea to spend too much on a product that will eventually have to be changed in the years to come or upgraded to a higher model (as your skills improve).

Obviously, there are other brands on the market you can choose among. Olympus, Fujifilm and Sigma have some pretty decent cameras. Still, it may be better to invest in a well-known, reputable option. At least you will be 100 percent confident and you’ll have to do less research because of the popularity of Canon and Nikon.

Lens Selection Tips

If you are really serious about building a portrait photography career, you may want to invest in a body and a separate set of lenses.

A general rule of thumb is that a lenses with more zoom will deliver much better results than wide-angle lenses. They will put emphasis on the subjectand the background will have a somewhat faded feel to it.

A 50mm f/1.4 lens is a great option for beginners. It’s a cost-efficient solution that will be perfect for testing out one’s portrait photography skills. The lens is lightweight and it produces great results in most kinds of light conditions.

Another option is the 85mm f/1.2 lens. It’s a bit heavier and as a result, the particular piece of optical equipment could interfere a bit with mobility. The sharpness of portraits achieved with this lens, however, will be unparalleled.

A Few Other Considerations

If you are going to be shooting in a controlled situation like a photo studio, most DSLR cameras will do. Shooting portraits in a studio enables you to eliminate many of the adverse influences that come with outdoor photography.
To take it to the next level, however, you should consider getting a high quality camera body and a couple of lenses suited to zoom well on one primary subject.

Apart from zoom lenses, you may also want to consider the addition of a prime lens to your inventory. Prime lenses have a wider maximum aperture while covering the same focal length as a zoom lens. This characteristic produces pictures that have a shallow depth of field and that deliver excellent results in less than ideal light settings.

Finally, you should set the budget in advance. When shopping for 50mm lenses, for example, you’ll see that Canon has several of those that range in price from 100 to over 1,500 dollars. If you have a good idea about how much you’re going to spend, you will limit down the number of options that you’re exploring.

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