Best Cameras For Street Photography – A Buyer’s Guide

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Best Cameras For Street Photography

Welcome to our comprehensive buyer’s guide on the best cameras for street photography! If you’re passionate about capturing the vibrant moments and stories that unfold on the streets, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision when choosing a camera for your street photography adventures.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the key factors you should consider when choosing a camera for street photography, and explore some of the best camera options available on the market, highlighting their strengths and suitability for street photography.

Overview of street photography

Street photography is an exciting and captivating genre that allows you to capture the essence of everyday life in public spaces. It’s about observing and documenting moments as they unfold, often in urban environments. From bustling city streets to quiet alleyways, street photography offers a unique perspective on the world around us.

When practicing street photography, you become a storyteller through your images. You seek to freeze moments that may otherwise go unnoticed, revealing the beauty, diversity, and emotions of people and their surroundings. It’s an art form that encourages you to be present, observant, and quick to capture those fleeting moments that make up our daily lives.

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Photo by Depositphotos

What Makes a Good Street Photography Camera?

When it comes to street photography, having the right camera can make all the difference in capturing those unforgettable moments. Let’s explore the key qualities that make a camera well-suited for street photography:

  • Portability:

Street photography often involves being on the move, exploring different locations, and being ready to capture those spontaneous shots. A compact and lightweight camera allows you to carry it comfortably and have quick access whenever an exciting moment presents itself.

  • Speed and Responsiveness:

The streets are full of action and surprises, so you need a camera that can keep up. Look for a camera with fast autofocus and shutter speed, enabling you to capture those split-second instances with clarity and precision. Fast burst settings

Because everything happens so fast on the street, using burst mode will be the routine. You need a fast camera, able to take many shots in a single burst.

  • Low-Light Performance:

Street photography doesn’t just happen in broad daylight. It also includes capturing the atmosphere of the city at night or in dimly lit areas. A camera with good low-light performance will help you capture sharp and noise-free images, even in challenging lighting conditions.

  • Silent Operation:

Being discreet is essential in street photography. You want to blend into the surroundings and capture those natural and candid moments without disturbing the scene. Look for cameras with silent shooting modes or quiet shutters to avoid drawing attention to yourself.

  • Versatility:

Street photography encompasses a wide range of subjects and styles. A camera with interchangeable lenses or different focal lengths provides flexibility, allowing you to adapt to various situations and capture a variety of perspectives.

  • Image Quality:

While technical specifications are important, never forget that the ultimate goal is to create stunning photographs. Look for a camera that produces high-quality images with excellent dynamic range, accurate colors, and sharp details.

  • User-Friendly Features:

It’s important to have a camera that is intuitive and easy to use. Look for features like an intuitive menu system, touchscreen controls, and helpful guides that can assist you in mastering the camera’s functions quickly.

  • In-built image stabilization

Photographing street life means dealing with motion. And while you can’t control the dynamics of the street, you can control camera shake. So the best camera for street photography should provide image stabilization and help you take sharp photos with a handheld camera.

  • Extended Battery Life:

Street photography demands patience and long hours of shooting. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a reliable camera that won’t let you down in any situation. A camera with a long battery life is a necessity. Even if you carry a spare battery, there may not always be enough time to switch batteries amidst the action.

  • Weather-Resistant Design:

The ideal street photography camera is not only packed with features but also functional and durable. No matter how advanced a camera is, it becomes irrelevant if it malfunctions in wet conditions. Investing in a camera with a robust body that is resistant to dust, water, and freezing temperatures is essential.

Types of digital cameras:

There are three types of cameras that can be used in street photography:

  • Point and Shoot Cameras: Also known as compact cameras, these cameras are small, lightweight, and easy to use. They have fixed lenses and automatic shooting modes, making them suitable for casual photographers who want simplicity and convenience.
  • Mirrorless Cameras: These cameras offer interchangeable lenses and do not have an optical viewfinder. They are compact, lightweight, and increasingly popular among photographers. Mirrorless cameras provide excellent image quality, advanced features, and a wide range of lens options.
  • DSLR Cameras: Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras feature a mirror mechanism and an optical viewfinder. They offer excellent image quality, versatility, and a wide selection of lenses and accessories. DSLRs are favored by professionals and enthusiasts who value precise control over their photography.

Now that you know what qualities to look for in a street photography camera, it’s time to explore some of the best options available. We recommend three cameras for each of the above-mentioned camera types.

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Photo by Depositphotos

Best Camera for Street Photography

A- Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Best Cameras For Street Photography - Fujifilm X100V

Key Features

  • 26.1 MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens
  • Hybrid 0.52x OVF with 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0″ 1.62m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen
  • DCI/UHD 4K Video Recording at 30 fps
  • 425-Point Hybrid AF System
  • ISO 160-12800, up to 11-fps Shooting
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity

The silver FUJIFILM X100V is a versatile and agile camera, belonging to the fifth generation of the X100 series. It combines impressive imaging capabilities, a unique design, and a prime wide-angle lens to cater to diverse shooting needs. With a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and the X-Processor 4, it delivers high-resolution recording, DCI/UHD 4K video support, ISO sensitivity from 160-12800, and fast autofocus performance.

Best Cameras For Street Photography - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII

Key Features

  • 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.8-4.5 Lens
  • 24-200mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Up to 20-fps Blackout-Free Shooting
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 0.39″ 2.36m-Dot OLED Pop-Up EVF
  • 3.0″ 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • Fast Hybrid AF, 357 Phase-Detect Points

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is a compact camera that offers impressive versatility for both stills and videos. It features a 24-200mm-equivalent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens, a 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS CMOS sensor, and an improved BIONZ X image processor. With blackout-free continuous shooting at 20 fps, a 357-point hybrid AF system, and 4K video recording, it delivers exceptional speed and performance. Additional features include S-Log3, HLG gamma settings, and High Frame Rate shooting for slow-motion playback.

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Key Features

  • 20.2 MP 1″ Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • 5x Optical Zoom f/1.8-2.8 Lens
  • 24-120mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 36m-Dot Pop-Up Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0″  1.04m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • UHD 4K30p and Full HD 120p Video
  • 20-fps Shooting, 30-fps Raw Burst Mode
  • Built-In Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Manual Control Dials, Star Shooting Mode

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is an advanced compact camera that combines impressive imaging capabilities with a versatile design. It features a 20.1MP 1″ CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 8 image processor, and a 5x zoom lens. With fast autofocus, 20 fps shooting, and 4K30p video recording, it delivers excellent performance. The camera also includes a pop-up electronic viewfinder, tilting touchscreen LCD, and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity.

Comparison Table

Below is a comparison table of the three cameras: Fujifilm X100V, SonySony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII, and Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

FeatureFujifilm X100VSony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VIICanon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
Sensor SizeAPS-C (23.6×15.6mm)1-inch (13.2x 8.8mm)1-inch (13.2x 8.8mm)
Resolution26.1 MP20.1 MP20.2 MP
LensFixed 23mm f/2Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5Canon 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8
ViewfinderHybrid (Optical and Electronic)ElectronicElectronic
AutofocusFast and accurateFast and reliableQuick and precise
Image StabilizationYesYesYes
ISO Range80-51200100-12800 (expandable to 25600)125-12800 (expandable to 25600)
Continuous ShootingUp to 11 fpsUp to 20 fpsUp to 20 fps
Video Recording4K UHD at 30 fps4K UHD at 30 fpsFull HD 1080p at 60 fps
Weather SealingYesNoNo
Built-in ND FilterYesNoYes
Silent ShutterYesYesYes
Weight478g302g340g

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Photo by Depositphotos

B- Mirrorless cameras

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Key Features

  • 20.4 MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor
  • TruePic VIII Image Processor
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.67x-Magnification OLED EVF
  • 3.0″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • DCI 4K/24p & UHD 4K/30p Video Recording
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • 10 fps Shooting, ISO 200-25600
  • 121-Point All Cross-Type Phase-Detect AF
  • Weather-Sealed Construction

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a compact and weather-sealed mirrorless camera with impressive capabilities. It features a 20.4MP sensor, TruePic VIII processor, and offers quick continuous shooting, 4K video recording, and high ISO sensitivity. Its 5-axis image stabilization compensates for camera shake, while the 121-point autofocus system ensures fast and precise focusing. The camera has a sleek design, a high-resolution OLED viewfinder, a vari-angle touchscreen LCD, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless control and image transfer.

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Nikon Z fc

Key Features

  • 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 6 Image Processor
  • UHD 4K and Full HD Video Recording
  • 36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • ISO 100-51200, Up to 11 fps Shooting
  • 209-Point Hybrid AF, Eye Detection AF
  • Time-Lapse Movie
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • USB Type-C Connectivity

The Nikon Zfc combines classic looks with modern performance, making it a perfect choice for content creators. It features a 20.9MP sensor, fast shooting speeds, 4K video recording, and high ISO sensitivity. The camera’s design pays homage to Nikon’s SLR film cameras, and it includes dedicated dials for easy control. It has an advanced autofocus system, a fully articulating touchscreen, and supports live streaming. The Zfc also offers wireless connectivity, in-camera battery charging, and USB-C power.

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Canon EOS RP

Key Features

  • 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • UHD 4K and Full HD 1080 Video
  • 36m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 4779 AF Points
  • ISO 100-40000, Up to 5 fps Shooting
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity

The Canon EOS RP is a compact camera with a large full-frame sensor, offering versatile imaging capabilities. It has a 26.2MP sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor, allowing for high-resolution stills and UHD 4K video recording. The camera features a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with 4779 on-sensor phase-detection points for fast and accurate focusing. It has an OLED electronic viewfinder, a vari-angle touchscreen LCD, and supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for remote control and image sharing.

Comparison Table

Below is a comparison table of the three cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III,              Nikon Z fc, and Canon EOS RP

FeatureOlympus OM-D E-M5 Mark IIINikon Z fcCanon EOS RP
Sensor SizeMicro Four ThirdsAPS-CFull Frame
Resolution20.4 MP20.9 MP26.2 MP
Lens MountMicro Four ThirdsNikon ZCanon RF
Image Stabilization5-axis in-body IS5-axis in-body IS5-axis in-body IS
AutofocusFast and accurateFast and reliableFast and precise
ISO Range200-25600 (expandable to 64)100-51200 (expandable to 204800)100-40000
ViewfinderElectronicElectronicElectronic
LCD ScreenArticulating touchscreenTilting touchscreenVari-angle touchscreen
Continuous ShootingUp to 10 fpsUp to 11 fpsUp to 5 fps
Video Recording4K UHD at 30 fps4K UHD at 30 fps4K UHD at 24 fps
Weather SealingDust, splash, and freeze-proofNoDust and moisture-resistant
Battery LifeApprox. 310 shotsApprox. 300 shotsApprox. 250 shots
Weight414g (body only)445g (body only)485g (body only)

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Photo by Depositphotos

C- DSLR cameras

Best Cameras For Street Photography-  Canonn EOS 6D Mark II

Key Features

  • 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • 45-Point All-Cross Type AF System
  • Full HD Video at 60 fps; Digital IS
  • 3″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
  • Native ISO 40000, Expanded to ISO 102400
  • 6.5 fps Shooting; Time-Lapse & HDR Movie
  • Built-In GPS, Bluetooth & Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Dust and Water-Resistant; SD Card Slot

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a high-performance full-frame DSLR camera that offers significant improvements over its predecessor. It features a 26.2MP sensor, DIGIC 7 Image Processor, and an expanded ISO range. The 45-point AF system ensures accurate subject tracking, while the Dual Pixel CMOS AF enhances focusing in live view and video shooting. The camera has a vari-angle touchscreen LCD, supports Full HD video at 60p, and offers connectivity options like Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. It also features improved ergonomics, durability, and built-in GPS for geotagging photos.

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Key Features

  • 30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
  • 3.2″ 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
  • DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
  • 61-Point High-Density Reticular AF
  • Native ISO 32000, Expanded to ISO 102400
  • Dual Pixel RAW; AF Area Select Button
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
  • 7 fps Shooting; CF & SD Card Slots
  • Built-In GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC

The Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR is a powerful camera for still photography and 4K video. It features a 30.4MP sensor and DIGIC 6+ processor, delivering excellent image quality and low-light performance. The camera has an enhanced AF system, built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS. It offers fast continuous shooting and utilizes Dual Pixel CMOS AF for smooth focus tracking. The 5D Mark IV also introduces Dual Pixel RAW for post-processing adjustments. The body is durable, and weather-resistant, and includes convenient features like a relocated remote port and connectivity options.

Best Cameras For Street Photography- Nikon D780

Key Features

  • 24.5MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine
  • UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • Multi-CAM 3500 II 51-Point AF System
  • 273-Point Hybrid AF with Eye Detection
  • 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 7 fps Shooting, 12 fps in Live View
  • Extended ISO 50-204800
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor Exposure Metering

The Nikon D780 is a versatile DSLR camera with a 24.5MP full-frame sensor for high-resolution photography and video. It offers a wide ISO range, fast shooting speeds, and UHD 4K video recording. The camera features a 51-point phase-detection AF system for the viewfinder and a 273-point Hybrid AF system for live view and video. It has a 0.7x-magnification pentaprism viewfinder, a tilting touchscreen LCD, dual SD card slots, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity.

Comparison Table

Below is a comparison table of the three cameras: Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, and Nikon D780

FeatureCanon EOS 6D Mark IICanon EOS 5D Mark IVNikon D780
Sensor SizeFull FrameFull FrameFull Frame
Resolution26.2 MP30.4 MP24.5 MP
Autofocus45-point all cross-type AF61-point high-density Reticular AF51-point phase-detection AF
ISO Range100-40000 (expandable to 102400)100-32000 (expandable to 102400)100-51200 (expandable to 204800)
Image StabilizationIn lensIn lensIn lens
Continuous ShootingUp to 6.5 fpsUp to 7 fpsUp to 7 fps
ViewfinderOpticalOpticalOptical
LCD ScreenVari-angle touch screenFixed touch screenTilting touch screen
Video RecordingFull HD 1080p at 60 fps4K UHD at 30 fps4K UHD at 30 fps
Weather SealingYesYesYes
Built-in Wi-FiYesYesYes
Weight765g (body only)890g (body only)840g (body only)

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Photo by Depositphotos

How to maintain your camera for longevity

Taking care of your camera is essential for its longevity and optimal performance. Here are some simple maintenance tips:

  • Keep your camera and lenses clean. Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dust and smudges from the lens and camera body.
  • Protect your camera from extreme weather conditions. Use a camera rain cover or a plastic bag to shield it from rain or snow. Avoid exposing your camera to excessive heat or cold.
  • Regularly check and clean your camera’s sensor. Dust particles can accumulate over time, leading to spots in your photos. Use a sensor cleaning kit or have it professionally cleaned if necessary.
  • Handle your camera with care. Avoid dropping or banging it against hard surfaces. Use a camera strap or wrist strap to prevent accidental slips.

Conclusion

In our journey to find the best cameras for street photography, we’ve explored various features and qualities that make a camera ideal for capturing the vibrant moments of everyday life. Let’s recap some of the top camera options:

Compact Cameras: These portable and beginner-friendly cameras are great for young photographers. They offer good image quality and convenience on the go.

Mirrorless Cameras: With their high-speed performance, excellent image quality, and versatility, mirrorless cameras are a popular choice among street photographers of all levels.

DSLR Cameras: These powerful cameras provide exceptional image quality, extensive controls, and a wide range of lenses to choose from. They are great for those who prefer a traditional shooting experience.

Remember, the best camera for street photography ultimately depends on your personal preferences, shooting style, and budget. Each of these camera types has its own strengths and can help you capture stunning street photos.

Can’t afford a brand-new camera?

Sometimes, buying a new camera can be expensive for many people. However, Keh is a great option to get a used one at a reasonable price. Read the full review here.

Related posts

Street Photography – Tips For Capturing Natural Moments

Best Lens For Street Photography – The Complete Guide

 

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article, in case you have any questions just drop them below & I will be happy to answer you.

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4 Comments

  • I really enjoyed this article because it started with educating the audience. A basic overview of photography was explained and it made the camera selections a lot more understandable. I do like the idea of capturing life’s moments and telling a story. As a photographer, it sounds fun, but as an unknown subject, I can sense privacy issues. I myself am a private person.  How do the cameras on smartphones compare with traditional cameras? I know that the cameras on smartphones are getting more advanced. Do you think they will ever replace traditional cameras?

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the article and found the initial education on photography and camera selections helpful.

      Regarding privacy concerns, it’s essential to always be mindful and respectful of the privacy of your subjects. It’s a good practice to obtain consent when photographing individuals, especially in public spaces.

      As for the comparison between smartphone cameras and traditional cameras, smartphones have made remarkable advancements in camera technology. They now offer impressive image quality, various shooting modes, and convenient editing capabilities.

      However, traditional cameras still hold certain advantages, such as larger sensors, interchangeable lenses, and manual controls, which provide greater flexibility, higher image quality, and more creative possibilities. They excel in professional photography, specialized genres, and situations where precise control over settings is crucial.

      While smartphones have become increasingly capable, it’s unlikely that they will completely replace traditional cameras. Both have their strengths and serve different purposes. 

      Thank you for your insightful question, and if you have any more inquiries or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Happy capturing, and respect for privacy in your photography journey!”

  • Street photography is awesome story telling feature like that you can pick up through your camera lens. I like to capture photos of people especially family and friends laughing having a good time. Just recently I captured photographs for a couple having a private romantic dinner with wine, while holding their wine glasses making a toast for their anniversary you can see the love for each other clearly through the photographs, a wonderful story. Right now looking for backup camera, as I need a backup camera. Your blog post comes in for that and I appreciate that very much. 

    • Absolutely, street photography is a fantastic way to tell stories through your camera lens. It’s wonderful that you enjoy capturing moments of people, especially family and friends, having a good time and laughing. The photographs you described of the couple’s private romantic dinner and anniversary toast sound beautiful, capturing their love for each other in a compelling story.

      I understand the importance of having a backup camera, and I’m glad that our blog post could provide valuable insights for your search. If you have any specific questions or need further assistance in finding the right backup camera, feel free to let us know. We’re here to help. Thank you for your appreciation, and happy storytelling with your photography!

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