This article is an important part of our Gear Guides. You know we try to continually update each article as new and new featured cameras are released, but again, if you feel like we’ve missed something to mention, please comment below!
The world of commercial and fashion photography is very diverse. Your lighting and camera gear requirements can be as simple as a camera and natural light unlike some other genres of photography, or it can be as complicated as a high-caliber production shoot. And complete with multiple strobe lights and a high-end camera tethered to a computer.
We will start by going over the different cameras and lenses typically used for fashion or commercial photography in this first part of our gear guide.
NOTE: In commercial and fashion photography the lighting, the production (model, makeup, hair, wardrobe, etc), while the camera and lens choice are important and even the retouching quality can make a bigger difference between a spectacular one and an ordinary image.
Factors to Consider
There are several factors and the factors will determine your camera-buying decision. The very first factor is the sensor size of the camera. Three main categories of camera system based on the sensor size which are: Cropped sensor, medium format sensor and full-frame sensor. When it comes to commercial and fashion photography, image quality is important and usually cameras having the larger sensor can produce better image quality.
The gap in image quality between each sensor class has shrunk considerably at the same time. When shooting at low ISO, this is especially true. One thing to mention that the depth of field is also more shallow with larger sensors. And did you know that Nikon D800 which is the full-frame DSLR will have shallower depth of field compared to a Nikon D7100, and another thing to mention that the medium format camera will have an even shallower depth of field compared to that Nikon D800.
Now while Canon and Nikon offer the largest collection in regards to lens selection, there are really few lenses that matters in fashion photography and commercial, and you’re golden as long as your system of camera has set of those lenses. We will discuss more about the types of lenses you generally need for fashion photography and commercial photography as well.
Additionally, your lighting and shooting style will play for you a big part in what kind of camera system that you would want to get. An APS-C or full frame DSLR will be the way to go if you shoot primarily in natural/ambient light, especially if you have to start pushing up the ISO. You can shoot base ISO all day long if you are shooting with strobe lights, and even a micro 4/3 camera which can provide you with excellent images.
It is at its best when you are shooting at base ISO setting and below ISO400 as for medium format camera. So if you plan to shoot with medium format, you want to stick with strobe lighting as much as possible typically.
Finally, a couple of some other factors to consider is whether having professional support services are important to you and whether you shoot tether. Canon and Nikon have the best support system for professionals in both cases and the majority of their modern DSLRs can tether to a computer.
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