How to Choose a Camera for Food Photography

Food photography includes everything from shooting plated food that ends up in menus, magazines or cookbooks to capturing the packaging and working with food manufacturers. If you are just getting into this highly specialized field, you will want to make sure you have the right camera and equipment. Here is a list of what you need to consider when choosing a camera.

Understand Your Strengths

When it comes to food photography, every photographer is different. You have your own strengths, weaknesses and preferences. Start by writing out a list of what types of equipment you like to use. Focus on the following aspects of a camera:

  • Size
  • Portability
  • Weight
  • Type

Point-and-Shoot Camera

If you are just starting out, look for a camera that will allow you to take great pictures without a lot of complicated options and components. Consider something with simple point-and-shoot capability, but also manual overrides. As you grow with your business, you will learn how to effectively use those manual options and you will be glad that you spend the extra money for these options.

In addition, you will want to make sure your point-and-shoot camera can use different lenses. In the food business, you will need to use a telephoto lens, and any camera you purchase should be compatible with one.

Digital SLR

If you are more than a novice and if you are already comfortable with taking pictures and manipulating the camera by using its options, then you should look to purchase a digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. This will give you control over how you take photographs. These are great cameras for food photography because they process a much sharper image. When food is especially delicate, you must use every element on the camera to show the intricate lines and textures. Pick a camera that has an external (rather than built in) flash. This will give you an ability to use natural light when it is available, rather than the flash light provided by the camera.

If you are looking for something lightweight, this is not the camera for you. A digital SLR camera tends to be heavy and bulky--not ideal for the novice photographer.

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