What is the Best Camera for Food Photography?

Silvain • updated June 20, 2022 • 4 min read

How to find the best Camera for Food Photography

When you first start taking pictures of food, you will eventually ask yourself, “Which camera is the best one to use if I want to take pictures of my food that look good?” Is a smartphone enough, or do you need an DSLR camera that can quickly cost several thousand euros?

To say it right off the bat, there is no camera that is made just for taking pictures of food. So, you can take great pictures with any camera, even smartphones, which immediately whets the appetite. But every camera has both good and bad things about it.


 

The more pixels a camera has, the better it is?

Food photographers who are just starting out still think that the more pixels a camera has, the better it is. The size of the image sensor, not the number of pixels, tells you how good the picture is.

The more space a sensor has, the more space each pixel has, so it can capture more details. So, a smartphone or compact camera may have more pixels than a professional camera, but it can’t capture as much detail because the sensor is so small. When you zoom in on the picture, this becomes very clear.

best Camera for Food Photography -smartphone

Food photography with a smartphone

Even though cell phones have gotten better at taking pictures over the past few years and, in my opinion, have now surpassed compact cameras as hobby cameras, they have one problem: they reach their limits quickly.

They lack a lot, especially when it comes to depth of field and zooming, and their flexibility and ease of use can’t make up for it. 

But if you just want to take simple pictures of your food, like for Instagram, and don’t need anything more, your smartphone will be fine. Our tips for smartphone food photography will help you to get started.

Advantages of food photography with smartphones:

  • Small
  • Uncomplicated
  • Can be edited and fed into apps without the need for any other tools.

Disadvantages of food photography with a smartphone:

  • No lens
  • No mechanical depth of field
  • Hardly any adjustment options
  • Small image sensor
best Camera for Food Photography - compact camera, point and shoot
Sony HX99 Compact Camera. Image: © Sony

Food photography with a compact camera

Before a few years ago, you couldn’t go on vacation without a small camera if you wanted to take some pictures to remember the trip.

But since smartphone cameras have gotten better, sales have dropped by a lot. This is also clear from the fact that cell phones and compact cameras now take pictures that are just as good, so buying a compact camera for food photography isn’t necessary anymore.

But there are such and such cameras that are small. If you’re willing to pay a little more, you can also get cameras that are better for taking pictures of food than phones.

Just because they’re easy to use, they’re good for people who want to take better pictures than they can with a phone but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Advantages of food photography with a compact camera:

  • Small
  • Uncomplicated operation
  • Inexpensive
  • Lens

Disadvantages of food photography with a compact camera:

  • Lens can not be changed
  • Often a small image sensor
  • Few setting options
best Camera for Food Photography - compact camera, point and shoot
Nikon Z6II, Image: ©Nikon

Food photography with mirrorless cameras

System cameras have only been around for a few years, but they are becoming more and more important in the world of photography.

Simply put, a system camera is a reflex camera that doesn’t need a mirror to work. So, it can do everything that a DSLR camera can do, but it is much smaller and takes up less space.

This is a huge benefit, especially when you are traveling or on vacation.

Advantages of food photography with a mirrorless camera:

  • Very good image quality
  • Large image sensor
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Adaptation to any situation
  • Flexible
  • Wide range of settings

Disadvantages of food photography with a mirrorless camera:

  • Camera knowledge is required
  • Operation complicated for beginners
  • Partly quite expensive
best Camera for Food Photography - full frame DSLR
Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Image: © Canon

Food photography with a DSLR camera

When taking pictures of food, most photographers use DSLR cameras (digital single-lens reflex). If you want to take professional photos and wok on projects, you will need an DSLR camera for food photography sooner or later.

In addition to sometimes having very large image sensors, the lenses can be switched out, so you can make them work best for any situation.

Using an SLR camera to take good pictures of food takes some time. You need to know how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO work together and how everything is linked.

But you’ll see that in a few weeks, you’ll have figured it out and be able to take pictures like a pro.

Advantages of food photography with a DSLR camera:

  • Very good image quality
  • Large image sensor
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Adaptation to any situation
  • Flexible
  • Wide range of settings

Disadvantages of food photography with a DSLR camera:

  • Camera knowledge is required
  • Operation complicated for beginners
  • Partly quite expensive

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My tip for the camera in food photography

Pro food photographers use a full-frame camera and a fast lens to take pictures. You would also like this combination. You would have to pay about $3.000 to $4.000 for the camera and lens.

If food photography is just a hobby for you, we recommend going with a cheaper option when you’re just starting out.

Our tip is to get a cheap DSLR camera and try out different things while taking pictures of food. Why do I tell you to take pictures of food with a cheap camera? Simple, because the lens, not the camera, is the most important part of a camera.


Resources to compare cameras online

The best compact cameras in 2022
Cheapest Full Frame Camera
The Best Mirrorless Cameras
The best camera phones in 2022


What is your opinion on what is the Best Camera for Food Photography? – let us know in the comments!

By Furoore team member Silvain

Silvain is a French/German national and has been with the Furoore Team since the beginning. He likes to write about various photography themes, especially food photography. If you leave a comment, he will come back to you to answer any questions you may have.

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