The 10 Best Cameras & Lenses for Fashion Bloggers (2020)
If you’re looking to start a fashion blog, you already know that one very important tool you’ll need is a good camera.
It will allow you to post beautiful pictures on Instagram and create awesome pins for Pinterest that attract lots of organic traffic to your blog.
But the problem is… you probably don’t know ANYTHING about cameras.
Don’t worry. In this post, I’ll teach you all about choosing the best camera and lenses for your fashion blog.
First, let me give you a sneak peek with our top 3 absolute favorites:
Table of Contents
- Our Top 3 Picks
- What’s The Best Sensor for Fashion Blogging? Full-Frame, APS-C or Micro 4/3?
- Best Full-Frames
- Best APS-C
- Best Micro 4/3
- What’s The Best Lens for Fashion Bloggers?
**Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Our Top 3 Picks
Now, let's talk first about sensor sizes.
Then I'll give you my top 10 cameras for fashion blogging.
And finally, you'll find info about lenses at the end of the page.
What’s The Best Sensor for Fashion Blogging? Full-Frame, APS-C or Micro 4/3?
The Good Thing About Full-Frames
As a fashion blogger, I’m sure that you will love full-frame sensors.
The intense Bokeh — the blurred background — effect, the ability to shoot in dim light, and the possibility of using telephoto lenses — that don’t distort the final image — for most situations.
This kind of blurred background is difficult to achieve with smaller sensors:
But it's not true that full-frames don't have their own disadvantages.
First, they’re quite expensive — their lenses are too—, they are heavier and they need to sacrifice some features if they want to have a smaller body.
Micro 4/3 Advantages
A full-frame sensor doesn’t make a camera automatically better than a Micro 4/3 even though the latter is the smallest sensor by far.
They’re just used for different purposes.
For example, many people think that a full-frame camera will ALWAYS be better than a Micro 4/3 in low light since the larger size allows them to have more pixels and “capture” more light.
However, since micro 4/3 are smaller, they allow for more gadgets to be installed inside the camera body.
This lets these cameras have amazing in-body stabilization (IBIS) that allows you to get sharp handheld images even if you set a slow shutter speed.
Also, they are a lot lighter — and the lenses even more—, and you can get super-fast shooting for a much cheaper price.
Not everybody needs to have a huge sensor.
Some people also don’t take into account the huge selection of versatile lenses that micro 4/3 cameras have. And they’re cheaper too.
So while I can only recommend multiple prime lenses for full-frame and APS-C cameras, for micro 4/3 you can just get one zoom lens that covers the entire focal length range you’ll need.
In other words, you just take one lens with you and BOOM. You are ready for your session.
So Which One's Best?
Not gonna lie, full-frame still looks the best for fashion blogging.
However, don’t feel bad if you can only afford a micro 4/3. They are my favorite for most situations. Mainly because they’re the most versatile cameras out there.
They can be just as good for low-light shooting and the only thing you will actually sacrifice is the Bokeh effect.
But if you’re not sure which one you’ll like more, APS-C is a good middle ground between the two. You can’t go wrong with it.
They offer a decent Bokeh effect and have a nice price/quality relationship.
APS-C will be the most common choice for total beginners that still don’t have the experience to pick a favorite.
Our Favorite: Sony A7R IV
If there’s a camera that really brought the “are DSLRs done for?” conversation to the table, it was the Sony A7R IV.
The 61 megapixels full-frame sensor in a relatively small and lightweight body is irresistible for all types of photographers.
Having such a huge amount of megapixels allows you to zoom in the picture digitally and crop it without losing any sharpness.
This can allow you to use a single wide-angle lens and then zoom in the picture during post-production without losing image quality.
You can use a 35mm lens but end up with a picture that looks like taken with a 50mm without people noticing that you just zoomed in and cropped it in Lightroom.
Additionally, it does a fantastic job capturing the texture details and colors of your cloth. This will make you love this camera as a fashion blogger.
Plus, it’s much easier to carry around than any full-frame DSLR, even though it comes with good in-body stabilization (IBIS).
The full-frame sensor combined with the IBIS will help you capture photos in extremely low-light situations without sacrificing quality.
The downside is that the menu and user interface are a bit annoying to handle.
But when it comes to performance, it’s probably the best for portrait photos, which includes fashion blogging.
The 5D Mark IV might not be as impressive and light as the Sony a7R IV, but it definitely gets the job done for a fair price.
But don’t let the price difference make you think this feels like a cheap camera. It’s still one of the most used full-frame cameras by professionals.
Even though it comes with 30 MPs instead of 61, you can still get high-quality pictures with a similar dynamic range and color depth.
Like almost every other Canon camera, it lacks image stabilization. But at least Canon does provide a wide selection of affordable lenses with stabilization you can choose from — you'll find them at the end of this article.
And even though this one is a DSLR, it’s not a lot heavier than the Sony (225g more).
On the other hand, it has more battery duration (up to 900 shots vs the Sony’s 670 shots).
If it wasn’t for the A7 RIV, this camera would be the full-frame king for portrait photography.
3. Canon EOS R
Full-frame sensors are not easy to come by. But the Canon EOS R is available for a more affordable price without sacrificing too many features.
It’s the first full-frame mirrorless from Canon, and it’s the most casual camera o the three we’ve reviewed so far.
It’s the only one of the three to come with a fully articulated screen. You can even take selfies with it or record vlogs more easily.
Its main downside is that it doesn’t come with 2 SD card slots like the competitors above. This makes it a deal-breaker for most professional photographers.
But it’s difficult to say if it would affect you as a fashion bloggers since it depends on how many photos you take per session.
If we compare photos taken with the Canon EOS R versus the 5D Mark IV, we can still see that the 5D is better due to the higher dynamic range and color depth.
But the Canon EOS R is still a good choice as a full-frame entry-level camera thanks to its price/quality relationship.
And you can use your Canon lenses later on if you upgrade to a 5D Mark V when it comes out.
What I love about Fujifilm cameras is their amazing color science. You’ll find that this is a huge deal for fashion bloggers like yourself.
Their colors are so good that many people don’t even change them in post-production.
When it comes to the X-T3, this is basically their flagship camera and the best one you can get if you don’t have the budget for a full-frame.
Actually, you could get the X-T4, which was released a short while ago.
However, you’ll pay a LOT more, and you’ll only get IBIS, a flip screen and focus bracketing — a feature that is made for macro shots and isn’t as important for fashion blogging.
That’s why I still prefer to recommend the X-T3. It’s price/quality relationship is much better.
And you can always get a lens with optical image stabilization (OIS).
With this camera, you'll get a great deal for top-quality photos and an APS-C sensor that is still pretty decent in low light.
This model is very similar to the X-T3 and X-T4 in terms of color science and sensor quality.
But it only offers half the shutter speed as the X-T3, so it’s not as reliable if you’re shooting in low light.
But the big deal is that for around half the price, you get basically the same image quality.
Yes, you read that right.
The reason why this one is so much cheaper is that it sacrifices features that add a lot of usability but that aren’t essential.
For example, it only has one memory card slot, it lacks environmental sealing to protect it from the rain and snow, it comes without a headphone port, and its viewfinder has a lower resolution.
But this is my favorite choice for starters, as you can begin to take breathtaking photos without having to sell your own kids.
Now we enter the territory of the affordable APS-C cameras you could get in 2020.
If your budget is really tight, your first option can be the Canon Rebel SL3.
For a long time, the Rebel lineup has aimed at total newbies that want a camera that is "good enough” for getting started.
Now, Canon tells us that this one is the smallest DSLR camera on the market. And it’s true, although it's not the lightest option in this list.
If you want a modern camera that you also want to use for video, this one's it. It can record 4k, has a flip screen and an external microphone port.
In conclusion, the amount of features it offers for the price is pretty good.
7. Nikon D3500
The Nikon D3500 is the best camera for photography beginners.
If you are on a really tight budget and don’t care about video performance, this camera will give you what you need to get started.
It has no articulating screen, external mic port and it can’t record in 4k because it's made to get you started in photography.
It’s an affordable APS-C camera with a sensor that lets you work in low light.
It might not be the fanciest and have the best colors or dynamic range, but it's better than an iPhone.
Also, the idea of this camera is to start using the manual mode and getting familiar with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These are all things you need to learn if you want to take professional-looking pictures.
If you have no idea how to handle a DSLR or mirrorless camera — especially on manual mode —, practicing with an affordable camera is a good idea.
Then, you can upgrade when you start feeling like the camera is limiting you.
Best Micro 4/3
Remember I said a full-frame camera doesn’t make it automatically better than a micro 4/3? Just check out this camera.
This is a very recent release that is taking the micro 4/3 market by storm.
Imagine a small, luggable camera that can take pictures at 50 MPs handheld (pretty close to the full-frame a7R IV’s 61 MPs) and 80 MPs on a tripod in Hi-Res mode through pixel shift.
This Hi-Res mode is perfect for fashion photography since you can get the best details and sharpness.
And that’s not all:
This camera also comes with the world-best stabilization. The IBIS allows up to 7.5 stops of compensation (if you use an Olympus Sync IS pro lens), or 7 stops with any other lens.
This means that you can take pictures in really low light conditions without having to increase the ISO. Thanks to this, it’s arguably better for low light than some full-frame cameras.
If you use it with a lens like the Olympus 12-100mm, you literally don’t need any other lens. You can take great pictures in whatever situation you find yourself in.
The versatility is simply not possible with any other kind of camera.
The downside? Well, umm… I honestly don’t know.
It’s not a full-frame and it’s a high price, I guess. But that’s not a downside on its own. As I said, full-frames are not better in every situation. And the price is well justified.
The only thing a full-frame can give you that this one can't is the Bokeh effect. This might be a deal-breaker for bloggers that really want the blurred background effect.
9. Panasonic G9
Panasonic cameras are in general great cameras for video too. So if you're considering also recording YouTube videos, these cameras can give you the versatility you need for both photos and videos.
The Panasonic G9 is not as outstanding as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, but it gets close and the name is easier to remember 😉
It can’t shoot stills at 60 fps, only at 20 fps. It can also shoot at 80 MPs in Hi-Res mode, but with more limitations than the Olympus.
Similarly, it can compete with almost any full-frame (excepting maybe the A7 III, and A7R IV), and it’s also great for video. It’s the only camera on this list capable of recording 4k at 60 fps.
As with most cameras with this type of sensors, it offers a great number of features for the price.
Some interesting ones that are unique to this model are the ability to take 4k pictures at 8 MPs from video and a 6k photo mode.
The latter mode is a bit tricky and probably not something you’ll always use, but it’s a nice addition to a camera that is already well priced.
But its most iconic features are related to wildlife photography.
It has intelligent autofocus that can detect animals and track them. This is irrelevant to fashion photography, but it’s great to capture the crazy things your cats and/or dogs do on a daily basis.
The IBIS is almost as good as the Olympus’s (6.5 stops instead of 7), which allows you to take high-quality pictures in low light.
As with any other micro 4/3, you can’t get the Bokeh effect many fashion bloggers love, but the camera is easy to carry with you.
It's also simple to use and gets you outstanding pictures.
The G95 is an alternative to the G9 with some key differences.
First, it doesn’t have the Hi-Res mode that allows the G9 to shoot 80 MP images.
In addition, its autofocus isn’t as fast and it’s not as good for wildlife photography.
But it compensates in other ways:
While the G9 can record in 4k at 60 fps, it can only do so for 10 minutes in a single take. But the G95 can record 4k at 30 fps for one hour or more.
This makes it more suited for videos that require a long format. But this might be irrelevant for most fashion bloggers.
Finally, take into account that this camera has less battery duration than the G9, and comes with only one memory slot.
What’s The Best Lens for Fashion Bloggers?
Fashion blogging is basically another way of saying portrait photography.
So, what’s the best kind of lens for portraits?
These lenses are the opposite of wide-angle lenses. They have a lot of zoom, which makes it more similar to the way human eyes see the world:
That's why telephotos are better for portraits: they get a result similar to reality.
So, specifically for full-frame, you should get one of each of the following (eventually):
These three make a range that will allow you to take pictures in every situation you might find during your shootings.
Why You Should Use Non-Zoom, Prime Lenses
It’s better to get a fixed, non-zoom lens (also called prime lens) because they're simply better.
Okay, I'm kidding, but not so much.
They have the fastest aperture, which allows the camera to capture more light and gives your images more sharpness and better image quality overall.
Zoom lenses are more versatile, but also much more expensive, bigger and have a slower aperture.
For most people, the famous nifty fifty (50mm) prime lens is an excellent choice to get started with full-frame.
This focal length is famous because it’s the “closest to the human eye”.
If you're using a prime lens, your photographer will have to get closer or further from you to get a different shot.
They can’t simply press a button and zoom in if they need it.
And that's fine. As I said, prime lenses are simply the best.
But you have two options:
- Start with a 50mm prime lens and slowly start collecting other prime lenses (this is the most price-effective way).
- Just get a more expensive zoom lens that you can use for different situations.
I’m a fan of the first method.
Prime lenses are lighter and higher quality. They’re less versatile but it’s not like you’ll use many different types of shots.
The 50mm on a full-frame should allow you to take pictures in most situations, especially when it’s outside.
For indoors or at home, you’ll find a wider focal length around 35mm more useful since you might run out of space inside.
Additionally, limiting yourself to a specific focal length will train you (or your photographer) to get better shots without using the hack of zooming in.
What Lens to Get for Each Sensor Size
Remember that the sensor size that you chose for your camera will change the final result of each lens.
The smaller the sensor, the more "zoomed in" it will look. In other words, the frame becomes as smaller as the sensor size.
Remember I told you that 50mm should be your starting lens for full-frame.
But what’s the equivalent for the other sensor sizes?
To calculate the equivalent focal length for smaller cameras, we have to divide these focal lengths by the crop factor of each sensor size.
It's not hard. I'll tell you the results for each one below.
APS-C sensors are 1.6x smaller than full-frame sensors. So we divide 50mm (our ideal focal length) by 1.6x, which totals around 30mm. So, you should look for a 30mm lens to get something equivalent to the 50mm on a full-frame.
For APS-C, you should start with a 30mm. But you should end up owning the following lenses:
These sensors are 2x smaller than full-frame sensors. So we divide 50mm (our ideal focal length) by 2, which equals 25mm.
For Micro 4/3, you should start with a 25mm. But you should end up owning the following lenses:
This is kinda complicated to understand if it’s the first time you read about focal length, crop factors, and sensor sizes.
But you got this! And I'll show you below the best lenses for each brand and sensor size.
Finally, get the fastest lens that you can.
Try to get a lens with an aperture of around f/1.4. It might not look like a lot on paper, but the difference between f/1.8 and f/1.4 is really noticeable.
The faster aperture (f/1.4) is a lot better. It will allow you to take photos with more Bokeh effect, more sharpness and a lot of room to work in low light.
Best Lenses for Each Brand
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens
- Sony SEL85F18 85mm F/1.8-22 Medium-Telephoto Fixed Prime Camera Lens, Black
- Canon simply focus, lens EF35mm F1.4L II USM full size support
- Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens
- Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras - Fixed
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
- Canon PSEVEMSH001LP 85mm f/1.2 EF L II Telephoto Lens USM
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM - DSLR Lens with IS Capability, Black - 2271C002
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
- Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED Fixed Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
- Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 20mm f/2.8D Fixed Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
- Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Nikon
- Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
Micro four-thirds 17.5mm
- Sigma 402963 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens for Micro Four Thirds, Black
- Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN Art (Black) for Micro 4/3
Micro four-thirds 25mm
- Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux Lens
- Panasonic Lumix G Lens, 25mm, F1.7 ASPH, Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds, H-H025K (USA Black)
- PANASONIC LUMIX G MACRO LENS, 30MM, F2.8 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, MEGA OPTICAL I.S., H-HS030 (USA BLACK)
Micro four-thirds 42.5mm
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
- PANASONIC LUMIX G LENS, 42.5MM, F1.7 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, POWER OPTICAL I.S., H-HS043K (USA BLACK)
Micro four-thirds zoom lens
Another option you have with micro 4/3 is to get the following lens that covers the entire focal length you’ll want to use for fashion photography at a constant f/2.8 aperture. This way you’ll forget about changing lenses. But remember that you can get faster prime lenses if you invest in 1 by 1:
Full-frame sensors will give you the best Bokeh effect. You know, the blurred background that is common on Instagram.
You should start with a 50mm prime lens if you're using one of these.
Micro 4/3 is the smallest sensor size. It won't give you the Bokeh effect, but it will give you a TON of features for a cheaper price.
You should start with a 25mm prime lens if you choose one of these.
APS-C is the middle ground between the two. This is recommended for beginners that still don't know which one to choose. They're also much more affordable than full-frames.
You should start with a 30mm prime lens if you choose one of these.
Finally, remember to tell your photographer — aka the husband or bf — to learn to use the manual mode.
It will be tough in the beginning and I can already tell that they'll get the exposure wrong almost every time.
But they'll learn and once they dominate the shutter speed, ISO and aperture triad, your pictures will look like out of this world.
Got any questions? Just ask below. And good luck 🙂