Great question. With so many options currently on the market it can be confusing for any novice blogger, vlogger, cameraman or photographer alike. Here is a round up of 3 Small Cameras great for Bloggers, Vloggers, influencers, travelers or people looking for generally small (lightweight) yet powerful cameras.
For the longest time I shot everything on my IPhone. Because I always have my phone with me, and the current models have such excellent cameras, it really helped my creativity. I would easily take great pictures and then post them immediately with little hassle. But then, I began to look for more.
I saw photos taken from new angles utilizing optical zoom and wanted the great separation created by fast lenses. I craved greater in camera control and higher resolution pictures to keep up with my evolving editing skills. Last Fall I reached a breaking point, and decided to switch to a stand alone camera.
It needed to be portable, stylish, and totally up to the highest tech standards. I centered my search around APS-C cameras which, despite a smaller sensor than full frame cameras, take amazing photos and are cheaper and lighter. The will work for 99% of you out there.
In the end I went with the Leica CL (more below) but there are so many great options available. Below are three of my top pics, each one has pros and cons and will be right for different people.
I fell in love with the Leica CL the moment I picked it up. The solid German construction is a study in minimalism. Despite the lack of markings, the external controls are very easy to understand with a bit of practice. The internal menus are simple to navigate and learn. My favorite part is the incredibly vibrant viewfinder, which is so good that you’ll forget it’s digital.
The second thing that attracted me to this camera is its range of lenses. As a first lense I recommend the native Leica Summicron-T 23mm for street style and instagram friendly photography. If you want more control purchase the M adapter and you have access to a wide range of light weight M lenses with external manual controls that this camera works especially well with. My favorite and a great value is the Voigtlander 35mm f1.4. This Camera also works well with L mount lenses, and a bunch of these are just coming out because of a new partnership between Panasonic, Leica, and Sigma.
Another sneaky good feature about this Camera is the Leica Fotos APP. The app easily lets you connect the camera to your smartphone or tablet, either to transfer images or to use your phone as a remote control. Being able to transfer high quality images straight to my phone for Instagram is a game changer. Also the image quality is excellent and the sensor give the images an interesting color pallet only available on Leica.
This biggest problem is the price. The Leica CL is significantly more than the other options listed (but there are plenty of good deals on used ones). I have also not been terribly impressed with its low light functionality and the auto exposure settings (not something I use very much).
Overall, this has been the perfect camera for me. It is stylish accessory that delivers powerful performance in a small size.
This Fuji bring the same retro compact feel of the Leica at half the price. The biggest party piece of this camera is that the main LCD screen can be hidden to imitate a film camera. In place of the LCD there’s a small screen that imitates the little window on analog cameras that shows you what type of film is loaded. Don’t worry, with an electronic viewfinder this good you won’t miss the big LCD.
Despite its appearance the camera has the latest tech. The X-Pro3 has a new X-Trans 4 APS-C sensor with 26 megapixels resolution and a phase-detect autofocus system that works across the entire frame. Also, this camera can shoot 4k video. In another nod to the days of analog, there’s a film emulation mode.
The biggest thing holding this camera back is a menu system that’s not user friendly. Also, there’s not the widest selection of lenses available. Im the end I recommend this camera to the hipsters out there.
Sony’s a6600 is a compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that will work for everyone from soccer mom’s to professional documentarians. The Camera uses a processor based on Sony’s sports-shooting flagship Alpha9 with ‘Real-Time Tracking’ autofocus, one of the best autofocus systems on the market which is great for video. The camera is also very easy to use once you learn how to navigate its complicated menus.
This a great camera for vloggers. The reversible LCD makes it easy to see yourself while you shoot. The 5 axis stabilization is great for run and gun video. It shoots in 4k in a variety of different formats. Also, the Sony Alpha series has become the gold standard for digital video, so this easily falls in a second camera during a more advanced shoot.
My biggest complaint is that I just don’t like the form of this camera. The controls are cramped and hard to manage and it just doesn’t fit right in my hands. This is a shame because I love the endless amount of lenses and accessories available for this system. Also the super longer battery life is great. A lot of bloggers go this route, but it’s just not for me.
We can talk about camera’s all day, but the equipment is still less important than the person using it. As I went on a hunt for the best camera 2020 I was confronted with SO many options. Getting good at photography will take practice so you should take your camera everywhere. This is why it’s so important to find one that you like on both a practical and emotional level. It will be your constant companion.
Now that you’re shooting, it’s time to learn how to edit. Lightroom CC from Adobe is a great place to start. It features a great file management system as well as many of the editing tools you need. Lightroom is available as a mobile app so there is no excuse for not running all your photos through it. This is the really secret sauce for IG ready pics. Working from home? Master some great tips to keep yourself sane and productive.
Finally, make sure to search for inspiration. Go to photography museums and follow IG accounts that inspire you. Think about what makes these images special then try and incorporate these elements into your work. A well trained eye is the best tool you can possibly have!
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