Whether you’re a professional photographer or a hobbyist, car photography is a diverse genre. In addition to being extremely exciting and fun, it is also incredibly rewarding. If you’re creative, you can take pictures of stationary cars and car details, or you can capture cars moving at high speeds with your camera.
We’ve compiled a list of the 12 best cameras for car photography below because, without the right camera, you won’t be able to capture great shots.
There are several things that a good car photography camera should have. It is first necessary to have a camera with an autofocus system that is fast and accurate if you want to capture moving vehicles. There is also a useful mode for continuous shooting. Fast-moving cars can be captured in high detail with these two features.
Furthermore, the best car photography cameras have a large, high-resolution imaging sensor as well as the ability to change lenses. By using a variety of focal lengths, you will be able to create beautiful photographs.
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The most important factors to consider when buying
In order to choose the best camera for your car photography project, you should consider several factors. Keep these tips in mind when taking pictures of cars.
Find out what you need exactly
If you don’t know what you want, choosing a car photography camera can be overwhelming. This is why it is highly recommended that you start by understanding your goals so that you can narrow down your options.
Spend some time understanding the features you value the most. The first step is to determine what kind of photos you will take. Some examples are:
- A static, still photograph taken during a car show, car meet, or dealership
- Streetcar photography during the day and at night
- Shots taken while rolling
If you have this information, deciding what camera is right for you will be much easier.
When choosing a camera, it is advisable to go for one with a high resolution since it captures more detail that a camera with a lower resolution. In spite of this, it is essential to keep in mind that megapixel count is not the most important specification anymore.
Unless you’re printing big, the extra pixels are simply unnecessary, so it’s more important to consider lens quality, autofocus performance, and ergonomics.
Don’t forget that your kit is more than just a camera. The stock “kit” lens is fine for personal use, but for professional purposes, you will likely need several.
Your choice of lenses will generally depend on the type of shot you wish to achieve.
You might consider getting a versatile 24x70mm f2.8 lens for static car shoots and car shows, for instance. You will be able to take quality interior and exterior photos with this lens at 24mm. Different focal lengths can be achieved with zoom lenses.
Wide-angle lenses are useful when photographing the interior of a car. It will be easy to fit everything into the frame with this lens.
When shooting car portraits at night, an f1.8 lens with a wide-angle focal length is ideal. With a prime lens, you get more light, more sharpness, and less distortion than with a zoom lens.
The autofocus speed and image stabilization of the lens should also be considered.
Autofocus is fast
Depending on your skill level, you’ll be taking photos of either still or moving vehicles. Autofocus-enabled cameras are essential for taking sharp shots of moving cars. In order to take a high-quality picture, the camera can lock on to the moving subject and keep it in focus.
Speed of the shutter
The shutter speed on a camera can be adjusted, and a slow shutter speed conveys the impression of speed. If you’re driving a moving car and are capturing another moving car, you might take a rolling shot (“roller”). Because the other car is completely still relative to you, the background will remain blurry if the shutter speed is slow.
To capture quality, split-second moments, your camera should also have a fast shutter speed. The action will be frozen and motion blur will be eliminated if your camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second.
Almost all mirrorless cameras feature both mechanical shutters and automatic electronic shutters. In contrast, mechanical shutters have moving parts, meaning they produce a shutter sound and their shutter speeds are usually much faster than those of mechanical shutters. Even though electronic shutters can shoot fast-paced scenes faster, they produce strange results when used for fast-paced scenes.
A feature that enables you to photograph your car from different angles. If you want to take shots from an unusual angle, you will need an articulating or tilting screen. For tracking shots that take place at low angles where you cannot see through the viewfinder, articulating screens are convenient. A touch-sensitive screen is also available on modern digital cameras.
Stabilization of images
Will you take pictures of a car with a handheld camera? When you’re in a moving vehicle, will you take a picture out the window?
Automotive photography has a number of extremely common scenarios. A blurry photo or shaky video after a car show or car meet is the last thing you want.
The importance of image stabilization lies exactly in this fact. Taking photos is important, but recording videos is even more crucial.
Using in-body image stabilization (IBIS) on high-end cameras eliminates the need for an image stabilizing lens since the camera itself is responsible for eliminating camera shake.
Any camera with a decent battery life that will last you for hours is a good investment, no matter what type of photography you’re doing. For car photography, a good camera should be able to capture 500 to 1000 images on a single charge. The battery life of your device is affected by many factors, but this is a good measure to use.
It is more likely that car photography will take place outdoors, where there may be varying weather conditions. If the weather changes unexpectedly and becomes unfavorable, you need a weather-sealed camera. As a result, the interior of the camera can be protected from damage.
Car pictures can be easily shared through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections on most cameras. Some even have micro HDMI, USB-C, and a 3.5mm jack for connecting a microphone if you plan on shooting videos.
Best Cameras for Car Pictures
1. Mirrorless digital camera Sony Alpha A7
When it comes to budget cameras for taking epic car shots, Sony Alpha A7 is your best choice. Aside from being a great travel companion, this camera also comes with a full-frame sensor and many other features. Next, you have Sony’s reputation for smart innovations and reliable performance that always amazes its customers.
Sony keeps the camera compact despite having a full-frame sensor, even though it has a full-frame sensor. The camera can be operated single-handedly as a result. A superb camera from a performance perspective as well!
Although the Sony Alpha A7 is an affordable camera, the pictures it produces boast an exceptionally high level of detail with super-sharp color illustrations that make you want to take pictures of your car all the time.
2. Nikon D3500 DSLR
When it comes to car photography, the Nikon D3500 DSLR is an excellent choice for new DSLR users. An easy-to-use user interface and a long battery life make the Nikon D3500 DSLR an excellent choice for beginners. The Nikon D3500 produces images with outstanding detail thanks to its 24.2MP sensor.
The Nikon D3500 is not your best bet if you intend to take photos of your car in action, however. Its burst shooting speed is only 5 frames per second. As a result, this DSLR is perfect for taking some epic stationary shots of your car, but it isn’t ideal for taking images of your car while it is moving.
3. DJI Pocket 2
In terms of compact, pocket-friendly cameras for car photography, DJI Pocket 2 is the best choice. You can shoot car stills and videos on the go with it, especially for YouTubers and vloggers. Even considering the size of the Pocket 2, DJI’s stabilization is impressive. The camera takes 64MP stills, so they’re super clear.
Additionally, the DJI Pocket 2 comes with a bunch of useful accessories. The 15mm ultra-wide lens lets you capture the whole car as well as the backgrounds.
4. GoPro HERO10 Black
We don’t need to introduce GoPro HERO10 Black to you! Without a doubt, it’s the best action camera you can buy in 2023. A great choice for those looking to create some action content featuring their car, this action camera offers lots of exciting specs. If you mount the HERO10 Black on your car, you can create some really awesome POV shots thanks to the excellent image stabilization.
Additionally, you can create interesting shots with the GoPro HERO10 Black using creative modes like time-lapse. Also, you can add mods, like the Max Lens Mod that lets you lock the horizon from 360 degrees and get an ultra-wide view.
5. iPhone 13 Pro Max
It’s probably not obvious why I’ve included a phone as the best camera for car photography. This is solely due to the fact that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a great smartphone for car photography, even though it’s just a smartphone. Three lenses are available, each with a different focal length. Consequently, you can take photos of your vehicle from different angles and compositions.
As a result of the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s ultra-wide-angle lens, the resulting image includes the scenery in the background as well. Furthermore, the night mode allows you to capture excellent pictures even in the dark. Overall, the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers great quality for car photography, thanks to its 4K capability.
There are plenty of good cameras on the market in 2023, and the above-mentioned ones are some of the best. Your choice of camera will depend on your personal preferences and expectations. A Sony Alpha A7 Mirrorless Digital Camera, for example, would be the best choice if you are looking for a camera that can capture both still images and video of your car while it is in motion.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a compact camera you can take anywhere and which can take some amazing action shots with your vehicle, then the GoPro HERO10 Black is a good choice.