Best Cameras for Street Photography

Back then, there used to be a limited choice when it comes to selecting the perfect camera for different types of photography. These days, picking a camera for street photography is such a luxury because never have there been so many amazing cameras, and that too at an affordable price. However, it might get confusing to select the right camera for street photography because of the choices one has nowadays.

different cameras on a rack

For street photography, unlike other types of photography, you don’t need a large bulky camera as it won’t serve you well. You need something, compact, lightweight, and high-quality that can assist you with your creative goals.

If you are confused about which camera to buy for street photography, you are in the right place. Our guide will help you choose the right camera according to your requirements and budget. Let’s get into it!

Five Qualities of the Perfect Street Photography Camera

 

Lightweight

As you begin with photography, you want to add the best camera, best lens, and ideal accessories to your camera bag. As time goes by, you will find your bag equivalent of a hiker’s backpack. However, when it comes to street photography, you want to go as light as possible because you don’t want to be too suspicious. A nice little camera, a good lens, and a camera bag is more than enough to enter the world of street photography.

You don’t want to look like this on the streets:

a person carrying many DSLR cameras

Compact

The ideal street photography camera is not just lightweight but also compact enough to be easily carried for a long time. Having a point and shoot camera is an excellent choice because it has a fixed lens and you don’t have to carry extra lenses.

When you are going to be out on the streets all day capturing photos, then you want a camera that is able to slide into your pocket when not in use.

person smiling and taking a picture from a DSLR

Non-Threatening

Models are used to face cameras with big lenses. But strangers on the street? Not so much. Your DSLR with a telephoto lens might give you incredible bokeh and an amazing shot of the subject, but it might not generate a friendly response. So, your best bet would be shooting with a smaller, less “professional” looking camera. This way, you will ensure that you are not threatening or bothering people being photographed.

It shouldn’t be like this:

a photographer clicking a photo using a big lens

Instead, go for something like this:

a person holding a compact canon camera

Not Expensive

Yes, the more you invest, the more quality you will get when it comes to buying cameras. However, if you are just starting out with street photography, you don’t want to buy the most expensive camera out there. But it also doesn’t mean that you should compromise on the image quality – you should get your hands on a camera that you can afford to lose. Yes, you heard it right. It has happened with a lot of street photographers that they damaged their cameras on the streets while capturing all those amazing shots.

There are infinite choices for cameras, ranging from very cheap to super expensive. If you are a beginner, you are better off with an inexpensive camera that provides good shots – simple!

Following are some of the best cameras for street photography that many street photographers recommend and also use for their street photography:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Fujifilm X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera - Dura Silver (Body Only)
Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) - Silver
GR III Digital Compact Camera, 24mp, 28mm f 2.8 Lens with Touch Screen LCD
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm STM Lens - WiFi Enabled
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video, Flip Screen & 16-50mm Lens - E Mount Compatible Cameras - ILCE-6400L/B
Sony RX100 III 20.1 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/1-inch Sensor and 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Zoom Lens (DSCRX100M3/B)
Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Digital Camera - Wi-Fi Enabled

Our Top Picks

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera

If you want the best of the best and have the budget for it, then look no further and get your hands on this masterpiece! Fujifilm X-Pro3 mirrorless digital camera has a hidden tilted LCD touchscreen. While this might be a bit weird for some people who instantly want to review their photos, pro street photographers love this feature as they can focus on the scene in front of them instead of the screen.

Don’t worry, the LCD isn’t gone – it is there, but hidden so you can focus on your shot and scene. When you need to review a photo, you can easily tilt the screen down to see it. Apart from its hidden screen feature, this camera features a refined and smooth metal body along with a solid grip and mechanical controls that are so much satisfying!

Another best thing about it is its weight (only 17.4 ounces without a lens attached), which means it won’t break your arm either, making it an ideal choice for a long day of shooting.

Inside its retro body is a very modern camera that will simply amaze you when you are doing street photography. It is equipped with a 26-megapixel X-trans APS-C sensor and a powerful X processor that offers splendid image quality and performance. With its several great features, you won’t find this camera by Fujifilm lagging in anything.

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Let’s talk about Fujifilm’s another beast of a camera, the X-T3. If you are looking for interchangeable lens feature, improving your dynamic range, better ISO, and capability of recording in 4K at 60FPS, then this camera is the perfect choice for you. Although it has an APS-C sized X-trans sensor, it’s upgraded for even greater performance than X-T2. Its upgraded sensor comes with 26.1MP, and the base ISO has been boosted from 200 to 160 along with an improved dynamic range.

This camera offers a total of 425 autofocus points, which means it will do a better job focusing in both general and following moving objects with continuous autofocus. One of the best things about its autofocus is that it works as great in low light as it does in ideal lighting conditions. If you love doing street photography in the night, then the X-T3 would surprise you with its remarkable night shots.

Also, Fujifilm has improved its speed by 1.5 times, making it a perfect choice for street photographers, sports photographers, and wildlife photographers. Photographing portraits is one of the best things you can do in street photography, and with Fujifilm X-T3, you will love shooting a lot of street portraits – thanks to its face and eye detection.

GR III Digital Compact Camera

Although the GR III digital camera lacks a lot of traditional features one would expect from the best street photography camera, it remains a popular choice with street photographers, and that too for good reasons. First of all, it doesn’t have any viewfinder, and it comes with a fixed 28mm f/2.8 lens that some might find to be a limiting factor. Secondly, its battery life isn’t suited to a long day of shooting.

Now, let’s come to its advantages that make it one of the best cameras for street photography. First and foremost, it offers exceptional image quality – thanks to its incredibly sharp lens. Its 28mm focal length doesn’t work for all types of photography but is an excellent choice for shooting on the streets. It has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor that produces detailed, sharp, and rich images that you would definitely love!

If you are one of those photographers who love capturing nightlife of the streets, then you can count on its sensor-shift stabilization system for providing sharp results in low light. For shooting long exposures, the camera also has a built-in neutral density filter.

You won’t believe how compact this camera is (just 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches), yet it packs so much in it. You can stash it in a jacket pocket when not using. If you are interested in buying this as your primary camera for street photography, then we recommend getting a spare battery or two as well.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm STM Lens – WiFi Enabled

If you were waiting to read the review on a DSLR camera for street photography, then here it is. Canon has upgraded the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 by adding many of the key features in it that we normally find on Canon’s higher-level broad-spectrum models. To start off, it has a 9-point phase-detection AF system with Dual Pixel CMOS AF that doesn’t just provide enhanced speed but also boosts the overall performance – making it an excellent choice for street photographers.

It is equipped with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor coupled with the latest DIGIC 7 image processor that takes your photography and videography game to the next level.

It has a 3-inch 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD on which you can review your shots taken and decide if they are good enough to go on social media or not. Another best thing about this DSLR camera by Canon is that it comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity, making it easy to transfer your photos instantly to your phone, tablet, or laptop wirelessly.

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera

Sony has never disappointed its fans and the wide community of photographers when it comes to remarkable picture quality and performance. This one is a mirrorless camera that has some of the same qualities as Sony’s larger full-frame cameras. For instance, it features a tremendously accurate and fast focusing system that recognizes and tracks subjects with the help of Artificial Intelligence – even locking on to a subject’s eyes.

While some seasoned street photographers might argue that manual focus is best for capturing moments on the street, having confidence in the technology (camera’s autofocus) frees your mind to concentrate on what is happening around you and capture the best shots.

If you are looking for a compact, lightweight, affordable camera that is flexible enough to handle everything from street photography to sports photography, Sony Alpha A6400 is very hard to beat.

Sony RX100 III 20.1 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera

What many street photographers love about Sony RX100 III is its compact form factor, high performance, wide maximum aperture, and high speed f/1.8-2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens that is equivalent to 24-70mm. It is equipped with an advanced 20.1 megapixel 1-inch Exmor BSI CMOS image sensor that is coupled to a cutting-edge BIONZ X image processor, delivering full HD 1080p 60fps video recording, clean HDMI output, a maximum full-res burst rate of 10 fps, and sensitivity settings up to ISO 12800.

Other top features include auto HDR, built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization, 1,440k-Dot Tru-Finder Pop-Up Electric Viewfinder,Wi-Fi connectivity, Auto Object Framing,Manual Control Ring, Multi-Interface Shoe, and a built-in ND filter.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Digital Camera packs ultra-high performance and quality in a compact, brilliant design that is best suited for street photographers who want a lightweight camera without compromising on their image quality. It features a 12.8-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS image sensor coupled with a powerful DIGIC 6 Image Processorthat produces sharp results.

It has all-new 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens with OIS that allows you to capture photos with stunning blurred backgrounds and outstanding subject details.

Other top features:

  • Remote Shooting
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in NFC
  • Full HD Video
  • Bright 3.0-inch Tilt-type Touch Panel LCD
  • Dual Control Rings
  • 9-Blade Aperture
  • Full Resolution Continuous Shooting and High-Speed AF
  • 31 AF points

Final Verdict

If you want to become a street photographer, you should have all the essential gear for street photography, which includes a good camera, lens, bag, and a spare battery or two. All the cameras that we have mentioned above are highly recommended by many street photographers mainly due to their top-notch performance, compact size, and quality – you can opt for the one that aligns perfectly with your requirements and budget.