What is the best camera for street photography?

May 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

What is the best camera for street photography?

May 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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For years we’ve been told that “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, and to a point it’s true.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t ensure you always have the most suitable camera with you before you head out the door.

In this video, street photographer Sean Patrick Allen of Rambles with my Camera discusses what makes the perfect camera for street photography.

YouTube video

As you might’ve guessed, there isn’t one.  Or possibly to be more precise, there are many, but which is perfect for each person is going to depend entirely on the individual, the types of images they want to create, their personal preferences and possibly even the typical weather conditions where they live.

There’s just no one-size-fits-all camera for street photography.

I’ve used more than a dozen different digital bodies, at least as many 35mm SLRs, a couple of medium format cameras and god knows how many different lenses for street photography over the years, along with a few different mobile phones, but I always seem to end up going back to a 50 year old Nikkormat FTn, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S, and a roll of Ilford FP4+.

What do you use to shoot street photography?  Do you love it?  Do you wish you had something else instead?  Let us know in the comments

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to “What is the best camera for street photography?”

  1. Justin Akard Avatar
    Justin Akard

    Holga

  2. Alex Ragen Avatar
    Alex Ragen

    IMHO, it’s the Fujifilm X100s, a small retro-looking APS-C camera with a fixed 23mm lens. It does not scare people like an SLR does, so it’s very easy to blend in, very important for street photography.

  3. Greg Snell Avatar
    Greg Snell

    The one you have on you. Nikon, Canon, iPhone. All take great pictures it’s the creativity of the photographer that makes the photo.

  4. foto2021 Avatar
    foto2021

    Any camera that is small, light and inconspicuous, as long as it gives you image quality that you are happy with.

    Mine is a Sony RX100. Previously I used a Leica M9 with a 35mm f/2 Summicron v4.

  5. Albin Avatar
    Albin

    Memorable street photography is mainly good luck in catching an upredictable instant – “luck” in the sense of preparation meeting opportunity. Technology is only important to the extent it prevents that.

  6. DewJam Avatar
    DewJam

    This is not an attack at you at all @Alex Ragen:disqus but in my experience the camera is not what scares people but the projection of ones self is what has the ability to scare or put your subject at ease. The name escapes but I believe it was Joel Meyerowitz that was photography in rougher neighborhoods with a small camera and ended up getting harassed and possibly beat up. After this experience he returned with a large format camera and was able to get amazing portraits because his presents was known.

  7. Sean Allen Avatar
    Sean Allen

    Thank you John for sharing my post I am so glad to have found DIY Photography – Sean