Question: What’s the next best thing to a big bowl of pasta?
Answer: An amazing photo of a big bowl of pasta.
As the world becomes increasingly adventurous with both food and social media, we have seen a drastic increase in the quantity and quality of food photography.
Whether your goal is to simply document your delectable food choices as you dine out around town, or you wish to create painterly still-lifes that rival the masters, your smartphone is simply not going to cut it. Luckily, the team at Ted’s Cameras love their food almost as much as they love photography. Here are their top camera picks for food photography for all levels of budget.
The best camera for under $500: Sony HX90V
The Sony HX90 is a highly reliable compact camera and a favourite for under $500. The main drawcard of the HX90 is its long zoom lens – which also makes it a great camera for travel photography, so you’ll be in the perfect position to capture all your amazing culinary encounters while on holiday!
The back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor of the Sony HX90V is great for capturing clean and detailed images in low-light conditions, which is essential if you are taking food photos indoors at cafes and restaurants, without the aid of a tripod. The high-quality Zeiss lens starts at a wide 24mm, so if you are shooting for a blog or similar output, you can capture plenty of lifestyle shots as well as the tighter-crop required for dedicated food photography.
The best camera for under $1000: Canon EOS 200D MK II
Within this price range, you are really spoilt for choice with a range of high-quality and reasonably priced interchangeable lens cameras vying for your attention – but we believe the Canon EOS 200 Mark II makes a solid claim for the best Canon camera for food photography, below $1000.
We love just how easy the EOS 200 MK II is to use, allowing a complete beginner to pick it up and harness the power of a fully-functional Digital SLR. The image quality coming from the 24.1MP CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor combo is excellent – plus you’ll enjoy compatibility with a wide range of Canon EOS lenses to choose from as you grow as a photographer.
The Guided Display of this entry-level DSLR will help you take the first steps if you are not yet confident with the ins and outs of camera terminology, while the “Food” scene mode, which is one of many that you can choose from, adjusts your camera settings accordingly so you can focus on framing and shooting. If you are still learning the DSLR ropes, or just need a reminder, a photography workshop can be a great way to get up to speed on current terminology, learn lighting and framing tips, and have all your different camera modes explained and demonstrated.
The best camera for under $1500: Fujifilm X-E3
The Fujifilm X-E3 is undoubtedly one of the best mirrorless cameras for food photography. This camera delivers simply stunning image quality under any lighting condition, thanks to its 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro.
Like previous offerings in the Fujifilm X-Series, this camera consistently produces detailed, low-noise images with beautiful and vibrant colours. Food photography tips often advise that shooting in natural light is best, but this camera is great even for rainy days or night time dining, and ideal for snapping images from the cosy, dark interiors of the favourite small cafe that you frequent – the one that’s your little secret.
Where the X-E3 differs is its smaller size and simplicity of operation, features which are made possible by Fuji opting to include a highly-functional fixed touchscreen on the rear of the camera. This is a crowded market, but Fuji has every right to believe that with the X-E3, they’ve created the best digital camera for under $1500. If you want a compact camera that will constantly impress with the quality of its output but is small and light enough to be carried around at ease, we highly recommend the mirrorless Fujifilm X-E3.
The best camera for above $1500: Sony A7 Mark 3
The Sony A7 Mark 3 is a full-frame mirrorless camera, which is a full-featured and well-rounded offering from Sony, and one that goes toe-to-toe with its often bulkier DSLR competition. The 24.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor of the A7 Mark 3 is capable of capturing images with a remarkable 15-stops of dynamic range, throughout a broad ISO range. If you are shooting in darker conditions, the A7 Mark 3 makes it possible to confidently move around the scene and shoot without a tripod, thanks to its in-body 5-axis Image Stabilisation system.
As well as RAW image capture, which can be used to seek maximum image detail, this mirrorless camera features a top-of-the-range AF system, with which you can use the camera’s touchscreen to focus on any place within the frame for the ultimate in subject isolation. This camera can be extended to any photographic application and it is among the best mirrorless cameras available for food photography. Your food photography will be guaranteed to make stomachs grumble.
Food for thought
As you can see, when it comes to food photography there’s an excellent range of DSLR and mirrorless cameras to match all levels of skill and budget. The best way to choose the perfect camera for you is to do some research, and test a few out to see what you’re most comfortable with. Check out Ted’s guide to the best digital cameras for photography in 2019 for some more reviews, or drop by your local Ted’s Cameras store and trial some cameras for yourself.