As a professional boudoir photographer I’m often asked by beginners what the best camera for boudoir photography is. In an effort to help you choose the best camera body for your boudoir photography business, I’m going to help you cut though all the marketing bullshit so you can choose the best camera for your circumstance.
To get right to the point, you’ll want to get yourself a full frame camera from either Canon or Sony if you currently don’t have equipment and need to start building your kit. These two manufactures currently have the best tech for working boudoir photographers at the moment.
The Best Cameras For Boudoir Photography At Each Price Point
- Under $1,000: Canon EOS RP / Sony A7II
- Under $1,600: Canon R8 / Sony A7 III
- Under $2,500: Canon R6 Mark II / Sony A7 IV
- Under $4,000: Canon R5 / Sony A7R V
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Since I’m in the Canon ecosystem, my main workhorse camera is the Canon R5. I’ve lost count at how many boudoir session’s I’ve captured with this body but suffice it to say that I have hundreds of hours of experience with this camera and very few complaints.
The image quality is fantastic, but be prepared for the extra storage requirements as the 45MP resolution (61MP on Sony) will quickly suck up a lot of hard drive space. I use a NAS to store all my clients images, so I don’t have to think about the extra storage requirements.
All in all, if you want to deliver the best images possible to your boudoir clients, either the R5 or A7R V will be what you want to get. In addition to the highest quality captures, Another reason I bought the Canon R5 was because the physical hardware was better quality when compared to the lower tier R6.
This was important to me because I like the highest quality EVF and LCD screens available so I can see my captures as well as I can when I’m out on a shoot. Nothing is worse then thinking you nailed a shot, only to bring it home and discover you missed your focus. Better screens help me catch my mistakes in real time so I can correct my errors and deliver better images to my clients.
The bottom line is that if you’re a full time boudoir photographer, the Canon R5 and Sony A7R V are tied for the best camera for boudoir photography. That said, if you’re just starting out or are short on funds you may want to take a small step down and consider the Canon R6 or Sony A7 IV.
Although you will notice a quality improvement between an R6 (great camera) and R5 (best camera) when you bring them into photoshop, your clients likely won’t be disappointed with the quality of either camera. This is because both bodies make very good images. One of them just does it tiny bit better for a lot more money.
Boudoir Photos I’ve Captured On The Canon R5
If either the Canon R5 or Sony A7R IV are too expensive for you, the Canon R6 or Sony A7 IV will capture images close enough in quality that your clients will still be blown away by the quality of their final photos. Frankly the quality you get for roughly a $1500 savings over the nicer model makes both the R6 and A7 IV really attractive options.
You’ll notice that the dynamic range and colors will be noticeably richer in these models when compared with the cheaper cameras mentioned below. Additionally, both of these models also give you in body image stabilization which I lean on quite hard when posing clients in dim natural light. This basically allows me to pose my subjects and drag the shutter pretty slow at like 1/2 sec. This is a great image enhancer that will allow you to bring your iso down and improve the quality of your clients photos for them.
In all honesty, the Canon R5 and Sony A7R IV may have more features then most boudoir photographers need. You don’t need faster auto focus when you’re taking pictures of women posing and holding still. Likewise you don’t need the increased burst and buffer rates like you might need as a wedding photographer. This is boudoir photography. If you fuck up or miss your shot, just ask your client to do it again. It’s for these reasons I think either the Canon R6 or Sony A7 IV are the dollar for dollar the best value camera for boudoir photography.
For a few hundred more dollars then the base line EOS RP, you can get better image and video specs by going with either the Canon EOS R8 or Sony A7III. Both of these cameras are pretty close in specs, and yet fanboys will still argue over the minor advantages each has over the other.
All in all both are probably tied for the best camera for beginner boudoir photographers or those looking to do this as a side hustle. If you’re serious about doing boudoir photography professionally, but you’re still on a shoe string budget, both of these cameras will offer a good compromise of really good performance at a very affordable price.
In other words, both of these models offer a good middle ground balancing cost, image quality, and hardware quality. These cameras would be a really good choice if want to deliver high quality images to your customers, but don’t have an extra $1000 to to move up to the Canon R6 or Sony A7 IV.
Although these cameras won’t deliver images as good as the flagship Canon R5 and Sony A7 IV, they will still be significantly better than the either the EOS RP or A7 II. Which are still plenty good enough to make good pictures people will want to buy.
To demonstrate the value of these camera bodies, the Canon R8 has the same sensor and processor as the more expensive Canon R6 Mk2. This will give you the same image quality as the more expensive camera but it will be slower with it lack of a mechanical shutter. In other words, don’t be afraid to choose these models if you’re on a budget. Both will deliver professional grade results your clients will appreciate.
The Canon EOS RP is the best entry level full frame mirrorless camera if you’re on a budget. For under a $1000 you get a full frame sensor with very decent dynamic range and resolution. You can even update the firmware on this camera to enable eye AF and other upgrades Canon has made to since the cameras were originally released.
Will the more expensive cameras capture better quality images? Absolutely! However in the hands of a skilled photographer this body is perfectly capable of creating stunning images for your clients that they will be able to print quite large.
Canon Vs Nikon Vs Sony for Boudoir Photography
If you’re already invested in another camera system like Nikon or Fuji, don’t be afraid to stay within your ecosystem as I’m sure the tech from these companies will be more competitive in the coming years. That said, since both Canon or Sony generally have the best cameras available to boudoir photographers at the moment, if you have to go with one brand or another right now, either of these brands would be a promising ecosystem to invest in.
Need More Help Building Your Boudoir Kit?
I hope you found this post helpful for choosing a quality camera body for your boudoir photography kit! Now you’re probably wondering what the best lens for boudoir photography is, or what boudoir photography lighting you should get to round out your kit. Perhaps you just want to learn more about boudoir photography equipment in general. All of these links should help you compliment your new camera body with quality gear. Once you have good equipment you can then focus on honing your technique so you can make the best photos possible for your clients!