Shopping Tips: Best Cameras and Lenses for Fashion Blogs in 2017

Great photography is a must for any successful fashion blogs. With so many options available in today’s market, it’s hard to decide what cameras and lenses you should get for your fashion blog. Today, I want to share a dummy guide to  picking the best cameras and lenses for fashion blog in 2017.  I will explain various options based on my experience and provide picture examples to illustrate the differences.

Cameras and Lenses mentioned in this post:

I own a Sony Alpha a7ii and a Sony 35mm f1.4, and I shoot most of my blog pictures with this combo.

Best Cameras for Fashion Blogs in 2017

When you are shooting photos for a fashion blog, the number one feature you need is the ability to shoot in aperture mode.  To achieve a blurry background, you usually need a DSLR.  However, in 2017, it’s possible to get a blurry background or a nice bokeh with a point-and-shoot camera as well.

Here are two cameras I like and have used for my fashion blog:

The Best Point-and-Shoot Camera for Fashion Blogs in 2017

Sony Cybershot RX100 V

Sony Cybershot RX100V Best Camera for Fashion Blogs in 2017

If you don’t want to invest more than US$1000 in a camera and lenses for your fashion blog, Sony Cybershot RX100 V will be your go-to camera. Compact and multifunctional, this Sony Cybershot RX100 V is a point-and-shoot camera perfect for any serious fashion bloggers.

I love Sony Cybershot RX100V for fashion blogs due to many reasons:

  1. Compact

    This is the smallest camera you can find in 2017 that lets you shoot in aperture mode. Weighing at just 0.6 pounds, this tiny Sony cybershot RX100V trumps all other DSLR’s that typically weigh about 4-5 pounds.

  2. All-in-one lens

    The built-in lens is suitable for both portrait and landscape shots. With a 24-70mm focal length, you can zoom in to snap a detailed shot and zoom out to get a good landscape shot. This lens also allows you to shoot at f1.8 to get a nice blurry background.

  3. Aperture mode and Shutter-speed mode

    Usually, point-and-shoot cameras don’t come with aperture mode or shutter-speed mode. This difference is the main reason why people usually opt for a DSLR for fashion blogs. However, in 2017, some point-and-shoot cameras let you shoot in aperture mode to achieve a blurry background.

  4. RAW or JPEG

    If you are going to edit your photos later, it’s very important to shoot your images in RAW. This is because RAW image format captures more details and data compared to JPEG. This point-and-shoot camera from Sony lets you shoot in both RAW and JPEG formats.

Here are some pictures I shot with a Sony Cybershot RX100V:

Best Cameras and Lenses for Fashion Blogs in 2017

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The Best DSLR Camera for Fashion Blogs in 2017

Sony Alpha a7ii

Sony Alpha a7ii mirrorless camera body

I take majority of my fashion blog pictures using a Sony Alpha a7ii.  I chose this camera mainly for two features that other cameras cannot offer. These two features help me take sharper pictures.

  1. 5-axis Image Stabilization

  2. Focus Peaking

Here are some pictures I shot with a Sony Alpha a7ii:

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With so many options in the market, what DSLR camera body should you choose for your fashion blog? Personally, I gravitate toward mirrorless and full-frame camera bodies.

What does ‘mirrorless’ mean?

Mirrorless DSLR camera bodies are less bulky and more compact than traditional DSLR camera bodies.

What does ‘full-frame’ mean?

When it comes to the camera’s sensor size, you are typically choosing between a crop sensor (APS-C) and a full frame sensor.

A full-frame sensor allows you to get more background, while a crop sensor “crops” off a lot of background from your image. If I stand at the same location to shoot this picture using the same lens, I will get more background using a full-frame camera body compared to using a APS-C camera body:

Best Cameras for Fashion Bloggers in 2017 - Full frame vs. Crop Censor

If you are set on getting a DSLR camera for your fashion blog, then continue to read this to see my lens recommendations!

Best Camera Lenses for Fashion Blogs in 2017

Before diving in, you need to understand these two technical terms about lenses:

  1. Focal Length

    The focal length of a lens ranges from 16mm to 300mm+.  Typically, the smaller the number is, the more background you get in a picture. In other words, you have to stand way further to get a full body picture with a 85mm lens than with a 35mm lens.

    When choosing lenses for your fashion blog, make sure to pick a lens with a minimum focal length of 35mm. This is because a focal length shorter than 35mm will create distortion and make your body look disproportional.

    However, if your camera body has a crop sensor, you need a shorter focal length to achieve the same result. For example, a 35mm lens on a crop sensor camera is equivalent to a 50mm lens on a full frame camera.

    A prime lens has only one focal length, while a non-prime lens has a range of focal lengths. When I was shopping for lenses, I only looked into prime lenses because of higher quality images.

  2. F-stop

    To achieve a nice blurry background in all your fashion blog’s photos, you need a small f-stop.  When shopping for a lens, look for a f-stop that’s lower than f 2.0.

I personally own a  Sony 35mm f1.4  because it gives me enough background and a nice blur, and it is suitable for both detailed photos and lifestyle photos. If you are only getting one lens, get this one.

To help you better understand the different types of lenses, here are the pictures I shot with various lenses.

Sony 35mm f1.4

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When I shot this picture, the photographer stood 3 feet away from me to achieve this full body image.  However, if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, you will have to stand 5 feet away to get the same photo.

This lens has a f-stop of 1.4 and gives me a nice blurry background.  However, as you go up the focal length, the same f-stop will give you a better blur or bokeh. Don’t know what I meant? Let’s see another example:

Sony 85mm f1.4

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I shot this picture with a 85mm f1.4 lens. Notice the difference? The blurry background with this lens appeared to be much smoother and buttery compared to the 35mm f1.4 lens. However, standing at 3 ft. away from me, the photography was only able to get my upper body.

If you are only getting one lens for your fashion blog, I do not recommend a 85mm lens because you have to stand so far away in order to get a full body shot.

Sony 50mm f1.4

So what about 50mm? I think either 35 or 50mm will work for fashion blogs. However, you lose the flexibility to shoot any landscape photos if you only own a 50mm lens.

This is a picture I took using a Nikon 50mm F18 on a Nikon D80. The blur was buttery, however, the photography had to stand 7 ft away from me to achieve this effect.

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Sony 24mm f1.8

I think 24mm f1.8 can make a good portrait lens if you know how to correct distortions. However, a 24mm lens is good for landscape photos, and I will not recommend this lens for fashion blogs.

Here are some pictures taken using Sony 24mm f1.8:

Sony 24mm f1.8 Best Lenses for Fashion Blogs in 2017

Sony 24mm f1.8 Best lenses for Fashion Blogs in 2017

As you can see, these pictures accentuated the background more than the details of my outfits. If you have money to spare, I will say go for a 50mm f1.8 and a 24mm f1.8 camera lens combo for your fashion blog.  But if you are investing in only one camera lens, I will suggest you to get a 35mm f1.4 or a 35mm 1.8 camera lens.

These are my recommended cameras and lenses for fashion blogs in 2017. I hope you find this post helpful! If you have any questions, please comment below!

Smile and style on!

SK

 

 

 

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