It’s easy to get carried away with looking at all the technical specifications and how many megapixels a camera has when looking for the best camera for food photography.

But in the end, the best camera for food photography comes down to user choice.

This short post can give you a few tips on what to look for in choosing your next camera for food photography.

What to look for in a food photography camera

When you first start looking for your next camera for food photography it’s important to make yourself a list of all the things which you think will be important and that you will actually need on your camera.

It’s great having the latest touch-screen, wi-fi enabled camera but it’s not really going to add much to your food photography, except cost.

There are a few things I would recommend to put on your list of things to look for in a camera for food photography. They are:

Articulating screen

There is going to be a time in your food photography career when your camera is placed in some really awkward position and you can’t use the viewfinder or the back of the camera to see what your camera is seeing.  

Having the ability to flip the back screen out and change everything from there is a great way of having to avoid balancing yourself on the edge of a table.

Ability to tether

An even better way around this problem is to get a camera which is capable of being attached to your computer or laptop and shooting tethered into software such as Adobe’s Lightroom or Capture One.

It lets you use your computer screen for your camera’s live view, letting you make small changes on a much bigger screen. Plus, having the ability to edit as you go along can be a real time saver.

Ability to shoot video

You don’t need a camera which can shoot broadcast quality video but if you can shoot 1080p at 24fps then it covers you if your client suddenly decides they want some short clips to use for their social media.

Best budget camera for food photography

Canon 80D

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2
AF Points: 45 (All cross-type)
ISO Range: 100-16,000 (expandable to 25,600)
Max burst rate: 7fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s, Bulb
Weight: 650g
Video: 1080p

To kick things off in our list of the best budget cameras for food photography is the Canon 80D.

It is coming up to three years old now, having been released in 2016, but this camera is still the leader in Canon’s “prosumer” market, sitting just behind the 5D lineup.

It features a 24.2 megapixel (which is way more than you will ever need) APS-C sensor, which means it has a crop factor of 1.6x, so an 18mm full frame lens will give you a 28mm lens on this camera.  

For food photography, you’re never going to be using the super wide end of your lens so you won’t ever miss this and it could actually work in your favour.

If you have a 50mm prime lens it gives you the same field of view as an 80mm, which is a very good focal length for food photography.

There is an articulating touch screen on the 80d which comes in really handy too when you’re stuck in a place that you can’t quite see your viewfinder.

Nikon D3500

Sensor: APS-C CMOS 4
Megapixels: 24.2
AF Points: 11 (1 cross type)
ISO Range: 100-25,600
Max burst rate: 5fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/4000s
Weight: 415g
Video: 1080p

The Nikon D3500 is the cheapest camera for food photography on our list.  For such a small package you get quite an amazing little setup.

A 24 megapixel APS-C sensor packed inside a body which weighs about the same as three bananas is insane, meaning you can carry this camera anywhere.  Out for lunch and want to photograph your food for Instagram? No problem!

It is missing quite a few of the extra features of the other cameras in this list, but if you think you will need an articulating screen and want to spend a little bit more on things like touch screen and wi-fi capability then the Nikon D5600 is also worth checking out.

Best mid-range camera for food photography

Nikon D7500

Sensor: APS-C CMOS 4
Megapixels: 20.9
AF Points: 51 (15 cross type)
ISO Range: 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-1,640,00
Max burst rate: 8fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s, Bulb
Weight: 720g
Video: 4k

Moving up into the best mid-range camera for food photography range now we get the Nikon D7500.

This features a fully weather sealed body, it doesn’t rain too much inside but if you spill a beverage (which is going to happen at some point on a food shoot) then you know your camera is going to be safe.

The main reason the Nikon D7500 has made our list though is it’s a great entry into 4k video capabilities. The video quality isn’t the best out there, but if you’re only shooting for YouTube and your client demands 4k, it’s definitely worth a look at.

It also has a 3.2” fully articulated screen so you don’t need to worry about getting stuck in any awkward positions.

Canon 6D

Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 20.2
AF Points: 11 (1 cross type)
ISO Range: 100-25,600 (expandable to 50-102,400)
Max burst rate: 4.5fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/4000s
Weight: 680g
Video: 1080p

This one is a bit of a curveball, surely you would expect the 6D mkii to be in this place?

For anybody who read any forums when the 6D mkii came out you will know it wasn’t received very well.

Basically, the image quality got worse in favour of adding some new features such as an articulating touch screen and wi-fi, so if you think you can live without these then you can pick a used version up for a third of the price of the mark 2.

What it gives you is a 20 megapixel full frame camera, capable of shooting video, which will give you amazing image quality – who cares if it’s seven years old?

Best professional camera for food photography

Canon 5Ds

Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 50.6
AF Points: 61 (41 cross type)
ISO Range: 100-6,400  (expandable to 50-12,800)
Max burst rate: 5fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s, Bulb
Weight: 845g
Video: 1080p

Into our best professional camera for food photography with this 50 megapixel monster from Canon!

It’s not a misprint, 50 megapixels is getting into medium format territory for a fraction of the price. When building the 5Ds, Canon focussed solely on producing the camera with the best image quality and they did a very good job.

Sure, it’s not going to win any awards for its max burst rate, it’s not got an articulated screen and you definitely don’t want to be shooting with it in low-light situations but if image quality is your number one priority, stop looking.

Nikon D850

Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 45.7
AF Points: 153 (99 cross type)
ISO Range: 64-25,600  (expandable to 32-102,400)
Max burst rate: 5fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s, Bulb
Weight: 915g
Video: 4k

When the Nikon D850 was released it was the first DSLR to receive a full score of 100 from DXO Mark.

With just shy of 50 megapixels, this is another huge sensor, which gives you plenty of room to crop into your images and loads of room to play with your images in post-production.

It does feature a tilting touchscreen rather than a fully articulated screen but you can’t win them all!

If you’re shooting lots of video it also boasts 4k capability.

Sony a7Riii

Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 42.4
AF Points: 399 phase detection
ISO Range: 100-32,000  (expandable to 50-102,400)
Max burst rate: 10fps
Shutter speed: 30-1/8000s, Bulb
Weight: 657g
Video: 4k


Our first entry from Sony in the list and it’s another huge amount of megapixels – 42.4 to be precise – all packed into a package which weighs the same as just six bananas (weighing things in bananas seemed apt for a food photography blog).

It features a massive 399 phase detection AF points, so if you’re using AF a lot you’re probably never going to miss a shot with this camera and 10 frames a second isn’t going to help you much for food photography but if you’re shooting other genres it could be a selling point.

It does, like the Nikon D850, only have a tilting screen but it does make up for that with its video capabilities.

If you are shooting a lot of videos, then this is your best bet, it shoots 4k with a clean hdmi out which allows you to record your video externally for the best quality.

My pick for the best camera for food photography

My pick for the best food photography camera is, drum roll please…

The Canon 80D.

Although this camera came in the budget category of our list, it’s my choice for the best food photography camera simply because it covers all the things that were listed at the beginning of this post and does it in the cheapest package possible.

Sometimes it doesn’t come down to how much money you spend or how many megapixels your camera is, as long as it has everything you need to do the job.

Hopefully, this post has given you some useful tips and ideas on which camera is the best for food photography.

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