The Best Cameras and Lenses For Different Styles Of Photography

Trends come and go, but the best cameras and lenses stick around and leave their mark. Here’s a look at just eight pieces of gear that prove their worth time and again. The post The Best Cameras and Lenses For Different Styles Of Photography appeared first on 500px.

The Best Cameras and Lenses For Different Styles Of Photography

What are the best cameras and lenses for specific shots? That’s not always an easy question to answer. The last few years have brought a wave of transformation in the field of digital photography, from the emergence of high-quality smartphone cameras to the mirrorless revolution. With so many options available to rent or buy, it’s an exciting time to be a photographer. Trends come and go, but great cameras and lenses stick around and leave their mark. Here’s a look at just eight pieces of gear that prove their worth time and again.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Landscape Photography>

If your specialty is landscape photography, then we recommend the Sony a7R II body.

When exploring faraway regions, a mirrorless camera is a wise choice. Unlike a heavier DSLR, it’ll keep you light on your feet. The Sony a7R II is a fantastic camera for landscape photographers because it’s small but powerful. With an impressive dynamic range, a 42.4-megapixel image sensor, and low-light capabilities, this weather-sealed body will work in almost all conditions and climates you can imagine.

This camera also has extended focus points, so all your details–from foreground to background to the edges of your frame–will be crystal clear. It’ll also work well in low-light situations (e.g., photographing the aurora over Iceland or the starry skies over the national parks of the USA).

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Street Photography?

If your specialty is street photography, then we recommend the Ricoh GR II body.

best cameras - by train by bianca vasconcellos on

This slim and inconspicuous point-and-shoot fits in your pocket, allowing you to blend into the scene. Don’t be fooled by its humble appearance: this camera delivers excellent quality images in a small package. It combines the convenience of a smartphone with the performance of a much larger setup.

It’s also fast–the autofocus system locks in a subject in 0.2 seconds–so you won’t miss any of those fleeting “decisive moments.” It’s one of those tried-and-true everyday cameras for people who live and breathe street photography. As a bonus, it has Wi-Fi functions, so you can connect and share your photos as soon as you take them.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for City & Archiitecture Photography?

If your specialty is city/architecture photography, then we recommend the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens.

best cameras - Roma. Piazza S.Pietro by Carlo Braghiroli  (carbrag) on

This high-speed ultra-wide zoom lens for Canon and Nikon DSLRs works well for landscapes, cityscapes, and interiors. It also minimizes common issues with ultra-wide lenses, like distortion, chromatic aberrations, and blur. Additionally, it comes with a built-in lens hood to prevent glare.

One of this lens’s most buzzed-about features is its vibration compensation, which helps you avoid camera shake when shooting handheld. It’s unique for a lens of its kind, and it proves especially useful if you want to incorporate motion (e.g. passing pedestrians) in your city scenes without blurring the architecture.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Aerial & Drone Photography?

For aerial photography, we recommend the DJI Mavic Pro.

best cameras - A dream within a dream by Emilie Ristevski on

This portable personal drone delivers the quality and flight range you’re used to seeing from its larger cousins. It has a flight time of about 27 minutes, much longer than you’d expect for a drone that weighs barely above one and a half pounds. It can also race at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

While this drone comes with a designated remote, you can also fly it using the DJI Go app on your smartphone. Bonus: it recognizes you from the air! Simply wave your arms to catch its attention, then make a box with your hands to snap a selfie.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Portrait Photography?

If your specialty is photographing people, then we recommend the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens.

best cameras - Kayla - Portland, OR by Nesrin Danan on

This wide-angle prime lens is perfect for environmental portraits. Its most-touted features include its accurate autofocusing and a bright maximum aperture. Love those sharp, high-contrast portraits set against a magical bokeh? This is the lens for you. Use a shallow depth of field to separate your subject nicely from your background.

This one’s also good for various lighting setups, and it excels in situations where other lenses might struggle, like strong direct sunlight. As part of Sigma’s “Art” line, this lens prioritizes artistic expression, giving users the tools they need to create dreamy portraits that stand out from the crowd.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Wildlife Photography?

If your specialty is wildlife photography, then we recommend the OM-D E-M1 Mark II body.

best cameras - Puppy eyes by Lefteris Kachramanis on

This mirrorless body has a Micro Four Third (MFT) sensor, meaning that it’s small and lightweight–perfect for nature and animal photographers. Because it offers to 5.5 stops of image stabilization, you can capture images while you’re on the move, without having to stop to set up your tripod (and potentially missing your chance).

This camera is durable and weather-sealed, so you can feel confident taking it into harsh climates or rugged wilderness. Turn on Silent Shutter Mode to avoid disturbing any wildlife. Switch to Pro Capture Mode to shoot continuously and increase your chances of capturing that once-in-a-lifetime action shot of an animal in motion.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Travel Photography?

If your specialty is travel photography, then we recommend the Canon EOS 6D body.

Rainbow dome by YUTO YAMADA on

This full-frame DSLR is made for everything from landscape to wildlife photography, but don’t discount it for travel shots. With a built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, it’ll help you navigate new places easily, so you can wander off the beaten path to find those “hidden gem” locations. It also has a silent shutter so you can move around without drawing attention to yourself.

This best-selling camera is lightweight when compared to similar models and has a stellar ISO range for low-light, nighttime shots. It’s been around since 2012, and for good reason. This is one durable workhorse camera that’ll last for years.

What’s the Best Camera and Lenses for Fashion Photography?

If your specialty is fashion photography, then we recommend the Nikon D750 body.

Orange by Octavian Craciun on

This one’s another all-around camera, and while it’s fantastic for landscapes as well, it also shines in the studio. While this is a sturdy full-frame body, it’s easy to hold and won’t weigh you down. What sets this camera apart is that it’s fantastic for video as well, and you can switch effortlessly from stills to footage.

The D750 also includes convenient in-camera editing including Quick Retouch and Filter Effects, so you can get the look you’re going for before you even enter the post-processing phase. This camera captures color and skin tone beautifully, making it especially well-suited for portrait and fashion shoots.

What’s your preferred camera and lens? Tell us in the comments!

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Creative self-portraits at home

Licensing Contributor Dahyembi Neal gives tips and tricks to creating beautiful creative portraits that you can take at home using a few simple lighting techniques. The post Creative self-portraits at home appeared first on 500px.

Creative self-portraits at home

This tutorial is part of the “No Place Like Home” Campaign. We’ve partnered with some of our to create these “conscious living” tutorials and Quests to encourage you to pick up your camera, maybe learn a new skill, and continue to do what you love despite these difficult times.

This tutorial was created by Dahyembi Neal, a top Licensing Contributor based in Chicago and Milwaukee, USA. She specializes in authentic portraiture.

The Quest associated with this tutorial is sponsored by Brevite. Learn more about Brevite here.

Let’s see your creative portraits! Practice your self-portraiture and then submit your photos to the Creative Portraits at Home Quest and you could win a Roamer II Backpack by Brevite.

Without access to a studio, models, or the outdoors, we have to adapt and become creative when we think about how we can dynamically stage shoots from home. This can feel somewhat limiting, however, enhancing your self-portraits is not as difficult to do as you may think.

What you will need:

  • A camera, any kind will do
  • A tripod, or somewhere stable you can position your camera
  • A self timer, wireless remote, or a program that allows you to view your camera through your computer or mobile phone such as EOS Utility
  • A window for natural light, one or two lights, lamps, and material that you can use as a softbox
  • A reflector, or material you can use to reflect light such as aluminium foil or white paper
  • A sheet or textured fabric, you can use an interesting texture from a shirt or curtain to help spice up your backdrop
  • Household materials such as saran wrap, aluminum foil, or glass objects that you can use as props

Getting started:

For this series of at home portraits I used my Canon Rebel T5I with my 18-55mm kit lens. You do not need a professional camera to take fun portraits at home, you can use whatever is accessible.

I mounted my camera on a tripod, but you can also use any steady surface, such as a table. I then connected my camera to my computer using a program called EOS Utility. This allows me to see myself on my computer screen, since I don’t have access to my viewfinder. You can also use a similar tool on your mobile phone—most camera brands have apps in the iOS and Google Playstore. I would highly recommend using one of these tools because it will help you when trying to position yourself within the frame.

Helpful Resources:
The Best Camera & Lenses for Different Types of Photography
The 50 Best Photos Taken With Canon Cameras

Lighting your portraits at home:

Natural light:

Natural light can give your portraits a soft glow. It is a great light source to use when you don’t have any available lighting equipment or accessible lamps. With natural light, you have a little less control over where it is directed, so paying close attention to how you position yourself within the frame is important.

A reflector is a great tool to use to help direct natural light and ensure you are adding light where it’s needed. The reflector will help bounce light onto areas of your face that may appear dark, providing you with a more evenly lit portrait.

If you don’t have access to a professional reflector, you can substitute white paper for it. This will softly bounce light onto your face. You can also use a mirror or aluminium foil, which will directly reflect a stronger light onto your face.

One light setup:

Using one light will create a more dramatic self portrait. I would encourage you to use something that will help diffuse the light to give a softer and more even lighting on your portrait. You can use a softbox to do this, or incorporate a fabric lampshade, which will work similarly to a softbox.

I set the light at eye level, directly in front of my face to help fill out the lighting on either side. I then incorporated a reflector to help fill out and light the underside of my face to achieve even lighting.

Two light setup:

Using two lights allows you to completely fill your portrait with light. The set up is a little different from a one light setup. When using two lights, I positioned them both above my head.

It’s always good to use a reflector when you can, because it will bring light to areas that may not be lit as well. In this case, I used a reflector to light the underside of my face.

Self Portraits by Dahyembi Joi on

Flash or external flash:

Most cameras come with a built in flash, or if you have an external flash lying around, this could be a good time to test it out. External flashes are more powerful than built in and can give a nice burst of light, but a built in flash will also work perfectly in this situation.

This is not a technique I use often, but is something that can produce some fun results that are on trend with the ‘disposable camera’ or ‘Polaroid’ aesthetic.

Self Portraits by Dahyembi Joi on

Styling your shoot:


You can use almost anything as a backdrop. Many of us may feel somewhat trapped when using our homes as backdrops for fresh work, however, you can really use your imagination to spice up your portraits.

I used a sheet for one of my backdrops, but I also played around with textured, silky shirts to see how it would work with my portrait.

I have a backdrop stand from my professional shoots but if you don’t, you can simply tape your makeshift backdrop to a wall, or hang it over a shower/curtain rod for a similar look.


Props are a great way to add extra dimension to your self portrait and get creative with what you’re shooting. I first used a teardrop gem. This distorts the light and can sometimes cause a rainbow to appear as the light shifts through the prism.

If you don’t have access to a teardrop gem, you can use alternative glass objects to distort your portrait. Glass with any type of bend in it or shooting through a glass filled with water can also add interesting distortion to your image.

Next, I used plastic wrap. Plastic wrap (or Saran wrap) can provide a haze and blur to your portraits. It can also sometimes mimic the effects of fine art lenses, adding dimension to what you are trying to shoot. Depending on how much you stretch the plastic wrap can also determine the range of distortion on your photo. Play around with it until you get your desired outcome.

Self Portraits by Dahyembi Joi on

Watch as Dahyembi walks you through her lighting set up for creative portraits at home:

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