Which Camera Is Best for Portrait Photography

Portrait photography requires great skill. But it can make a huge difference if you have a camera with the perfect specs to help create those beautiful milky backgrounds and crisp detail in your subjects. 

There are more portrait camera options than ever before encompassing every type of camera and every budget. Whether you’re looking for a compact camera, mirrorless, or DSLR, our suggestions below cover something for everyone. 


The best compact cameras for portraits

Compact cameras pack quite the punch these days, with many sporting larger sensors and superior image quality to compete with smartphone cameras. 

Compact cameras are especially great for photographers who want to take candid portraits on the go with a camera that’s far superior to a smartphone and more pocketable than a DSLR.

High-end compact camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1R II

sony cybershot rx1r ii body

The Sony Cybershot RX1R II is the Cadillac of compact cameras for portrait photography. It features a 42.4 MP full-frame sensor that will take incredible portraits with great creamy background blur, all in a small and lightweight body you can take with you anywhere.

Other specs that ensure high-quality portraits include:

  • An impressive ISO range of 100-102400 for low light
  • A 399-Point Phase-Detection AF System for pinpoint focusing
  • A continuous shooting rate of up to 5fps, perfect for photographing restless children
  • A 1.23m-dot tiltable TFT LCD monitor to help you capture those awkward angles.

Shop the Sony Cybershot DSC-RX1R II today.

Affordable compact camera: Panasonic DMC-LX100

Panasonic DMC-LX100

The Panasonic LX-100 is a great compact camera for enthusiasts. It’s a quality compact camera, with a 12.8 MP micro four thirds sensor, an electronic viewfinder and face detection.

It also comes with built-in wifi connectivity, which means you can share your portrait photography with your subjects as soon as you take them – or upload them to a cloud account.

If you are after a compact camera that gives you excellent creative control, a Panasonic LX-100 is for you.

Shop the Panasonic DMC-LX100 today.

The best mirrorless cameras for portraits 

Mirrorless cameras offer a few great benefits to portrait photographers. They’re often much more compact than DSLRs, sometimes making them easier and more comfortable to carry. But they give you a lot more creative control over your shots too. 

Learn more about the difference between mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. 

Mirrorless cameras are a particularly good choice for beginners due to their simpler controls and compact size.

High-end mirrorless camera: Sony Alpha A7R IV

sony alpha a7r iv

The Sony Alpha Z7R IV is the latest in a line of impressive Sony mirrorless cameras that offers everything for the professional portrait photographer. 

The A7R IV has a phenomenal 61 MP full-frame sensor, which ensures your portrait photos are of the highest quality. 

One of the camera’s greatest features is the Eye AF functionality, which recognises and focuses perfectly on your subject’s eyes – human or animal! 

Add to this an impressive lens line-up that includes both zoom and prime lenses made for portraits and you have what could just be the best camera out there for portrait photography. 

Shop the Sony Alpha A7R IV today.

Mid-level mirrorless camera: Sony a6600

sony alpha a6600

Featuring some of the best of the Sony A7R IV in a smaller, more affordable model, the Sony a6600 has impressive image quality thanks to its 24 MP APS-C sensor. 

The real-time AF tracking is remarkable and easy to use, tracking your subjects with little effort so you get the right focus every time. You’ll also love the large battery life during long shoots. 

Finally, there are some great prime lenses out there to pair with this mirrorless camera that are perfect for portrait photography (among them, Sony’s 85mm f/1.4).

Shop the Sony Alpha a6600 today.

The best DSLR cameras for portrait photography

DSLRs remain a popular choice among portrait photographers, mostly due to their great battery life and because of the range of lenses and accessories available.

Of course, DSLRs also offer amazing image and video quality, unsurpassed optical viewfinders, a lot of handy modes and settings, and durable designs.

High-end DSLR: Nikon D850

nikon d850

Arguably the best high-end DSLR for portrait photography is the Nikon D850. The 45 MP full-frame sensor collects beautiful image detail at incredibly high resolution. 

An amazing native ISO range of 64-24,600 (which can be extended to 32-102400) allows you to shoot high-quality portraits at any time of the day and in any lighting situation. 

With the 153-Point Dynamic AF system combined with an AF joystick on the rear and a second-to-none Face Recognition feature, you can capture crisply sharp images. 

If you’re serious about your portrait photography, this is the professional-grade DSLR you need to have. 

Shop the Nikon D850 today. 

Mid-range DSLR: Canon EOS 5DSr

Canon EOS 5DSr

The Canon EOS 5DSr is a DSLR for the experts. One of the ultimate choices for clarity and resolution, this camera has an impressive full-frame 50.6 MP sensor and plenty of useful features, including an optical viewfinder, face detection, and a large 3.2-inch display.

Need other reasons to consider this camera? How about:

  • High-speed continuous shooting at 5fps
  • Outstanding 61-point high-density reticular AF to deliver great results in low light
  • A face-detection system to help you capture portraits
  • A newly-developed mechanism to control mirror vibration and reduce camera shake

With the 5DSr, you can change and tweak in-depth settings so you can capture every last detail. You also have a wide range of lenses to choose from to create a beautiful background blur and in-focus subjects.

Overall, the Canon EOS 5DSr is one of the best DSLRs for portraits and is many a professional’s go-to choice.

Shop the Canon EOS 5DSr today.

Have you found the perfect camera for your portraits?

Have you found the best camera to suit your portrait photography needs? If not, visit us in-store and talk to our expert staff for more tailored advice. 

Or for more handy tips, check out these great related posts from our blog:


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