Car photography is not as easy photography as you think. It is not as if we take pictures of people or any placed object. Car photography isn’t for everyone. The fast motorsport events and the harsh requirements of obtaining skill shots of a car mean that not every photographer is well-equipped for this job. It doesn’t mean that you are not able to do professional car photography.
Along with a skilled photographer, you need a well-featured camera, and not every camera is suitable for shooting cars on a racing track. With that, you need a lightning-fast AF system, a fast shutter speed, and a powerful sensor, whereas your camera must be compatible with a wide-angle zoom lens.
We are providing the complete guide of the best camera for car photography in 2021. We are not only telling the models of each camera. We are also explaining the feature of each camera, how that model helps you in-car photography with the price of each model.
Our list of the best cameras for car photography includes some great cameras by reliable manufacturers that promise a powerful performance along with a wide range of suitable functions and performance.
5 Best Cameras for Car Photography in 2021
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
If you prefer Canon to Nikon DLSRs, then you should make the Canon EOS 7D Mark II on top of your list.
This model comes in with specifications that include a 20.2MP CMOS sensor that can produce some of the best photos with stunning details and vibrant colors. Though it is not as fast as other Nikon DSLRs that we’ve already featured, it still has an above-average burst speed at 10fps. Moreover, it can perform well even in low-light conditions with an ISO of 100-16000.
Finding the subject isn’t a concern with the EOS 7D Mark II, but its 65-point all-cross-type AF system is mindblowing. The downside to this is that it takes a while before you can figure out its configuration. Plus, battery life isn’t the best, especially for a professional DSLR camera. And lastly, though it comes with a GPS, there is no built-in wifi.
Result of Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II example image – Source
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Canon EOS 90D
The Canon EOS 90D is the best and all-rounded device for all kinds of photography. If you want to shoot a picture of nature, focus on the particular object. The Canon EOS 90D is also the best pick by most people who love to travel a lot. If you’re the type who wants a robust camera for your passion for car photography, then you might find it a handy choice.
Upon looking at the exterior of this camera, you’ll immediately notice its weather-sealed construction allowing users to shoot even if it’s raining. It has a solid body.
As for the specifications have a 32.5MP CMOS APS-C sensor with a continuous shooting capability of up to 10fps with minimal to no lagging time. These things make it a good choice not only for car photography but also for different situations. You even have a 4K functionality in case you want to take videos. As for the AF system, its 45-point cross-type AF system stands out and captures the subject accurately.
Despite the powerful specifications, some users find the single card to slot frustrating, as you will have to switch once your memory card is full. You can easily adjust any size of the Canon lens on this model.
Result of Canon EOS 90D
Canon EOS 90D example image – Source
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Nikon D7500 DX-Format
Having a tight budget does not mean that you should settle for a low-quality camera and sacrifice your need for a powerful DSLR. The Nikon D7500 DX-format Digital SLR is an ideal enthusiast-level camera that offers a wide range of features at half the price.
Its solid weatherproof body features a pronounced handgrip and soft texture coatings for secure yet comfortable handling. Instead of having a metering mode button, it has a dedicated ISO button right next to the exposure compensation control, which helps it easier to adjust the settings. There are several other tweaks in the layout to enhance the overall accessibility.
It is the complete featured device with 21.51 Megapixels. Its lens mount is Nikon F with a good resolution of 5568 x 3712. It has a great CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm sensor. It has digital image stabilization. It has cam, 100 to 51200 ISO sensitivity. It also has great recording mode with MOV/MP4/H.264. It has both auto and manual focus. Its weight is 640-gram.
Result of Nikon D7500 DX-Format
Nikon D7500 DX-Format example image – Source
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Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Compared with other options on our list of best cameras for car photography, many considered the Canon 6D Mark II as the top choice. The structure is somewhat similar to the original Mark 6D with an aluminum alloy and polycarbonate build. Moreover, it is smaller and lighter than 6D but includes a sculpted grip for secure handling. If you’ve worked with the older version, you won’t face any issues getting used to a similar layout.
The EOS 6D Mark II comes in with a 26.2 MP full-frame CMOS sensor coupled with a 45-point AF system. That allows you to find the subject with minimal lag time. However, the AF system tends to focus everything on the center. It also connects on both WiFi and, its Bluetooth function allows the fast transfer of photos to your device. In addition, you get a 3″ vari-angle LCD that lets you adjust the configuration with ease.
Result of Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS 6D Mark II example image – Source
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Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
Knowing Sony, they always strive to amaze their customers with clever innovations and reliable performance. Sony Alpha A7 is one of the first few compact cameras with a full-frame sensor, helping Sony live up to its reputation.
Sony did a great job of maintaining the size of the camera despite having a full-frame sensor. A deep grip makes it easier to operate the camera singlehandedly. A7 doesn’t break any” style” records, but the simple layout is appealing to minimalists. Most of the buttons are on the right-hand side, with a mode dial on the top plate that allows you to switch between various exposure settings.
It also has a feature of 24.7 Megapixel having a lens mount of Sony E. Its maximum resolution is 6000 x 4000 and has an amazing CMOS 35.8 x 23.9 mm sensor. It doesn’t have digital image stabilization. It has Auto, 100 to 25600 ISO sensitivity. It also has great recording modes AVCHD and MP4. It has both auto and manual focus having a 416-gram weight.
Result of Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera example image – Source
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Best camera for car photography
If you are looking for the best and professional camera for car photography in 2021, then you’ve parked up in the right place. Whether you have a passion for speed and action photography, or you’re photographing your vehicle for selling online. We’ve got a selection of top choices for you.
Taking shots, which make your vehicle looks good, can be quite a challenge. You have strange angles to contend with, reflections, dodgy lighting situations, and that’s before the cars even start to move, where a whole new set of problems emerge.
If you have the right camera, that helps you to tackle any kind of feature frame or critical situations. So, you need the right gear that helps you to tackle different situations though, you’re halfway there. For that reason, we have chosen a good variety of cameras and types, all of which are suitable for car photography in one way or another.
What is a good camera for car photography?
When it comes to picking the best camera for car photography, it isn’t always going to be as straightforward as selecting one of the best mirrorless cameras, the best DSLR, or the best compact cameras. The cameras you’ll find in those guides all are excellent, but they’re often all-rounders and may not necessarily have enough specifications you’ll need for car photography.
For showing off the fine detail of a car, a camera with a high resolution is an excellent choice. If you’re mainly going to be photographing the static car, you can afford to go super high on the resolution for the highest possible quality.
Fast frame rates
If you want to photograph a car doing what it does best – moving – then you’ll need to be on the lookout for a car with fast frame rates to capture those split-second moments. That will usually come with the tradeoff of a lower resolution.
That is another specification tied to photographing action sports. You’ll need to look for models which offer a high-performing tracking focus that can keep up when you’re trying new techniques such as panning.
For freezing fast action, the fastest shutter speeds of your camera will be required. Keep an eye out for models which offer fast shutter speeds. Cameras, which use an electronic shutter often, offer the fastest available.
When photographing from unusual angles to highlight the different angles of your car, a tilting or articulating screen can be incredibly useful. A touch-sensitive screen is also helpful, but almost all modern cameras include this feature.
If you’re taking the picture of a moving car, having good image stabilization will help to keep your shots sharp and in focus.
Good video specifications
Perhaps you want to create videos of your car. For that case, look out for models, which offer decent video specifications, including 4K video recording, a variety of frame rates, and the ability to create slow-motion movies. With that, most of the advanced and updated models can stabilize the minor framing rotation on their own to stabilize the frame of video. That helps you to take cinematic shots and do professional videography.
If you’re photographing your car in low light, such as at night, then you’ll want a camera that offers a good ISO range and a good ISO performance. That ISO brightens the picture and makes it more clear in the night time. That helps you to take clear and bright pictures at night time.
What do I need as a beginner photographer?
From the day of car inventions, they have represented the freedom and adventure of the open road. Along the way, they became status symbols that form a part of people’s identities. But the one thing that remains constant is that they make the content for photography and become the best subject.
Whether it’s showing off their sleek and streamlined shape for commercial photos or trying to capture some of the meaning behind the vehicle for an artistic project, car photography can involve a lot of different types of photos.
So, if you are a beginner and you have a lot of questions in your mind, like How can I start it? Which camera is good for car photography? How can I do the framing of my car? You do not have to worry; you are at the right place. Here, we teach the basics then move to professionals. We just only guide you, the improvement that comes in your work is just because of your practice and hard work. In photography, your hard work and practice is the key to your success.
Moreover, if you think you’ve tried all the different types of photography and are looking for something new, you should spend some time exploring the world of car photography on our blog.
Starting with basics
When in doubt, stick to the usual rules of composition. Photographers who are inexperienced at shooting cars often approach it differently than other types of photography and seem to forget everything they’ve learned. But for car photography, we apply the standard rules too, so look for ways to use things like symmetry, framing, leading lines, and the rule of thirds.
But there’s also a limitation to that advice: don’t be afraid to break the rules when you feel like it. They are helpful guidelines that make your car photos more eye-catching, but they are just guidelines. So don’t treat them as hard and fast rules if you have some more creative ideas.
Increase your practice time and be creative. This guide teaches the right track and teaches you how to start your photography. So, think of the creative idea and implement it in different ways that make your soul happy. Make photography your passion then you will start enjoying your work.
Use a Bokeh Effect
Using a narrow depth of field to blur the background is a great way to put more emphasis on the car. That is especially useful when the background would otherwise be distracting. For example, if you’re shooting in an area with a lot of cars or people in the background, then using a bokeh effect can soften those distracting details.
A simple way to do it is to set your aperture as wide as possible (such as f/2.8). This will make your depth of field very shallow. Then you can use a faster shutter speed to compensate for the brighter image. And remember that when needed, you can also control the depth of field by using longer focal lengths or getting closer to the car.
Get Low or Go High
One of the easiest car photography tips that will go a long way towards making your images more interesting is to avoid shooting from eye level. Eye-level shots of the cars can look boring because it’s the angle we’re most used to seeing the car from our eye level. In addition, it doesn’t do a good job of showing off a car’s lines.
So start by getting down low and seeing how that changes the feel of your images. When you’re shooting artistic-style photos, it will be used to make a car look more imposing or larger than life. Don’t be afraid to lie right down on the ground (make sure you don’t wear your favorite clothes on your shoot!) to get your camera as low as possible.
Next, bring out a ladder or a step stool to get a higher angle. This is great for showing off a car’s design and is popular in professional car photography. It’s also helpful when you want to hide the location you’re shooting in. For example, it’s useful when you’re learning how to photograph cars at a car show. Getting high will let you capture just your subject and crop out the people and cars in the background.
Exterior shots are probably what comes to mind when you think of car photography, but don’t forget that the interior of a car offers a whole new perspective. Car interior shots are sometimes used in commercial photography to show off interior details, and they can make some more interesting compositions. So climb inside, pick the interesting shapes. And try to find a cool way to show it off.
Here are some things to try out:
- Look for interesting or unique textures, patterns, or shapes. Car interiors usually have lots to choose from!
- Pick a subject (like an emblem, button, or knob) and get right up close to fill the frame. With all the detail of the car interior, if you include too much, your image may lack a clear focal point.
- Try shooting a landscape through the windshield or another window, and experiment with using the interior to frame your composition.
Night Time Car Photography
When shooting cars at night, you can use all of the usual camera settings and techniques for night photography. That includes using a tripod, a wide aperture, and a slow shutter speed. But there’s one particularly stunning car photography lighting effect to try when shooting at night, and that’s creating light trails.
So, here are some simple steps that help you to take pictures of car headlights at night and achieve that beautiful light painting effect.
- Make sure you’re safely out of the way of cars. (This is always important, but especially so with nighttime car photography).
- Start with a shutter speed of about 15 seconds, and experiment with longer exposures from there.
- Depending on the amount of light in the scene, set the aperture between f/5 and f/11.
- Avoid overexposing the headlights by keeping your ISO settings low (anything above ISO 500 is too high).
- Use a remote trigger. Although a tripod will keep your camera mostly still, pushing the shutter release button on the camera can cause very slight movements that add blur and spoil your car light’s photography.
Be more professional in your cars photography
If you are thinking, you have learned the basics and practiced a lot. Now, you want to move forward and start learning the photography of a moving car.
Shoot Some Moving Vehicles
And if you’re tired of taking the pictures of a parked car and the stable objects and make it move toward motion graphics. Yes, the shoot of a moving car is a part of motion graphics in the form of photos. In the future, if you are on the race track and you want to take the best and professional photos of your client’s cars. Then, you have to know how to take a professional picture of moving cars. This part of the guide is for the photography of a moving car. Here, we are discussing the different methods and techniques of moving car photography:
When you’re learning how to photograph moving cars, it’s often a balancing act between conveying motion and capturing a clear image of the car. For example, if you use a high shutter speed, it will help you to capture a moving car clearly, but everything will be clear. That means there’s no motion blur even on the wheels, this can sometimes make even a speeding race car look like it’s parked. So if you’re using a high shutter speed that eliminates all blur, try to shoot at moments that show motion in other ways, such as when a car is kicking up a cloud of dust behind it or as it splashes through a puddle.
On the other hand, if you want plenty of motion blur in the background, shooting with a slower shutter speed and panning is one way to do it. If you plan your camera to follow a moving car, a slow shutter speed will capture the motion of the background while the car stays relatively still. When you get it right, it makes for a powerful effect where you can almost feel the speed of the car.
To do it, begin by setting your shutter speed to 1/160 (you can experiment and adjust later to get the effect you want), and then set your camera up on a tripod at a racetrack or roadside.
By planning to follow the car during the exposure, you should be able to keep the car looking sharp despite the slow shutter speed. It takes some practice to get the panning movement right, so just start experimenting and don’t worry if they don’t turn out perfect at first.
Shoot from another Vehicle
Another way to capture images of a moving car is to shoot it from another vehicle. This will eliminate the need for panning and make it easier to create motion blur in the background.
But before we go any further, remember to stay safe! Whenever you’re shooting from a moving car, you should ensure it doesn’t take the driver’s attention off the road.
To shoot from a moving vehicle, you’ll need the help of two drivers: one for the subject car, and one for the car you’ll be riding in. It’s a good idea to discuss your plans with the drivers before you begin, so you can avoid giving too many instructions while they’re driving.
Also, always keep your seatbelt on. Just because there’s the potential for a good photo by climbing around in the backseat or leaning out a window doesn’t mean it’s not both illegal and dangerous. So stay seated and just experiment with shooting out the open side windows.
What is a good lens for car photography?
Fortunately, car photography doesn’t have any special requirements for your camera lens, but a great lens delivers stunning images. We recommend you invest in a zoom lens as it allows users to work with several focal lengths. Even though a prime lens produces sharper and well-composed images, you may find yourself switching between different focal lengths. While shooting, the different cars at the same time. A wide-angle lens helps you shoot the interior of a car because it fits everything into the frame and gives an illusion of space.
DSLR or mirrorless for car photography?
DSLRs offer 2-3 times the battery life that a mirrorless camera offers, and they’re ready to shoot instantly. They also use optical viewfinders that don’t blackout when shooting in burst mode. Mirrorless cameras also have superior video modes, prescient AF, and a superb feature-set. For fast-moving cars, an expensive mirrorless camera or a decently priced DSLR is what you need. For everything else, we’d recommend a more modern mirrorless camera.
Does sensor size matter?
Yes! The larger the image sensor, the better the depth-of-field and the better the low light sensitivity. For cinematic shots and creamy bokeh, the larger sensor is better. Smaller sensors like APS-C are still great, and because they’re small, the cameras tend to overheat less and track subjects better. Smaller sensors are also more suited for long video.
What is the best shutter speed for moving objects?
We define shutter speed as the rate at which the shutter of your camera opens and closes. Slower shutter speed means that the shutter closes at a slower speed and produces brighter-looking images without focusing on any erratically moving objects. To make the shutter speed slow, place the camera on a tripod for minimal motion blur. On the other hand, a faster shutter speed results in dark yet sharp images and focuses well on fast-moving objects.