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So you have decided to take the plunge and purchase a camera. It can be a challenge to pick out the right camera especially if you’re new to photography. There are so many features and specs it’s hard to wrap your head around it all, which is why I took the time to put together this guide for you. Any of these cameras would do well shooting DIY boudoir, but not everyone has the same budget. Below you will find suggestions starting from $500 to over $4,000.
But first, what do all of the following cameras have in common?
Digital cameras: Digital cameras are simply more versatile and user friendly than film cameras.
Mirrorless: I’m a firm advocate for mirrorless cameras over DSLRs due to their smaller size and use of an electronic view finder (EVF).
Full frame or Crop Sensor: While there are other sensor types out there, I don't think they give you the value and performance that you will get when compared to a full-frame or crop-sensor camera.
20 megapixels or more: You will want the option to crop a little from time to time. A megapixel size of 20 or more will give you that choice.
Usable Eye Auto-Focus: Eye Auto focus has been a game changer for me. Trust me. You will want it.
A camera is useless without a lens so I have paired up each camera with a lens that will work great for boudoir photography.
If you only have $500 to spend, then you have two options. Save up another $500 to invest in a proper camera and lens or use that $500 and upgrade to a better cellphone. A modern cellphone can be used for DIY boudoir with good results. If you want some tips on how to use your cellphone to take great DIY boudoir photos see my article here.
If you have $1,000 to spend on a camera system, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Canon m50 Mark II. The original m50 has been a popular camera for years, especially with the content creator crowd due to its flip out screen, eye auto focus (which has been improved in the Mark II), and affordable price.
The m50 Mark II has a crop factor of 1.6. Pairing it with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 will get you a full-frame equivalent focal length of 48mm and a full-frame equivalent depth of field of f/2.2.
If you are looking for an entry level full-frame camera then look no further than the Canon RP. The RP takes great pictures and is an excellent starting point if you want to dive into the full-frame market and potentially upgrade to a camera like the Canon R6 down the line.
You can pair the RP with the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro from Canon and get superb low light performance thanks to the fast aperture and image stabilization built into the lens.
If you would like to keep it closer to the $1,000 mark you can pair it with the Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM instead.
The a6600 is Sony’s top of the line crop sensor camera. Not only would it do great for DIY boudoir, but it would also be an excellent camera for travel with the 18-135mm kit lens.
Sigma makes their excellent 30mm f/1.4 in the Sony E-mount too. While Canon has a crop of 1.6 for its crop sensor cameras, Sony has a crop of 1.5 for their crop sensor cameras. That makes the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 give a full frame equivalent of a 45mm f/2.1.
The Canon R6 is the camera of choice if you want great low light performance and still have some room to crop in post-production. You also get a fully articulating screen, in body stabilization, dual card slots, and a weather sealed body.
Pairing it with Canon Nifty-Fifty for the RF mount will help to keep the price below $3,000 and still allow you to take high quality images.
The Sony Alpha a7IV is new to the camera market, but certainly made a splash. Building on the success of the a7III, Sony has produced a camera that can create amazing photos. Due to the robust aftermarket lens support the a7IV is a great investment for those who want to take their photography seriously.
The Sony 35mm f/1.8 is a great little lens. When mounted to the a7IV it makes for a small light weight package that will provide excellent performance.
Budget: $4,000 Plus
Pairing the R6 with the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 will get you a great combo that produces insane bokeh (out of focus background), thanks to that f/1.2 aperture.
If you want resolution look no further than the Sony Alpha a7RIV. With an impressive 61MP you can crop to your hearts content. The a7RIV does not have a flip out articulating screen like the rest of the cameras I suggest.
If money is no object, then you have to pair the a7RIV with the newly released Sony FE 50mm f/1.2. Even though it is an f/1.2, this is still a fairly compact package when mounted to the a7RIV.
Buying a camera can be a stressful process and hopefully I was able to help you figure out which camera is good for you. My final piece of advice, just do it. Get a camera and start taking pictures. You can always change cameras later if you decide you want to try something different.