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10 Best Cameras for Car Photography in 2021 [After 173 Hours of Research]

Pointing a camera at a car and taking a picture is easy, but capturing its character, emphasising its nature is a skill. It’s the ability to identify that character and bring it to the fore that sets the best car photographers apart from a good one. Perhaps you are such a photographer or want to get there, then you need a good camera.

A stationary car is easy enough to capture with anything, but capturing a moving car requires a fast camera with reliable AF and a good burst mode. Even for stationary vehicles, you’re going to want a camera with a large sensor and an excellent library of wide-angle lenses to choose from. With so many options now available, this isn’t an easy decision to make.

Whether you are already a professional photographer who is involved in car photography or are a beginner who wants to learn automotive photography or someone who has recently developed interest in capturing cars, if you’re finding out a difficulty in figuring out the right kind of camera, then here are the 10 best options.

Best Cameras for Car Photography in 2021

We’ve done all the grunt work for you and spent 173 hours examining the techniques and gear employed by some of the best car photographers out there. Based on our findings, we’ve shortlisted 10 cameras that will fit your needs, whatever your style or or budget.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to take pictures of a stationary car, moving car, or want to record videos. You can’t go wrong with the Canon EOS R5.

  • Type: Mirrorless ILC
  • Sensor Resolution: 45 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 8K DCI @ 30FPS (8192 x 4320)
  • Battery life: Up to 490 shots
  • Weight: 1.63 lbs

The Canon EOS R5 is for those who will not settle for anything but the absolute best. With its gorgeous 45MP sensor and 20fps burst mode, this full-frame mirrorless camera from Canon is the choice for pro car photographers. It’s incredible video features also set it apart from the competition.

Photography features

The camera features the very best full-frame CMOS sensor that Canon makes. You get 45MP of resolution, nearly 6000 Dual Pixel CMOS AF points, and support for face, eye, and even animal-eye tracking. There’s also a 20fps burst mode and an 8-stop IS system.

The full-frame sensor will give you far more detail than a prosumer camera, and you get much better depth-of-field blur for those gorgeous, blurry backgrounds. For fast-moving cars, there’s a 20fps burst mode realtime AF that will keep the subject in your frame regardless of its speed. Oh, and the max. shutter speed of 1/8000 means your shots will always be sharp.

If you’re shooting in a studio or stadium, there’s a flicker-free shooting option that can handle up to 120Hz. AF works down to -6 EV.

Video Capabilities

As impressive as the R5’s stills capabilities are, we’d argue that its video capabilities are even more impressive. The R5 is among the handful of mirrorless cameras capable of shooting in DCI 8K RAW, and 4K 120fps slo-mo. The best part is that it can do so while recording internally..

While there is a recording limit (30 min), and while the camera does tend to overheat in 8K and 4K HQ modes, colors are sampled at 4:2:2 10-bit, making for very natural, vibrant video. Most other cameras would require an external recorder to match this quality.

Design and features

The R5 is a professional camera and is thus weather-sealed and relatively heavy at 1.6lb. It employs LP-E6E batteries that are rated to 490 shots per charge. You get a 5.76-million dot OLED EVF with a 0.76x magnification, a 3.15-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD with 2.1 million dots, and support for CFEXpress II and UHS-II SDXC cards.

There’s a built-in mono mic, a secondary LCD display, USB-C for tethering and charging, micro HDMI, mic and headphone out ports, and support for large battery grips.

Conclusion

The EOS R5 is a beast of a camera and not suited for amateur photographers. It’s a powerful camera with best-in-class features, an impeccable lens selection. Not just capturing photos, you can also use it to take high-quality car videos. If you’re seriously focused towards car photography then, you cannot do better than this.

Pros
  • Impeccable image quality
  • Blisteringly quick AF
  • DCI 8K 30fps video
  • Eye-AF and subject tracking
  • 20fps burst mode
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • It’s bulky
  • Type: Full-Frame DSLR 
  • Sensor Resolution: 45.7 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD @ 30 FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery Life: Up to 1840 shots
  • Weight: 2.01 lbs

While DSLRs might not have as high a burst rate as mirrorless cameras, they do offer unmatched battery life, ultra-fast AF, and unbeatable image quality in any light, perfect for a car shoot. The Nikon D850 is among the best of these DSLRs, and packs in features that will put even the best mirrorless cameras to shame.

Photography features

The D850 shoots 45.7MP images at a max 7fps burst rate, which can be boosted to 9fps with a battery grip. This isn’t ideal for fast-moving vehicles, but is still good enough to freeze action at just the right time when needed. Having a lag-free optical viewfinder certainly does help.

Of note is the image sensor itself, which is of the back-side illuminated variety. This gives the D850 nearly unmatched low-light shooting capabilities in both photo and video. In daylight or in a studio, the base ISO of 64 will give you the sharpest possible images you can get from a camera.

The camera does use an older 153-point AF system with 99 cross-type points, but bear in mind that this is a DSLR with dedicated AF hardware. Sure, you’re not getting the thousands of points you’d get on a Canon R5 or Sony Alpha A1, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting short shrifted in the AF department.

Video Capabilities

The D850 can shoot 4K UHD at 30 fps in any light. It’s a good feature to have in a pinch, but we’d recommend picking up a high-end mirrorless camera if video is a priority. That said, 4K UHD is enough for most shoots, and you do get fantastic low-light performance and an impeccable lens library.

Although, this isn’t best available option for car videography, but if you’re not sure about capturing car videos and want to save some money over the EOS R5, then this can be a suitable option.

Design and features

Being a pro DSLR, the D850 is bulky and heavy. It weighs a little over 2lb without a lens, but it’s large enough to accommodate all the buttons and dials you’ll ever need. You get an optical viewfinder with 0.75x magnification and a 3.2-inch tilting LCD packing about 2.3 million dots. Battery life is rated at a whopping 1840 shots or 70 minutes of video.

Ports include USB-micro B, mini-HDMI, mic and headphone jacks and dual card slots supporting XQD and UHS-II SD cards.

Conclusion

Despite being large and old-fashioned by modern standards, the D850 remains to this day one of the most compelling cameras ever made. It’s a fast, powerful camera with legendary low-light performance: perfect for car photographers who know what they’re doing.

Pros
  • Low-light performance
  • Fast and reliable AF system
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Lens selection
  • Low base ISO for noise-free images
Cons
  • Video capabilities
  • Burst rate is low
  • Type: Full-Frame Mirrorless ILC
  • Sensor Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD @ 30FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery Life: Up to 610 shots
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs

The Sony Alpha 7 III is one of the cheapest full-frame mirrorless cameras you can get. It’s a slightly older model and is missing some of the cutting edge video features found in the newer Sony mirrorless cameras, but still images are still fantastic and video features still beat most other cameras in the same price range.

Photography Features

Sony’s AF system has a well-deserved reputation for being nearly prescient. It tracks targets instantaneously in any light, never loses subject focus, and can track objects even when shooting in fast bursts.

The A7III has this prescient AF system and it’s paired with a 24.2MP full-frame Sony CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 50 to a ridiculous 204,800. The AF system is a hair slower than the one on the newer Sony’s but for car photography, it’s more than fast enough.

Sony’s incredible sensor tech puts the best DSLRs to shame. It lacks the resolution of more expensive cameras, but it makes up for that with image quality, speed, and low-light performance.

Video Capabilities

Capable of shooting 4K 30 fps video up to 30 minutes in length, the A7III is a great video platform. The large sensor allows for fantastic bokeh with fast lenses, and the tracking is good enough to capture cars as they whizz by. Newer Sony’s have better tracking systems and no record limits, but for a prosumer, the A7III offers enough.

Design and features

The 0.5-inch XGA OLED viewfinder is huge and very bright, ensuring you never miss a shot. You also get a 2.95-inch 920k-dot LCD which isn’t nearly as good, but it gets the job done.

For storage, you get dual SD card slots (one rated for UHS-II). Ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-HDMI, USB-C and a USB Micro-B port. The relatively new NP-FZ100 battery lets the camera run for 610 shots when using the EVF, and 710 with the LCD.

Conclusion

The A7III is a truly fantastic camera for both stills and video. It was considered to be one of the best full-frame cameras when it launched, and with good reason. Newer cameras have more features, but when it comes to image quality, the A7III competes on a level playing field. If you’re looking to up your car photography game, we can think of no better place to start.

Pros
  • Full-frame image sensor
  • Superb AF system
  • Bright and comfortable EVF
  • Good battery life
  • Flexible platform
Cons
  • LCD quality
  • No IBIS
  • Type: Full-Frame DSLR
  • Sensor Resolution: 26 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD @ 60FPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Battery Life: Up to 1200 shots
  • Weight: 1.51 lbs

While I’m sure we’d all love to splurge on the fanciest, most feature-packed camera out there, it’s not always practical to do so. For such users, the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is perfect. It’s cheaper and more cost-effective than most full-frame mirrorless cameras but offers the same, if not better, image quality. For car photographers, the 6D Mark II can be a very appealing option.

Photography Features

The 6D Mark II features a 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor mated to a Canon EF mount. It can shoot at up to 6.5fps continuously and can focus down to -3EV. Barring sports photography, this is enough speed and resolution for car photos. The low-light focusing ability will also help at night.

The Canon R5’s 6,000 AF points make the 6D Mk II’s 45 points seem laughable in comparison, but bear in mind that these are AF points on a DSLR that has dedicated AF hardware. Focus is fast and accurate, and you’ll get your shot no matter how fast the car is moving.

Video Capabilities

Video recordings are limited to 30 minutes in length and in resolution to FHD 60fps. This isn’t great but is good enough in a pinch. Clearly, this is a camera you buy for its photography features and not video.

Design and Features

It’s a mid-size DSLR with dual LCD screens and a large, bright OVF. The former boasts of a 1-million dot resolution and an articulated hinge. Other features include support for NFC, 1/180s flash sync, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a UHS-1 SD card slot. The LP-E6N battery is rated to 1200 shots.

Connectivity is, sadly, limited. You only get a 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB 2.0, and a micro HDMI port. This can be a problem for pros but shouldn’t be an issue for amateurs or prosumers.

Conclusion

The Canon 6D Mark II offers class-leading image quality in a decidedly mid-range body and at a mid-range price. In terms of value, there’s a lot on offer, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality camera with a rugged body and great battery life. If you need a DSLR for car photography and don’t intend to spend a lot, the 6D Mk II is perfect.

Pros
  • Superb image quality
  • Rugged build
  • Great battery life
  • Good value
  • Low-light AF performance
Cons
  • Limited connectivity
  • No 4K support
  • Type: APS-C Mirrorless ILC
  • Sensor Resolution: 26 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K DCI @ 60FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery Life: Up to 390 shots
  • Weight: 1.18 lbs

Fuji’s X-T3 is one of the best mirrorless cameras you can buy today, but for whatever reason, the platform isn’t as popular as Sony’s. Given the Fujifilm X-T3’s superb image sensor and unmatched video performance, it’s hard to see why.

Photography Features

The secret to the X-T30’s awesome photography abilities lies in its X-Trans IV CMOS sensor. Unlike traditional camera sensors, the X-Trans sensor doesn’t use a Bayer array for interpreting color, eliminating the need for an anti-aliasing filter. What this translates to is sharper images, better low-light performance, and no moiré interference patterns.

In essence, the 26MP images from this camera are clean and virtually noise free till nearly ISO 3200. There’s no IBIS here — you’ll need the more expensive X-T4 for that — but you do get an excellent fill flash unit instead. For shooting bursts, you get 11fps with the mechanical shutter and 20fps with the electronic one.

Lens selection is limited compared to Canon and Nikon, especially when you factor in third-party lenses, but Fuji’s covered the entire spectrum of required lenses here and the lenses that are available are, without exception, distortion-free and very sharp. Overall, the X-T3 and its accompanying XF lenses will deliver stunning images, be they of cars or people.

Video Capabilities

Capable of recording DCI 4K 60fps video at 10-bit 4:2:0 internally (and 4:2:2 externally), the X-T3’s video capabilities are certainly impressive. The higher bit-depth and chroma subsampling gets you a lot more color information than you’d get from an equivalently priced Sony or Canon without using external recorders.

If you’re looking for cinematic slo-mo shots of cars sweeping by, there’s an FHD 120fps and 240fps mode as well. The one issue with Fuji cameras is that only a handful of its lenses use video-optimised AF motors.

Connectivity and Weight

Obligatory WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity aside, the X-T3 supports USB-C, micro HDMI, and a 3.5mm jack for an external mic. There’s no headphone jack for monitoring audio, but you can get a USB-C adapter that will allow you to do that.

The battery is Fuji’s older NP-W126S that’s only rated for 390 shots. To extend battery life, you can plug in a 20W USB PD charger or power bank, or you could use a battery grip.

The chassis is designed to look like a classic camera and you get a 3-inch, 1-million dot articulated LCD. The LCD is alright, but that 3.7-million dot OLED is spectacularly good and almost mimics an optical viewfinder. The classic camera design is aesthetically pleasing, but ergonomics do suffer as a result. A deeper grip would have helped keep the camera more stable for video shoots.

Conclusion

The Fuji X platform is an expensive one to enter, but it’s one that’s worth investing in, especially for car photography. The brilliant sensor with tack sharp lenses and rapid AF with object-tracking features are superb for car photography, and that 60fps DCI 4K mode is perfect for video projects. The X-T3 is an unusual choice to be sure, but you won’t regret the purchase.

Pros
  • EVF rivals optical finders for quality
  • Superb sensor
  • 60fps DCI 4K video
  • Unmatched feature-set at this price
  • 240 fps slo-mo mode
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Ergonomics for video
  • Type: APS-C Mirrorless ILC
  • Sensor Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD @ 30FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery Life: Up to 410 shots
  • Weight: 0.88 lbs

At just under $1000, the Sony Alpha a6400 sits in a value-for-money sweet-spot that appeals to most people, and with excellent, well-rounded features to match. There’s nothing remarkable about the A6400, but there’s nothing bad about it either. It’s a fast, powerful camera with great imaging abilities, excellent video features, and the finest AF system that Sony offers.

Photography Features

The A6400’s BSI CMOS sensor shoots 24.2MP stills at up to 11fps with a 116-shot buffer. It’s a good sensor and great for car pics. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Any camera in this price range can take great pics. No, what we’re here to talk about is the A6400’s AF performance.

While 425 PDAF points is as many AF points as most other APS-C cameras have, Sony pairs this AF system with some kind of intelligent tracking system that nails focus within a mere 0.02s. If you’re tracking fast-moving cars, this is an AF system you’ll want. For people pics, there’s a brilliant face and eye-tracking mode.

Video Capabilities

The video modes on this camera aren’t as exceptional as Fuji’s, but they are very good indeed. You get 4K24 UHD for quality and an FHD 120fps mode for slo-mo. Internally, video is recorded at 8-bit 4:2:0, which is a little underwhelming for serious content creators but comparable to what most other cameras offer. If you have an external recorder like an Atomos Ninja V, you can output 10-bit 4:2:2 video over HDMI.

For shooting videos of cars, this is great, but we do wish that there was a 4K 60fps mode to better capture action. S-Log 2 and 3 profiles are supported, as is HLG for HDR recording.

Design and Features

The A6400 is a compact mirrorless camera, but unlike the X-T3, has a deep grip that’s great for stability when recording video. The 0.39-inch, 2.4-million dot EVF is good, but a little small, and the articulating LCD only has a 920k-dot resolution.

For connectivity, you get WiFi, Bluetooth, USB (power and data), micro-HDMI, and a mic jack. UHS-I SDXC cards and Memory Stick Duo Hybrid cards are supported. The NP-FW50 battery is a little small and only rated at 410 shots (360 with EVF), but you can use a power bank or battery grip.

Conclusion

The Sony A6400 isn’t the most feature-rich camera out there, but it’s priced right and features a brilliant AF system. There’s a vast lens library to choose from and this is one of the most accessorise-able camera body out there, making it a very flexible option for someone getting serious about car photography.

Pros
  • Instantaneous AF system
  • Excellent image quality
  • FHD 120fps slo-mo video
  • Excellent support for accessories
  • Superb lens selection
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • No IBIS
  • Type: APS-C DSLR
  • Sensor Resolution: 32.5 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD @ 30FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery life: Up to 1300 shots
  • Weight: 1.55 lbs

We believe this is the highest resolution APS-C camera currently available, and in fact, offers more resolution than many modern full-frame cameras. The Canon EOS 90D is a refined, powerful DSLR with a fast AF system, excellent low-light performance, and can double as an effective 4K video camera when needed.

Photography Features

The 32.5MP APS-C resolution offered here is significantly higher than the 24-26MP you’ll find on most cameras these days. Only premium full-frame cameras like the D850 or Canon R5 offer a higher resolution. And it’s not just about resolution.

The 90D’s sensor is supported by Canon’s brilliant color science, a fast, 45-point PDAF system, and a 10fps burst mode. You’ll also find intelligent object-tracking features, a superb metering system, and access to a vast library of EF and EF-S lenses. Add all this up and you’re looking at a wonderful package that’s perfect for car photographers.

Video Capabilities

The 80D kickstarted many a YouTuber’s career in its heydays, and while mirrorless cameras have taken over that role today, the 90D is still very capable in that department. It shoots 4K 30fps video with Canon’s legendary and reliable Dual Pixel AF, you’re in for a treat. With the right lenses, you’re on your way to amateur cinematography stardom.

If you’re interested in cinematic slo-mo, the 90D also supports 120fps video at FHD. You can even record 4K timelapses. Do note that there’s a 30-min record limit on video recording so rambling vlogs are out of the picture.

Design and Features

As a follow-up to the venerable 80D, the 90D is nearly perfect. It’s a beautiful, refined, comfortable design that just seamlessly slots into place when you shoot. All the buttons and dials are just where you expect them to be, and you get a bright viewfinder with 0.95x magnification.

The 3-inch vari-angle LCD is touch sensitive and bright enough for outdoor use. I/O includes headphone and mic jacks, a 2.5mm remote shutter release, micro-USB, HDMI-C, and a single SD card slot.

Being a DSLR, battery life is expectedly great at 1300 shots. The camera uses standard LP-E6N batteries which any Canon shooter will have lying around. With the battery and an SD card, the camera weighs just 1.55 lbs.

Conclusion

The 90D is a DSLR that puts many high-end mirrorless cameras to shame. It’s the kind of camera you pick when fast AF and long shoots are on the agenda, when you need something that turns on instantly and shoots without hesitation. Mirrorless cameras will eventually take over the world, but they have a ways to go before they can take on the likes of the 90D.

Pros
  • Superb battery life
  • Among the highest resolution sensors you can get
  • Intelligent object tracking
  • Instant power on
  • 4K video support
Cons
  • Bulk can be a problem on some gimbals
  • Single SD card slot
  • Type: Point-n-shoot
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.1 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K UHD @ 30FPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Battery Life: Up to 260 shots
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs

Not all of us are, or want to be, pro photographers. Some of us might be Instagrammers, YouTubers, beauty bloggers, or even just casual users who like taking images for the sheer joy of it. For such folk, a complex interchangeable lens camera is overkill. What they really need is something simple, powerful, and delightful. Enter, the Sony ZV-1.

Photography Features

The Sony ZV-1 is a budget point and shoot camera that features a tiny 1-inch CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20MP that can shoot 24fps bursts. Yeah, you read that right: 24fps. If you can play back the images fast enough, a 1-sec burst will look like a 20MP movie, not bad for a dinky little PnS, right? Whether you’re shooting fast-moving cars or your zippy pupper, this camera will capture everything.

Paired with the sensor is a 24-70mm equivalent lens with a max aperture that goes from F1.8 to 2.8, making this a fast lens for its class. The sensor is small so bokeh won’t be as great as you’d expect from an APS-C or Full-Frame camera, but the large aperture does help some. And anyway, who’s going to notice on Instagram?

Video Capabilities

Primarily a vlogger’s camera (with a flip screen), the ZV-1 shines when used for video. It’s a small camera, but it’s also one with enough resolution to record 4K 30fps video. Since the sensor is small, the camera doesn’t have too much data to crunch and there’s less heat to dissipate, allowing it to record indefinitely without heating up.

And there’s more. Sony’s packed in an electronic ND filter that can slot into place in bright light to maintain that bokeh everyone seeks, and while there’s no IBIS, there is an accelerometer that records gyro data. Once footage and that data is entered into Sony’s software, the program will automatically stabilise the footage. It’s a beautiful system that allows the camera to remain tiny while bettering the IBIS features of bigger, more expensive cameras. Perfect for run-n-gun shoots of cars.

Of course, Sony’s fantastic AF system is included, along with a product feature that forces the camera to focus on products rather than faces. This happens fast and seamlessly, making it ideal for car vlogs, especially when you’re trying to highlight important features.

Design and Features

The ZV-1 is tiny to the point of non-existence. Compared to the 3-4lb behemoths we generally have to lug around for decent pics, the ZV-1’s 0.64lb is negligible. Despite the size and weight, Sony’s packed in features like a tilt-up LCD (920k-dot), and ports for a 3.5mm mic, HDMI-D, and USB-C. With Sony’s software, the camera can also be plugged in and used like a webcam.

This is a tiny camera and that battery is correspondingly tiny. The NP-BX1 is only rated at 1,240mAh and can deliver a paltry 260 shots. There’s no way this camera will last a whole day of shooting without a large power bank or spare batteries. It’s a small price to pay for that form factor, though.

Conclusion

Most of the cameras we recommend tend to be photos first, the ZV-1 is the opposite. It’s a vloggers camera first, and in a world filled with Shorts, Reels, and TikTok, this is a camera any content creator will love having. The fact that it shoots fantastic stills as well is a bonus. Image quality will not compare to that of larger, fancier cameras, but it will be more than enough for microblogging platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Pros
  • Diminutive size
  • Sony’s signature AF system is present
  • Gyro-based stabilisation
  • 24fps burst mode
  • Flip-up screen
Cons
  • Low-light performance isn’t great
  • Battery life is really low
  • Type: APS-C DSLR
  • Sensor Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Max Video Resolution: FHD @ 60FPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Battery Life: Up to 970 shots
  • Weight: 1 lbs

At the time it launched, sometime in 2016, the Nikon D5600 was pegged as a mid-range APS-C DSLR camera. Even at the time, the camera impressed with its image quality, speed of operation, and lightness. In 2021, the camera remains just as impressive, and if image quality is what you care about, nigh unbeatable as a value proposition.

Photography Features

Offering 24.2 million pixels, the Nikon’s image sensor is easily on par with any modern sensor both in terms of resolution and dynamic range. It’s a much older, slower camera by modern standards, however, and you lose out on features.

Burst rate is limited to 3fps with full AF and AE (5fps without), you get 39 AF points, only 9 of which are cross-type, and AF only works to -1 EV. This is good for static subjects in decent lighting, but not for tracking. What you’re getting, in effect, is an inexpensive camera with all the photography controls one would expect from a more expensive camera, this makes it ideal as a learning tool.

Video Capabilities

You don’t get much by way of video. Resolution and frame-rate are limited to FHD and 60fps, but at a much lower bit-rate and with a 30-min recording limit. With such few AF points and a limited ability to track moving subjects like cars, you’re better off mounting the camera on a tripod and using it in MF mode.

Design and Features

Pros loved the D5600 for its low weight — it’s a mere 1lb — and excellent ergonomics. It had some great features for its time as well, including a 3.2-inch, 1-million dot tilting display, HDMI-C output, USB 2, a mic jack, and an SD card slot.

An EN-EL14A battery provides power and keeps the camera running for about 970 shots. This is low for a DSLR, but 2-3 times what most mirrorless cameras can manage.

Conclusion

An older DSLR like the D5600 is a great learning tool for kids and students alike. This sub $1000 DSLR camera has the capability of shooting stunning images and all the manual controls that any good photographer needs to master. The D5600 is missing out on fancy features like eye-AF and high-ISO performance, but those don’t matter in a camera at this budget.

Pros
  • Small, lightweight body
  • Excellent image quality
  • Superb viewfinder
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • HDMI output
Cons
  • Low burst rate
  • Limited AF features
  • Type: APS-C DSLR
  • Sensor Resolution: 24.1 MP
  • Max Video rResolution: FHD @ 30FPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Battery life: Up to 500 shots
  • Weight: 1.04 lbs

If you need the cheapest possible camera for doing car photography, and your smartphone won’t cut it, what you need is the Canon EOS 2000D. It’s a cheap, bare-bones DSLR with an excellent 24.1MP APS-C sensor, passable video capabilities, and decent AF. It’ll mount all of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses, giving you a great platform for shooting good car photos in daylight conditions.

Photography Features

Sensor resolution is quite decent at 24.1MP, as is dynamic range and overall performance. This being an entry-level camera, you’re restricted to an ISO range of 100-6400 (12800 in boost mode), and a maximum speed of 3fps in burst mode. Low light photos suffer as a result. Stills — taken in good lighting — should still look great.

The biggest hurdle with this camera is the 9-point AF system. It’s just enough for great stills of stationary subjects, but will really struggle when attempting to track moving ones. Given the slow burst rate, you’re not losing out on much.

Just bear in mind that the EOS 2000D is an entry-level camera and if you need more features, you need to spend more money. If you learn to work within the camera’s limitations, you’ll be rewarded with great pics.

Video Capabilities

FHD 30fps isn’t much to write home about, but hey, at least the camera can shoot video with decent AF. You’re clearly not getting much to work with, but you can maximise the camera’s video potential by pairing it with a fast video-ready lens like the EF 50mm F1.8 II STM. This will, at the very least, allow you to shoot at lower ISOs and deliver great bokeh for your car shots.

Design and Features

The Canon EOS 2000D is as simple as they come. You get essential controls, a fixed, 920k-dot LCD, and a viewfinder with 95% coverage. The DSLR comes with WiFi and NFC, HDMI, USB, and a 2.5mm tethering jack. Images are recorded to SDXC cards.

The LP-E10 battery is quite small and only lasts about 500 shots, pretty low for a DSLR and in the same range as what you’d get from a mirrorless camera. Be sure to carry a spare battery or two with you on shoots.

Conclusion

If you keep expectations low and don’t push the camera beyond its limits, the 2000D can produce excellent results. It’s missing a lot of features compared to its more expensive brethren, but image quality is where it counts, and on that front, the 2000D delivers.

Pros
  • Body is dirt cheap
  • Lightweight body
  • Good image quality
  • SDXC card support
  • Vast library of lenses
Cons
  • Poor AF tracking performance
  • Low battery life

Frequently Asked Questions

DSLR or mirrorless for car photography?

DSLRs offer 2-3 times the battery life that mirrorless cameras offer, and they’re ready to shoot instantly. They also use optical viewfinders that don’t black out when shooting in burst mode. Mirrorless cameras offer 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 the sensor the 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 lenses should I use?

Cars are large and fast. If you’re getting up close and personal with them, you need a good wide-angle lens, and perhaps even a macro. If you intend to shoot sporting events like hill-climbs, rallies or races, you’ll want a fast tele.

Do I need an in-built flash?

Usually, no. In-built flash units are enough for fill-flash, but given how large and shiny cars are, you will, more often than not, end up with ugly reflections and related artefacts. If you need more light, book a studio or shoot under bright sunlight.

Verdict

Car photography is a fun and challenging hobby involving fast cars and even faster cameras. If you’re interested in diving in, there are a tonne of recommendations we can give you.

  • If you need the absolute best camera, money no object, just get the Canon EOS R5. It’s one of the fastest, most feature-packed cameras in the world right now.
  • For vloggers, there’s nothing better than the Sony ZV-1. It’s small, light, and very compact, and its image quality is easily comparable with higher-end professional cameras.
  • If you’re particular about stills and don’t want to burn thousands of dollars on an R5, consider the Sony Alpha 7 III or the Nikon D850. They’re superb cameras and will rival the R5 in the image quality department.
  • For a more budget-oriented build, go for the Fujifilm X-T3 if you prefer a great all-rounder, or the Sony a6400 if you’d like something that’s flexible.

We hope we’ve sorted out your needs. Have fun capturing some gorgeous cars with your fancy new camera system!


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