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7 Best Makeup Cameras in 2021 [For Makeup Artists & Beauty Bloggers]

The world of makeup has gone digital, and everyone from make-up artists to beauty bloggers are uploading mesmerizing photos & videos to their blogs and social profiles, which require great cameras to shoot. As you came here, you’re already on the hunt for the best makeup camera available & this article is all about finding you one.

Shooting with a professional camera can really make a huge difference, no matter if you’re taking makeup pictures or recording makeup tutorials. You get a lot more details, colors look more vivid, and you get a lot more controls in the post, which you simply can’t get from something like a smartphone. That sheer amount of control is extremely important.

The huge variety of available options can be rather confusing, and if you end up choosing the wrong camera, it may not be appropriate for your makeup needs at all. To make sure that you don’t end up buying the wrong camera, I’ve handpicked the top-rated cameras for makeup photos and videos and listed them below.

Best Makeup Cameras in 2021

I’ve evaluated a whole lot of cameras ranging in different price points. After a tough evaluation process, these were the cameras I found to be the best fit for beauty bloggers, makeup artists, and YouTubers. I also made sure that there are cameras on budget as well, so there is something for even those starting their journey.

  • Sensor Resolution: 42.4MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 25 FPS
  • Battery Life: 650 shots
  • Weight: 1.45 lbs

The Sony a7R III is one of the premium models in my list of cameras suitable for makeup photography.

It is Sony’s latest mirrorless model. The camera uses the same 42MP sensor as its predecessor but can shoot at an impressive 10 fps. It is obviously aimed at rivaling the Nikon D850 and Canon EOS 5DS R and offers unmatched speed and clarity.

At its core, it remains a mix of the A7R Mark II and the more premium A9. Offering enormous image resolution, superb burst speeds, and more than robust autofocusing ability, it is the finest camera we have seen in a long time.

There are all the bells and whistles you expect at this price. An AF joystick is within easy reach of your fingers. Sony has given the menu a makeover and makes every feature just a couple of levels away.

You can personalize your photoshoot of wildlife almost endlessly as the Mark III offers so many options at every stage. The grip is large and reassuring. It also houses a battery that is double the size of a Mark II. Since mirrorless models gulp power, this is comforting as you don’t have to carry a second battery with you.

Pros
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Improved autofocus ability
  • Offers WiFi as well as NFC
  • Large viewfinder
  • Can be customized for any type of shoot
Cons
  • Takes time to write to SD card
  • Video interchange is not possible till the buffer is clear
  • Sensor Resolution: 26.2MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 25 FPS
  • Battery Life: 250 shots
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs

In the world of full-frame Mirrorless cameras, Canon's EOS RP is perhaps the biggest wild card from the company and it is literally the best camera you can get for under $1000. It can capture superior quality photos & videos, and retains true-to-life colors which is really important for showcasing your makeup.

Optics and Benefits for Makeup

The company is using a 26.2MP Full-frame sensor in the EOS RP and it is more than capable enough. Especially, if you pair it with a wide-aperture lens, it can produce really well-detailed images in artificial lighting with minimum noise. As you’ll be mostly shooting your makeup photos and videos indoors, this is really helpful.

Image Quality

If we talk about image quality in general, the photos come out well detailed with rich & vibrant colors. You can always shoot in RAW in case you don’t want to rely on the pre-defined color science and edit in post. However, Canon seems to have tuned the EOS RP really well, and you can also adjust the manual settings for a bit more customization.

Video Recording

Video is also a delight with 4K 25 FPS and 4K 24 FPS support for regular alongside up to 4K 30 FPS for Time-lapse. The time-lapse feature can really come in handy when you need to showcase an entire makeup process from finish to start. As far as the quality goes, it produces flagship-grade footage which looks stunning.

Battery Life

The LP-E17 battery unit doesn’t really keep up for very long with around 250 shots (when using the display) and around an hour of video recording time. That’s not too bad but, maybe it’s gonna be a good idea to keep a couple of extra batteries around, just in case.

Should You Buy This Camera?

If you are looking for a flagship-level full-frame camera, but you don’t really have the extra cash to pour in, the Canon EOS RP is going to be the best option for showcasing your makeup work. It’s priced really well and if you get a few extra batteries for longer shoots, you are going to love using it.

Pros
  • 4K 24FPS videos with 4K 30 FPS Time Lapse
  • Sharp & colorful photos
  • True to life colors
  • Full-frame sensor
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • No 120 FPS slow-mo
  • Sensor Resolution: 24.2MP 
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 30 FPS
  • Battery Life: 350 shots
  • Weight: 1 lbs

Compact mirrorless cameras often come with Micro Four Thirds type sensors that zoom in two times and make shooting makeup difficult. That’s one problem that the Sony A6500 resolves by using an APS-C sensor in a compact body, similar to most 4/3 cameras.

Optics and Benefits for Makeup

The 24.2MP EXMOR CMOS sensor on the A6500 is one of the most capable ones in its segment and it handles indoor shoots, almost just as well as it does outdoor shoots under bright sunlight. Not only does it keep the photos & videos in check, but it also handles low-light noise, really well.

Image Quality

You can get some amazing makeup photos while shooting with this camera. It handles dynamic range like a charm, so even in artificial lighting, you’re always getting balanced photos. It also retains the colors really well. This is where Sony tried to make the photos exactly like what’s in front of you, so that’s a huge advantage.

Video Recording

Videos is where Sony has taken the lead over all the other APS-C cameras in its segment. The faster autofocus and the 5-axis stabilization is something you’re definitely going to love. However, the sheer quality the A6500 produces is kinda excellent and I do prefer the 4K SDR video on the A6500 over any other compact mirrorless in this segment.

Battery Life

The NP-FW50 battery can last up to 350 shots or up to 105 minutes of continuous video recording time on a single charge. If that’s not enough for you, you can always keep another battery around, but I feel like for most people, this is quite enough. Especially for taking photos.

Should You Buy This Camera?

If you decide on getting a compact camera that you can toss around in your bag, but you also need the no-compromise image & video quality, and the convenience of changing your view by switching lenses, then you can’t really get any better value than the A6500.

Pros
  • Excellent quality photos & videos
  • Great low-light noise control
  • Really good battery life for both photos & videos
  • 5-axis stabilization and super-fast autofocus
Cons
  • No HDR video recording
  • The lenses can be a bit expensive
  • Sensor Resolution: 26.1MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 30 FPS
  • Battery Life: 380 shots
  • Weight: 0.86 lbs

A functional mid-range camera priced at about $1000, the Fujifilm X-T30 is amazingly light at just 0.86 pounds. It is, in fact, the lightest one to feature in this camera shootout.

Like the X-T100 it has a faux leather finish and retro looks that are so appealing to many camera aficionados. The body is mostly metal and does not feel like a toy. That is something its more illustrious rivals cannot match with plastic chassis.

The X-T30 has a tilting but not fully articulating LCD and a capable EVF. The operation is simple, and the LCD lets you have access to any function with a simple sweep of the menu. It also has a flash, unlike the more expensive X-T3.

The JPEGs I shot looked fantastic and lifelike. The color sampling is on par with the best. The sensor continues to work just fine at low light and can provide sufficient detail.

Ideal for indoor photos the only lack that I felt was of a rotating LCD. When it comes to capturing beautiful stills it performed more than satisfactorily. At a meagre price, the camera offers top of the line features, making it an ideal value for money proposition to buyers. The one drawback is poor face detection, which might be a letdown at parties.

Pros
  • 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 color subsampling
  • Burst speed up t 20 fps
  • Superb 4K video
  • Easy to use the touchscreen
  • Attractive metal body
Cons
  • Face detection is not up to the mark
  • Does not have in-body image stabilization
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.1MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 30 FPS
  • Battery Life: 260 shots
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs

In case you don’t like the hassle of changing lenses and you want to turn on the camera and start shooting, the Sony ZV-1 is currently the best video camera for recording makeup videos, available in the entire point & shoot line-up.

Optics and Benefits for Makeup

Sony’s new 20.1MP 1-inch sensor is pretty great and combined with a 10 element lens, it produces excellent quality photos & videos. The lens goes from f-1.8 to f-2.8 and it works great indoors which is great for showcasing makeup. Do make sure the lighting isn’t too low though.

Image Quality

Overall image quality seems to be pretty good. The colors look natural and the details are well retained. The images can look soft if the lighting isn’t that great, and although there is OIS for stabilization, you don’t get a viewfinder. So, if you’re someone who needs a viewfinder, maybe avoid this one.

Video Recording

The ZV-1 can shoot up to 4K 30FPS videos and the quality is great, However, the real deal lies in the portrait video mode with tap to focus, and also there is a dedicated beauty mode. This is a big deal if you’re shooting makeup videos to upload to YouTube. That’s not it though. You can even shoot HDR videos in HLG.

Battery Life

Sony is using an NP-BX1 battery unit which isn’t as big as some of their Alpha line of cameras have, but it still provides up to 130 minutes of 4K video recording time. If you’re shooting HDR though, you will run out of battery way faster.

Should You Buy This Camera?

You should pick up the Sony ZV-1 over a traditional Mirrorless camera for convenience and for features like HDR & Portrait video that none of the competitors are offering at this moment. If those are the things you’re looking for, get the ZV-1 and you won’t have any complaints.

Pros
  • Flip-LCD display for filming yourself
  • 4K HDR video recording
  • Good low-light performance
  • OIS, Portrait Video, and Beauty mode
Cons
  • No EVF
  • Isn’t as good for photography
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 50/60 FPS
  • Battery Life: 400 shots
  • Weight: 1.42 lbs

The new offering from Panasonic, Lumix GH5 is easily the largest micro Four-Thirds camera that I have seen in many years. However, the device is not outsized but feels compact and comfortable to grip and point.

The sturdy magnesium alloy body is entirely water and dustproof. The GH5 has a remarkably advanced image stabilization system and can work together with Panasonic’s lens stabilization.

The viewfinder is large and bright and extremely easy to use. At the heart of the Lumix GH5 camera is a new 20 MP Four Thirds sensor that offers visibly improved picture quality over the older models. It is coupled with the new Venus Engine that offers 1.7 times the processing power of the GH4.

The autofocus has been newly designed and offers excellent 9 fps burst shots. An autofocus joystick is a delightful addition.

The most astounding feature is the magical ability of the camera to extract 18MP images from 4K videos at 30 fps. The buffer can store 100 shots, and you could go on taking pictures without any distractions about running out of space.

Panasonic is aiming for this model to serve as both, a beauty video camera and makeup photography. It is able to record 4K at 60p with 4:2:2 color sampling and 10-bit depth.

Pros
  • 4K 60 FPS recording
  • Large well lit viewfinder
  • Enhanced autofocus
  • Wifi, NFC, and Bluetooth
  • Weatherproofed body
Cons
  • Insufficient battery life
  • Not enough ISO range
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.1MP
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K 30 FPS
  • Battery Life: 230 shots
  • Weight: 0.75 lbs

The Canon G5 X Mark II is the flagship of Canon’s Point & Shoot line-up and in case Photos are your first priority, then this is definitely a better option than Sony’s ZV-1. It also takes good videos, but you’ll have to give a few of the modern features up.

Optics and Benefits for Makeup

Canon’s 20.1MP CMOS sensor and the 13-element f-1.8 lens make a huge difference in artificial shooting environments. It is literally putting the ZV-1 to some serious competition and it does blow it away from time to time.

Image Quality

As mentioned earlier, it takes better photos and by that, I mean sharper, more detailed with Canon’s amazing color science. This is the type of camera you can just start shooting within the auto mode. If you really want though, you can still tweak the photo in post, but most of the time the camera will handle the processing itself.

Video Recording

For videos, you get up to 4K 30FPS and OIS is also present to improve stabilization. That’s however where the similarities with the ZV-1 ends. You do not have HDR video support and the color science will actually come down to personal preference, but I feel that Sony is doing a slightly better job in that department as well.

Battery Life

Canon’s NB-13L battery holds up to an hour of 4K video recording and it’ll give you a respective 230 shots if you’re using the display. So, maybe that’s enough juice for photos, but I’ll definitely suggest keeping an extra battery for video.

Should You Buy This Camera?

The Canon G5 X Mark II is an extremely capable Point & Shoot for photos. If you don’t mind paying the slightly higher price, you can definitely give it a go. But, in case your main priority is video, get the ZV-1 instead.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality
  • 13-element lens mechanism with OIS
  • 4K 30FPS video recording
  • Good low-light performance
Cons
  • Average battery life
  • Videos aren’t as good as the photos

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I shoot makeup videos outdoors?

An outdoor set works at night as the light sources are going to be the same external ones you’d be using indoors. In the daytime, however, you can only shoot casual makeup videos, under a shade. You should avoid outdoor daytime shooting if the skin tone transition is super important for your videos.

What type of lighting is best for shooting makeup?

It is recommended that you shoot makeup videos under warm & soft lighting. A very good example is going to be the dressing room of celebrities. That type of warm lighting works best for makeup and that’s why they use it in Hollywood.

Do I need super-expensive cameras to shoot makeup properly?

Most of the time, expensive cameras perform better for makeup because of their color science and true-to-life representation. However, that has kinda changed with the modern cameras coming out and you can get some really great options starting from $600 going up to $1000.

What editing app is best for makeup artists?

If you’re making regular videos and things like makeup tutorials, Apple’s iMovie is kinda more than enough. However, Adobe’s Lightroom and Premiere Pro are going to be the editing choice for photos & videos for most people. If you want to do professional-grade color grading though, I recommend Davinci Resolve.

Verdict

The idea of a makeup camera can vary from person to person. While someone may benefit from the poppy colors from built-in beauty features, others may want to keep things as close to the real world as possible. But in both cases, you need the camera to take great photos and/or videos to make your content stand up from the rest.

As you’ve made it this far, you probably have a personal favorite already. However, if you’re still not sure which one is going to be the best camera for your makeup needs, here’s the short & rather simplified version:

  • If you need a Full-frame camera with all the flagship features and no-compromise photo & video quality, get the Sony a7R III.
  • In case you need a full-frame but you have an under $1000 budget, get the Canon EOS RP.
  • For those who prefer compact mirrorless cameras, the Sony A6500 is definitely the way to go.
  • If you’re looking for a Point & Shoot, get the Canon G5 X Mark II for photos and the Sony ZV-1 for videos.
  • In case you are going to shoot outside though, get the Fujifilm X-T30

That’s all for this article and I really hope that you have found the perfect makeup camera for yourself. If you want to check out some great lenses next, we have explored a ton of those on the website as well. So, maybe head over to one of those next!


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