5 Great Digital Cameras For Bloggers

Five Fantastic Cameras for Bloggers

Last week Julia talked about why it's important to take your own photos for a fashion blogger. In addition to your writing, photos can really help develop a blog's voice and make it stand out from every other blog that's out there. Photography can also be fun! And with so many fantastic blogging cameras available now, there's no reason not to dive in.

When I started blogging in 2007, it was the norm to use your digital camera, or your webcam to take photos. It was also the norm for images to be blurry, and taken in the mirror. The blog world has evolved. Taking good photos is important and the first thing you'll need is a decent camera.

Just like Air Jordans aren't going to make you into a great basket ball player, a good camera isn't going to make you a great photographer. My photographer friends can take beautiful photos with cheap disposable cameras, even the crappiest flip phone camera phone you can find. However, they also put in the time to learn the craft of photography. They understand composition, light, and how to use a camera….that's another post. However my quick tip is just to start snapping, try all the settings, experiment. Fear and over-thinking are the biggest enemies to learning how to take pictures.

…my quick tip is just to start snapping. Try all the settings. Experiment. Fear and over-thinking are the biggest enemies to learning how to take great pictures.

When choosing to invest in a camera, you don't have to get the top of the line, but if you're planning on taking your photos seriously, invest in a SLR (my first SLR made it's money back several times over). You can find great deals for used cameras on sites like B&H, or refurbished on Amazon. Hey, you can even take a chance with Craigslist. SLRs will help you understand how to use light and how photography works. For that reason, most photography classes will require you to get an SLR. They always have.

If you chose to to get a new blogging camera (or blogging cameras–we won't judge), there a plenty to chose from! I tried to keep cost in mind, because it's a big investment, but they have the exciting features you'll need for your blog.


Our Favorite Blogging Cameras for Fashion Bloggers

NikonD3100 - an excellent camera

Nikon D5100

When you go the SLR route, most photographers will tell you to get either a Nikon or a Canon. They're both great quality, but they each have their own lens system, so you pretty much have to chose before you start getting into lenses. When I first started, I just had the lens that came with the camera, now I have three, and thinking about a fourth. The Nikon D5100 has excellent reviews, as it's one of the best under $1000, and this one you can get for under $500. It can take photos in low light and has video capability. Knowing that even professional videographers are using DSLR's to shoot their video these days, it would also be a great entry into video as well as photography.

Note: Nikon has updated their 5100 and we now recommend the Nikon D3300 in it's place. You can get it for under $500 on Amazon.


CanonEOS - a favorite camera for bloggers

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

You can't talk about SLRs without bringing Canon into the mix. When I said everyone usually chooses a path between Nikon and Canon, I chose Canon. This model set to come out next month, will be the smallest SLR on the market. Which is great for those of us who carry our cameras in our handbags. This camera is about 2/3 the size of the T5i, yet has many of the same capabilities (although the ISO only goes up to 12800 instead of 25600 for super low-light). Since it's a new camera, it will set you back about $650 for the body only (you can also get used lenses for new cameras to save $$ or get a 50mm lens for about $90.) I would say that with this camera and a Macbook Air, you'll have the ultimate compact blogger's kit!


Olympus E-PL1 - a flexible camera for bloggers

Olympus E-PL1

If SLRs are scary, and you would like more automatic features, yet have the flexibility to expand your lens collection. This Olympus E-PL1 just might be the one for you. It reigns in at $499, so the price advantage is not much different (than the Nikkon) but it's compact as mirrorless SLRs tend to be. It has fully automatic settings and image stabilization in the lens it comes with. On top of that, if you decide you want to experiment with lenses there are quite a number of great lenses you can choose from.

Note: Olympus has updated their E-PL1 with their E-PL7 and we recommend it in the E-PL1's place. You can get it for under $500 on Amazon.


OlympusOM-D blogging camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5

If you're into stylish looking cameras that pack a lot of punch. This Olympus OM-D E-M5 has a lot to offer. Aside from the vintage look to the camera, as a mirrorless camera, it's nice that they've included a view finder in this model. This camera comes in at 16 megapixels as compared with the 12 MP of the Canon. It also has interchangeable lenses, and plenty of add-ons. It also can take photos at 9 frames per second (great for gifs!) and has superb image stabilization (for those with less than steady hands) But what's nice is that it's built to be sturdy camera. Fantastic if you're traveling a lot. The one thing reviews revealed was that it doesn't do well with moving objects, so if you're planning on going to fashion week, it might be good to save this camera for presentations and backstage.


a great camera for bloggers

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

Another mirrorless SLR, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 is also a compact camera like the Canon above. This model has 16MP, takes 5 frames per second. It costs about $799, but with rebate you can sometimes get a deal.

Note: Panasonic has replaced the DMC-G5 with the DMC-G7 and we now recommend it for the same price. You can get it at Amazon here.


We have a TON of other great posts about photography. Please check them out here.

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About The Author

Alison Lumbatis is the Founder and CEO of Get Your Pretty On and the creator of StyleChallenges.com and the fashion tech platform Stylegistix. Stylegistix provides the technology and tools for blogger and stylists to easily create, sell and deliver their own online style programs.

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58 Responses

  1. Nomadic D.

    I used to “borrow” my husband’s fabulous Nikon (he’s a professional dp) to take my photos, but I eventually made the leap and got myself a Canon 600D. I absolutely love it and it has been worth every penny. And rather than learning everything about it beforehand, I just jumped right in and started using it, when I need to learn some new aspect I’ll look it up, but mostly it’s just been playing around and learning “on the job”. I love my camera to death! I did, however, buy a lens adapter to be able to, ahem, “borrow” some of Husband’s lenses. It does make a huge difference in the quality of the photos to have great lenses! Still, I say, get the best you can reasonably afford at the moment, and just play play play!

    Reply
  2. Daura

    If you guys need some examples, I own the Olympus E-PM1 (pen series) and I use a Lecia f1.4 25 mm on it. Here are some photos I have taken with it:

    http://snobaffair.com/dorothy/2013/03/burberry/
    http://snobaffair.com/dorothy/2013/01/self-portrait-my-style/
    http://snobaffair.com/dorothy/2012/08/katherine/
    http://snobaffair.com/dorothy/2012/09/shooting-in-the-rain/

    Super sharp and great background blur, exactly what a blogger is looking for. You don’t need a clunky camera, get a stylish micro 4/3 camera, I take mine everywhere! Of course you’ll have to invest in a lens like mine to achieve this quality but in total you’ll pay 1000 bucks which is less than what you’ll end up paying for a DSLR + lens.

    Daura

    Reply
  3. JollyCaucusRace

    If you want professional-looking photographs without the DSLR price tag then try a ‘Bridge’ camera. It is half-way between a regular point-and-shoot camera and a DSLR.
    The quality is fantastic and they are smaller and lighter making them ideal for blogging on the go 🙂

    I have a Canon EOS 1000D DSLR and I love it like a child! LOL
    Best investment I’ve ever made!!

    Reply
  4. Valentina

    I have a Sony nex 5n and I love it! It has a compact size so you don’t have to carry a huge camera with you, but you can still change the lens if you want to upgrade and the photos look great!

    Reply
    • Dominic

      Excellent and powerful little camera, even by 2016s standards.
      Probably totally underrated by most people who think the bigger the equipment, the better and more professional. Simply not valid.

      I still use it today when light kit and unobtrusive photos are an advantage.

      In 2016 I’d probably recommend to have a look at a6000.

      Reply
    • Donna

      I was researching cameras a few nights ago and had pretty much settled on the Nikon D5200. It is pretty expensive once I add in lenses, a remote and a wi-fi, but I want to shoot fashion as well as close-ups for beauty tutorials. Do you really love yours?
      Donna
      Prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

      Reply
      • Polina

        Yes Donna, it’s pretty expensive but makes amazing photos. It has a lot of effects and the quality is better than for example Nikon D3000. And also is very comfortable for making videos!

  5. Tanii

    I have a Nikon D5100, which is mentioned above and it’s amazing! Also, I love the fact, that I’m able to make videos. If you want to check out some of the pictures ( shot with the 50mm f 1/4 lens) you can check out my blog, but I promise, you won’t the buy!

    Reply
    • Jamie

      I’ve been told that the Nikor 50mm f1.8 is a good cheap alternative. Still debating whether to go 50mm f1.8/ 1.4 or 35mm f1.8/ 1.4 I do street style photography in Indianapolis so do u have any suggestions?

      Thanks,

      Jamie Yan

      Reply
  6. Liss

    I LOVE cameras and own many, I have the Canon 5D Mark 2 and personally I think lens are where you need to invest your dollars, bodies are throw away these days.
    Also investing your time in learning how to use a camera over expecting that the more you spend means the better the results. I personally still use film cameras because I get a better picture due to not yet understanding all the settings on my new Canon.

    just a few points
    SLR means single lens reflect, so the name infers there is a mirror, no such thing as a mirror-less SLR. Also there are a few grammar mistakes in this article that make it annoying to read, IFB need a proof reader.

    Reply
    • Daura

      I think that if you got something from the NEX series, you might as well learn how to use a DSLR as all the functions available on a traditional DSLR are available on a mirrorless camera.

      Reply
  7. Mike Panic

    I’ll chime in for a quick response, since I’m both a blogger (content creation and copywriting mostly) and a professional photographer (here’s one of the fashion campaigns I shot: http://www.mikepanic.com/6-shore-road/).

    I’d advise any fashion blogger, who is mostly on the go, to avoid any of these. They will make great photos but are too big and bulky, and the “kit” lenses on them are junk. I’m going to advice buying a used Canon G10, used $225-250ish- look on Amazon for used (or G12), if you need to buy new, buy the G15. They are tanks, built tough, super user friendly but also have the ability to shoot with an hotshoe flash, even studio strobes. Small enough to take everywhere and shoots to an SD card, which is built into many Mac laptops.

    There’s a reason no one carries laptops around anymore and the iPad mini is so popular, size really does matter, especially when you’re on the go.

    Reply
    • Olive Brown

      The Canon G series is a great series of compacts – the Canon G11 was the first camera I owned and it taught me so much about photography. I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the list here actually, it’s a much more affordable option and I’d highly recommend it for someone who wants to get into serious photography but isn’t quite ready to invest in a DSLR. It’s beautifully designed, loads of external dials so you don’t get lost in the on-screen menus trying to change your photo settings!

      Reply
    • Nonz

      Hey Mike Id love to know what u think about the Samsung NX2000 with Wi-Fi and NFC . I plan on taking videos and pictures. It seems to have alot of options except (im shy to say) its ugly 🙁 considering its Aug is this the best around like iv heard

      Reply
  8. Olive Brown

    I got the Olympus OM-D for Christmas and it is just incredible, but you really have to know what you’re doing to get the most out of it! That said, mirrorless system cameras are a great option if you’re serious about photography but want something a little more compact than a DSLR.

    For those interested in investing in a camera with an interchangeable lens, I highly recommend getting the body only and buying a separate lens with a fixed focal length instead of the kit zoom lenses that are usually sold with the body. They are much sharper and you will get more professional looking photos with nice “bokeh” (the blurry background).

    A focal length of 50mm is very popular as it is considered to be the most realistic, that is similar to what the human eye sees. As the sensor on a micro 4/3 camera is half the size of a full-frame sensor, a 50mm equivalent m4/3 lens would be 25mm. Also keep in mind that you can put a Panasonic lens on an Olympus body and vice versa, which gives you a lot more options!

    That said, if you have a strong creative vision it really doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have. Personally I’d love to see more photos from polaroids and disposable cameras on blogs, I love the saturated colours and dreamy, vintage feel you get from crappy film cameras!

    Reply
    • Daura

      Well said!!! I have exactly that, a Panasonic Leica 25 mm f1.4 on an Olympus, isn’t it just amazing? Nikon and Canon users are impressed and jealous 😛

      I agree that artistic vision is important, though I could not go without good equipment when it comes to detail shots of accessories and such.

      Reply
      • Olive Brown

        That’s true, if you take a lot of detail shots there’s nothing better than digital.

        I’m using the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 with my Olympus as I prefer a slightly wider angle, it’s such a great all-rounder lens, I cannot recommend it enough. One thing I forgot to mention is using a fixed focal length is great for improving your photography skills because you can’t rely on a zoom to get the photo you want, so you learn to think a lot more about how you frame your photos.

  9. Kylie

    I recently got the 6D and blown away with it. I would suggest it was the perfect top end camera for bloggers. It also connects to your iPhone via an app (no need to connect through computer) can upload photos from my 6D straight to social media channels. Also a breeze to take photos of myself with this feature. I must add it is full frame camera so much easier to use that beloved 50mm 1.8 (don’t have to stand so far back to get in the frame). Jeez maybe I should be a sales person for this camera..

    I also have my sights on the Canon eos M. Its a compact but I can use my DSLR lenses on it with an adapter. More lightweight option for times I don’t want to lug around my DSLR.

    Ooo I do love geeky camera talk 🙂

    Reply
  10. Domenic Bartlett-Roylance

    I just really want that digital polaroid right now. Luuuust lusssst

    Reply
  11. Morgan

    I have to agree that it is just best to jump in and start using your camera. I did just that when I bought the Nikon D5100 last year and I am very happy with it. It takes beautiful pictures but I also bought ‘Nikon D5100 for Dummies’ as a reference because I am a BEGINNER.

    I bought a 50mm automatic lens for it (honestly, based on IFB suggestions) but I kinda of hate how far away I have stand from my subject for a decent picture.

    I love using my iPhone 5 for pictures on the go. They come out great! It is really amazing how good camera phones are becoming.

    I’m looking forward to more articles about lens or photography. It’s becoming a hobby of mine.

    Reply
  12. Zara

    Really useful post! It’s so important for beauty/fashion bloggers to have good cameras. I love my Nikon D90, takes really high quality pictures! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Archel

    I clicked this post because I felt it would be right on time as I’m looking for a new camera. I’m actually more confused now than ever. Not your faults, I’m just like aaaahhh ok so now where do I go from here?! What does Rumi from Fashion Toast use? Or Aimee Song? They must have the Canon 7Ds? What will be the easiest formula for sharp photos?! AAHH

    Reply
  14. Kim

    I recently purchased the Canon T3i. It was by far the best purchase I have made to move my blog forward.

    Reply
  15. Jamie

    I second Liss on investing in your lens. If you have a Nikon, you must head over to http://www.kenrockwell.com It seems like he’s tested just about every imaginable Nikon lens out there! Well, I wish I found out about his website & did my research on buying a lens before I got what I got.

    It was a 2 for deal on eBay, so I went for it. Turns out they bundle it together because no one would buy that lens on its own. It’s ruined a lot of shots for me & I could kick myself for not doing more research. At least my other telephoto lens is nice! The only thing is that I do street style in Indianapolis & a telephoto lens is overkill.

    I’ll also add to chose a body that does video. You never know when you’ll need it.

    Reply
  16. Adorngirl

    my go to has always been Canon it has been my best investment, and I haven’t looked back since. For my blog I started with the Canon 400d but now have the canon 650d which lets me shoot videos in HD

    at the moment I have a great giveaway running on my blog for UK entries I am giving away a Canon NEX 3NL http://adorngirl.com/blog-giveaway-sony-nex-3nl/

    competition closes 6th June 2013

    Reply
  17. S Mendelsohn

    I just got the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro 4/3 Mirrorless Camera and it’s really AWESOME! It hasn’t even hit stores yet but this site has them in stock now! http://www.ritzcamera.com
    Check it out because it’s great

    Reply
  18. meganlike.blogspot.com

    I have Canon 650D and am happy with it, it has touch screen too, and i bought 30 mm Sigma 1.4 lense to it and also Canon 17-40mm, but in future I want to buy also Canon 24-105 mm lense and maybe upgrade to Canon 5D Mark II or III if I will afford it.
    Check out my blog and follow on bloglovin too
    http://meganlike.blogspot.com

    Reply
  19. meganlike.blogspot.com

    I have Canon 650D and am happy with it, it has touch screen too, and i bought 30 mm Sigma 1.4 lense to it and also Canon 17-40mm, but in future I want to buy also Canon 24-105 mm lense and maybe upgrade to Canon 5D Mark II or III if I will afford it.
    Check out my blog and follow on bloglovin too
    http://meganlike.blogspot.com

    Reply
  20. Shane Biegnaar

    What a good help and solid advise on cameras for bloggers, been on the blogging scene for roughly over a year and its always good coming across solid information.

    Keep up the good post and content.

    Reply
  21. shareef

    Hi, your post is really helpful!. But i’ve got a few questions..
    There were 2 camera models i’m interested in :the Olympus om-d e-m5 and the Panasonic lumix dmc-g5. For both of these cameras there are a newer version of it(panasonic lumix dmc-gx7 and the Olympus om-d e-m1) so which one( older or newer) would you recommend ?

    Reply
  22. Stephanie L. Robertson

    Hi photographers and fellow bloggers! Thanks so much for the comments and links to your photos. This is really helpful for deciding which camera to buy for my blog, http://www.thewritesteph.com. If you see my blog, the last photo was shot in low light and is awful! The outdoor pics look pretty good, however. I shot them all with my little Canon Powershot.

    But I want to move on to something a little more professional as I build my freelance writing platform.

    Thank you, Ms. Jacob for sharing the information. I took a lot of notes from this post.

    Reply
  23. Nikky Watson

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on views on digital Camera. As I use many Digital camera but I’m never happy from their performance from my personal experience Now I am using Fujifilm X70 Digital Camera from past 1 year. I am very from their performance.

    Reply