You know what the best camera for street photography is? A point & shoot camera. We live in an era will you can get a full-frame camera (Sony a7iii) for under $2000 and that’s considered a steal, but what we forget is that all this innovation has caused consumer friendly cameras to have professional specs. Entry level cameras that are releasing today are right on par with high-end prosumer camera’s that released a few years ago.
The Canon 6D for example, that was a huge mid-level camera, released in 2012 for $2899 (w/ kit lens). You can get a camera with similar specs for a quarter of the price. Sure you might be missing out on that full frame sensor… but is that really important to you? A lot of us are looking at these high-end cameras and we’re getting excited about how accessible they are, but what we’re over looking is how cheap and capable the cameras under them are.
I want everyone to look at their needs, what do you do now what you camera? Don’t think about the future, don’t think about how you might do wedding photography in 3 years, think about what you do now. If it’s street photography and street photography alone than ask yourself… Do I really need the Sony a7iii? Do I really need the new Nikon Z 6? Do I really need something that valuable to photograph strangers with? The answer is probably no, in fact, having a camera of that magnitude will likely hinder you from taking amazing pictures.
Related: The Smaller The Camera... The Better
Why A Point & Shoot Is The Best Camera For Street Photography
Point & Shoot cameras have a bad rep because of their accessibility. It’s all Ashton Kutcher’s fought. I remember being a kid and seeing the Nikon Coolpix commercials and yeah, everyone had one. They’re touristy and the photographs people produce with them normally suck. I think this is why people stay away from them… but this is exactly why it’s the perfect camera for street photography.
Everyone will assume you just suck. People who aren’t into photography are completely unaware that cameras have advanced outside of the iPhone. If someone see’s you pointing a small camera at them, they’ll probably assume you’re a tourist and move on… In the rare case that they decide to confront you, well, the point & shoot comes in handy in that situation as well, you can simply toss the camera into your pocket and now you have both of your hands to defend yourself. Now i’m not one to promote any type of violence, I’m just saying that two hands are batter than one.
When you carry around a DSLR or a larger mirrorless camera you’re responsible for it. You can’t just toss it around, you can’t just throw it in your pocket. You have to baby it, you have to have a bag for it… You have to decide if it’s worth taking it or not. How can you capture amazing moments on the street if you can’t even take this thing everywhere with you?
Right now I use the Fujifilm XF10, it fits in my back pocket and just being able to take this thing every where with me has been such a joy. I’m photographing things I would never think to photograph. I’m taking pictures of my friends, family, fucking telephone booths… It’s just so much fun being able to have my camera at all times without worrying about it.
The Best Point & Shoot Cameras For Street Photography
I’m sure there are a lot of great cameras to pick from, but here are a few of my favorites. I tend to pick size over features, so please keep that in mind.
My Recent Session
With all that being said, I recently went out with the Fujifilm XF10 and really enjoyed my experience. The camera did have some limitations, which I’ll talk more about in my review, but yeah, I didn’t feel less capable with the camera. It has a large sensor, good grip and I think it was just non threatening towards my subjects. You get a lot of bang for your buck… I think it’s time we look at this smaller cameras and see if they’re a better fit in our kit. Here’s some pics from my most recent session.