Best Camera for Car Photography

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Whether you are taking pictures of vehicles to sell online, or you are into action and speed, then car photography is the genre for you. 

Taking pictures that make the car look great can be tricky. You need to be able to work your way around strange angles, unexpected reflections, poor lighting situations, and blurs, especially when you are taking shots while the car is moving. 

The best camera for car photography can help you work your way around these issues. It can help you with any situation so you can capture only beautiful images. 

Our Top Car Photography Camera Reviews

When it comes to choosing the best camera for car photography, it is not always going to be as easy and straightforward as you may think. 

You will need a camera that has the right specs that can shoot cars properly, both while they are moving and while they are still. Below are the cameras that professional car photographers use so you will have an idea of what to look for. 

Brand
Best Overall
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Camera
Best for the Money
Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Best Cheap Pick
Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera
Product
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless...
Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm...
Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera for...
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Special Feature
BIONZ X Image Processor and Front-End LSI, 567-Point Phase-Detection AF System, 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
X-Processor 4 Image Processor, 425-Point Hybrid AF System; Built-In Flash, 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
5-Axis Hybrid Image Stabilization; Built-In Flash, OZO Audio with Subject Tracking, Vlogging UI and Video Selfie Mode
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Camera
Product
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless...
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Special Feature
BIONZ X Image Processor and Front-End LSI, 567-Point Phase-Detection AF System, 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Product
Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm...
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Special Feature
X-Processor 4 Image Processor, 425-Point Hybrid AF System; Built-In Flash, 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera
Product
Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera for...
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Special Feature
5-Axis Hybrid Image Stabilization; Built-In Flash, OZO Audio with Subject Tracking, Vlogging UI and Video Selfie Mode
Rating
-
Price

Best Overall Camera for Car Photography: Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Camera

The Sony Alpha 7R IV camera lets you take images with incomparable quality, and it opens you to a whole new world of expression. It is a powerful and incredible choice, especially for those who are into car photography, thanks to its advanced connectivity and enhanced reliability. 

Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless...

The camera lets you shoot images in complete silence. It is great for photoshoots that need a quiet atmosphere, and it also avoids any vibration that can cause blurs. With its vibration-free shutter, it heightens the resolution, ensuring that your images are clear and crisp. 

The camera has wireless digital audio interface support that can be directly connected to an MI shoe. It also has a combo connector, and it has a stereo mini jack for line input and microphone, ideal for videography. 

Sony Alpha 7R IV is very easy to hold, and its controls are easy to operate. It has a large capacity, and its operation time is long lasting, thanks to the NP-FZ100 batteries. 

The camera does not have any front control buttons. It is positioned near the lens mount. The release button of the lens is the only button located at the front. 

The top controls are placed on the right side. You will see three control dials. They are the C1 and 2 buttons, and the release for the shutter feature. There is also an on and off toggle switch and the 

However, the buttons of the camera are not backlit, which can be difficult to operate if you are shooting in a poorly lit area. Unlike that of the Fujifilm X-S10 that has lighting. 

Also, the phase detection does not extend to the edge of the frame, which means it is difficult to keep a moving subject within the frame, unlike that of the Panasonic LUMIX G100 that fits the subject in the frame. 

Pros:

  • It is equipped with support for a wireless digital audio interface which can be attached to a mic and other line input.
  • It has a vibration reduction system that prevents blurs. 

Cons:

  • The buttons have no backlight. It can be difficult to see at night
  • The phase detection can’t be extended, affecting the accuracy of the image
Sony Alpha 7R IV Full Frame Mirrorless...
  • World’s first 61MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 102,400
  • Up to 10fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF tracking

Best Car Photography Camera for the Money: Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

The Fujifilm X-S10 has a renowned design, and it boasts of incredible engineering and color science. The body of the camera features a deep grip that ensures security while you take images handheld. 

Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm...

The camera has been designed to provide photographers with maximum control. It has a deep handgrip that allows confident and solid handling. Even when you attach large lenses to it, it is still easy to hold. It also has a simple control dial that is easy to operate. 

The camera has a five-axis stabilization system that allows you to film clear and smooth footage. The stabilization system gives you the flexibility and freedom to take pictures and film videos handheld because you don’t have to place it on a tripod. 

With touchscreen technology, you can operate the camera with simple gestures.

Just like how you operate a smartphone, you can easily swipe the screen to bring up the menus and quickly zoom in and out of the pictures that you’ve taken. It has a 180-degree vari-angle LCD touchscreen, so you can cover a lot of angles. 

The camera is very versatile. It allows you to combine more than 30 different lenses of different focal length ranges and apertures, giving you endless possibilities. 

As for its autofocus feature, it is very fast as it only takes 0.02 seconds to focus on the subject, may it be moving or not, unlike that of the Nikon D7500 that has a slow autofocus. 

However, the camera’s battery life is not that long. You can only take up to 325 images and film a 40-minute video per charge. 

Also, the camera is not weather-sealed, unlike the Sony Alpha 7R IV that is sealed. This means it can’t be used outdoors on a rainy or cloudy day because it may affect its performance. 

Pros:

  • Its LCD screen can be tilted up to 180 degrees to cover more angles
  • It has an image stabilization feature that prevents blurs and distortion on images

Cons:

  • Battery life is short. It only lets you take up to 325 images per full charge
  • It is not sealed from external elements. Not suited to be used on a rainy day. 
Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera XF16-80mm...
  • It's All About How It Feels: X-S10 has been designed to provide on-the-go photographers with maximum...
  • Making State-of-the-Art Simple: Designed to be simple and minimalist on the outside, X-S10 still...
  • Putting Stability in Your Hands: To document the most amazing moments, you need to be in the right...

Best Cheap Camera for Car Photography: Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera

The Panasonic LUMIX G100 camera boasts of exceptional portability and performance. It allows you to produce images that are worthy of your memories. 

Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera for...

The camera is light and versatile. It is ideal for car photography because you can take stunning photos with ease, and it distributes the colors evenly. 

Aside from capturing amazing photos, the G100 camera also lets you record videos in 4K. It creates smooth and high-resolution videos at 24p, 30p, and 60p. 

You can integrate the camera with smartphones for easy editing and fast sharing, so you can forward your content immediately to friends, family, and clients. It allows you to post content on social media. 

For edits, you can resize, crop, and retouch your images within the camera, or you can send the images and videos to another device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. 

With a 3- inch touchscreen rear monitor and an image stabilization feature, it gives you the ability to shoot clear and crisp pictures from any angle. 

The Frame Marker enables you to check the composition of the images fast, and you can even check them in different ratios. It also has a REC Frame Indicator that can save you from time-consuming retouches because it indicates when the camera is recording. 

The camera also features an audio recording that is of the highest-quality. It also has three microphones. They are located at the front, back, and around the camera. They can be activated automatically or they can be turned on manually via the tracking function to make sure that the audio is clear.  

However, the camera’s battery is not that long. It only takes 270 images per charge, which is pretty short compared to the Sony Alpha 7R IV that can take 530 images per charge. 

Also, the camera is not weather-sealed, unlike the Sony Alpha 7R IV. It needs to be covered properly and cleaned in order to keep its quality. 

Pros:

  • It has a stabilization system that prevents blurs and distortion on images
  • It has a built-in editing feature for fast and easy retouch

Cons:

  • The camera can only take 270 images per charge, which is short
  • Not sealed from elements, can’t be used on rainy days
Panasonic LUMIX G100 4k Mirrorless Camera for...
  • Feature-Packed Camera: Why trust your memories to a phone. With exceptional performance and...
  • Grows as Your Skills Grow: iA (intelligent auto) mode gives the perfect shot every time, or use...
  • Use as a Webcam: Easily connect the G100 to your computer so that your web calls, livestreams,...

Best DSLR Camera for Car Photography: Nikon D850 

The Nikon D850 Nikon D850 is a camera that allows photographers to capture fast action at an impressive resolution of 45.7 megapixels. 

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

With amazing advancements such as autofocus, sensor design, sensitivity, dynamic range, battery life, Speedlight control, mirror drive mechanisms, shutter, silent photography, and more, making it a well-rounded DSLR. 

The Nikon D850 has a designed sensor with no optical low-pass filter and a full-frame CMOS image sensor. Because of this, the camera achieves incredible image quality as it has enhanced light gathering features, brighter color, and faster data readout. 

The camera is equipped with a Silent Photography feature that captures videos without any sound or vibration. You can also tilt the touchscreen LCD screen so you can take shots at any angle. 

You can zoom in while shooting and use the Pinpoint autofocus feature to focus directly on your subject. It is also equipped with Touch autofocus, Touch Shutter control, menus, and playbacks that are easy to navigate. 

The autofocus feature is down to -4 EV that allows you to capture in low-light areas. 

You can also create a 4K time-lapse sequence, a feature that is exclusive to Nikon cameras. With its Silent Live View Mode feature, the camera can bypass the mechanical shutter, thus saving thousands of shutter cycles and improving the battery performance. 

Since the camera is weather-sealed, you can use it at any time. It also has an incredible battery life, as you can take up to 1,840 shots per charge. 

However, it can’t transfer images and videos via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, unlike the Panasonic LUMIX G100. Also, even though it has an impressive autofocus feature, it is not as fast as that of the Sony Alpha 7R IV. 

Pros:

  • The battery life is impressive. It can take 1,840 images per charge
  • It can capture images even in low light conditions

Cons:

  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. You need to connect a USB cable to transfer files 
  • The autofocus feature is not fast. It takes a couple of seconds before you can focus on a subject.
Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Nikon designed back side illuminated (BSI) full frame image sensor with no optical low pass filter
  • 45.7 megapixels of extraordinary resolution, outstanding dynamic range and virtually no risk of...
  • Up to 9 fps1 continuous shooting at full resolution with full AF performance

Best Mirrorless Camera for Car Photography: Panasonic LUMIX G7KS

The Panasonic LUMIX G7KS is created on the next generation mirrorless interchangeable standard, also known as Micro Four Thirds. Its design enables a compact and light camera body. 

Panasonic LUMIX G7KS 4K Mirrorless Camera, 16...

With its 16-megapixel sensor features and new image processor, the camera produces pictures and videos free from effects that degrade the quality of the image. 

The camera is small and light, yet it still provides all of the common functions. The control aperture and shutter settings are easy to navigate. 

A high-resolution OLED Live View Finder allows high visibility even if the camera is positioned under direct sunlight. You can tilt and swivel the touch display, and you can adjust it for optimum clarity. 

The camera’s 4K video produces almost four times the number of pixels than a full high-definition video. The video features amazing definition and crisp detail compared to those that are recorded with a camcorder. 

The Lumix G7 has a technology that allows you to pause and extract the right photo moment, so you don’t miss any special moment. You can also shoot silently, thanks to its quiet and fast autofocus system that does not have any shutter noise. 

The camera’s depth-from-defocus or DFD and its autofocus or AF technology can accurately calculate the distance to the subject so it can adjust the focus. 

The autofocus system tracks every movement of the live subject. It enables a fast and accurate focus. You can shoot images with confidence as you don’t have to worry about distorted results. 

However, the camera is not sealed against elements, unlike the Nikon D850. You need to be careful in using it outdoors, or the external elements can affect the performance of the camera. 

Also, the build is not that sturdy because it is made of plastic and it cracks easily, unlike the Sony Alpha 7R IV that is made of high quality stainless steel. 

Pros:

  • It has a high-resolution OLED viewfinder that lets you see the screen even under the sunlight
  • It has a quick and silent autofocus system to take photos of live subjects discreetly

Cons:

  • Made of plastic, not that sturdy
  • The camera is not sealed against water, dust, dirt, and other elements
Panasonic LUMIX G7KS 4K Mirrorless Camera, 16...
  • Superb DSLM image quality without the bulk and weight of traditional DSLRs
  • Never miss a photo with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes
  • Fast and precise auto focusing tracks the subject; Focus mode AFS (single) / AFF (flexible) / AFC...

Best DX-Format Camera for Car Photography: Nikon D7500

The Nikon D7500 is a compact and powerful DX camera that has a game-changing resolution, incredible image processing, ISO range, and energy efficiency that lets you take jaw-dropping images. 

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body

The D7500 is built to outperform the other DX cameras with its blazing speed, high-quality images, 4K high-definition videos, and up-to-date creative tools. It is a camera that is not just suited for car photography. It is also ideal for other genres. 

The camera has an impressive battery life as it can take up to 950 shots per charge, unlike the Panasonic LUMIX G100 that can only take 270 shots. 

With its 20.9 MP image sensor and EXPEED 5 image-processing tool, it can take your photos and videos to a whole new level. You can capture pictures with amazing sharpness even in low light conditions like sporting events, studios, concerts, night parties, and more. 

The camera can capture 8 frames per second and up to 50 RAW shots continuously, which means you won’t miss any important fleeting moments.  

With its 51 focus points and 15 cross-type sensors, the autofocus is sharp and can lock on to the subjects accurately, even in low light areas. 

With its RGB sensor, the camera can accurately detect faces and improve the focus performance while shooting or filming. 

However, the autofocus is not as fast as that of the Sony Alpha 7R IV. Although it is accurate in capturing images, it needs a few seconds to focus on the subject. 

Also, it only has one slot for a memory card. This means that you need to constantly clear out the storage because it can get full easily. 

Pros:

  • You can take pictures even poorly lit areas thanks to its 20.9 MP image sensor
  • The battery life is long as it allows you to take 950 images per charge

Cons:

  • The autofocus is not fast, not ideal for fast-moving subjects
  • The camera only has one memory card slot, meaning the storage is limited
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
  • Class leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award...
  • Large 3.2” 922k dot, tilting Lcd screen with touch functionality. Temperature: 0 °c to 40 °c (32...
  • 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous...

Feature to Consider in Cameras for Car Photography

Whether it be for passion or profession, photographers need the best camera for car photography in order to produce the best outcome. 

High-quality cameras can take captivating and attractive photos of vehicles, and they can be used for advertisement purposes, for art, or even for collection. 

Not all cameras can take on the job of capturing images of cars, as it needs to have specific features that are suited for car photography. 

Battery LifeFast AutofocusWeather-Sealed
Sony Alpha 7R IV 530 images per chargeYesYes
Fujifilm X-S10 325 images per chargeYesNo 
Panasonic LUMIX G100270 images per chargeYesNo
Nikon D8501,840 images per chargeYesYes
Panasonic LUMIX G7KS350 images per chargeYesNo
Nikon D7500950 images per chargeNoYes

Battery Life

A camera’s battery life is important, especially if you have plans of doing a photoshoot for hours. You don’t want to run out of battery while in the middle of taking pictures because there is a chance that you might miss important moments. 

Although there is no exact figure when it comes to the expected life of a camera’s battery, it is agreed that it normally lasts between 500 images to 1000 images, depending on the brand. 

On the list, the camera with the best battery life is Nikon D850, as it can take 1,840 images per charge. 

Man taking a photo beside a car

Fast Autofocus

Car photography has two types, they are still and in motion. Car photographers sometimes take pictures of cars while it is moving to show what it looks like while in motion. 

Since there are instances wherein you need to take pictures of vehicles while it is moving, it is best to get a camera that has fast autofocus. 

A fast autofocus ensures that the subject is locked in the frame before you take a picture, and it is ideal for moving subjects. 

If you wish to get a camera with a fast and silent autofocus system, you can get the Sony Alpha 7R IV, Fujifilm X-S10, Panasonic LUMIX G100, Nikon D850, or Panasonic LUMIX G7KS. 

Weather-Sealed

Car photography is often done outdoors because the atmosphere changes the aesthetic of the vehicle. However, since the weather can be very unpredictable, there is a possibility that it is sunny and bright one minute, then it is cloudy and rainy the next. 

A camera that is weather-sealed can protect the device from external elements that could damage its interior. If you wish to get a camera with this feature, you can get the Sony Alpha 7R IV, Nikon D850, and Nikon D7500. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Take Good Pictures of a Black Car?

In taking pictures of a black car, you will need supplemental lighting because taking pictures of the vehicle in poorly lit areas will not make it stand out.

You can also use a tripod to support the camera to make sure that it won’t be distorted when the image comes out. The street lights in residential areas can make for good lighting too. 

Having enough light sources behind the vehicle to illuminate your background will do wonders. Make sure that you don’t have a black background because it will just drown out the edges and features of the black car. 

What is the Best Setting to Use in Car Photography?

Changing the settings of your camera can help you take amazing images. You need to find the right spot. Once you’ve done that, set up your camera and adjust the ISO to 100. As for the shutter speed, you need to switch it to 30 seconds. 

Make sure that the aperture is at least on f/9 to let enough light in. When the camera’s shutter opens, it will take in strong light, and it will illuminate the vehicle at every angle to prevent blurry edges. 

Conclusion

Cars are very appealing to take pictures of because they come in different colors and sizes. Photographers take pictures of cars all the time because they can be printed as wallpaper or a poster that caters to car enthusiasts. 

All of these amazing pictures are possible thanks to the best camera for car photography that is equipped with features that can produce only top-tier images. 

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.