Best Camera for Pet Photography [2021 Review]

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The movements of animals can be very unpredictable, which is why taking pictures of them is a bit of a challenge. The outcome of the photos would depend on how well-behaved your dog or cat is. 

The best cameras for pet photography can help you complete the task faster without compromising the quality. 

Our Top Camera for Pet Photography Reviews

Before doing a photoshoot for your pet, you will need to consider the type of photograph that you want and the camera that you’re going to use. 

The best cameras for pet photography are filled with features that can capture every special moment easily. 

Brand
Best Overall
Sony A6600
Best for the Money
Canon PowerShot G7
Best Cheap Pick
Canon SL3
Product
Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera
Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II] with...
CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi,...
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Compact
DSLR
Special Feature
BIONZ X Image Processor; 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
Alcohol-Free
DIGIC 8 Image Processor; Built-In Flash; 9-Point Phase-Detection AF and Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Sony A6600
Product
Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera
Form Factor
Mirrorless
Special Feature
BIONZ X Image Processor; 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Image Stabilization
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Canon PowerShot G7
Product
Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II] with...
Form Factor
Compact
Special Feature
Alcohol-Free
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Canon SL3
Product
CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi,...
Form Factor
DSLR
Special Feature
DIGIC 8 Image Processor; Built-In Flash; 9-Point Phase-Detection AF and Dual Pixel CMOS AF
Rating
Price

Best Overall Camera for Pet Photography: Sony A6600

The Sony A6600 mirrorless camera is packed with excellent features that can deliver the results that you need for pet photography. It can produce stunning, high-resolution images, and you can even film your pets by using its 4K HDR movie capability. 

Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

The camera has a fast hybrid autofocus system that brings accuracy, speed, and incredible performance to meet the demands of a high-quality photo. 

The real-time autofocus system enables stable eye detection even when your pet is moving, and it also tracks your pet to keep the scene in focus. 

With its 5-axis image stabilization mechanism, you can confidently use the camera for handheld photoshoots, and you won’t have to worry about blurs or distortion when the camera shakes.

Image stabilization is a feature that the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, Canon Rebel SL3, FujiFilm X-T30 and the Nikon D3500 do not have. 

The high-capacity battery can give you 720 shots. It also has a headphone and mic jack for easy filmmaking. 

However, the camera is not weather-sealed, unlike the FujiFilm X-T30 and the Nikon D3500.You will have to cover it up when it is not in use and it needs to be cleaned frequently, or the quality will deteriorate. 

Also, the toggle switch to change settings is stiff. It would be best if you pressed it harder to switch autofocus modes effectively. 

Pros:

  • It has a real-time autofocus system that has eye detection to track your pet and keep them always in focus.
  • It has an image stabilization feature that compensates for camera shakes to ensure high-quality images.
  • It has 4K HDR capability for high-resolution films.

Cons:

  • Not sealed against water droplets, dust, and dirt. It needs to be cleaned often.
  • The toggle switch is stiff and switching to autofocus mode can be challenging. 
Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera
  • World’s fastest AF at 0 02 sec W/ real-time AF & Object tracking
  • 24 2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ front end LSI and ISO up to 102 400
  • Wide 425-phase/425-contrast detection AF points over 84% of sensor

Best Pet Photography Camera for the Money: Canon PowerShot G7 

The Canon PowerShot G7 has remarkable speed and incredible performance.

Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II] with...

The compact and light camera has a 1.0-inch sensor, a DIGIC 7 Image Processor, and a fast and precise 4.2x optical zoom lens. It can capture amazing images of your beloved pet in just seconds. 

The camera’s 1.0-inch sensor effectively catches the light that results in high-quality photos. The DIGIC 7 Image Processor ensures that the images that you shot in low light conditions are clear and that the camera’s motor won’t produce any sound that may potentially startle your pet. 

The camera’s aperture of f/1.8 is wide enough to take clear images in a dark environment. With a maximum focal length of 100mm, you can zoom in on the subject even if they are far away. 

If you are looking for a filter for your images, you can use its Picture Style feature that lets you choose between eight different presets. 

The feature will fine-tune how the images look. The presets are Faithful, Auto, Landscape, Fine Detail, Monochrome, Neutral and Standard. 

The 3-inch LCD monitor can be tilted vertically up to 180 degrees and horizontally up to 45 degrees. 

The high-resolution monitor lets you see different angles without having to move the camera itself. Its touch-panel operation enables you to go through different settings with a single touch. 

If you wish to transfer all of the contents of your camera, you can turn on the Wi-Fi connectivity feature. It is a feature that you can’t get with the Sony A6600. 

However, the camera is not weather-sealed. It is more suitable for indoor photoshoots. 

Also, it does not have an image stabilization mechanism, unlike the Sony A6600 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S. 

In order to prevent any distortion or blurs that are caused by sudden camera movements, you can attach it to a tripod. 

Pros:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for fast and easy transfer of files to another device.
  • It has an LCD monitor that lets you review different angles without having to move around. 
  • The DIGIC 7 Image Processor creates a quiet motor and wide aperture for shooting in dimly lit areas. 

Cons:

  • No image stabilization. Slight camera movements may result in distortion and blur.
  • Not weather-sealed. It can’t be exposed to harsh weather conditions as it may affect the quality of the camera.
Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II] with...
  • The advanced video capabilities of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the...
  • Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and...
  • An aperture value of f/1.8 at the wide angle and f/2.8 when fully zoomed to a factor of 4.2x (24-100...

Best Cheap Camera for Pet Photography: Canon SL3 

The Canon SL3 is one of the favorite cameras of pet photographers. It is a small and light DSLR with 4K recording capability and a 24.1-megapixel sensor for high-quality photos. 

CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi,...

The lens is equipped with a powerful DIGIC 8 Processor that adds depth between the subject and the background, and it also makes the tracking of the subject faster. 

You can also film videos of your pet using the 4K Time-lapse so you can see their every movement and create a movie out of it, a feature that the Nikon D3500 does not have

The optical viewfinder feature helps you frame the shot that you want. The viewfinder has a wide-area, 9-point autofocus system that is created for a sharp and immediate focus. 

The sophisticated autofocus system makes it easy to capture every action, no matter what the condition of the environment is. 

The 3-inch LCD touch screen can be tilted vertically and horizontally. Not only can you look for better angles without having to move the camera around, it also allows you to take a selfie and review the pictures that you’ve taken.

The eye-detection autofocus feature enables fast and accurate autofocus that allows you to get the image of your pet at the moment that you want. 

The feature analyzes the image and determines where to focus based on where your subject’s eyes are. This feature is also useful when taking headshots. 

The built-in Wi-Fi connection lets you transfer your images and videos to another device without physically connecting them. You can even send your files to another Canon camera. 

However, the camera is not equipped with image stabilization, so slight distortion may appear on images if the camera shakes too much. Also, the camera is not sealed from dust, moisture, dirt, and water, unlike the FujiFilm X-T30 and the Nikon D3500. 

The Canon SL3 needs to be wiped and cleaned as often as possible. 

Pros:

  • Its 24.1-megapixel sensor allows enough light in to ensure high-quality photos even in low light conditions.
  • It has an eye detection feature that results in accurate autofocus and locks in the subject in the frame.
  • The Wi-Fi connection enables the transfer of files to other devices instantly.

Cons:

  • No image stabilization. The camera can be attached to a stabilizer or a tripod to prevent distortion.
  • Not sealed from water, dust, dirt and other harsh elements. 
CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera, Built-in Wi-Fi,...
  • Lightest, smallest EOS DSLR camera
  • High image quality with 24. 1 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) sensor
  • Fast and accurate dual Pixel CMOS AF with eye detection AF

Best APS-C Camera for Pet Photography: Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S

The Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S is a powerful Advanced Photo System type-C or APS-C camera with a 24.1-megapixel sensor, fast autofocus system, and 4K HD video capability. 

Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens...

The 24.1-megapixel sensor ensures a high-quality image as it lets light in. It is also equipped with a DIGIC 8 Image Processor that keeps the camera’s motor quiet throughout your photoshoot, so your pet won’t get distracted as you take pictures of them. 

With the eye detection autofocus feature, the camera can analyze and determine where the subject is. It is ideal for portraits and headshots as it ensures sharp detail. 

The 3-inch LCD touch screen allows you to take selfies and pictures from different angles without detaching the camera from the tripod. 

The camera is also equipped with image stabilization, so you can confidently hold the camera while snapping photos. This is a feature that the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, Canon Rebel SL3, FujiFilm X-T30 and the Nikon D3500 do not have. 

The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you send your files to your PC, laptop, or other DSLR cameras without having to plug in a cord. 

Unfortunately, it is not weather-sealed, which means it is not ideal for outdoor photoshoots wherein it can get exposed to harsh elements that may affect its performance.

Also, it is heavy. It weighs 2.1 pounds, so it can be challenging to bring it around, unlike the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II that is light as it only weighs a pound. 

Pros:

  • It has a Wi-Fi feature that allows you to sent images and videos to other devices.  
  • It has an eye detection autofocus feature that can detect where the subject is easily.
  • The 24.1-megapixel sensor allows the camera to be used in poorly lit areas.

Cons:

  • The camera is not weather-sealed. It is not protected against water, dust, or dirt.
  • The camera weighs 2.1 pounds, which is a bit heavy and uncomfortable to carry for hours. 
Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens...
  • High Image Quality with 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor.
  • Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System* with Face Detection.
  • High-Speed Continuous Shooting of up to 7.0 fps.

Best Mirrorless Digital Camera for Pet Photography: FujiFilm X-T30 

The FujiFilm X-T30 is a sleek mirrorless digital camera with the latest image-making technology. The camera can meet all of the needs of pet photographers, no matter what their skill level is. 

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Charcoal...

The camera has a 26.1-megapixel sensor that provides fast and accurate autofocus and high-resolution images even in low light conditions. With its face detection feature, it can still capture stunning photos and 4K videos of your moving pet. 

Meanwhile, its eye detection autofocus feature can be used when taking portraits or headshots as it locks on the subject based on where the subject is looking. It is a feature that the Canon PowerShot G7 and the Nikon D3500 does not have. 

As for the videos, the camera lets you record 4K videos up to 30 frames per second and capture 120 frames per second when you switch to 1080p quality. Every single frame is clear and crisp, so it can be used for filming movies too. 

The 3-inch LCD touch screen has a 2-way tilting capability that allows you to capture images in any situation because it lets you see every angle through the screen. 

If you need to transfer the images and videos that you’ve captured to another device, you can do it wirelessly, thanks to its Wi-Fi capability. The camera is also weather-sealed, so you can use it outdoors as it can withstand harsh conditions. 

However, it does not have an image stabilization mechanism, unlike the Sony A6600 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S. 

You will need to have a tripod ready when shooting as slight camera shakes may affect the images. 

Also, the toggle switch is a bit difficult to operate. You will need to exert effort to be able to press it and change the modes. 

Pros: 

  • It is protected against moisture, dust, dirt, and other elements. 
  • Face and eye detection autofocus features allow you to capture images of moving subjects accurately.
  • Wi-Fi capability lets you transfer your contents to another device without having to use a cable or cord.

Cons:

  • No image stabilization mechanism, sudden camera movements may affect the quality of the photos.
  • The camera’s toggle switch is not smooth enough to operate. You need to press it for it to work properly.
Sale
Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera, Charcoal...
  • Advanced Image Sensor Technology: The 26.1MP BSI APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor and X-Processor 4...
  • Accurate Auto-Focus Tracking and Face Detection: he new X-Processor 4 Quad Core-CPU offers fast and...
  • Superior video and image effects: The ex-t30 offers the ability to record 4K video at 30 frames per...

Best DX-Format DSLR Camera for Pet Photography: Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is an easy to use DSLR camera that is ideal for beginners. The sturdy, light, durable, and compact camera is a great companion everywhere. 

Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G...

The camera has a fast and silent autofocus system that allows you to zoom in on your pet discreetly not to disturb them while you take their picture. 

With its Expeed Image Processing system, the camera evenly distributes colors, thus producing vibrant images and videos. The toggle switch is user-friendly. You can change it from manual to autofocus with just one press of a button. 

The camera has a continuous shooting feature that captures five frames per second. Just press and hold the camera’s shutter button to take as many pictures that you need. This feature helps capture images of moving subjects, ensuring that you land the moments that you like. 

The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi connection. It lets you send your files to other devices at any time. It is also sealed from dust, dirt, moisture, water and other elements. 

However, the camera does not have image stabilization, unlike the Canon Rebel T8I and the Sony A6600. You will need to attach the camera to a stabilizer or a tripod to ensure clear images while you move around.

Also, it does not have an eye detection feature, unlike the Sony A6600, Canon Rebel SL3, Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S and the FujiFilm X-T30, so locking the moving subject in the frame can be challenging. 

Pros: 

  • It has an Expeed Image Processing feature that ensures vibrant colors on images.
  • It has a built-in Wi-Fi feature for fast and easy transfer of files to other devices.
  • It has a continuous shooting feature that lets you capture as many images as you need in seconds until you get the photo that you are aiming for.

Cons:

  • It is not equipped with image stabilization, carrying the camera while you film or take pictures may result in distortion.
  • It has no eye detection feature; there is a possibility that you’ll snap pictures of the subject out of the frame.
Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G...
  • A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
  • Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
  • Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures

Features to Consider in Cameras for Pet Photography

Pet photography can be tricky since you are dealing with a live subject. The easiest way to make the processes easier is by getting the best camera for pet photography. 

Before you purchase a camera for pet photography, there are some features that need to be considered for great results. 

Product Eye Detection  Image Stabilization Wi-Fi Connectivity
Sony A6600YesYesNo
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II NoNoYes
Canon Rebel SL3Yes NoYes
Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-SYes YesYes
FujiFilm X-T30YesNoYes
Nikon D3500 NoNoYes

Eye Detection

Eye detection is a feature that most modern cameras have. It prevents the camera from focusing on the background, and it redirects its focus on the subject’s face. 

In pet photography, the eye detection feature is very useful. Although there are pets that can get through the whole photoshoot process, some are very aloof and may move a lot.

Woman taking a photo of a dog

With the eye detection feature, the camera will lock the frame on the pet’s face as it detects where the eyes are.

On our list, the Sony A6600, Canon Rebel SL3, Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S and FujiFilm X-T30 are equipped with this feature.

Image Stabilization

Since some pets can’t stay in one position for a long time, you will need to move around to get a better angle. 

The image stabilization system prevents distortion and blurs caused by camera shakes from forming on your images and videos. 

If you are looking for this feature for your camera, you can get the Sony A6600 and the Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S. 

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Pet photographers are often conducting fast-paced photoshoots since pets can be very unpredictable, and every moment counts.

Cameras with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to transfer your files to your laptop, PC, and other electronic devices without the need for a cord, saving you a lot of time. 

The cameras on the list that are equipped with this feature are Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, Canon Rebel SL3, Canon EOS Rebel T8I EF-S, FujiFilm X-T30 and Nikon D3500. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Cameras for Pet Photography Be Used for Wildlife Photography?

You can use the same camera for pet and wildlife photography. Since both genres of photography focus on live subjects, the camera is equipped with features and technology that can deal with fast movements. 

The only difference between the two is that wildlife photography is done outdoors while pet photography is mostly done indoors. When choosing a camera, it is best to get one that can be used in low light conditions for versatility. 

What Does a DX-Format Camera Mean?

The DX-Format is exclusive in Nikon cameras. It is a small sensor on DSLR cameras that measures 24x16mm in size. It also pertains to the resolution that the camera has, and DX-Format Nikon cameras usually have 24 megapixels. 

Dog with a Canon camera on a grass field

Since they have a better pixel density, DX-Format cameras can produce high-resolution images. 

DX-Format cameras are often compared to FX-Format cameras. FX-Format cameras are full-frame with more light-gathering features. 

If you plan on upgrading from a DX-Format camera to an FX-Format camera, you can still use your DX lenses because the camera will compensate to make sure that the features function properly. 

Also, if you mount a DX lens on an FX-Format camera, the built-in crop mode will be activated automatically. The image will only be recorded at the center of the sensor. 

What is the Ideal Focal Length for Capturing Pets?

The ideal focal length for capturing images of pets is 18-55mm. This is an excellent focal length to use, especially if the pet is not that far away. 

Since most pets do not want to be photographed, the whole process will be way easier and faster if you use a focal length that is not intimidating for them. 

A 100mm focal length can also be used for pet photography. This is ideal for outdoor photoshoots or if the pet is far away from you. This way, you can capture their every movement without scaring them away or making them feel conscious of the camera. 

Conclusion

Our pets are a part of our family and they also deserve their own portrait. Pet photography captures the unique personality and charm of your furry friend. 

Pet photography is mostly done by professional photographers because it requires skill, patience, and the right camera to be able to pull it off. 

However, if you are thinking of trying to do the photoshoot yourself, the best cameras for pet photography have all of the support that you need to successfully capture beautiful and clear images of your pets from every angle. 

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.