Street Photography Beginner – How To Choose The Best Camera

 Street Photography Beginner


street Photography Beginner.jpg
Street Photography Beginner: How to choose the best camera for street photography


How to buy a perfect camera for street photography


You’ve realized that your DSLR is a perfect all round camera. It never disappointed you in terms of image quality and you’re thrilled that it allows you to shoot RAW files.

But you’re a street photographer at heart and all you really want to do is shoot the streets. You tried doing that with your DSLR and are disappointed because it is just too big. It is too heavy to carry around all day. And you’re scared that it might attract unnecessary attention with its clunky shutter sound.

The shutter sound is so loud that your heart beats a little faster each time you press the release button to take a street shot. And when you shoot in burst mode it feels like you’re using a machine gun.

You like this camera. But not for street photography.

Which explains why of late you’re only using your smart phone to shoot the streets. But the mobile phone does not match your DSLR in image quality. And it doesn’t really feel like a camera.


Street Photography Beginner: Get A Compact Camera

As a street photographer beginner you want something smaller than a DSLR.

Something better than a smart phone.

It’s time to get a new camera. One that you’ll use to shoot street photography and nothing else. A perfect camera for street photography.

How do you go about choosing such a camera?

There are so many cameras to choose from. Most people talk about mirrorless cameras as being the answer to this kind of problem.

Micro Four Thirds camera makers such as Olympus and Sony produce excellent compact and extremely capable cameras.

What about the Fujifilm line-up of mirrorless cameras? And the daddies of street photography cameras – the Leicas.

A medium or large format camera such as Hasselblad, Mamiya or Pentax 645 are simply out of the question. These are bulky and cumbersome – definitely not recommended for street photography.


 Street Photography Beginner: Stop agonising about which camera to buy for street photography.

I am going to make this decision-making process easier for you. Let’s just get one thing absolutely clear before we begin.

You want to buy a camera for the sole purpose of shooting street photography, right? You’re not going to use this camera for anything else, right?


Now let’s begin.

To narrow our search area, forget about all DSLRs out there. Also, forget about all interchangeable lens cameras on the market today – whether they’re mirrorless or micro four thirds.

Again, let’s eliminate all interchangeable lens cameras. We want to take a look at fixed focal length cameras. You know those cameras where you cannot remove the lens and replace it with another. With fixed lens cameras you get one lens and that’s it. You’re stuck with that lens for good.

Not only is the lens fixed, it is also non-retractable. No zooming capabilities. With this camera you zoom with your feet.


Check List:


Fixed Prime Lens

Full-Frame or APS-C Sensor

Compact, Pocketable


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Think Mirrorless Fixed-Lens Compact Camera


Now let’s decide on the focal length that’s more suitable for street photography. There are a few to choose from. Let’s see.

Focal Length:

  1. 28mm

  2. 35mm

  3. 50mm

Choose one.

Maximum Aperture:

  • F/1.4

  • F/1.8

  • F/2

  • F/2.8

Choose one.

Maximum Shutter Speed:

  1. 1/2000

  2. 1/4000

  3. 1/8000

Choose one.


  • Optical

  • Electronic

  • LCD only

Choose one.


  1. 42 MP

  2. 24 MP

  3. 20 MP

  4. 16 MP

Choose one.

Minimum ISO:

  • 50

  • 100

  • 200

  • 400

Choose One.

Frame Rate:

  1. 3 fps

  2. 5 fps

  3. 8 fps

  4. 10 fps

Choose one

Battery Life:

  • 200 shots

  • 220 shots

  • 260 shots

  • 320 shots

Choose one.

Hot Shoe:

  1. Yes

  2. No

Choose one.

Flash Sync Speed:

  • 1/60

  • 1/125

  • 1/250

  • 1/500

Choose one.

Cameras to consider:


  1. Leica Q Type 116

  2. Sony RX1 R2

  3. Fujifilm X100F

  4. Fujifilm X100T

  5. Ricoh GRII

  6. Fujifilm X70

 Choose one.



  • $700

  • $1000

  • $2000

  • $3500

  • $5000

Choose one.


My Personal Choice And Reasons:

A. Fujifilm X70

Reasons: Cost, street photography does not have to be an expensive hobby. I am not making any money from street photography. I can’t justify spending more than $700 on a camera for street photography.

Fixed Prime Lens, this will force me to be more creative as a street photographer. The limitation of one focal length lens will inspire me to think of unique ways I can shoot without the ‘luxury’ of a zoom lens.

Compact, easy to carry around. Unobtrusive, especially the black version.

Excellent image quality.


Of course any camera can be used for street photography. But beginners in street photography often suffer from Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I decided to write this piece in the hope that it will save you a lot of time and reduce your stress level as you choose what should be the perfect camera for street photography. You don’t have to take my advice as Gospel. This is just my opinion.
Use it. Don’t use it.
Please follow me on Twitter and keep this conversation going.
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Till next time.




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