What Is the Best Camera Equipment for Portrait Photography

camera equipment

Are you looking for tips on the best camera equipment for portrait photography? Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking for ways to improve the quality of your portraits, there are certain types of equipment that can give you an advantage and make your job easier. 

What camera equipment do you need to take quality, professional-looking portraits? Here’s what the professional photographer, Dani Weiss, recommends.

Best Camera Brand

The most important piece of portrait photography equipment is the camera itself. The top brands of cameras on the market are Canon and Nikon. The debate between Canon and Nikon is an ongoing discussion among professional photographers and hobby photographers alike. 

While both brands have their advantages and disadvantages, when it comes to portrait photography Canon seems to be the preferred option even for end zone video. In general, professional portrait photographers find that Canon is more user-friendly and provides the best quality in varied types of lighting.

Best Canon Portrait Camera

When it comes to choosing the right model of Canon camera for taking portraits, there are a few different options on the market. Some of the best and most recent models of Canon cameras include:

  • Canon 5D Mark IV. This camera is known for fast focusing and a higher burst speed, which is extremely helpful in family photography when you’re attempting to capture quality images of children and small groups of people. It also has a wider range. 
  • Canon 5D Mark III. This is the previous model to the Canon 5D Mark IV. They are mostly comparable, but one of the main upgrades from the III to the IV is in video capabilities, which is not an important factor in portrait photography. 
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II. Affordable and easy to use, this is an excellent choice for beginners in portrait photography.


One key feature you may want to consider when choosing a camera for portraits is vertical grips. This makes the camera easier to handle and balance, especially when using a large lens.  

Best Lenses for Portraits

In addition to the camera itself, the type of lens you use will make a big difference in the quality of your portraits. The following are some of the best lenses to accompany the Canon camera models listed above:

  • Canon 24-70 F. 2.8. 
  • Canon 24-105 F. 4
  • Canon 50 Macro F. 2.5
  • Canon 85mm F. 2.8


When it comes to lenses for your portrait camera, there are many different types and each have their own unique features. Sometimes you may need a zoom lens for certain settings. Most lenses are equipped with autofocus and manual focus options for professionals who want the ability to make their own adjustments.

Best Flash Options for Portraits

A quality flash is one of the most important pieces to consider when choosing the best camera equipment. The following are two options that work well with the above recommended Canon portrait camera models: 

  • 580 EX
  • 600 EX-RT


The flash allows you to adjust the lighting in order to achieve your artistic vision for your portraits. The right lighting can bring out the colors and features that you want to highlight for aesthetic purposes in your portraits. 

Does it Matter What Equipment a Photographer Uses? 

Absolutely. This is a question you can expect to be asked by customers who are considering hiring you for individual or family portraits. Be ready to provide samples of your work that showcase the quality of your equipment and expertise. A professional portrait photographer should be using professional equipment. 

Dani Weiss  is a professional photographer in Atlanta, Georgia providing individual, family, and corporate portraits as well as events such as bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings. Her artistic eye has won her a variety of awards in the photography industry.

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