4 Types of Cameras for Professional Photography

Types of Cameras for Professional Photography

The number of people looking to take professional photographs is growing as evolving camera technology makes photography much more accessible.

While anyone with a smartphone camera can take good-quality photos, those looking to take professional photographs need to use a camera that can produce the highest quality photos for the photographs to be considered for commercial use.

Most professional photographers (although not all – see below) use a digital camera due to the memory, zoom capabilities, and convenience, and this is reflected in the number of units sold.

While digital camera sales peaked in 2010, before the emergence of the smartphone camera began to affect the market, 2022 saw an impressive bump with a predicted global revenue of $21.7 billion across all digital camera and equipment sales.

Today, cameras with interchangeable lenses make up the majority of digital camera sales.

For those who already have a digital camera and are looking for the right lens, our post on the different types of camera lenses covers the most popular models, such as the prime, zoom, and macro.

If, however, you are looking to buy a new camera to be used for professional photography, we have listed the 4 most common camera types and the different commercial shoots they are often used for.


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Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are common among professionals because they deliver high-quality images due to their large sensors reflecting more light in pictures.

These cameras also have a wide selection of interchangeable lenses—such as those mentioned above—offering more image-capturing capabilities. However, these can make DSLR cameras heavy and bulky.

Therefore, they’re more suitable for jobs that allow cameras to be mounted on tripods, such as commercial or product photographers.

Despite newer cameras emerging, DSLR cameras are still a crowd favorite—proven by their steady market growth.

The DSLR market is expected to have a 6.5% compound annual growth rate from 2022 to 2030.

The Nikon D850 is a top choice for its 45.7 MP resolution and enhanced light-gathering efficiency.


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Many commercial photography jobs involve a lot of movement and traveling, such as photojournalists and event photographers, so they need a lightweight yet high-quality camera.

Mirrorless cameras are the perfect choice for the above professional photographers because they’re small and light. This is possible thanks to their lack of reflex mirrors and optical viewfinders.

Compared to a DSLR, the light from the lens of a mirrorless camera goes straight to the sensor.

Many photographers also prefer these cameras because they display a digital preview of their composition on the electric viewfinder, making it easier to see the resulting shots.

One of the top models today is the Sony Alpha a7R V, with a sensor resolution of 62.5 MP and weighing only 723 g.

Medium Format

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A medium format camera has a larger sensor compared to a DSLR camera.

Given this, they can reflect more light, resulting in top-quality images.

They also produce much larger image files. This makes it perfect for landscape photographers, who can take advantage of daylight to capture details and have their work printed on posters.

This camera is also popular among fashion photographers as they can better capture clothes in magazine shoots or on billboards.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S has a resolution of 102 MP to produce clear photos. Despite its large sensor, its small body makes it easier for photographers to take handheld shots.


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You may consider film photography a thing of the past, yet many are returning to this art.

Film cameras have won over a new generation of photographers because of the challenges they present.

There are fewer adjustments you can make to alter your shots, making them rawer and more memorable.

This camera is best for those who want to include more creativity and sentiment in their commercial work, like wedding or family photographers.

The Canon AE-1 Program is a later variant of the classic AE-1, first released in 1976. It has a plastic construction and a 35mm film format.

The Program variant also has a fully automatic exposure mode, allowing the camera to get the correct exposure for the best results.

While there are different cameras for professional photography, the above are some of the best devices for different industries.

Keep these options in mind the next time you need a new camera!

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