Newborn babies grow up fast and that is why it is so important to capture those images while you can. Having the best camera for newborn photography will help you do just that.
Because newborns won’t be moving around when taking their picture, you will not need a fast camera to capture exceptional baby pictures. Even though you will not need the most expensive camera on the market, you will want to avoid using a low quality camera or you risk missing out on those precious moments.
For this article I have reviewed the most popular cameras for newborn photographers and after reading you will know the top rated options on the market. You can check links to customer reviews and prices for each pick below or read on for the full review.
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What Are the Best Camera for Newborn Photography Features?
Newborn photography is a style of portrait photography combined with a touch of still life since most of the time a baby is photographed while sleeping.
There will be times when you will be shooting a baby who is fussing which will limit the time you have to capture a great shot. That make it important that your camera can capture the image when it is available.
Due to the particular shooting conditions of capturing infant shots it is important to have a camera with a high burst speed is necessary. Generally you will need around 10fps.
Sometimes a parent or newborn photographer will want to photograph a baby with a sibling which will change the requirements. If you will be photographing newborns and toddlers it becomes even more important to have a camera with a solid burst speed mode.
So if you will be shooting newborn babies alone, a moderate burst speed is sufficient, but if more mobile toddlers will also be photographed a higher burst speed rate will be required.
It is important to remember that a faster camera is likely to require a higher investment than a slower camera but if you need it you do not want to skip it.
Most newborn photographers will want to utilize natural lighting for their shots as using a camera flash can startle a baby. Because of this, it is very important that your camera is capable of performing at higher ISO levels.
Another important aspect to look for is a camera with low noise when shooting with a higher ISO. For indoor shots that will usually be more than a base ISO of 100.
To achieve this you will want to go with a full frame camera model if it is in your budget. If your budget does not allow that you will want to go with a high quality APS-C camera. A full frame camera will better be able to utilize the available natural light.
You will also want to get a camera (or a lens if your camera doesn’t have it) with stabilization technology. As most shots will be shot in hand, stabilization will help reduce camera shake while shooting at slower shutter speeds.
Note: you will want to select a wide aperture lens to shoot with your camera. Something in the realm of f/2.8 will suffice. Many cameras will come bundled with an f/3.6 kit lens but these are not ideal for newborn photography. Another great option would be a 35mm or even a 50mm f/1.8. There are a number of great options depending on which make you go with.
Because newborns are easily disturbed by noise, you will want a quiet camera. A loud shutter can prevent you from getting your shot. Many cameras have a quiet mode perfect for newborn photography including some mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
If you want to have larger prints made you will definitely want a higher resolution camera. A newborn camera should have at a minimum 12 megapixels but going above 20mp is ideal. Generally you will not be able to go above 50mp as ISO will not be high enough in those ranges.
In general, the more megapixels the better your image detail will be. This is great for realistic images but if you want to remove skin imperfections that will have to be done in post processing editing.
Best Cameras For Newborn Photography
The Sony Alpha a7 III is one of my favorite cameras. It is not only a great newborn camera but it is one of my go to cameras for street photography and more. It offers everything you need to capture amazing, professional newborn baby images.
- A very quiet shutter
- Impressive low lighting performance
- Built in image stabilization
- Full frame sensor and 24.3 megapixels
This camera is very popular with photographers worldwide and has garnered third party testing accolades for it’s low light performance and image quality. This mirrorless camera offers exceptional performance in a lightweight and compact body. It has a silent shutter mode perfect for baby photography. This Sony offers excellent resolution and image quality. This is not a budget camera but for the high performance level it is an exceptional value. It offers a solid 10fps burst mode making this camera capable of shooting babies and older children. The autofocus is quick and accurate allowing you to capture images when your subject is ready. Like I said, this popular model is used by photographers of many different genres worldwide and it is a truly superb camera that will not limit your photography in any way. The only negative to this model is it does not have as long of a battery life as some DSLR’s on the market but that has rarely impacted my ability to shoot a full session with this Sony.
The Nikon Z 6 is a modern mirrorless full frame camera that offers impressive performance from a trusted brand. While not quite at the level of the Sony a7 III, this camera offers professional quality at a decent price point.
With 24.5mp and a full frame sensor this camera will allow you to capture exceptional image quality that is just barely below that of the a7 III. It comes with built in camera stabilization technology and is capable of handling low lighting conditions. The included adapter allows this camera to pair with most popular Nikon lenses giving you plenty of flexibility. This allows you to use your camera in just about any photography setting. It also offers a silent shutter mode ideal for photographing newborns. It is even faster than the Sony at 12fps. Being a mirrorless camera, it is lightweight and compact making it easy to shoot in hand even during long sessions. The tilting touchscreen is a great feature making it easier to get the perfect angle for your shot. It is weather proof, and while this won’t come into play with baby shots, it does add to the versatility of this camera and even protects it from baby spittle. This high resolution and fast camera is a real pro quality model making it a great option for those with the required budget.
This Canon offers an impressive 30 megapixel sensor which is great for newborn photography. The sensor is the same found in the top end EOS 5D Mark IV. The image noise is not too bad in spite of the high megapixel count allowing you to minimize the effect of skin imperfections. But the resolution is plenty high enough to make large prints of your baby images with good detail.
With the adapter you can use most popular Canon lenses making this a very versatile camera. If you already have Canon lenses, you can likely use them with this camera. Like the other mirrorless camera models, this one offers a silent shutter mode perfect for shooting baby pictures. It is a solid low light performer allowing you to shoot in natural light. Overall, it offers slightly lower image quality than the Nikon above but it is still excellent. It additionally offers solid dynamic range and color quality. It comes with Canon’s advanced Dual Pixel autofocus system which is incredibly popular with photographers around the world. It works particularly well when utilizing natural lighting like you will get from a window and more mobile older kids. This Canon comes in a bit higher priced than the two picks above and it does not offer built in image stabilization but it is an excellent choice for the Canon fan and those already equipped with Canon compatible lenses.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is popular with pros and parents alike. It is a very affordable and high quality camera for newborns. This APS-C sensor camera offers great image quality with 26.1mp. It is a crop frame mirrorless camera meaning it will not handle low light conditions as well as a mirrorless or full frame model but it still offers decent performance in low lighting. It comes in a lightweight and compact size making it easy to carry around and shoot in long sessions. It is an excellent mid level model with an superb autofocus system. It has an impressive 425 points for quick and accurate AF. It offers burst mode at 8fps that is adequate for baby shots. The shutter is not silent but it is quiet. It has a tilt screen for those hard to reach angles and the classic Fuji design. It does not offer image stabilization but overall this is a great value camera.
If you are not a pro but a parent looking for great image quality without breaking the bank then the Nikon D5600 is a great option. While it will not reach the level of the Sony a7 III, it is head and shoulders above anything you can achieve with a smartphone or budget digital camera. With 24.2 megapixels and an APS-C sensor, this crop frame camera will offer you images you can cherish for a lifetime. It has the Nikon EXPEED 4 processor that is loved by thousands of parents around the world. It offers pretty decent low light performance for a crop frame camera. You can make it perform even better with a low light lens. The speed isn’t as good as the other models on the list but it is fine for still shots of babies. The autofocus is a mid range performer but since you won’t be shooting moving subjects it is more than enough. It offers a tilting touchscreen for lining up your shots. Overall this is a solid performing newborn camera for parents who want high quality images without paying for a professional level camera.
If you are shooting newborn photography there are a few specific things you have to be sure your camera can handle. But once they are settled and not fussing the top rated picks will provide you with the performance you need. While you do not need a top end camera to capture great images it is important to remember that you get what you pay for and due to the fleeting nature of getting those newborn pictures it is important to get a camera that will give you those pictures you can enjoy for a lifetime. The above recommendations will ensure you can do that with a low light performer that is fast enough to capture a baby with excellent image quality.