No longer are crop sensor cameras strictly for amateurs and full frame for professionals. Now, more professionals have crop sensor cameras as part of their arsenal, and in some cases, have completely replaced their full frame systems. It really depends on the type of photography you do and your printing requirements afterwards. So, with that being said, these are the cameras I recommend for both crop sensor and full frame.
Recommended Crop Sensor Cameras Under $1300
Mirrorless, crop sensor, 26 megapixels, 4k video
If you’re looking for amazing image fidelity (also known as micro-contrast) then the XT3 is an excellent choice. Combined with a lens that enhances image fidelity even more (see my recommended lenses page) you’ll be armed with a lethal combination. Especially useful if you want to convert your boudoir images to black and white.
Mirrorless, crop sensor, 24 megapixels, 11fps, 4k video (for more review see bottom of page*)
A great choice is you’re transitioning from DSLR to mirrorless. It’s IBIS (internal body image stabilization) is great for video, along with an amazingly quiet and shock-proof shutter release.
The XH1 is one of Fujifilm’s classic cameras.
Recommended Full Frame Cameras
DSLR, full frame, 36 megapixels, 5fps, full HD 1080p video at 60 fps
A great camera for portrait and editorial boudoir for much less than the D850. Pick one up new or used, your call.
DSLR, full frame, 45 megapixels, 7fps, 4k video
The D850 is a beast, no question about it. This is Nikon’s flagship full-frame camera and has been since 2017.
If you’ve got the cash, this is what you want in your hands when shooting.
Canon 5D Mark IV
DSLR, full frame, 30 megapixels, 7fps, 61 point auto focus system, 4k video. Canon’s flagship full-frame camera and used by probably more top working professionals than any other camera.
If buying new is too expensive but your heart is set on a particular brand or model consider buying it used. Before doing that, though, you’ll want to read my articles entitled, What Should You Look For When Buying a Used DSLR Camera? and also Best Camera Value For Boudoir and Where To Buy It In 2020.
If a new or used D810 is out of your price range, two great alternatives would be to purchase a used Nikon D800 or D800e.
Check out this article here for comparing the two and how they can serve you in your boudoir business. They’re also my number one picks (co-winners!) for my choice as “best bang for your buck” camera body for 2020 for boudoir — and can read all about that here.
Now that the Fuji XT3 has come out, Fuji’s XH1 is an incredible value for those of you who like getting a ton of “camera bang” for their buck.
Granted, it doesn’t have the new X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor that the XT3 has, but that doesn’t mean it won’t deliver amazing images. Every so often a manufacturer will produce a camera that becomes somewhat of a classic and with FujiFilm, that camera is the XH1.
One cool feature that the XH1 has that the XT3 doesn’t is IBIS, which stands for In Body Image Stabilization. It’s really more for video shooting than for still shooting, but if you’re someone who drinks five cups of coffee a day, it might come in handy.
However, if you are someone who shoots a lot of video then IBIS would be a great feature for you. It will stabilize lenses that don’t have IS built in (image stabilization), which is the case with a lot of older or vintage lenses.
Another feature the HX1 has that no other camera possesses is having zero vibration (or shock) from pressing the shutter release button. This is due mainly from a combination of the electronic front curtain, along with a leaf spring shutter release. So, there’s no felt jarring in your hands when you’re snapping away but it also makes it incredibly quiet.
This would be an important feature for someone still doing weddings or other events where being stealthy and discreet is paramount.
Also, if you’re transitioning from a DSLR to mirrorless, the XH1’s grip and feel is more like a traditional DSLR than some of the newer mirrorless cameras from other manufacturers out there.