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What is the best food photography equipment for chefs?

Updated: Mar 1

iPhone or Android Smartphone

Smartphone cameras have come along so far in 2024 that for a lot of photos, they are more than good enough.

The video quality is also outstanding and being able to quickly capture, edit & post to your blog, social media & LinkedIn etc. is really convenient, especially when busy cooking for clients.

I currently use an iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has outstanding 4K video capabilities and takes some great shots. The cinematic video mode is fantastic, and you can create some fast (artificial) bokeh effects quite nicely.

I previously had great experience with my Google Pixel 4a, which took fantastic photos, especially in Low Light conditions. I still use this as a travel camera as it is so light and portable and has little value if lost or damaged.

A Used DSLR Camera

While technology has moved onto mirrorless cameras, a DSLR from 10-15 years ago will take pictures that are more than adequate for most chefs usage of building an image portfolio & for posting to your website, blog & social media.

Having interchangeable lenses means you can achieve some more stylistic effects and work and a range of different heights and distances with a zoom lens.

A 50mm prime lens will allow you to create blurry backgrounds while the subject or dish remains in focus.

A used DSLR can be picked up in 2024 for under £200 with a kit lens or 50mm prime lens, a fraction of the cost of when it was new, and probably more than enough camera for anyone just starting out in food photography.

I use a Nikon D90 with a Nikon AF-S 50mm Prime Lens for about 80% of ny photography at the moment as it gives a tack sharp image and the fast aperture allows for handheld shooting in mid to low light levels.

It doesn't work great for video, but my compact travel zoom makes great video so be sure to check that if before you buy any camera body if you want to get into video production later.

A Tripod & L Bracket

Camera on Tripod

Using a tripod can help you take better pictures in low light conditions where you will need a longer exposure that might be too long for handheld.

If shooting on a tripod, I'd recommend getting an L Bracket, which will allow you to quickly switch between shooting in vertical format for stories & social posts and landscape for blog & website content.

A Compact Travel Zoom

Compact Camera

Easy to pack and carry with you everywhere, but a noticeable upgrade in quality to a phone camera, a mirrorless travel zoom camera will take great photos and videos yet remain portable enough to carry everyday and shoot handheld in the kitchen.

I used a Panasonic TZ-100 for years, which works great as a travel camera due to its long range zoom in such a small size.

Spare batteries are small and light so you can carry a spare when abroad or doing a lot of battery intensive tasks.

A Full-Frame Mirrorless camera

The ultimate in picture and video quality, although certainly not the most practical for everyday use.

Great for filming videos and for a serious photoshoot, but probably more often than not overkill for posting online as well as often being heavy and cumbersome.


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