Best Camera For Photographing Artwork
There might be various reasons why you would want a camera to photograph art. Maybe you want to preserve your artwork by taking a picture of it and storing it away in Cloud or your memory card. You might also want a clear photograph of your painting so that you can put it up for sale on the internet.
There are many artists out there who might use photographs as a medium of art in mixed-media compositions. Whatever the reason, photographing artwork has endless creative possibilities.
But your first instinct might be to use your smartphone to click pictures of your art.
You can do this but you must also know that there are marked differences in the quality of the images from your phone camera and those clicked with a professional camera. You would want a bright and razor-sharp picture quality of your art- something you can get only by using a professional camera.
Now, how do you choose the right camera in the sea of options? Unless you're a tech-savvy artist, you are bound to get confused by the technical specifications of different cameras. I am here to save your time and energy by giving you a list of some of the best camera for photographing artwork. Let's go!
What are the Best Cameras for Taking Pictures of Artwork?
The best camera for photographing artwork depends on what you need the camera for and what your budget is. There are different types of cameras available in the market such as DSLR, mirrorless, and point-and-shoot. DSLRs offer great image quality but they might be difficult to learn for beginners. Point and shoot are extremely cheap and lightweight. However, you might not be able to capture the intricate details. Mirrorless cameras balance the portability and versatility of the previous two cameras. But they might be slightly expensive.
But do you require a $45,000 artist camera to get the best shot? Not really. You can use a budget-friendly camera to get the same excellent quality. I will list down 11 cameras categorized under 3 categories so you can go through them and choose your most preferred artist camera.
Table of Contents
- What are the Best Cameras for Taking Pictures of Artwork?
- REVIEW OF BEST CAMERA FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
- BEST DSLR (DIGITAL SINGLE-LENS REFLEX CAMERAS) FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
- 1. CANON EOS REBEL SL3 - BEST CAMERA FOR ART PHOTOGRAPHY
- BEST MIRRORLESS CAMERAS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
- 2. NIKON Z50 - BEST CAMERA FOR SHOOTING ARTWORK
- 3. PANASONIC LUMIX G85 - BEST CAMERA FOR TAKING PICTURES OF ARTWORK
- 4. OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 MARK III
- 5. FUJIFILM X-T30
- 6. SONY ALPHA A6000
- BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
- 7. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 - BEST CAMERA FOR ARTWORK
- 8. CANON POWERSHOT G7X MARK III - BEST CAMERA FOR ARTISTS
- 9. SONY RX100 VII
- 10. NIKON COOLPIX A900
- BUYING GUIDE FOR CAMERA FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
- TIPS FOR ARTWORK PHOTOGRAPHY
REVIEW OF BEST CAMERA FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
WHICH TYPE OF CAMERA DO YOU WANT?
BEST DSLR (DIGITAL SINGLE-LENS REFLEX CAMERAS) FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
1. CANON EOS REBEL SL3 - BEST CAMERA FOR ART PHOTOGRAPHY
The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the latest model in the Rebel lineup. Compared to its predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2, the SL3 has an advanced processor, superior battery life, and 4K video recording capabilities. It is deemed to be one of the best camera for photographing artwork. It is a feature-rich artist camera, coming with new features like continuous eye detection and a guided user interface to help beginners understand the basics of photography.
This is great for artists who are new to photography. And if you're feeling a bit adventurous, you will also get a Creative Assist mode which will help in clicking pictures with visual effects and styles.
On top of this, you will be surprised to know that Canon markets the EOS Rebel SL3 as one of the lightest Canon DSLR cameras. This is good news for those who do not want to invest in a tripod. A 9-point autofocus system might not sound impressive at first. But when you use the viewfinder, you will understand why this is a useful feature for beginners.
The focus points are spread evenly across the height and width of the preview and since they are marked clearly, you will have no problem with setting up. Other than that, you will also get a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD and built-in Wi-Fi.
As discussed, this is the lightest DSLR photography art camera. It measures around 4.82 x 3.65 x 2.75 inches and weighs a mere 449.05 grams, which is pretty light for DSLR cameras. But don't underestimate its build quality just because it is lightweight. The build is robust and the camera feels solid in your hands.
It features a deep and contoured grip which is great for people with small and large hands alike. Since it is both light and well-built, it is ideal for single-handed operation. The knobs and buttons are high-quality as well. The touchscreen monitor can be easily adjusted to any angle.
This is useful for capturing ground shots so if you want to capture a full-frame picture of your artwork by laying it on the floor, you can count on this camera. The Live View monitor is extremely useful for beginners because it will allow you to make real-time adjustments. Configure the exposure and white balance as per your liking and see instant results before clicking your final shot. These design elements really make it one of the best cameras for art photography.
The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is an everyday camera so you can be assured of balanced performance. Firstly, the autofocus speeds are impressive, thanks to Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. It is a versatile photography art camera so you will get the option of choosing a wide range of autofocus modes like Spot AF, Zone AF, and subject-tracking AF.
The EOS Rebel SL3 comes with a dynamic range so if you are looking for the best digital camera for fine art photography, then this is your best shot! It has the ability to capture the intricacies of artwork, giving you a bright output even under low-light conditions. Therefore, you don't have to worry about spending money on a ring light.
Now let's talk about image quality. For good camera art photography, you would want images that are well-saturated and have high sharpness. You're lucky because this camera provides the ideal image quality that you would look for as an artist! Photos from this camera have the right amount of vividness and contrast.
The artistic camera does a great job at balancing highlights and shadows. As for ISO, you will get the best low-light snaps at ISO 1600. This is a great camera for beginners who want clear images of their art.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
BEST MIRRORLESS CAMERAS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
2. NIKON Z50 - BEST CAMERA FOR SHOOTING ARTWORK
The Nikon Z50 bears similarities to the Nikon Z6 and Z7. However, don't mistake it for a smaller version of these two. The Nikon Z50 brings fresh features on the plate and has an upgraded design. It has a remarkable ergonomic structure which makes it easy to hold and handle.
Moreover, one of the biggest selling points which makes the Nikon Z50 one of the best camera for taking pictures of artwork is its impressive 16-50mm pancake lens. I have never seen such a slim APS-C kit lens being shipped with a budget-friendly camera. Besides, the lens uses a mechanical zoom instead of the typical electrical power zoom. How amazing is that!
The Z50 comes with a 20.9 MP DX-sensor along with a wide Hybrid-AF autofocus system. It has an 11 FPS continuous shooting capacity even with full autofocus and auto exposure. Do you need more reasons to consider this one of the best camera for photographing artwork 2021? Then you will be thrilled to know that the Z50 comes with a whopping 209 AF points which cover almost 90 percent of the sensor. Finally, it performs great at low-light too in an ISO ranging from 100 to 51,200.
As discussed, the Nikon Z50 has an extremely compact design that does not compromise comfort. Even though the build is considerably smaller than most Z models, the Z50 still finds a way to utilize a deeply contoured grip for one-hand operation. You will find scroll wheels on both the rear and front ends of the camera that you can use to change shutter speeds and toggle the aperture.
Having twin control dials instead of clusters of buttons makes it easier for beginners to understand the functions better. You will get a 2.36-dot OLED viewfinder and a tilting 3.2-inch touch screen on the rear side of the camera.
Additionally, the camera sports a built-in pop-up flash along with full weather protection. The Z50 utilized an EN-EL25 battery with an 8.5W unit. With this, you can take about 320 snaps with a single charge while using the back screen and 280 snaps while using the viewfinder.
One of the important selling points of the Nikon Z50 indeed is its lightweight design. This is an important factor for artists since it would be difficult for them to drag a chunky camera around while clicking pictures of artwork. However, you will see the true brilliance of the Z50 when you are shooting with it. For artists, the best camera for shooting artwork is one that can give extremely sharp images.
Paintings have different strokes and textures on their surface, so if you want to highlight all those details, you will need a camera that can balance between sharpness, contrast, and saturation. Lucky for you, the Nikon Z50 brings all of the properties of the best camera for artwork to you!
The image output captures maximum details of a textured surface and the colors look spectacular in the images. The Z50 has a dynamic range and can shoot bright images at higher ISOs, with minimal noise. All in all, it is an impressive mid-range camera with great ergonomics and simple functions.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
3. PANASONIC LUMIX G85 - BEST CAMERA FOR TAKING PICTURES OF ARTWORK
The Panasonic Lumix G85 is one of the best camera for artwork when it comes to mid-range mirrorless cameras. Why? First of all, this camera comes with 2nd-generation 5-axis image stabilization. This will help you click images of your artwork which will be as clear as the blue sky.
Next, the Lumix G85 comes with a 16MP Four Thirds sensor along with a no optical low pass filter. Other major selling points of this camera include a fully weather-sealed body and a 4K Photo mode which will let you extract photos from the recording.
You will get a lot of manual control so if you are an artist who has some experience with photography, you will enjoy honing your skills with the G85. The G85 offers a host of control buttons, which includes five function keys that you can customize to assign any features of the camera. The on-screen controls are easy to read and use. Moreover, since the electronic viewfinder has full coverage, you will be able to see the same image, identical to what the sensor would capture. Overall, this is a great lens to start out with.
The Panasonic Lumix G85 is comfortable to work with. It can be used with one hand, thanks to its curved grips. You can easily access the front and rear dials, which will make it easy for you to control the camera without compromising your grip on the camera. The shutter button and control dials are not wobbly and have a reliable stiffness to them.
So when you use the shutter buttons, the press would be more controlled. The entire body of the G85 is rubberized so that adds additional assurance while holding the camera.
The touchscreen interface is user-friendly and suitable for those who are new to photography. The camera comes with an upgraded electronic first curtain shutter mode so that you can use it at a lightning-fast speed of 1/2000 sec. The front part of the G85 is composed of magnesium alloy instead of plastic.
This helps in considerably reducing shutter shock. You will also find a power-saving EVF mode that will shut off the finder automatically after 3-10 seconds. The overall battery life is great, allowing 800-900 shots upon a single charge.
The G85 does fairly well when it comes to autofocus performance. It has a 49-point contrast-detect AF system and the renowned Panasonic's Depth from Defocus Technology (DFD).
With this technology, the camera configures how out-of-focus your subjects will be in the focus plane. It is one of the reasons why the G85 has 6 FPS burst shot capabilities, even at a continuous AF. Another noteworthy observation regarding the AF system is the G85's AF sensitivity slider. The sensitivity ranges from -2 to +2, with the default being '0'. From here, you can increase it so that your camera can focus more quickly.
The image output is razor-sharp and perhaps a bit too aggressive at times. This might have been a disadvantage for portraits or landscapes, but this is the best camera for shooting artwork. The main reason is that the images retain a lot of details while capturing so you won't have to worry about blurring or softening.
Moreover, the electromagnetic shutter mechanism prevents shutter vibration and reduces softening even further. Overall, the camera performance lives up to expectations.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
4. OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 MARK III
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a Micro Four Thirds camera, coming in 20MP. This is a simple camera with no-fuss controls, well suited for beginners and enthusiasts. You will get the basic features necessary to ease into the world of photography. The OM-D E-M5 Mark III comes with a fast AF system, 4K video recording, weather protection, and an excellent MFT sensor. Moreover, it also has image stabilization which is a blessing when it comes to clicking pictures of artwork.
The 10fps continuous shooting and 30fps shooting in Pro Capture with locked focus set this camera apart. You will also find the Focus Bracketing feature and an in-camera Focus Stacking function.
With this, you can combine separate images in-camera. The Live Composite and Live Bulb modes are two of the most interesting features. The Live Composition mode will help you click pictures of light trails and the Live Bulb mode will allow you to watch a long exposure being processed in real-time.
The camera will save a lot of space in your bag because it is so compact and lightweight. Moreover, the design is aesthetically appealing because it has a resemblance to a vintage camera. The control buttons are easily accessible, which is surprising since most small cameras have a cluttered function layout. The main mode dial is large enough for easy handling, there are two well-spaced control dials that you can easily reach without stretching your fingers too much.
The 3-inch articulate display has a user-friendly touch interface and has useful features like tap-to-shoot. The camera comes with an external flash that you can attach whenever you need it. Since the flash can tilt and rotate, you can easily use this feature to have better control. The battery life is good for a camera of this size. You can take around 310 shots per charge.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III has fast autofocus and it is easy to use. You just have to tap on the rear screen and when you hear the beeping sound, you will know that the focus is set. The camera captures detailed pictures in RAW format with reduced false color errors. In JPEG format, the colors come out beautifully, with a naturally well-balanced exposure and saturation. The images are also sharp even at higher ISO values.
This Olympus model does an excellent job at reducing noise as well. Even though luminance noise is present, it looks more natural than what we would get from a Sony or Panasonic camera. Interestingly, the E-M5 III also has a high-resolution mode which helps in producing 50MP JPEGS and an astounding 80MP RAW image. All in all, the E-M5 III is a well-built camera with excellent controls and pleasing image quality.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
5. FUJIFILM X-T30
The Fujifilm X-T30 is also known as the "Little Giant" in the camera industry. Why so? It's because the X-T30 packs a stellar performance in a small body. It is one of the best APS-C mirrorless cameras and features cutting-edge technology.
Firstly, it comes with a top-class 26.1 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C image sensor, which works three times faster than its predecessors. The X-T30 comes with a 2.16 million phase detection pixel with full image area coverage.
The camera is built for low-light capturing because it can give you bright images even in light levels as low as -3EV. The camera has a great build quality, with a solid feel to it. It has an easy to hold design, thanks to its textured surface. The buttons are well-placed and easily accessible. The image quality is downright terrific. It's extremely detailed and the colors come out vibrant. There is almost no noise and the images look bright even in low-light. Overall, this is an easy-to-use lens for artists.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
6. SONY ALPHA A6000
The Sony A6000 is a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. It offers almost everything that would expect to have in a beginner camera. It is affordable, versatile, compact, and super fast. It comes with superior light gathering capability, thanks to its 24.3 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and cutting-edge Bionz X processor. It comes with an advanced 179-point Hybrid autofocus system. It is one of the rare cameras that work magic while reducing noise.
Thanks, to its Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), you will get almost noise-free pictures every time! The 24.3 MP sensor functions smoothly and provides excellent image quality even at low ISOs.
And if you take pictures in RAW format, you can push the ISO range up to 3200-6400 and still get workable images. Moreover, the camera produces natural-looking colors which will save time in post-processing. This is an overall great camera at an affordable price. It is a good option for beginners, thanks to its easy operation.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
7. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 - BEST CAMERA FOR ARTWORK
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is a super-zoom camera with a 25-400mm lens. It comes with a 20 MP sensor and powerful optics. It is a relatively light lightweight camera that might appeal to people who want a feature-packed camera for casual photography.
This is the best camera for artwork since it packs a lot of versatility and top-notch image quality without the hassle of interchangeable lenses. It offers an impressive focal length that can be used both for shooting macros or distant subjects. The controls are relatively easy to use and beginner-friendly.
The FZ1000 comes with a Zoom Compose Assist which will help you in shooting with longer focal lengths. Other than this, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 has 4K video recording capabilities which will help you in capturing high-quality videos of your artwork, if required. The camera also delivers 12 FPS shooting abilities and a 4K Photo output. Moreover, you will also get the option to charge the camera using a USB. The FZ1000 is a potential catch for beginners.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 has an extremely compact design. In fact, you will be able to hold the entire camera in the palm of your hand. But don't assume that it will be difficult to hold such a small camera. The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 has a robust grip and the entire body is textured to assist one-hand shooting.
But the best part of the design is that it does not look like your typical point-and-shoot. It looks exactly like a mirrorless camera. On top, you will find a mode dial that has different photo modes like manual, full-automatic, semi-automatic, scene, and panorama.
The top plate has another dial that helps you in selecting the drive mode. You will also find the 4K Photo, self-timer, and Post focus options here. The customizable function buttons and dual control dials are also present to help you adjust the shutter speed and aperture, regardless of the shooting mode you are in. The ring around the lens barrel can be customized to assist you in controlling different settings, as per your preference.
The FZ1000 is a responsive and fast point-and-shoot. The autofocus is quick and the contrast is well-balanced. When you are using single shots, the lens can easily lock focus in less than 0.05 seconds in bright light and 0.6 seconds in dim light.
The FZ1000 has 10 FPS burst shot abilities at 20 MP in RAW format and 30 FPS when you take pictures in 4K photo mode. However, the real potential of the fast shooting capability comes out when you lock focus on your subject. You won't find a joystick to adjust the focus point but there is a directional pad to perform the action. Additionally, you can also use the rear touchpad for this task.
Coming to the image quality, I would say that the FZ1000 does a brilliant job. The image resolution is stellar at 200mm and remains great till 300mm, after which it starts to lose a bit of resolution. When you are shooting in JPG format, you will notice how excellently the camera retains details with almost no noise, even at ISO 400. In a nutshell, the FZ1000 II is a bang for a buck for artists.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
8. CANON POWERSHOT G7X MARK III - BEST CAMERA FOR ARTISTS
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is the best camera for photographing artwork 2021 for those who want an upgraded alternative to their phone camera. It is an extremely compact point-and-shoot model with a design of a mirrorless camera.
The PowerShot G7 X III comes with a 1-inch type sensor and a super-fast 24-100mm lens, with an aperture of F1.8-2.8. Hence, you can understand that this is a versatile lens suitable for low-light capture. The G7 X III also comes with a CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 processor which will ensure top-notch performance and great image quality. However, the best part of this camera is its video features.
You will get the option of 4K recording at 30FPS, microphone socket, vertical video capture, and slow motion. Moreover, you can also live-stream your videos. This is great news for art vloggers who want to take videos of their creative process. You can also create an account on Canon Image Gateway (CIG), a cloud service by Canon, and upload your pictures to Facebook and Twitter, directly from your camera.
The PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a small camera that can easily slip into your jacket or pants pocket. The entire appearance of the model looks premium, with a solid body that measures 2.4 x 4.1 x 1.6 inches. The camera is available in a black or silver finish with a black leatherette wrap. There is a control ring around the lens which can be used to control the aperture of the shutter.
You can also assign other functions to this ring control which includes ISO adjustment, EV, and zoom. On the top, there are off/on buttons, a mode dial, zoom control, shutter release, and EV adjustment dial. There are four directional buttons which include Flash, Info, Drive/Delete, and Macro/Manual focus.
There is also a Q/Set button at the center. Pressing this button will help you get the on-screen menu. This will help you access the video and photo settings.
The G7 X Mark III has an advanced sensor that can shoot at 30 FPS in RAW format when the focus is locked. Since the shooting buffer is efficient, you can click up to 100 burst shots. When you click the image in RAW format, you have more options to control exposure and color.
At the wide end, the lens performs pretty well. The images are sharp even at the corner. The contrast-detect autofocus system helps you get a well-saturated picture.
This is useful when you are clicking a color-sensitive picture. Additionally, you will also receive in-stabilization along with several digital IS modes, which you can set from low to high. While shooting videos, you will not find any additional crop while shooting in a low setting.
In a nutshell, the G7 X Mark III has all the features that you need in a pocket-friendly size and at a pocket-friendly price!
What I liked about this CAMERA:
9. SONY RX100 VII
The Sony RX100 Mark VII is one of the top-tier point-and-shoot cameras. It has an 8x lens along with an efficient autofocus system. This camera comes with 20.1 MP and a stacked CMOS image sensor. This will help in getting more light into the lens.
The 24-200mm lens is also amazing, helping you with high-speed shooting with its cutting-edge AF system. Coming to the build, it comes in a semi-matte finish body. The viewfinder is hidden but you can pop it out with a switch of a button on the side. The rest of the function buttons are easily accessible.
The camera gives an impressive image output in a medium zoom. But at full zoom, the image starts to soften. However, as an artist, I don't think you'll require a full-zoom, to begin with. The images have a uniform contrast and saturation. The battery life is mediocre but you can still click 260 snaps per charge. Overall, this is a good beginner camera for taking pictures of artwork.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
10. NIKON COOLPIX A900
The Nikon Coolpix A900 is a super-compact zoom camera, offering a 35x optical zoom. The internal mechanism is composed of a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor. It is also one of the few point-and-shoot cameras to offer 4K recording.
The 3-inch tilting LCD sports 920-dot resolution and helps you getting high-quality previews. You won't find a viewfinder or get a super-efficient low-light performance, but what can you expect from such a low price tag? Let's take a look at the positive features of this camera.
With a versatile focal range of 24-840mm, along with the efficient image stabilization feature, this camera will help you take blur-free pictures. Pictures before post-processing look super sharp and have a pleasing color balance.
The exposure is also effortlessly uniform. Feeling creative? No problem! You can access the Creative mode to use any effect-free photo and apply effects such as Light, Depth, Selective Color, Memory, Noir, Memory, and Variety. Overall, this nifty camera packs a punch at an affordable price.
What I liked about this CAMERA:
BUYING GUIDE FOR CAMERA FOR PHOTOGRAPHING ARTWORK
Buying a new camera for beginners might be a bit tricky. So here are some things you can look out for while making your purchase:
When you are taking pictures of your art, you would want the images to have accurate color profiles and a well-balanced brightness. Buy a camera that has a bigger sensor. This will help you in getting images with more details and rich colors.
Make sure that your camera can perform well in dimly lit environments. Most often, you will take pictures indoors so make sure that the camera has a wide ISO range and can click bright images with low noise.
You can’t have a large camera around when you are clicking pictures of artwork. Smaller cameras are lighter and allow more flexibility so make sure that your purchase is something that will allow portability. Also, take note of whether the camera comes with weather sealing. Weather-sealed cameras last way longer than those which are not.
TIPS FOR ARTWORK PHOTOGRAPHY
Non-photographers will relate to the utter confusion that comes with using your first camera. It has different settings and terminology that you have never heard of so it is natural that you might be overwhelmed at first. However, I have few tips and tricks up my sleeve to guide you through the process of taking amazing art pictures!
Buying lighting equipment is costly. Inevitably, you will have to rely on your indoor lights or the natural daylight. However, the problem with indoor lights is that it casts unpleasant shadows which might obscure the details of your artwork.
What you can do is take your artwork outdoors, lay it flat on the floor, and then take pictures. Natural light is capable of uniform illumination. Moreover, getting a dedicated camera for low-light photography helps too!
Firstly, set your ISO and aperture. Set your ISO as low as possible so that you can get crisp images. An ideal ISO for studio photography is ISO 100. As for aperture, you would want to set it low since lower the aperture, the more is the light-gathering capability. You can the aperture somewhere between f-11.
Photographing your artwork can increase your chances of selling your art online. These were some of the best camera for photographing artwork. The reviews contained in-depth information about the features that might appeal to artists and how they might come in handy for camera art photography.
Deciding which one is the best depends on what you prioritize the most so don’t put off buying a camera for yourself and make a decision with the help of this list!