Best Cameras For Portraits – 2020 Top Picks

Photography is an art. Some people take it up as a hobby, while others have a flaming passion for it. No matter which type you belong to, portrait photography is something that requires a lot of practice and skill.

If you are skilled, you can capture amazing portraits with any camera. On the other hand, if you don’t know what you are doing, even a high-end model will generate mediocre results for you.

The thing is, becoming a pro in portrait photography requires a great camera in your hands. The problem here is finding that amazing unit to practice your skills.

To help you make the right choice, we have rounded up the best cameras for portraits and reviewed them for your ease. Read on to find out more. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Cameras For Portraits

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Sony Alpha a6000

  • Captures every moment with an 11fps burst shot feature
  • Its CMOS lens sensor enhances image resolution to conventional DSLRs
  • Wi-fi and NFC enabled for swift connectivity to smartphones
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Canon EOS 6D

  • Camera has in-built Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Includes an expandable ISO dynamic range level
  • Has an efficient 11point auto focus system
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Canon PowerShot SX420

  • Best for the Money
  • Small compact design for easier storage and portability
  • Multiple shooting modes for optimized photography depending on surroundings
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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

  • Best Canon Camera for Portraits
  • f\1.8 - 2.8 aperture value for the clearest pictures
  • Screen offers a tilt and touch seamless operation
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Nikon D7500

  • Best Nikon Camera for Portraits
  • Buffer has a capability of 8fps continous shooting
  • Fast and sharp 51 point focusing system with low light detection
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Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

  • Best Point and Shoot Camera for Portraits
  • Ultra slim design with built in bluetooth
  • Up to 8 presets to choose from for your picture quality
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Canon EOS R

  • Best DSLR Camera for Portraits
  • High performance compact 54mm lens design
  • Varying angle touch screen with 3.69 touch dots
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What Makes a Camera Great For Portraits?

Portrait photography is a vast and varied kind of photography. An image of a single subject that shows their personality using different aspects like lighting, backdrops, or poses is called a portrait. A shot of a group of people that displays their connection is also a portrait.

A portrait can be artistic like those for fashion magazines, or it can be factual like that of a public spokesman. If you are interested in portrait photography or portraiture, you will need a competent camera. It should have certain characteristics that enable it to take wonderful portraits. Below we have discussed these in detail.

Portrait Mode

These days, cameras have a built-in portrait mode. This mode automatically adjusts the camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to maintain a perfect focus on the subject to produce amazing shots.

Bokeh Factor 

In photography, bokeh is a camera’s ability to make the images more appealing by blurring the background. This makes the subject stand out more clearly.

Ease of Operation 

Another important factor that makes a camera great for portraits is its ease of operation. A model that is fairly easy to use will generate better portraits for beginners and pros alike.

Size

The size of a camera also matters in portrait photography, especially if you are shooting in a natural setting. A unit that is big and bulky is more likely to be a burden than a compact one that is easy to carry around.

Full Frame

Full frame cameras are generally preferred for portraiture. This is because a larger sensor offers a shallower depth of field, so the subject is in more focus as compared to the background.

Quick Take - Best Camera For Portraits

Before we dive into our review, here are the best camera for portraits:

  1. Sony Alpha a6000
  2. ​​Canon EOS 6D
  3. Canon PowerShot SX420

Review of the Best Camera For Portraits

When you step into the world of portraiture, you will be tempted by the amazing range of cameras available, each claiming to be the very best at portrait photography. Making the right choice is not easy.

However, if you have some prior knowledge about different cameras or if you know exactly what you need, then the choice is certainly not difficult. To fill you in, here is a list and a detailed review of the best cameras for portraits.

Best Overall:
Sony Alpha a6000

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens

PROS

  • Has a very low shutter lag 
  • Comes with a compact kit lens
  • Offers a very good dynamic range 
  • Convenient in-camera USB charging 
  • Produces crisp images even at low ISO settings

CONS

  • Startup is somewhat sluggish and lagging 
  • Internal flash is weak with narrow coverage 

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently purchased and used this camera have nothing but good things to say about it. They report that they have been able to take amazing shots with it, regardless of being a beginner or an expert.

Although the kit lens is limited in terms of the scope of photography, they have used interchangeable lenses to achieve the desired results easily.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Sony Alpha a6000 is an amazing camera that can handle anything from high definition landscapes to candid family photos. It is compact and easy to carry around. The kit lens has a lot to offer. It has an easy to navigate menu with very intuitive settings and controls.

Easy and fun to operate, this is the camera of your choice if you are a beginner in portrait photography.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is ideal for people who are beginners at portrait photography. Experts who want a lighter and compact model for photography on the go will also like using it. Photography enthusiasts who are looking to level up their photography skills will also reap huge benefits from the features it offers.

Bottom Line

This is one amazing all-round performing camera. The body comes equipped with a basic kit lens, making it a preferred choice amongst most buyers. If you are a hobbyist who wants to up his photographic game, then this is certainly worth serious consideration.

Runner-up:
Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) - Wi-Fi Enabled

PROS

  • Features a silent shutter 
  • Size and weight are quite comfortable
  • Boasts stunning high ISO image quality 
  • Enabled with GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Equipped with an amazing full-frame sensor 

CONS

  • Lacks a dedicated WB button
  • GPS doesn’t turn off even when the camera is powered down

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera has managed to amaze its buyers with its extraordinary performance. People are raving about its features. They like everything, be it the full-frame sensor, fast and accurate autofocus, or the excellent High ISO shooting. The easy handling and operation have also grabbed attention.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find that this is one great camera for portraiture. It is the perfect size and weight that does not tire the arm of the user. It produces good quality images and has great low light focusing capabilities. The best thing about it is its silent shutter mode. This makes it perfect for discreet and stealthy street photography.

Who Will Use This Most

Since this is one of the best cameras from Canon, people who are loyal to this brand will find this a useful addition to their photography arsenal. This is a full-frame camera, so people who are enthusiastic about portrait or landscape photography are likely to put this to great usage.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a hobbyist photographer or a professional one, this camera is bound to satisfy all your demands. It has all the features that classify it as a top-notch performer. Coming from a reputable brand, there is not even a single spec of doubt over its quality. All in all, it is indeed worth your attention.

Best for the Money:
Canon PowerShot SX420

Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera w/ 42x Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

PROS

  • Offers face detection focusing 
  • Boasts an amazing 42x optical zoom 
  • Features high-quality image stabilization
  • Equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity 
  • Compact and lightweight, making it easy to take on the go 

CONS

  • Battery life is quite short
  • Does not have a viewfinder 

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers who have recently invested in this camera report that it offers satisfying performance. People really like it for its size, weight, and built-in Wi-Fi feature. They have been producing beautiful pictures with it and are glad to have invested in it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one beautifully designed model that has a lot to offer. It is a bridge camera that makes it better than any regular compact unit, but it is smaller in size than a DSLR. Because of its size and weight, it is perfect for traveling photography.

The amazing 42x optical zoom certainly makes it stand out from the rest of the competition. Coming with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, this camera is surely made to please.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are new to photography and want to play around with different types of shots will like it for its versatility. Equipped with a wonderful optical zoom, it is also useful for people who want to capture portraits, wildlife, and sporting events.

It is also a great choice for people who want to move on from their smartphone cameras to the world of real photography.

Bottom Line 

Investing in a camera requires serious consideration. You want to be sure that you are getting what you have paid for. This holds true for this model. It has all the great features complete with 42x optical zoom and Wi-Fi connectivity. Coming at an affordable price, this is surely a great camera for portraits.

Best Canon Camera for Portraits:
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (Black)

PROS

  • Features a tilting LCD screen
  • Very comfortable and easy to hold
  • Equipped with a wide aperture zoom lens 
  • Produces shots of very good image quality 
  • Autofocus is accurate, even in low light settings

CONS

  • Does not support 4K videography 
  • Lacks a hot shoe and built-in viewfinder

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera has managed to impress its buyers with its image quality. Given its size, beginners and professionals alike expected it to generate average results, but they were actually surprised by the image quality it produced.

Great controls, ease of usage, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity have certainly earned it respect in the eyes of its buyers. They greatly enjoy using it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like it because it is a beautiful compact DSLR option from the photography giant Canon. It is packed full of amazing features and offers excellent image quality along with good battery life, Wi-Fi connectivity, and improved efficiency.

With this unit alone, you can produce extremely detailed shots without burdening yourself with extra lenses.

Who Will Use This Most

According to us, this is an excellent choice for photography enthusiasts, especially beginners. It is perfect for people who want a compact camera but do not want to compromise on the image quality. It is ideal for traveling, too, so people who are frequent travelers are likely to use this the most.

Bottom Line

If you are a person who wants a compact camera with a touch of a DSLR, then this is the right one for you. It features an ergonomic design that does not make your arm sore from long usage.

It produces detailed, sharp, and good quality images, making it a strong contender in your search for the best camera for portraits.

Best Nikon Camera for Portraits:
Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 DX-format Digital SLR Body

PROS

  • Boasts a long-lasting battery life
  • Installed with a large ergonomic grip
  • Has a dedicated button for the ISO mode 
  • Equipped with a fast and accurate autofocus
  • Features a bright and high-quality viewfinder 

CONS

  • Tilt screen leaves a lot to be desired
  • Does not show the space left on the memory card 

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have purchased it genuinely loved it. They are impressed by its intuitive touchscreen interface that is very detailed and easy to navigate. Buyers also liked its speed in the continuous shot mode as it can capture a lot of pictures without filling the buffer.

The comfortable design with an ergonomic grip has surely gained an enormous nod of approval.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Nikon D7500 has a very impressive performance overall. It is one of the best DSLR cameras from Nikon. Quick and easy to use with a comfortable and ergonomic design, it produces high-quality images.

It has a wonderful ISO so you can capture great shots even in the lowest light. No matter what subject you throw at it, it will easily capture the image you want.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it is an all-round performer, it is very useful for people who want a versatile camera that can address the changing demands of different shots. Beginners will also reap enormous benefits from using it. Professionals who want crisp, sharp, detailed images of their subjects are likely to find this a useful addition.

Bottom Line

In all, this camera has all the looks and feels of a high-quality unit. It is a very functional and versatile model that can raise the ordinary to an extraordinary level. It is a great option for any type of photography, be it landscapes or portraits. Coming with an array of dials, it will be fun to play around with if you decide to buy it.

Best Point and Shoot Camera for Portraits:
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera w/ 1 Inch Sensor and 3inch LCD - Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth Enabled (Silver)

PROS

  • Autofocus is fast and reliable 
  • Has a fast maximum aperture 
  • Features built-in image stabilization
  • Comes with a stylish and compact design 
  • Offers good image quality with higher color accuracy 

CONS

  • Does not have a tilting display
  • Battery life leaves a lot to be desired

What Recent Buyers Report

People who have recently purchased and used this camera really like it for its pocket-friendliness. The compact and travel-friendly size have made it a number one choice amongst traveling enthusiasts.

They like it for its image quality as well as Wi-Fi connectivity that gives them the option of transferring photos directly to their smartphones.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera features a 1-inch sensor that enables it to take exceptional images given its size. It is compact enough to slip inside a pocket but powerful enough to produce detailed images with correct colors and hues.

It is fast and easy to work with. Using it, you will be able to capture beautiful images and transfer them straight to your social media through the Wi-Fi connection it offers.

Who Will Use This Most

With its built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, this camera is perfect for people who shoot for social media. It is extremely pocket-friendly, so it is great for people who like photographing on the go. The small form factor also makes it ideal for taking on camping, picnic, and traveling expeditions.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a stylish and appealing camera from Canon that promises great performance. With its advanced features and a 1-inch sensor, it is bound to make good on its promise. It produces good quality images, even in low ISOs. The colors are accurate, and the images are sharp and detailed. All of these surely make it a strong candidate.

Best DSLR Camera for Portraits:
Canon EOS

Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Camera [EOS R]| Vlogging Camera (Body) with 30.3 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Wi-Fi, and 4K Video Recording up to 30 fps

PROS

  • Battery life is quite long 
  • Has a 30 MP full-frame sensor
  • Features a flip-out varied angle screen 
  • Effective seal against weather elements
  • Equipped with a big and sharp electronic viewfinder 

CONS

  • Rear dial is quite uncomfortable 
  • Lacks a built-in image stabilization 

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who have recently invested in this camera approve of its performance. They really like the fast and flawless operation it presents. It has managed to blow away its buyers with the image quality.

They also love how long the battery can last without charging, and the effective weather resistance it offers is the cherry on top for most buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We really like the touch and feel of this camera. It features a solid and high quality built with a sleek and stylish design. It has tons of features, all of which classify it as one amazing unit that is sure to give you a beautiful image of the things you focus it on.

The fast and accurate autofocus and bright electronic viewfinder do have a powerful impact on its image quality.

Who Will Use This Most

Since it has a full-frame sensor, it is exceptionally good at capturing flattering portraits and scenic landscapes. So this is perfect for people who indulge in portraiture and like shooting landscapes.

It is also very useful for photographers who want a compact and ergonomic model to assist them in outdoor shoots. Beginners are also likely to benefit from using it.

Bottom Line

With this camera, Canon started its journey in the mirrorless camera territory. It is a great unit that is not only easy to use but also easy to hold for longer periods of time. It produces good quality images with crisp and sharp color accuracy.

If you are interested in portrait photography, you might want to try your hand at this one first.

Conclusion

Photographers are amazing people. They can choose any ordinary everyday thing or situation and turn it into extraordinary. If you are also a photography enthusiast and would like to up your level for portraits, then you will certainly make great use of cameras described above.

They are not only perfect for capturing portrait shots but will also have a positive impact on your overall photographic technique.

People Also Ask

The realm of photography is a wonderful place. Here, amongst other gear, you will find camera bodies and lenses to fulfill your wildest dreams. It presents you with a huge variety of everything. The extensive range is good on the one hand, but on the other hand, making a single choice is often a tough task.

The same applies to portrait photography cameras. When you decide to buy one for yourself, the options are too much to take in. You are often confused and lost. To help you out, we have searched the answers for some of the frequently asked questions and listed them below.

Which is Better For Portraits 50mm or 85mm?

Both 50mm and 85mm lenses are great for portrait photography. What’s more important is the camera height and perspective. 50mm lens is great for groups, while an 85mm lens works best for up-close head and shoulder shots of your subject.

If you take a head and shoulder shot with a 50mm lens, you will notice some distortion. But while using an 85mm lens for the same shot, you are more likely to stand farther from your subject. Hence, it’s more about your distance and perspective than the lens itself.

Is 135mm Good For Portraits?

A 135mm lens is not only small and light, but it also offers the right focal length and profile flattening that produces amazing portrait shots. It has a longer focal length, so you can easily shoot full-body images without awakening the feelings of scrutiny. This also makes it great for real-life shoots.

Do You Need a Full Frame Camera For Portraits?

If you ask any photography pro, they will swear by a full-frame camera for portraits. This is because they have a large sensor, so they have a shallower depth of field.

This means you can effectively maintain the focus on your subject while backgrounds are out of focus.

What Equipment Do I Need For Portrait Photography?

Portrait photography in natural light does not require a lot of gear. But if you plan to shoot with an off-camera lens, you might need more equipment. Here are the two lists of equipment for both settings.

Natural light: Camera body, mirrorless camera, memory cards, reflectors, tripod, lenses, and some optional items like a gray card, light meter, UV filter, and a natural density filter.

Off-Camera flash: Along with the equipment mentioned above, you will need some additional lighting gear. These include a transmitter, receiver, rechargeable batteries and chargers, light stand, mounting accessories for light stand, and light modifiers.

What Type of Lens Do I Need For Portrait Photography?

For portrait photography, you need a lens that has the right focal and aperture to shoot stunning portrait photos. Many experts agree that a standard 50mm lens is the perfect focal length for portrait shots. You can also achieve amazing results with a telephoto lens. Both are quite versatile and especially efficient in capturing wonderful portraits of their subjects.

Is Nikon or Canon Better For Portraits?

It is a common understanding that Canon cameras are better for portraits, while Nikon ones are great for landscapes. This is assumed because Canon’s sensor has a slightly warmer bias, so it enhances the skin tone while the Nikon sensor is cooler. However, you can always adjust the proper light balance to capture amazing portrait shots with both.

What Settings Should I Use For Portrait Photography?

When it comes to portrait photography, the difference between the shots of a professional photographer and a casual one is quite evident. This is because the former takes full control of the camera settings to produce the best shot. If you want to shoot portraits like a pro, these are the settings you should use.

Aperture: In portrait shots, the focus is maintained on the subject, so the background tends to be blurred. To achieve this effect, you have to reduce the aperture. The best results are achieved at f/5.6 or f/6.3.

Shutter speed: It is also advised to control the shutter speed if you want great portraits. Most professionals shoot at a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second.

ISO: Managing the ISO is also important to capture amazing images. You should choose the lowest possible ISO for the available light.