Earlier this week I was at The Newborn Photography Show. It was a very busy few days and I had a lot of people asking me about the kit that I use for Newborn Photography so I thought I’d write a blog post about what I use and why.
I changed over to the Sony mirrorless cameras a few years ago and have sold all my Canon Kit (I used to use the Canon 5dMk3). I have had no regrets doing this and I do think that the Sony cameras outperform the Canon on every level !
I use my cameras for a real mix of photography, everything from weddings, newborns and fast boats so I need to have something that is capable of handling all of this. If you are primarily working with Newborns then there are a few options as far as camera bodies go.
The camera that I’m now using most of the time is the Sony A7RIII. With the A7 family there are three main variants. The A7 which is a 24MP sensor and a very good all round camera, if you are coming from the Canon 5Dmk3 then this is the nearest equivalent. The A7S which is a 12MP sensor but unbelievably good in low light, I still have one of the original A7S cameras and I can shoot at ISO40,000 without a problem (S is for sensitivity)….. Then you have the A7R range that has a 42MP sensor (R is for Resolution).
I would say don’t get too hung up on megapixels. I can happily print 30×40″ images from my A7S with no issues.
So, which is best ? That really depends on what you are doing and the budget you have available. I’m a big fan of buying the best you can afford. In the long run you will keep the kit for longer and get more out of it rather than changing it 6 months later because it doesn’t quite do what you wanted it to do.
So, if you have the budget then I’d go for the Sony A7RIII or A7RII – both are superb cameras but they are at the upper end budget wise (£3,199 for the A7RIII). For a good all round camera then the Sony A7III or A7II will do the job. The Sony A7II is currently £999 from Park Cameras (18th May 2018 inc £200 cash back).
So, that is the camera body sorted, what about lenses ?
Again, I have my favourites 🙂 over the last two years I have moved over primarily to using prime lenses and my lens of choice is the ZEISS Batis 85mm f1.8 lens. By working with prime lenses you end up with a very consistent look to a set of images. The 85mm is a really lovely focal length that can get you in close but at the same time you don’t have to be too far away to get a full body shot. Again, not the cheapest lens going (currently £935 on Park Cameras website) but when it comes to build quality (and image quality !) you do tend to get what you pay for and as I said earlier I try and buy the best I can afford to make sure it is going to last. Before I bought the ZEISS basis 85mm I used the Sony/ZEISS 24-70 f4 lens. This is a great lens as an all-rounder and seen as one of the “classic” zoom focal lengths that people buy.
I think when it comes to photographing newborns you don’t need bags full of cameras and lenses; you need one combination that you know will work for you. For me this is the Sony A7RII or A7RIII with the ZEISS Batis 85mm lens.
Hopefully you have found this interesting, I’ll write another blog post soon covering the lighting kit that I use and why 🙂