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Street Photography Tips: Camera and Lens


Strictly speaking, street photography has no restrictions on the shooting equipment, and any equipment you have on hand can be used as your street photography camera. The most important thing in street photography is the capture of moments and the keen observation of pictures, which is a conditioned reflex under the accumulation of experience, which is also what no high-end camera or lens can bring to us.

Unlike portrait photography and landscape photography, street photography doesn't seem to have high quality requirements, but that doesn't mean that poor quality is acceptable. Street photography does not have high requirements for picture quality, but to shoot well, you should choose a relatively appropriate camera or lens within the scope of your subject.

Camera for Street Photography

Image Quality

Although the content is far more important than the image quality in street photography, the image quality cannot be ignored, especially in the face of many disturbing elements that may appear on the street, we sometimes have to cut the picture, and the image quality directly determines the cutting degree.

a fly on the window, by Daido Moriyama

Forget pixels, it's just a gimmick. The maximum resolution of your image is not the detail of the image. The 20 megapixels of a phone are not as good as the 10 megapixels of a APS-C camera. However, if the same 20 megapixels of APS-C is compared with the silent frame, the silent frame may not have any outstanding advantages except that the performance may be better under low light. It may not be an advantage to shoot in low light because of the sensor's image, but shooting in a well-lit environment is mostly satisfying.

a fly on the window, by Daido Moriyama

In short, most of the latest equipment you can get will do the job, but if you want to shoot in low-light conditions, such as at night, you still need to choose a camera with a large base. Low-light shots are not just about having a large aperture. Large sensor cameras perform better at high resolution.

Size Of The Camera

This is very important, many people do not dare to take pictures in the street mainly because they will feel embarrassed to take pictures of others with a camera. Therefore, since the age of film, street photography cameras have been making smaller and smaller. They can be put into your pocket at any time, so they are also known as pocket cameras. In the film era, street cameras were called Point and Shoot, like the classic GR and Contax's T&G series of that era were excellent PS cameras.

ricoh Gr2 structure

In the digital age, such cameras are known as Compact cameras, mainly those with non-replaceable lenses, as well as the GR series, which went from film to digital, and the SONY RX series.

Of course, a small camera is just to avoid embarrassment and make it easier for us to shoot, but street photography is a matter of personal habit, and there's no reason not to shoot with an oversized SLR.

Design

A good design can help us shoot more smoothly, so I have to say Ricoh GR here.

GR is welcomed from the film times until now is not without reason, a big part of the reason is because of its excellent control design. GR makes it easy to use one hand when taking street photos. I can even put one hand in my pocket and hold the camera with the other while using GR. When I am walking, I can quickly take out the camera with only a glance of the corner of my eye and then complete the shooting.

“Step” by Masayoshi Naito

Lens for Street Photography

If you just want to shoot on the street, a compact camera might be a good choice, and if you want to shoot on a wide range of subjects, from street to human to animal, it's better to choose a lens changeable camera.

“Barcelona, Spain” by Fabian Schreyer

Many street photographers say that the ideal lens focal length is 35mm, because this wide-angle focal length gives the photographer enough space to compose a picture on a crowded street, covering a wide range of subjects and most of the surroundings. Others say that 50mm is ideal. Like Bresson, almost all his works are shot with 50mm, because he believes that 50mm is the focal length of the human eye.

Whether it's 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, it seems to be suitable for street photography as long as it's a prime lens. Here are a few reasons why a prime lens is good for street photography from experience.

Handiness

Street photography usually involves walking all the time. Prime lenses are usually small and light to carry, and carrying a medium to large zoom lens is like walking down the street with dumbbells.

Large Aperture

Usually prime lens aperture is large, the most common like F / 1.4, F / 2, F / 2.8, at night or cloudy conditions better, also can give you a faster shutter speed, of course you also can at the time of insufficient light source to the ISO to the highest, but the pictures will appear too much noise.

man lit a cigarette

Conclusion

Above are Street Photography Tips: Camera and Lens, thanks for reading! If you want more tutorials of Fotosifter, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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