The Best Cameras for Your Car Photography Side Hustle – Entrepreneur

May 12, 2021 5 min read

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For car enthusiasts, automotive photography is an increasingly popular career path. According to ZipRecruiter, car photographers in the U.S. can expect to make over $46,000 a year, or $22 per hour, shooting the latest and greatest rides on the road. But even if you’d rather not quit your day job to get started, there are plenty of opportunities to freelance on the side. But first, you’ll need the best camera for your car photography side hustle

Finding the right camera for the job admittedly doesn’t differ too much from any other photography gig. That said, if you’re trying to capture a car in motion, such as in racing events, rather than taking flashy stills, you’ll want to look out for a camera with high ISO and shutter speed options as well as paying attention to f-stop capabilities for snapping images with larger depths of field. The ability to take high-quality videos is also a plus for isolating individual frames and turning them into your next viral Instagram hit. 

However ambitious your goals, we’ve rounded up the best cameras for car photography to jumpstart your side hustle no matter how seriously you plan on taking it out of the gate.

Best Overall: Fujifilm X-T4 ($1,700) 
Best Canon Camera: Canon EOS R6 ($2,799) 
Best Beginner Camera: Fujifilm X-S10 ($999)
Best Budget Camera: Nikon D3500 ($697)
Best for Racing Photos: Sony a7Siii ($3,498)

Best Camera Overall: Fujifilm X-T4 ($3,498)

Best Camera Overall: Fujifilm X-T4 ($3,498)

Image credit: Fujifilm

A well-equipped all rounder, the Fujifilm X-T4 strikes a perfect balance between photography and videography, with image stabilization its number one priority. Using a five-axis In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) technology, you’ll never have to worry about your photos turning out blurry due to an accidental slip of the hand. Its shutter speed, on the other hand, is unprecedented, beating out its predecessors bar none. And with the battery capacity to shoot up to 600 photos on a single charge, you can try out hundreds of different angles without concern for abrupt battery burnout.

Best Canon Camera: Canon EOS R6 ($2,799)

Best Canon Camera: Canon EOS R6 ($2,799)

Image credit: Canon

Judging by the price tag, you might suspect the Canon EOS R6 is on the higher end of the brand’s lineup. The reality is quite the opposite. But the amount of value squeezed into this full-frame mirrorless camera is unbeatable by Canon’s own standards. While a 20-megapixel (MP) sensor is nothing to write home about in modern times, this is the same 20 MP sensor employed by the $6,500 EOS-1D X Mark III we’re talking about. Like the Fujifilm X-T4, it also comes with IBIS, along with a quick mechanical shutter, outstanding 4K video, and a smart autofocus that almost negates the need for manual entirely. You can also purchase it without a lens at a $300 discount.

Best Beginner Camera: Fujifilm X-S10 ($999)

Best Beginner Camera: Fujifilm X-S10 ($999)

Image credit: Fujifilm

Not ready to shell out more than a grand on your next side gig? No problem. The Fujifilm X-S10, much like the X-T4, has a 26.1 MP sensor, an X-Processor 4 image processing engine, up to 4K/30fps video, and even its signature IBIS tech—for almost $2,500 less! Designed with newcomers in mind, it alters Fujifilm’s traditional dial layout so that less experienced photographers can pick it up and catch on faster, without the need to watch a million videos on YouTube beforehand. A few specs, such as the continuous shooting speed and display resolution may not be quite as high on the X-S10, but for a price difference this steep, some concessions are to be expected.

Best Budget Camera: Nikon D3500

Best Budget Camera: Nikon D3500

Image credit: Nikon

To some, dropping even $1,000 on a starter camera is out of the question. And to those, allow us to introduce the Nikon D3500, an simple-to-use DSLR camera you can begin using out of the box without jumping through hoops to learn how to do so. Paired with a high-capacity battery that can handle a whole 1,550 pictures per charge, the 24 MP APS-C sensor provides a serviceable image at a resolution decent enough to allow for light cropping without a significant loss in quality. Compared to an iPhone, the zoom is about 15x better, making the D3500 a suitable alternative to amateur smartphone photography.

Best for Racing Photos: Sony A7Siii ($3,498)

Best for Racing Photos: Sony A7Siii ($3,498)

Image credit: Sony

Fast motion sports photography is a tricky trade. It requires not only an eye for stunning compositions that turn exciting moments into dazzling works of art, but it also necessitates a camera that can effectively bring your vision to life. The Sony A7Siii is that camera. Although it is more focused on video than still shots, what with its 4K 120 frame-per-second (fps) ceiling for the medium, it also has a huge ISO cap of 409,6003 and an Exmor R sensor that boasts high resolutions, sensitivity, and speed. The only downside is its low megapixel count—just 12.1 for photography. Still, the A7Siii is the ideal camera for pulling cinematic stills from the video you record, lending itself nicely to the car photography niche.

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