Food Blog Camera: “Stone Age” Gear?

What kind of food blog camera and lens do you use when you are a food blogger? My food photography gear and some inspiration & ideas to food blogging.

Savory Avocado Pancakes by Healthy Laura Food Photography & styling. My food blog camera gear for food photography. #foodphotographycamera #foodbloggercamera #foodblogcamera #foodbloggingcamera

Avocado Buckwheat Pancakes

Clickbait, you got me!

YES, that was a little clickbait. I don’t have the typical list for all the cameras you can buy on earth. If you are looking for that, then you can stop reading right away.  😅

I can only tell you what I’m using. Also, I don’t consider my camera gear “stone age” right now. However, when I started, then my gear was below average.

What? What?

Most common questions for me: What kind of camera and lens do you use? What’s the best food blog camera?

TYPICAL INTERNET DISCLAIMER 123

Before I answer these questions, I have to remind you that like many others I’m still learning. Everything here is just my personal preference. I’m quite sure that some of you who are reading this might think otherwise.

Food Blog Camera by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My favorite camera full-frame Nikon D750 for food blogging on a budget to create professional food photography for clients. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

My “Food Blog Camera”*

I bought my “food blog camera” Nikon D750 camera in 2017 summer. Obviously, it’s not only a “food blog camera”, and I still carry it when I’m traveling. However, probably 99 % of the images are about food.

Iced Turmeric Latte by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My nifty fifty lens for Nikon camera (50 mm /1.8 lens)

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (blog post here)

I told myself not to get FANCY 😊

The real truth is that when I was starting with photography, then I didn’t need an extra expensive camera gear.

All I needed was a basic camera, desire to learn and practice.

Still, it’s better to have some DSLR camera to learn the basics. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full-frame or crop sensor. Just something. However, nowadays I have heard many magical stories about mirrorless cameras.  Any experience here? I’m still old-fashioned, and I love traditional DSLR cameras.

What’s your goal?

If you ask me, what kind of camera should you buy, then I would say that you have to think about where you are and what is your goal. If you are starting, then honestly I would say that take whatever camera you can and just start learning and practicing.

Probably it’s always better to start with some DSLR to understand the basics. If you can’t afford it, then think again. Nowadays there are so many cheaper refurbished DSLR that is perfect! Just remember that you will get good images when you have a good lens!

The lens makes the difference

Yes, I have seen amazing images with a crop sensor camera. I used a crop sensor for years before I bought full-frame. However, the lens will still make a difference. Seriously, my food photography changed completely when I bought the “nifty fifty” lens that costs only about 200 euros (read my post here).

Old image with my previous some might say “stone age” Nikon D90 camera and NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8 lens (the year 2017)

Fancy camera gear?!

It doesn’t matter if you choose Nikon, Sony or Canon. I always like to tell myself not to overthink my gear. Of course, you should read all kind of reviews and consider your budget, but the most important thing is just to start. 😊

Find a way and don’t make any excuses. If you are already a professional, then you have your preferences, and you probably know what you would like to buy. My “opinion” here doesn’t matter.

Quinoa Porridge Breakfast Bowl by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My camera gear for food blogging.

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (blog post here)

Special gift in one condition?

Why I use Nikon? It just came to me. Honestly. I got my first camera Nikon D90 as a gift from my lovely father. I didn’t even choose the brand it just came to me. I’m a very lucky girl. It was a fantastic gift, but the only condition was that I had to take 200 different images every month. 😅 

Cashew White Chocolate by Healthy Laura @healthylauracom HealthyLaura

Cashew White Chocolate

I waited FOREVER before I upgraded my camera

In summer 2017 I bought a new camera Nikon D750. I already had two lenses for a full-frame camera, and it was an obvious step to buy Nikon camera again. However, I didn’t want to buy a new camera before I can shoot better images with my old one. I needed to achieve my goals before upgrading.

I used my D90 for almost SEVEN to eight years and in the end, it just nearly fell apart. Okay, well I HAD it at home for nearly seven years, but I USED it often for two to three years. You don’t have to wait that long.

Lemon Bundt Cake & Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography?
Learned the basics

What I’m trying to say is that when you are just starting, then you should first learn how to shoot good images with an inexpensive camera and then you can look for another one. Learn the basics and then get a better camera. You can always buy a used or refurbished camera. You might be amazed at how many people are selling almost new cameras online. Some people have just bought a new camera but used it only for a few weeks. It makes me sad. 🙄

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If someone doesn’t understand the basics of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, then they can use their phone for photography. They don’t need a fancy 5000 dollar camera. I’m sorry that might be mean, but that’s what I think. It is just my personal opinion.

Zucchini Turmeric Bread by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling @healthylauracom HealthyLaura

Setting goals

I like to challenge myself. I had a goal that I can buy a new camera when I can sell stock images for a certain amount of money, and I have uploaded 1000 images in the stock. I had the money to buy a new camera, but I didn’t because I was afraid that I would lose my focus. Once that day arrived, and I got 1000 images accepted in 2017, then I appreciated my new camera so much more.

Yes, I know that stock photography is not the best way to earn money nowadays. Right now I don’t upload images frequently. I can make more other ways. Still, I think that a few hundred dollars every month from old images are not bad.

I believe that it’s not about the money. First of all, when I started to get more serious with my photography, then it was great FEEDBACK. I learned A LOT, and it kept me motivated to practice photography every day.

Internet magic 😍

We have the magical internet! Thank you! Nowadays there are so many places where I can learn about photography. All I need to do is go Google or Youtube, and I can find thousands of tutorials for free. Yes, that’s right!? FOR FREE!

Of course, you still need a connection. Blablablaa … BUT in Estonia, we still have free WIFI in many places. That’s why I consider it free. 🙄

I took a photography course when I was at university. HOWEVER, the courses on the Internet are always way better. I can’t even describe how bad those university courses were.  The Internet is just the best.

Cheap courses

However, sometimes I like to take some cheap 10 dollars Udemy courses. Why? Time! Most free videos aren’t organized. Time is valuable for all of us, and I wish I would have taken those courses earlier. Still, I don’t like to buy 500 -1000 dollar course. Maybe one day. I have just learned basic photography and some editing from there.

Sandwich - Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography? Light!

Don’t overthink! Just start!

Enjoy photography and see how much progress you can make. Be creative and try to live in a moment and don’t overthink your gear when you are starting. At some point, you have to think about your camera gear, but you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about what you need. I know that I sometimes have that habit and it’s not good for me mentally.

I still have my list what lenses I would like to buy next, but I try not to think about it too much. It’s just right now I have some technical limits on my gear. For example, I don’t have a macro lens, and I can’t shoot very close up food images. In these cases, I feel that when the gear starts to limit yourself technically, then it’s time to upgrade.

Sandwich & Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography?

What is the best “food blog camera” for food photography?
I agree with the saying that the best camera is the one you have. Almost.

You are not going to have a straight answer from me. You can read some other posts about food photography camera gear here or Google it. There are endless articles about the best camera gear. Of course, when you are already making some progress, or you are a professional, then you usually need an expensive camera gear, or you need to upgrade it to make sure you are still on the game. The camera gear depends on a lot where you are and what is your goal.

Nice cream by Healthy Laura food photography & styling. MY 50 mm /1.6 nifty fifty lens for food blog & food blogging. #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodcomposition #foodblogging #foodblogtips

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (review here) & Raspberry Nice Cream

Some (might) say “Stone Age” Camera*

If you don’t have a camera, then just read some reviews and buy something that is good for your budget. I love my Nikon D750. However, I bought it after I achieved my goals and learned the basics.

Compare to my old D90 it is a massive upgrade for me. Many people would even say that D90 is a “stone age” camera. Some might say that even D750 is an old camera but, to be honest, I like it, and at least I have some room to grow.

Nikon D750 vs Nikon D90 - Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography? Light?

Nikon D750 (ISO 100, F/5.0, 1/10) vs Nikon D90 (ISO 100, F/5.0, 1/6). In both cases, I used 50 mm F/1.8.

Full-frame experience

At first, it was a little bit different to get used to the full-frame camera, but now I don’t imagine shooting without it. When I took my old camera to shoot some images for this post, then I realized that it’s so different. After that upgrade, I quickly started to look for a macro lens.

The quality on Nikon D750 is so much better if I look at the images on 100%. On this image, you might not notice it that much. However, when I do some low light or high shutter images, then I can see a difference.

Nice Cream Swirl by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My camera gear for food blogging. What kind of camera and lens do you use when you are a food blogger? My food photography gear and some inspiration & ideas to food blogging.

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (review here) & Nice Cream Swirl

Technical Blablabla

The shutter speed and dynamic range are just incredible. Now I have the chance to practice more action shots that I love. However, the first powder sugar image I managed to capture with my D90 after I bought the 50 mm F/1.8 lens. I tried to shoot the powder sugar with my Nikon D90 kit lens, but it just didn’t work because of the technical limits. The shutter speed was just too slow to capture the powder sugar.

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl Nice Cream by Healthy Laura @healthylauracom HealthyLaura

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (review here) & & Chocolate Nice Cream Smoothie Bowl

The lens makes the real difference

If you are thinking about buying a camera, then it’s important to understand that the real money goes into lenses.

You might not need a full-frame, and you can shoot amazing images with crop sensor when you have a good lens. Yes, obviously when you’re professional, then it’s another story. However, lenses for crop sensor are so much cheaper. It all depends on what would you like to get from your photography.

Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography? Same camera!

I used both times the same camera Nikon D90. However, for the 2017 image, I used a better lens.

My food blog camera & lenses:*
Upgrade

I upgraded my camera in August 2017 for full-frame Nikon D750 camera, and it was the best decision I have made with my food blog camera gear.

Still happy

I’m always so pleased with the quality, and I could not wish more as my food blog camera gear. Before that, I had 8-years old Nikon D90, and for me, it was a massive upgrade.

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8G AF-S lens (blog post here)

NO Kit Lens for me, thanks. 

I bought the body with a kit lens 24-120 mm because when I bought it, then the kit was just cheaper than the body alone. It’s an excellent lens for traveling, but I still prefer lower F numbers. If you would like to buy this lens on its own, then I don’t recommend this lens. There are way better lenses. For food images, I don’t use the 24-120 mm at all.

“NIFTY FIFTY” MAGIC & UNDERESTIMATED THE PRICE TAG

NIKKOR 50mm f/ 1.8 – This lens here saved my food photography journey. I’m not kidding! It might be cheap compared to other lenses (around 200 $). Still, don’t underestimate that price tag as I did.

ZOOM LENS KILLED MY DREAMS

Once I got that lens, my photography changed forever even with my old crop sensor, and some say “stone age” camera. I must say that when I started to shoot with this fixed lens instead of zoom lenses, my food photography changed forever (read my post here about this lens).

Food Blog Tripod by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography tripod with an arm. My favorite Manfrotto tripod for food images. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

My Manfrotto tripod that already has an extending ARM.

MANFROTTO TRIPOD

This Manfrotto tripod is the best I have ever had! So far it has been fabulous and steady. I couldn’t wish for more since it also has that ARM for overhead shots.

The tripod I had before was broken, and I used a string to hold the camera on the tripod. Bad idea since I almost broke my camera. I needed a new friend for my food blog camera gear. Why do I like to use the tripod and why it changed my photography read here.

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Used my Tamron 90mm F/2.8 lens

CHEAPER MACRO LENS

Tamron 90mm F/2.8 – I did long research before I bought this Tamron lens. I realized that it would have been stupid for me to spend all that money on Nikon lens when I could have Tamron lens. Almost all the article or videos recommended this lens for that price.

It’s also available for Nikon and Canon cameras. In my research, I found that some technical parts are even better than the Nikon 105 mm f/2.8 lens. Most of the measures were just the same or even better.

Food Photography: What is the best camera for food photography?

Studio Light Struggle?!

Yes, I bought a studio light kit. I failed.

Usually, I use natural light. However, in winter time in Estonia, there is sometimes only about 4-5 hours of daylight. There are days when the weather is just so dark almost all the time. Thus, a year ago I ordered a studio light kit. 

What did I realize? Those softboxes I ordered were small & BAD. I don’t like it whatsoever. Still, I haven’t considered the fact that I’m not skilled?!

If anyone reading this have any suggestions for studio light, then let me know!

Recap: My advice?
  • Just starting? You don’t need an extra expensive camera. All you need is a basic camera, desire to learn and practice. First, it is necessary to start. Basic refurbished DSLR camera is perfect when you don’t have a big budget. Leave yourself room to grow and spend your money on an excellent fixed “nifty fifty” LENS.
  • Set yourself a goal? For example, I set myself a goal to upload 1000 on a stock before I bought a new camera. It was a perfect way for me to get some feedback for my images. I didn’t think about the money.
Classical Comment Begging 123 🙄

If this post was helpful, then please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylauracom or another platform. 

It helps me to create better content & I know you would like to read more about this topic.

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Keto Cinnamon Donuts for a Client.

*Typical affiliate?! Yes, another classic website. Sometimes, I still have to pay some bills. Don’t worry, if you purchase via those links, then there is no extra cost to you.  I just may earn a small commission. No question, that these are all great products that I personally use and love!


Updated information: 30.10.2018

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Comments

  1. I started practicing with my iPhone. I am amazed how much the lighting can change the picture quality. Thank you for your tips!

  2. Beautifully Written~

    Thank You so much for perspective. I have had my eye on the Nikon for a while. I just came across your article. You helped me decide. I look forward to keeping in touch with you. Thank You Healthy Laura~

    Wishing you tons of success!!!

    Cheryl