Neither every photographer nor every camera can take beautiful stills of cars moving at a tremendous speed on a racing track. You have to be an extremely skillful snapper and possess an equally great camera to obtain quality still of a car in fast motion. Obtaining the necessary skills is up to you but we have rounded up the best cameras for car photography in this guide. It would make it easier for you to choose the right camera for this amazing and rewarding field of photography.
Car photography is unique and one of the most difficult types of photography. You have to knock it out of the park no matter you are shooting your car for selling it or you just have a passion for action and speed photography. Your camera must have a powerful sensor, blazing fast autofocus, fast shutter speed, and high ISO. It should also be compatible with a potent wide-angle lens.
Best Cameras for Car Photography
Our list includes some of the best cameras on the market for car photography. All these models are from reputed manufacturers and offer a host of suitable features and functions as well as powerful performance.
|Image||Camera Name||Sensor||Burst Rate||ISO||Check Price|
Sony A7R IV
Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Canon EOS R5
Panasonic Lumix G7KS
Canon EOS Rebel T7
Sony A1 Mirrorless
Panasonic LUMIX G100
1. Nikon D850 DSLR Camera: Best Camera for Car Photography
Nikon D850 DSLR offers great quality and performance when it comes to car photography. It is our absolute favorite for a lot of reasons.
Firstly, the high resolution 45 megapixels PX-Format BSI CMOS sensor creates supreme images of the cars in any situation using any setting. Images also have minimum noise and enhanced clarity courtesy of EXPEED 5 engine.
The ISO range of 64-25600 considerably enhances its performance in low light as well. Nikon D850 can capture brilliant images at all times of the day and under any kind of weather.
The best thing about Nikon D850 is two different video resolutions. It records excellent car videos in Full HD 1080P and 4K. It also has an 8K time-lapse and the Time Interval Shooting feature to extract stills from the videos.
The 9fps continuous shooting speed means you won’t ever miss a shot. Similarly, the 153-point autofocus system with 99 cross-type sensors also tracks and focuses the fast action quite easily.
The 0.75X optical viewfinder is another nice feature, providing you with a realistic and clear view of the action. You can also view the subjects using a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen.
The connectivity options include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi while you can control the camera remotely through a remote controller.
The camera can record only 30 minutes of video which can be a drawback for some users.
Nikon D850 DSLR is the best camera for car videos and photography alike. Available for around $1900, it comparatively affordable than some of the models below.
What can I say – that this beast of a photo machine can not do!! Have had about every major brand over the last 10 years (Canon 60D, 1Ds, 5D, Fuji X-Pro 1, Pentax K-1 – and several micro 4/3rds – this is THE BEST – BAR NONE!
2. Sony A7R IV Mirrorless Camera: Good Camera for Car Photography
Sony A7R IV is a terrific camera offering exceptional resolution, continuous autofocus, and a high burst rate for taking images of the car. It would also be a great multipurpose camera for you if you want to use it for other types of photography.
Sony A7R IV comes with a 35mm 61 megapixels backlit Exmore R CMOS sensor, producing brilliant images. Colors are also brilliant thanks to the 15-stop dynamic range even at low sensitivities. The Sony BIONZ X processor ensures fine details as well.
The 10fps continuous shooting speed is also sufficient for car photography.
The area where the camera truly excels is the autofocus. It has 567 and 425 phase detection and contrast points respectively to cover more area and accurately track the subjects in a jiffy. The advanced subject recognition including real-time eye and real-time tracking greatly helps in subject tracking as well.
The high ISO range of 100-32000 (expandable to 50- 102400) means the camera takes superb images in low light. The 5-axis image stabilization further improves the image quality by removing camera shakes and shivers.
The camera supports FTV background transfer for quick delivery of JPEG and RAW files both during and after the shooting.
A7R IV also records 4k videos at 30fps.
The frame rate is a little low for a camera costing more than $3000. As such, it is also quite an expensive camera.
All in all, Sony Alpha A74 IV is a great camera for car photography. It offers very high resolution, lightning fast autofocus, and a good burst rate for capturing cars in their full glory.
I really like the camera, already got a second body. My only complaint thus far is that on portraits of people who wear glasses, it focuses on the glasses frame, not the pupils. Have to use manual focus.
3. Canon EOS M6 Mark II: Best Budget Camera for Car Photography
Canon EOS M6 Mark II is yet another fantastic camera for car photography. It is a compact camera but offers a lot of features and is significantly more affordable than the cameras discussed above.
Keep in mind that M6 Mark II is comparatively a larger and heavier camera but delivers superb image quality while shooting cars or anything you like.
The camera has a rugged body with dust and moisture resistance. Therefore, you can use it in very harsh conditions. Furthermore, it is compatible with a wide range of Canon and third-party lenses. The Canon EF-S lenses in particular are known to provide the best quality pictures.
45-point Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus ensures extremely accurate performance and beautiful images. You can also choose from 16 points and have more control over autofocus compared to other cameras.
The 32.5 megapixels sensor combines with DIGIC 7 image processor to produce beautiful pictures with excellent color quality. The ISO range of 100-25600 also enables you to capture fantastic car images in low light.
The camera records in Full HD and offers a 4K time-lapse feature to create awesome car videos by combining the still taken over specified intervals. The 6.5fps continuous shooting speed is great for capturing spontaneous moments.
The camera has both an electronic viewfinder and a vari-angle touchscreen to shoot a variety of angles.
The remote shooting and image transfer are quite easy because of the built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. You can also tag your image with your location using the built-in GPS.
The camera does not have 4K video resolution which is a letdown. There is no USB 3.0 port as well.
Available for just around $1400, Canon EOS M6 Mark II has all the features required for good car photography. It does have its share of problems but that is what you should expect from such an affordable camera.
Canon EOS M6 mark ii is a compact digital camera by side, but powerful and flexible in other features such choices of lens and high-definition image up-to 32 mega-pixel senor. It is small and easily carried on for trips and other occasions.
4. Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera: Best Canon Camera for Car Photography
Canon EOS R5 is the best camera from Canon in particular and in the world in general.
Some of its incredible features include 8K video resolution, 45 megapixels sensor, DIGIC X image process, ISO 100-51200, 20fps continuous shooting speed, and 1053-point Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus covering 100% of the area.
It is hard to find all the above features in a single camera. It should be your choice if you are a professional or enthusiast car photographer as well as shoot portraits, wildlife, landscapes, action, cinematography, and anything else you can think of.
It covers all aspects of photography such as a powerful sensor, excellent low light performance, superb subject tracking, high burst rate, latest image processor, and terrific 5-axis image stabilization.
It is also one of the few cameras with 8K video resolution even though it heats up while shooting in 8K. Similarly, it also records in 4K in 10-bit 4:2:2, resulting in rich and accurate colors. The Dual Pixel autofocus and internal recording are available in all video modes for breathtakingly clear videos.
Not everyone can afford a $4000 camera. It als heats up while shooting in 8K mode.
All in all, Canon EOS R5 is the best camera for automotive photography. So, why it is so low on our list? The answer is its high price tag of almost $4000.
Been looking around and doing a ton of research on mirrorless cameras. Great reviews for a reason. Hands down worth the investment. Worth every penny on quality of camera, pictures and settings. Highly recommend this camera to anyone serious about becoming a semi-pro from amateur.
5. Nikon D7500 DLSR Camera: Best Cheap Camera for Car Photography
We have already reviewed and declared Nikon D850 as the best camera for car photography. However, it is an expensive and high-end camera that can be overkill for most of you. That is why, we have included Nikon D7500, a midrange nifty camera with just enough features and an affordable price tag of $750 for all the economical photographers.
The camera offers you great images thanks to a 20.9 megapixels sensor even though it is not the strongest on our list. It also guarantees fast processing speeds using the quite advanced EXPEED 5 image processor. The images will be as smooth as the cars you want to capture.
8fps continuous shooting speed is impressive for such a cheap camera. It is greater than that of Canon EOS M6 Mark II, a camera that costs almost $500 more. Therefore, you can keep shooting cars as they pass by with terrific speed.
The autofocus is also quite good with 51-points, enabling you to get incredibly focused, clear, and crisp shots of the cars.
The optical viewfinder with 100% coverage is another fantastic feature. You can also shoot from the acutest of angles with the help of a 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen. It shows the exact and realistic scenes that you want to capture.
Nikon D7500 records 4K videos at 30fps while having a good ISO range for low light images. The battery life of 950 shots on a single charge is very impressive.
The camera does not have the most powerful processor mainly due to its low price. However, even some cheaper cameras have better sensors than D7500.
Summing up, Nikon D7500 DSLR is the ideal choice if you want high-quality performance without costing a fortune.
Nikon put together a product that gives the photographer a combination of two great cameras professional photographers use. It’s a blender between the artistic quality of the D750 and the iso and autofocus speed of the D500 under one house.
6. Panasonic Lumix G7KS: Best Beginner Camera for Car Photography
You should try Panasonic Lumix G7KS if you are short on a budget but want a good camera to photograph cars. It offers the best value for money to car enthusiasts in our opinion.
The mirrorless camera has a lightweight and compact body. The 16 megapixels sensor is not the strongest but delivers acceptable image performance. It can easily become an ideal beginner camera for amateur car photographers and even aspiring professionals.
The intuitive controls help you control the aperture and shutter speed with ease. The autofocus ensures precise focusing by tracking the motion, size, and color of the subject. The intelligent autofocus combines with Depth from Defocus (DFD) technology to calculate distance from the object to quickly adjust the focus. The camera also has Starlight AF that allows you to use only moonlight to capture objects.
The 4K video recording is also an impressive feature for such an affordable camera. Similarly, you can extract 4K photos from videos as well. However, you won’t miss any shot courtesy of 8fps continuous shooting speed.
Some other notable features include high visibility viewfinder, a tilting touchscreen for optimum clarity, Focus Peaking, and silent shooting.
A 16 megapixels sensor is considered weak these days. Some comparable cameras have stronger sensors. Similarly, the camera offers limited lens compatibility.
Panasonic Lumix G7KS is a perfect choice for you if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a camera. It cannot only take stunning car photographs but you can also it for other purposes, thus becoming a great beginner camera.
I wanted something more powerful than a Webcam for streaming. I think it does the job, good 60 fps 4k camera footage.
7. Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera: Best Multipurpose Camera
Fujifilm X-T4 is among the most advanced APS-C cameras on the market. It is a brilliant multipurpose camera for a myriad of features and reasons. It is particularly suitable for car and action photography.
X-T4 has a whopping continuous shooting speed of 30fps that is much greater than considerably expensive cameras such as Canon EOS R5, Nikon D850, and Sony A7R IV. Therefore, you can take snap after snap of the moving cars without missing any action. On top of that, the brilliant 5-axis image stabilization results in steady and sharp handheld images.
You can also get closer to the object using the crop sensor, an essential feature for race track shooting. The 26 megapixels sensor coupled with Fujifilm’s excellent dynamic range shows great details in images.
The camera has a good ISO range of 160-12800 (extendable to 80-51200) and therefore, shooting in the dark is not a problem as well.
Apart from a fantastic still camera, the X-T4 records exceptional 4K videos at 60p, also making it a great choice for content creators and vloggers.
You have to charge the battery inside the camera. It is a minor drawback but you cannot use the camera while it is charging.
In short, Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best APS-C cameras for car photography by far.
Best value and quality for the money. The Fuji colors are amazing. Ability to change from stills to video with one switch is a game changer for me. IBIS is great. Don’t need a gimble. Don’t hesitate to buy
8. Canon EOS Rebel T7: Best Value for Money
Canon Rebel T7 Car Photography is the cheapest camera on our list. It has a lightweight and compact body despite being a DSLR camera. It is quite easy to use and offers high performance, becoming one of the best cameras for car photography, especially for newcomers.
Available for just over $450, it is a very affordable camera. The autofocus is fast and accurate, something you need to take beautiful images of racing and moving cars.
The 24 megapixels sensor is better than that of comparatively expensive cameras. The images are of the highest quality with accurate and bright colors. They are colorful and detailed even in low light because of the ISO 100-6400. The DIGIC 4 + image processor, although old, excellently processes the images and ensures smooth camera function.
The 9-point autofocus delivers precise and consistent image quality as well.
3fps continuous shooting speed is not that great but it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to taking multiple images in a short period. T7 also records Full HD 1080P videos at 30p among a variety of frame rates and recording sizes.
The nice 3-inch LCD also helps you take clear and bright images of your subject. Similarly, the optical viewfinder with 95% coverage gets better images by stabilizing the camera.
The camera has a very intuitive tutorial for beginners to understand its functions.
As mentioned above, it only has 3fps continous shooting speed. The LCD is fixed and the camera also lacks Bluetooth connectivity.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a great and inexpensive DSLR camera. It is especially an ideal choice for beginners and amateur photographers.
This is great camera for any photo enthusiast. Plenty of useful functionality for the price. Easy to use and takes great pictures
9. Sony A1 Mirrorless Camera: Best Camera for Car Photography but also the Most Expensive
Sony A1 Mirrorless Camera has the distinction of one of the best cameras ever. It practically offers you everything, or even more, than you need to take breathtaking images of anything, including cars. But – there is a catch. You have to pay more than $6000 to get your hands on this camera.
The 50 megapixels camera produces extremely sharp, crisp, and clear photos. The color quality and consistency are second to none. The next-generation BIONZ X image processor is 8 times more powerful than previous versions and excellently processes the images as well.
The superfast camera with a whopping 30fps continuous shooting speed is an ideal choice for action, car, wildlife, portraits, landscapes, and all kinds of photography. It will not miss the tiniest of moments due to high frame rates.
The brilliant autofocus and great 5-axis image stabilization mean you can handle almost everything that comes your way.
It has 8K video resolution but does not heap up like Canon EOS R5 thanks to the heat-dissipating structure. The ISO 100-32000 (extendable to 50-102400) results in beautiful low light images.
Available for $6000, it is an extremely expensive camera. Other than that, it does not have many drawbacks.
Sony A1 Camera has lots and lots of features to make it an action photographer’s dream. We cannot cover all of them in such a short space. All these features come at a hefty price as well. But – you have to pay such a high amount of money to get the best of the best.
The camera is amazing. I needed a camera for family portraits and underwater wildlife/landscape video. This camera is the perfect hybrid photo/video
10. Panasonic LUMIX G100: One of the Best Cameras for Car Photography for Travel
Panasonic LUMIX G100 is a lightweight and travel-friendly camera for events like car shows and races. It is neatly designed and has some nice features for both novices and professional car photographers alike.
For example, it has a 10fps continuous shooting speed that is reasonable for a $600 camera. And, it is more than enough to capture fact action without missing anything. Similarly, you can also extract images from 4K videos. By the way, it records breathtaking 4K videos at 30p and Full HD at 60p.
A myriad of video recording features such as a built-in microphone makes it a great camera for vloggers and content creators.
The relatively small 20 megapixels sensor paired with an equally small MFT lens considerably reduces camera weight, making it a great travel camera. The sensor, despite being small, produces very high-quality images.
G100 does not have in-body image stabilization. Fortunately, it can use 5-axis hybrid image stabilization when paired with a compatible lens.
The Live Viewfinder offers high visibility under tough weather conditions. You can also use a 180° articulating screen to frame your shot.
Unfortunately, G100 has no in-body image stabilization. The 20 megepixels sensor is also inadequate for some photographers.
All in all, Panasonic LUMIX G100 is a great travel camera for car enthusiasts as well as amateur photographers.
I have both the G100 and GX9.
After using them both I personally like the G100 better and I find myself using it much more often.
How to Buy Best Cameras for Car Photography?
You have to consider the following attributes to buy the best camera for car photography.
You need a camera with high resolution to highlight all the details and features of a car. It is even better to get a camera with the highest resolution possible if you want to shoot static cars. It will offer you images of the highest quality.
Fast and accurate autofocus is a prerequisite for photographing moving cars as in races. Slow or poor autofocus will just fail to keep up with all the fast action we associate with car races.
Continuous Shooting Speed
A camera must have high continuous shooting speed to capture those split-second moments. However, such a camera usually (but not always) has a smaller sensor or lower megapixels.
Best cameras for car photography usually have in-body image stabilization as well. It is necessary for capturing handheld images of moving cars. Image stabilization will keep images in focus and sharp.
A fast shutter speed can do various things such as freezing the fast action. Look out for the cameras with electronic shutters as they have faster speeds compared to mechanical shutters.
Sometimes you also want to create movies or simply record videos of your car. Therefore, you need a camera with at least 4K video resolution and other video features such as a built-in microphone. Similarly, the camera should be able to create slow-motion movies besides having multiple frame rates.
Good ISO range is important for shooting cars in low light. Low ISO will only ruin your photos in the dark such as during the night.
You would often photograph your car from different angles to showcase its various features. Therefore, your camera should ideally have an articulating or tilting touchscreen.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Which camera is best for automotive photography?
The following are the best cameras for automotive photography.
- Nikon D850
- Sony A7R IV Mirrorless Camera
- Canon EOS M6 Mark II
- Canon EOS R5
- Nikon D7500
- Panasonic LUMIX G7KS
- Fujifilm X-T4
- Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
- Sony A1
- Panasonic LUMIX G100
2. What are the best camera settings for car photography?
You should use a wide aperture size preferably f/5 or lower to create beautiful bokeh and only highlight the car. The narrower aperture such as f/8, on the other hand, will focus on both the car and the background. Similarly, you should also use low shutter speed and low ISO if shooting in bright light.
3. Do you need a tripod for car photography?
No, you don’t necessarily need a tripod for car photography. It depends on the kind of shot such as it is necessary for HDR, composite shots, or shooting in low light. You must also buy a good tripod that can last long besides expanding the capabilities of your camera.
4. How much does car photography cost?
The cost of car photography is different in different areas. For example, it costs $361 per hour in Los Angeles and $318 per hour in New York.
5. Can you make money taking pictures of cars?
Yes, you can make money taking pictures of cars. However, your pictures have to absolute best and of the highest quality. If you can take such pictures, you can and should sell them and make some money.
We have tried to add cameras that cater to the need of people with all types of budgets and experience levels in our guide to the best cameras for car photography. Every one of you would find a camera that meets your particular requirements when it comes to shooting cars. However, Nikon D850 is the absolute best in our opinion followed by the Sony A7R IV Mirrorless Camera and Canon EOS M6 Mark II
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