What camera gear do I need in street photography?

Camera

Most smartphones these days are good enough for candid photography, but I would recommend a mirrorless camera where you can change the lens.

Mirrorless cameras are usually compact and small in size and easy to travel with. They also have manual settings that you do not get on a smartphone. Your camera should also have a flip screen. With a flip screen, it’s easier to see what you are photographing when you are shooting from ground level.

Lens

Choosing what kind of lens you are going to shoot with might be the hardest question. Keep in mind that your subjects are not aware of your presence and could either go further away or closer to you.


When I shot my photos, I mainly used a 90mm (135mm on my crop sensor) prime lens (a lens with a fixed focal length). With this lens, I had to move every time my subjects moved because I could not zoom with it. On the other side, the advantage of using a prime lens is that they usually have a large aperture (f/1.8-f/2.8) which gives you a nice and soft bokeh around your subject.

Using a zoom lens (lens where you can change the focal length. For example, 18-105mm), lets you stay even more anonymous because you do not have to move around every time your subject is moving, decreasing your chance of getting exposed. The downside of using a zoom lens is that they usually have a smaller aperture, and that will affect both light and bokeh. Keep those things in mind when choosing which lens you are going to use.


My recommendations:
50mm f/1.8 Prime lens
90mm f/2.8 Prime lens
18-200mm Zoom lens

Camera leash

When shooting candid photography, always
have a camera leash attached to your camera. You are most likely surrounded by a lot of people, and all that is needed is one small bump from a passing person, and your camera is broken.


My recommendations:
Peak Design Cuff
Peak Design Slide

Lens protection

To avoid damaging your lens, you should use a protection filter for your camera. To maximize the protection of your lens, you should also use the lens hood for your lens.

Remote shutter release

In some cases, you need to draw your subject’s attention. You can place your camera on the ground or a bench and move a few meters away. When you have your subject’s attention, you can use your remote shutter release to take the picture.

Flash

As mentioned earlier, candid photography is all about capturing the real emotions, feelings, and actions. A flash would ruin that. Instead of using a flash, try to use the
ambient light. Try to shoot from a different angle or go to another location.

Want to know even more?

Check out my book about candid photography.

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