Street photography requires patience to capture the best moment of someone wandering around a public place, and a suitable camera will make your job much easier. You need a compact and lightweight model with which you do not have to sacrifice quality: we have selected the best cameras for this type of photography in which the image itself tells the story behind some eyes or a place. Our favorite is the Fujifilm X-Pro3, but we give you many other options in case your budget does not reach you or you prefer something simpler.
The popular Fujifilm X-T3 previously held this title, but we have decided to replace it with the Fujifilm X-Pro 3. There is a good reason to crown this mirrorless camera queen in the style of a telometer. In homage to the analog cameras, something common in Fujifilm's designs, the company has chosen to hide the screen. While some may be blocked by the idea of not being able to instantly review the photos through the playback option, in the case of street photography this will do wonders in your workflow by forcing you to focus on the scene in front of you.
Check images on the camera on the screen of your camera as soon as you take them (in English this is known as chimping) Keep your attention away from what is happening. The consequence of this is that you lose moments, which means you lose photos. However, the LCD has not disappeared; It is simply hidden by default. When you need to review a photo, you can lower the screen to see it.
But we have not based the classification of the X-Pro3 only for this great new function. The metal body is refined and smooth, with a solid grip and satisfactory mechanical controls. Nor do you break your arm, since it weighs only 17.4 ounces (without lens), which makes it ideal for a long day of photography.
Behind the undeniable body of the old school is a very modern camera. Inside, it integrates a 26-megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor and a powerful X Processor 4 image processor that offers excellent image quality and performance. The 425 phase detection focus points ensure fast and accurate autofocusing. The hybrid viewfinder allows you to frame your shots either optically or electronically. All this together makes you have a solid, durable and high performance camera for street photography.
However, perhaps most importantly, Fujifilm has placed great emphasis on the construction of premium lenses that are both high quality and compact. While other manufacturers have focused on zooms or producing larger and larger lenses in the search for ultra high resolution optics, Fujifilm has largely maintained the X series with its feet on the ground. For street photography, it offers almost everything you can ask for, and you can expect to get quality photographs at all times.
It will not be a list of complete street photography cameras without a Leica, the company that practically invented the genre. However, some may be surprised to see the Leica CL in this selection, especially given the success of the Leica Q2 fixed lens. But honestly, if you are a street photographer, the CL is going to be your best bet.
Unlike the Q2, the CL allows you to use interchangeable lenses that will give you more options and will fit more shooting styles. Of course, you can get a Leica M-series camera, but the smaller APS-C sensor of the CL means you have a thinner profile and it costs thousands of dollars less. Like Fujifilm, Leica is also known for its premium lenses, and there are many available for CL.
With promising photographs of great sharpness, the CL has a 49-point AF contrast detection system, but it is probably not as fast as what is seen in other modern cameras without a mirror. For the more medical photographer, however, this is not a problem.
The minimalist design of the CL makes it easy for the eye and simple to use. The electronic viewfinder is sharp and clear, allowing clear vision at eye level. If you prefer to shoot through the LCD screen, you can enjoy a great response touch screen experience. As for the image quality, the Leica CL's 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and the Maestro II image processor do not disappoint.
Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR III is definitely a niche camera and somewhat controversial. It lacks many of the traditional features that we expect from the best street photo cameras. It has no viewfinder, it comes with a fixed 28mm f / 2.8 lens and the battery life is not suitable for a long day of shooting. And yet, it remains a popular choice among street photographers (and rightfully so).
First, the GR III has exceptional image quality thanks to an incredibly sharp objective. The 28mm focal length does not work for all types of photography, but it is a great choice for street photography. Together with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, it produces rich and detailed images. It also offers sharp results in low light thanks to the sensor displacement stabilization system, and if you ever want to photograph long exposures, there is even a built-in neutral density filter.
Don't expect such a small camera to have so much content. With measures of only 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches, it is remarkable how well this camera works considering that you can easily store it in a jacket pocket. It is due to this compact, almost stealthy design that the Ricoh GR III firmly belongs to this list. If you like it, we strongly recommend that you buy one or two spare batteries.
Google Pixel 3
That's right, a smartphone I entered this list of the best cameras for street photography. Part of the success of being a good street photographer is always being ready. If you think that carrying your DSLR or mirrorless camera regularly is too complicated, then you need something that fits in your pocket and that you like to carry anyway. That something is a phone and the best for street photography is the Google Pixel 3.
We do not pretend that the image quality is superior to that of other cameras on the list, but it is a phone that can produce quality shots that are simply surprising considering that they come from a phone. The Pixel 3 stands out when used in low light situations thanks to a technology that Google calls Night Sight. The camera is capable of 4-second exposures and can turn darker scenes into well-lit and vibrant frames.
Street photography with smart phones has become a popular subcategora within the community. Due to its versatility and low light performance, you will not be wrong with the Google Pixel 3. We must also bear in mind that some readers may be tempted to opt for the latest model, the Google Pixel 4. If your goal is to get a good camera for street photography, we advise you to avoid it. The short battery life causes the device to run out, and the last thing you want is to interrupt your rhythm.