What’s the best camera equipment for street photography?
Great question. And we can’t give you a single answer (sorry). But bear with us, because here’s something even better.
In these pages, we’ll dive into the camera bags of dozens of street photographers from around the world. We’ll get to know their work. We’ll find out what gear they use. And we’ll see what it takes to bring their passion to life.
If that’s not a fun way to learn about street photography equipment, we don’t know what is.
And that’s true if you’re just starting out in the street photography genre or if you’re already in it and want to improve your kit and take your work to the next level.
Street photography is an exceptionally rewarding yet challenging genre of photography. One of the hardest things is building up the confidence to snap away at strangers who may or may not welcome the spotlight.
If you’re an introvert? Discomfort level 100.
But that’s also part of why street photographers love what they do. It challenges them, makes them step out of their comfort zone, and opens up their eyes to seeing the mundane world around them in a new and creative way.
Styles of street photography vary greatly and, as a result, so too does the camera gear used. Some of the featured street photographers here shoot only moody black and white images. Others capture life on the streets in vibrant colour and high contrast.
Most street photography is candid. Shots aren’t posed or constructed; it’s a documentary of everyday life out in the world.
That said, it does occasionally overlap with portraiture when photographers ask strangers for permission to take a portrait in the streets.
Because of its candid and often unsolicited nature, street photography gear errs to the side of being small and discrete. Many of our featured street photographers’ kits are minimal: one camera, often a lightweight mirrorless body, and a lens or two.
Some will use a tiltable LCD screen to “shoot from the hip” so they don’t have to raise the camera to their eye and make their actions too obvious.
A comfortable camera strap that makes gear quick to access is also key. After all, a street photographer is a ninja, always poised to strike and never content to miss a moment.
Similarly, longer focal length lenses can help capture those delectable moments that unfurl on the streets without the photographer having to be too close to the action.
Again, though, each street photographer’s lens choices are unique: some are loyal to primes and zooming with their feet, others love the versatility afforded by a good zoom lens.
What’s your street photography style? If it’s yet to be determined or still being developed, experimenting with gear can help you work out what’s right for you.
And finding out what other street photographer pros have in their kits can be an insightful way to get started. Peek inside their bags by clicking on the features above.