If you’re looking to add to your collection of street photography gear – or just getting started – this guide is for you.
Great street photography can be some of the most compelling forms of art that the human eye can see. And while a photographer is only as good as his or her creative capabilities, having solid gear will certainly help them along their way. Quality accessories are essential too. There are many tools the enthusiastic street photographer can use to get better, more consistent shots. So here is a piece that includes our favorite gear and accessories for street photography. We loved putting it together and no doubt, you’re going to love it too.
Cameras for Street Photography
Honestly, we could have put most Fuji cameras in this article. Not because we’re brainwashed fanboys/girls, but because they make great cameras for street photography. The Fujifilm X-T3 is small enough to carry around all day every day but has enough to it that you feel like you’re holding a quality camera. Honestly, the build quality on this body is one the most solid we have ever felt. The ergonomics give you a classic feel by allowing you to manually change the settings like the “good old days,” which we like. Compared to what came before it, the XT-3 comes with a new 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor – making some of the best images we’ve seen from a Fuji camera.
Buy now ($1,399): Amazon
Olympus OMD EM10 Mk II
When out making candid photos, you need peace of mind. Part of that comes from being safe in the knowledge you have a camera with great autofocus. Street photography is fast-paced, stories come and go in an instant. Having a camera that can keep up with the game is vital. The autofocus on the Olympus OMD EM10 Mk II is exceptional, even in low light situations. The size of the camera is excellent, and it will feel awesome in your hand.
Buy now ($449): Amazon
Ricoh GR II
The Ricoh GR II has become somewhat of a cult hero in the street photography scene. For what’s mostly a compact camera, it has unbelievable image quality – hence why it’s so popular amongst street photographers. When holding it you’re going to look like someone just taking holiday snapshots. To the untrained eye, nothing about it says “professional camera”. Little does the public know, however, that you’re actually holding a piece of gear that can help create some truly excellent street photography. With the announcement of the Ricoh GR III, many were ready to move on from this little trooper. However, it’s too soon to tell if the GR III will take over the throne, and so until then, the GR II remains at the center of the street photography palace.
Buy now ($546.95): Amazon
There’s no escaping the fact that the Leica Q2 is going to cost you a fair few bucks. But if you have the cash and feel like you deserve it, it’s an exceptional camera. If feeling like you’re holding something of the utmost premium quality is vital to you, this piece of gear is all you need. The image quality is stable, it’s weather sealed, meaning you can shoot outside in all conditions, and unlike the cameras above, the Leica Q2 offers a 47.3mp full frame sensor ideal for those wanting to print big! The relationship between Leica and street photography goes way back – this camera allows you to be a part of it!
Lenses for Street Photography
Fujifilm 35mm F2 R WR
Considering its performance, this is an extremely affordable lens. The build quality is exceptional, and the size of it is perfect for street photography. By combining it with the Fuji XT3, you have yourself pretty much all you require for street photography. It can also work as a highly competent portrait lens too. So if you’re a street photographer who enjoys impromptu portraits with strangers, this is the lens you need.
Buy now ($349): Amazon
Nikon 50mm F1.8 G
The fact that this lens is at a price point under $200 is, well, insane! Considering all camera formats, this honestly has to be one of the best lenses on the market. It’s super sharp, like ridiculously super sharp. That large aperture of f1.8 means it is excellent for low light situations – and you can have all the bokeh you need. And the autofocus is good enough that you won’t want to scream at it. If you’re a street photographer who champions the Nikon DSLR, then you need this lens in your photographic arsenal.
Buy now ($196.95): Amazon
Sony 28mm F2 (Full Frame E Mount)
If you’re the kind of street photographer who wants to get up close and personal, then you may want something a little wider than the above lenses. At a 28mm fixed focal length, this Sony f2 allows you to get more in your frame without it feeling too vast and empty. It produces exceptionally sharp photographs and is beautiful and lightweight, perfect for a full day of shooting. While it’s a little chunky, it isn’t the size and build that screams, “Hey everyone, look at this big lens. I’m a photographer.” So you can still work as a street photography ninja.
Buy now ($448): Amazon
Moving away from the tools that allow you to take pictures, let’s look at clothing. Attire is important in street photography because you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Here are a couple of things to consider.
Shoes – You don’t want big clunky boots. We advise getting a pair of gym sneakers. They are light, allow your feet to breath, and are ideal for walking around the city for long periods. Branding is up to you, but don’t go for poor quality. You run the risk of blisters and also having to buy a new pair, as the quality of them means they won’t last long.
Pants – Get some loose fitting pants. Tight jeans are a no-no in street photography. Having something too tight can limit your mobility, resulting in cramps and the dreaded chafing. You don’t want to have to rub cream into your inner thighs after a long photo walk!
Apps for Street Photography
The number one app you need for street photography is Google Maps (or maps.me if you’re into fighting the establishment). Free walking is one of the most liberating things to do in street photography. However, you’re leaving yourself open to getting lost. Your GMaps will get you back to where you need to be, no problem. Also, if you stumble across a part of town that you wish to revisit for some future street photography, you can save the location so you can find it again next time.
Fujifilm Camera Remote
If you’re a Fuji shooter, they’re several reasons to install this app right away. If you’re shooting from the hip, for example, you can use your smartphone as a mirror to your viewfinder, allowing you to still see what your camera sees. You can also set up your camera on the other side of the street, walk away, and shoot from your phone. Additionally, you can transfer your shots from your camera to your phone through the inbuilt WiFi (if your camera has it). This allows you to edit and share on the go, straight after getting “the shot”.
If you’re serious about street photography, then the Notes app will help you to build your work. Sometimes you may find yourself in a scene, this could be a marketplace or intimate side street, for example. Having the option to write down why you connect to the particular environment and what you feel it needs to make a compelling photograph can help you to better visualize what you want to create. Over time you will see patterns in how your creative mind works, and it will contribute to you consistently getting the images you desire.
You’re All Set
Now that you have a clearer idea of the gear and accessories that will help you to take better photos, it’s time to take action. If you’re new to street photography or looking to advance your skills, check out the below guides that will support you with your education.
This should get you going with your street photography journey. There are some quality gear and accessories above, and it will keep you steady as you walk down the path of improving your craft. Oh, and one last thing. Street photography can be thirsty work, check out our favorite thermoses so you can keep nicely hydrated on your walk.
You can see more of Dan by visiting his website.