Digital Cameras Suitable for Boudoir Photography
You can take glamourous photographs with practically any camera - even camera phones. However the lack of certain key functions will make your life much more difficult, so I want to use this section to identify what those key functions are.
Fully automatic mode. Only option for the most basic cameras.
No creative control for the photographer.
Will not work with studio flash
|Programme Mode, Aperture Priority Mode||Creative modes that rely on the camera to calculate the exposure, but allow the photographer to set the aperture, thereby controlling depth of field.|
Manual Mode or Exposure Compensation
|Allows the photographer to override the cameras metering of the exposure. Very important for high key (light) or low key (dark) shots, which the camera would normally under or over expose.|
|Flash||On camera flash is really only useful for fill in work (see here). Fill flash requires|
Flash Exposure Compensation
|Allows the photographer to control the strength of the flash, most usefully in fill flash.|
|Hot Shoe||Allows the camera to work with additional flash units. Essential for studio flash work. More expensive cameras have a 'PC Socket' for triggering studio flash too.|
SLR vs Compact
For our purposes there are really three levels of camera to choose from: Compact, Super Compact and Digital SLR. Here I am defining Super Compact to be one with a flash hot shoe.
There is a reason that pros choose DSLRs: they have all the functions you will ever need and their larger size and more accessible buttons/menus makes them a more efficient tool when shooting.
However, that of course comes with a largish price tag and many people find DSLRs too large for everyday use. So for those on a budget, or those who might only do one or two boudoir shoots, how far can you get with a Compact or Super Compact?
Well the answer for Super Compacts is quite far - in terms of functionality anyway; they can be connected to studio flashes and they provide photographer with the necessary creative control over exposure.
The main downsides of a Super Compact are handling - most notably from the powered zoom lens. A personal bug-bear of mine perhaps, but my experiences of using a powered zoom in a shoot were very frustrating; they just don't react quickly enough to be used long term.
Compact cameras on the other hand are more limiting when it comes to boudoir photography, primarily because they cannot be used in conjunction with studio flash. But if you are happy with that constraint then look for a model with as many of the creative functions listed above as possible, or you will be forever governed by the cameras own view of how to take every photograph!