Taking outfit photos is an essential part of being a fashion/style blogger – we always want to have the best equipment on hand, so that we can create the best content! I own DSLR cameras (Canon Rebel T3i and T6i) as well as an iPhone XS Max, and this year, I added a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera to my collection.
Before making my purchase, I did a LOT of online research. I specifically wanted to see how the mirrorless cameras performed for fashion blogging outfit photos – especially in comparison to a DSLR and an iPhone. I searched posts and forums, but didn’t really find the answer to my question – so I decided to write this post for anyone else thinking about buying a mirrorless camera for outfit photos.
For this comparison post, I’ve taken this photo above using the 3 different cameras – scroll down to see how they compare!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MIRRORLESS CAMERA AND A DSLR?
I won’t get into technical details, but basically a DSLR camera has a mirror inside which reflects light so that you can see the image in the viewfinder – this requires mirrors and a prism inside the camera, making the camera body larger and heavier than a mirrorless camera. As the name suggests, a mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mirror, so you frame your photo using the digital image on the rear screen, rather than looking through a viewfinder. This means that a mirrorless camera is much lighter and smaller – so it’s easier to carry around.
As mirrorless cameras have improved over time, many bloggers have switched over – especially travel bloggers. I personally decided to purchase a mirrorless camera after attending a beautiful event where I missed out on the opportunity to create usable content because I only had my iPhone. My iPhone photos looked flat and pixelated – they didn’t do justice to the event. But I also knew I didn’t want to carry around a second bag containing my DSLR camera.
As you can see in the images above, the mirrorless is so much smaller (and lighter) than a DSLR, and can actually fit inside my handbag! They both have the kit lens on, but the DSLR lens is much bigger and bulkier. Here’s a size, weight and price comparison.
- Sony A6000 with 16-50mm lens $578 – camera body specifications: 16.1 x 12.4 x 7.7 inches, 6.05 pounds
- Canon Rebel T7i with 18-55mm lens $799 – camera body specifications: 23 x 13.3 x 8 inches, 9.2 pounds
COMPARING OUTFIT PHOTOS TAKEN ON THE DSLR, MIRRORLESS AND IPHONE
Lightweight is great – but does it take good photos? Here’s the actual test for the mirrorless camera – its image quality compared to the DSLR. I also included iPhone pictures, as that is the camera we most often have on hand. I read that the iPhone lens is equivalent to a 25-35mm DSLR lens, so I took these pictures with the kit lens at 35 mm to make it comparable – although looking back maybe I should have gone with 30mm. We weren’t completely scientific about it, but they were roughly shot from the same spot, at the same time of day. I used the same editing across all the photos, so that I could compare the final result.
Here is the actual image information from each photo:
DSLR: 1/25 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200, lens 35mm
Mirrorless: 1/60 sec at f/5.6, ISO 250, lens 35mm
IPhone: 1/120 sec at f/1.8, ISO 32, lens 4.2mm
I’ve cropped them for a closer look here – you can see that the DSLR and Mirrorless images look more professional, while the iPhone looks a bit grainier and flat, especially around my face. Interestingly, I showed this collage to my husband and asked him to guess which image was taken with each camera. He thought that the middle one was the most detailed – so the mirrorless image was his favourite over the DSLR!
WHAT CAMERA WOULD I RECOMMEND PURCHASING FOR FASHION BLOGGING:
Let me start off by saying that you don’t need to go out and buy a new camera to be a blogger. Photos are appealing not just because of the quality of the image, but the composition and the editing – so even if you have to start off with a lower quality camera, you can still create outfit photos – and then over time, pick out a camera to invest in.
However, if I had to pick ONE camera to recommend – I would choose a mirrorless camera, because it has the professional image quality of a DSLR and the transportability of an iPhone. My mirrorless camera gives me the rich, clear photos I want for my blog and Instagram. IPhone photos are good in a pinch, but don’t always look as high quality – especially for outfit photos. (In some scenarios, iPhone cameras capture cuter photos, especially food shots and travel photography – so it’s always good to keep on hand as a backup!). Since I purchased high quality prime/fixed lenses for my DSLR (50mm and 85mm), I will still use my DSLR for special photography projects. But for daily content and travel photos, I’m more than happy with my mirrorless.
As for which model to buy, I chose the Sony A6000 because it had great performance reviews and was still affordable (here’s the link to the exact bundle I purchased). I was almost tempted to stick with the Canon brand because I was already familiar with it – but the Sony A6000 is very user-friendly – I googled some YouTube tutorials to help me get started. Here are some other things I love about it:
- The battery is tiny – my bundle came with 3 batteries so I always carry a spare around with me.
- The camera can be charged using a microUSB to USB cable (which we always have on hand) so I don’t have to worry about travelling with a special camera charger
- You can immediately view and transfer photos on to your phone, using the built-in wifi and Image Edge Mobile App
- You can use your phone as a remote control to take photos (here’s a photo I shot for a campaign by myself, using a tripod and my phone as a remote)
Hope this post was helpful! I’d love to hear your thoughts – which camera do you own? And which image did you prefer of my comparison shots above?
Read my previous post – How We Take Outfit Photos for the Blog