Which Camera To Buy for Fashion Blogging: Comparing DSLR, Mirrorless and iPhone Outfit Photos

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.

Cream Sweater Leopard Print Skirt Pearl Clip Blogger Outfit Rebecca Minkoff Large Edie Bag in Doe

Taken with my DSLR. Top:c/o Chicwish / Bag: c/o Amazon / Skirt: c/o Chicwish

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.

Which Camera To Buy for Fashion Blogging: Comparing DSLR Canon Rebel T3i T6i T7i, Mirrorless Sony A6000 and iPhone XS Max Outfit Photos Size Comparison

Size comparison iPhone XS Max, Sony A6000 and Canon Rebel T3i

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.

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.

Which Camera To Buy for Fashion Blogging: Comparing DSLR Canon Rebel T3i T6i T7i, Mirrorless Sony A6000 and iPhone XS Max Outfit Photos

Left: DSLR Canon Rebel T3i Center: Mirrorless Sony A6000 Right: iPhone XS Max

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

Which Camera To Buy for Fashion Blogging: Comparing DSLR Canon Rebel T3i T6i T7i, Mirrorless Sony A6000 and iPhone XS Max Outfit Photos

Left: DSLR Canon Rebel T3i Center: Mirrorless Sony A6000 Right: iPhone XS Max

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.

H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection Blush Bow Pleated Chiffon Blouse Blogger Outfit Rebecca Minkoff Large Edie Bag in Doe

Taken with my Mirrorless. Top: c/o H&M/ Bag: c/o Amazon / Shoes: similar on Amazon

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

6 Comments

  1. October 1, 2019 / 7:42 am

    This is such a great and timely post! Thanks for all the detail you provided, I think my next purchase will be a mirrorless camera!!

    • ellaprettyblog
      Author
      October 1, 2019 / 9:38 am

      So glad it was helpful – I spent so much time researching before my purchase so I thought I’d put everything I figured out in one place 😋

    • ellaprettyblog
      Author
      October 14, 2019 / 10:20 pm

      So glad you liked the post – I’m so glad I added this camera as I can create so much more content now!

  2. October 1, 2019 / 2:32 pm

    Omg.. just in time.. I recently decided to start my own lifestyle blog and was looking for investing in a camera.. and I had exactly same questions and comparisons in my mind.. I happened to find your account on Instagram and find this post… it was like god sent to me. Keep up the good work… I think I am already hooked up to ur blog now.

  3. October 5, 2019 / 5:01 pm

    Really awesome skirt!

  4. October 17, 2019 / 8:48 am

    This is such a good post! I have all of them, a mirrorless camera, DSLR and iPhone. I haven’t used my mirrorless in a long time but you’ve re-inspired me to pick it up and use it for fashion blogging again. Thanks for a very informational post.

    BLOG | INSTAGRAM
    STEPHANIE VAINER

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.