The best camera for architectural photography should be able to capture detail-rich HD architectural photos. These photos enable your target audience and clients to easily discern every architectural attribute mentioned in your presentations, portfolio, or website. They also make it easier to render precise and accurate 3D architectural designs while using CAD software.
We have singled out a few cameras from note-worthy brands that we think will be the best fit for architectural photographers.
Let’s cover them in detail and see which is the best option for you.
If you are looking for the best full-frame cameras for architectural photography, we recommend the following two models:
The Nikon D750 FX features a smaller and lighter camera body than its predecessor, the Nikon D7500. This makes it easy to carry from one site to another while taking architectural photos. The camera packs a 24.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor for impeccable image capture, LCD screen for shot previews, and Wi-Fi connectivity for seamless image transfer.
The 51-point Auto-Focus system ensures that you attain perfect clarity while using this Nikon camera. Finally, the ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to 50-51200) allows you to capture pristine images even in extremely low light conditions like the interior of an architectural site.
The Canon EOS 5 Mark IV offers notable image-quality for a refined architectural portfolio. This Canon camera features a 30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor and a 61 point Dual Pixel AutoFocus system both of which are better than that of the Nikon D750 FX.
It also has 4K video recording capability which you won’t find on the Nikon D750 FX.
An ISO range of 100-32000 (expandable to 50-102400) ensures you can photograph even in low light conditions. Finally, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity grant you remote camera control and seamless image transfer.
If you are looking for a mirrorless camera instead of a DLSR for your architectural photography, we recommend the following options:
The Nikon Z6 has roughly the same 24.5 MP Full-Frame BSI Image sensor as the Nikon D750 FX although it comes at a slightly higher price. With this, you can capture sharp HD resolution architectural photos and videos.
The 72mm 3-piece photo filters ensure that your architectural images are free of surface glare and other UV-related photo effects.
Unlike the Nikon D750 FX, this camera comes with a 4K video resolution, and a wider ISO range of 50-51200 ensures that you can use it even in low lighting conditions. The Z6 also comes with an XQD memory with exceptional 400MB/s read-write speeds, in addition to an advanced EXPEED image processor.
This offers you fast continuous photo and video shooting which means you will be able to capture as many architectural photos as possible.
Although a little cheaper, the Canon EOS R shares a few features with its pricier sister the Canon EOS 5 Mark IV. These include the 30.3 MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor, Touchscreen LCD, 4K resolution, and the DIGIC image processor.
It is also compatible with EOS Webcam Utility software which allows you to stream live videos directly to your architecture-themed YouTube channel. The large 54mm diameter lens, Dual Pixel CMOS AutoFocus, and 30.3 MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor ensure that you capture high-quality architectural images for your marketing needs.
This Canon camera comes with a Vary Angle Touchscreen LCD that allows you to preview your architectural photos, in addition to enabling image capture at varying angles. It also offers fast and continuous photo and image capture, thanks to Canon’s patent DIGIC 8 Image Processor.
The Sony a7R II has multiple functions that allow you to achieve realistic architectural photos and videos. These include a back-illuminated 33mm R Exmor CMOS sensor with gapless on-chip design, a 5-axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization system, and Hybrid 399 focal-plane Phase Detection Auto Focus.
An ISO range of up to 102,300 makes this Sony camera virtually oblivious to low-light photo shooting conditions. The inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity allow you to remotely control this camera, in addition to seamless photo/video transfer to other devices.
Just like the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z6, it also comes with a 4K video resolution for crisp architectural videos.
If you prefer a cropped-sensor camera instead of a full-frame one, consider these options:
Although the 20.9 MP DX-format CMOS sensor on the Nikon D7500 is a small step back from that of the Nikon D750 and Nikon Z6, it still allows you to capture immaculate detail-rich HD architectural photos. It packs the same 51-point autofocus system as the Nikon 750 FX. This camera features 15 cross-type CMOS sensors and ensures that you take crisp images for your portfolio.
The 3.2-inch tilting LCD touchscreen enables you to capture architectural photos at tight angles, in addition to allowing finger gesture control. What’s more, the state-of-the-art Potassium ion battery enables you to capture up to 950 shots on a single charge. The 4K resolution allows you to shoot architectural videos in slow motion and time-lapse.
The Canon EOS 80D comes with a 45-point cross-type Dual Pixel CMOS Auto-Focus and a 24.3 MP CMOS APS-C sensor, two camera features that ensure you capture clear and crisp detail-laden HD architectural photos. The Intelligent Viewfinder of this Canon camera grants you a 100% viewing area enabling you to capture the exact details that you want.
The Canon EOS 80D is also compatible with EOS Webcam Utility enabling use with an architecture-themed Youtube channel or video podcast. Its inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity allow you to shoot remotely, in addition to enabling fast image and video transfer to other devices.
Below are some of the most important features to consider when buying cameras for architectural photography.
We recommend that you go for an architectural camera with a CMOS-based AutoFocusing such as the Nikon D750 FX and Canon EOS R. This camera function ensures you capture architectural photos that are uniformly clear and crisp for the entire image.
The best camera to use for architectural applications should feature one or more wireless connectivity technologies, including Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communication), and Bluetooth.
Wireless connectivity allows you to seamlessly transfer architectural photos from the camera to other devices. This feature also allows you to remotely control the camera.
Most of the cameras in this guide such as the Canon EOS 5 Mark IV have wireless connectivity while others like the Canon EOS R don’t.
The ideal camera for architectural photography should allow you to capture pristine photos even in low light conditions. These conditions include photographing while in a building’s shadow, photoshoots in the early morning or late evening and various similar scenarios. This capability is usually given in terms of the camera’s ISO range.
In this regard, the Canon EOS 5 Mark IV has the widest ISO range expandable to 50-102400.
You should be able to expand the available storage of your architectural camera by installing an SD card or TransFlash device. Expanding storage ensures that you can capture multiple HD architectural photos without having to free up space on the camera.
While your final camera purchase may be largely influenced by your budget, other features such as wireless connectivity, battery life, and HD video capture offer you ample incentive. Ultimately, the best camera for you is the model that best suits your unique architectural photography needs.