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Best Camera for Architectural Photography [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 18/02/2021

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. 

Our Top Cameras for Architectural Photography Reviews

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. 

Brand
Best Full Frame Cameras
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR
Best Mirrorless Cameras
Nikon Z6
Best Cropped-Sensor Cameras
Nikon D7500
Product
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
Optical Sensor Resolution
24.3 megapixels
24.5 megapixels
20.9 megapixels
Photo Sensor Size
Full Frame (35mm)
Full Frame (35mm)
APS-C
Rating
Best Full Frame Cameras
Brand
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR
Product
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
Optical Sensor Resolution
24.3 megapixels
Photo Sensor Size
Full Frame (35mm)
Rating
Price
Best Mirrorless Cameras
Brand
Nikon Z6
Product
Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body
Optical Sensor Resolution
24.5 megapixels
Photo Sensor Size
Full Frame (35mm)
Rating
Price
Best Cropped-Sensor Cameras
Brand
Nikon D7500
Product
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
Optical Sensor Resolution
20.9 megapixels
Photo Sensor Size
APS-C
Rating
Price

Best Full Frame Cameras for Architectural Photography

If you are looking for the best full-frame cameras for architectural photography, we recommend the following two models: 

  • Nikon D750 FX
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR 

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. 

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

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. 

What We Like

  • 23.4-MP Full-Frame FX-format sensor for detail-rich HD architectural photos
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi for seamless and fast image transfer to other devices
  • 128GB expandable storage for limitless HD image capture
  • 51-point Auto-Focus for pristine photo clarity

What We Don’t Like

  • Lower image resolution than other cameras in Nikon’s pro series
Sale
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Full frame 243 megapixel CMOS image sensor and expeed 4 image processor
  • Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
  • Built in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with the WT 5a plus UT 1 communication unit

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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. 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera...

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.

What We Like

  • 30.4MP Full-frame sensor
  • 4K Frame Video capturing capability
  • Touchscreen LCD panel
  • In-built Wi-Fi and NF

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit pricey
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera...
  • New 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting in nearly any light, with ISO range...
  • 4K Motion JPEG video (DCI cinema-type 4096 x 2160) at 30p or 24p; in- camera still frame grab of 4K...
  • Superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and smooth AF during video or live view shooting; LCD...

Best Mirrorless Cameras for Architectural Photography

If you are looking for a mirrorless camera instead of a DLSR for your architectural photography, we recommend the following options: 

  • Niko Z6
  • Sony a7R II
  • Canon EOS R

Nikon Z6

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.

Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body

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.

What We Like

  • 24.5 MP Full-Frame BSI image sensor
  • 4K Ultra HD video with Slow Motion and 4K Time Lapse
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Long-lasting Koah battery

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks fast Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • High price
Sale
Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Body
  • Large, full frame Z mount for Revolutionary optical performance
  • Nikon-designed 24. 5MP backside illuminated image sensor
  • 273-Point on-sensor Phase detect AF system

Canon EOS R

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. 

Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Camera [EOS R]|...

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.

What We Like

  • Compatible with EOS Webcam Utility software for streaming directly to YouTube
  • Large high-performance 54mm diameter lens
  • 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor
  • 4K video recording

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks fast Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity
Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Camera [EOS R]|...
  • 30.3 Megapixel Full frame CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 5,655 manually selectable AF points
  • 4K 30P with Canon log and 10 bit 4:2:2 HDMI output; Dust and drip resistant

Sony a7R II 

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. 

Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable...

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. 

What We Like

  • 5-axis SteadyShot image stabilization
  • 4K HD video recording with 5fps continuous video shooting at 42.4MP
  • Hybrid 399 focal-plane phase-detection Auto-Focus 
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks inbuilt GPS for photo geo-tagging
Sale
Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable...
  • World’s first Full-frame 5-axis in-body image stabilization optimized for 42.4MP full-frame, 4K...
  • 2.4-million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder w/ZEISS T- coating, connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and...
  • Shutter vibration suppression, curtain shutter, silent shutter, Resolution meets sensitivity 42.4MP...

Best Cropped-Sensor Cameras for Architectural Photography

If you prefer a cropped-sensor camera instead of a full-frame one, consider these options: 

  • Niko D7500
  • Canon EOS 80D

Nikon D7500

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.

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body

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.

What We Like

  • 3.2-inch tilting touch screen, allowing low and high-angle shots
  • Long-lasting battery that lets you take up to 950 shots on a single charge
  • Ultra HD 4K video recording with time-lapse and slow motion

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited range of photo and video capture features compared to cameras in the same price range
Sale
Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body
  • Class leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award...
  • Large 3.2” 922k dot, tilting Lcd screen with touch functionality. Temperature: 0 °c to 40 °c...
  • 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous...

Canon EOS 80D

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.

Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera + 18-55mm is STM...

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. 

What We Like

  • 24.3 MP CMOS APS-C sensor 
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity 
  • Compatible with EOS Utility Webcam 

What We Don’t Like 

  • Lacks inbuilt GPS for real-time geo-tagging
Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera + 18-55mm is STM...
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor & DIGIC 6 Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen & Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • 45-Point All Cross-Type AF System & Dual Pixel CMOS AF

Features to Consider for the Best Camera for Architectural Photography

Below are some of the most important features to consider when buying cameras for architectural photography. 

Camera for architectural photography

AutoFocus 

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.

Connectivity

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. 

ISO Range

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. 

Storage 

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.

Conclusion

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.

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