Best Camera For Car Photography – Top 7 Picks (NEW Guide)

Automotive photography isn’t for everyone. The fast motorsport events and the harsh requirements of obtaining skill shots of a car mean that not every photographer is well equipped for the job.  

Along with a skilled photographer comes a purpose-built camera, and not every camera is suitable for shooting cars on a racing track. You need a lightning-fast AF system, a fast shutter speed, and a powerful sensor, whereas your camera must be compatible with a wide-angle zoom lens.  

Our list of the best cameras for car photography includes some great cameras by reliable manufacturers that promise a powerful performance along with a wide range of suitable functions.  

Best Cameras For Car Photography

Nikon D7500 DX-format DSLR Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera
Nikon D7500 DX-format Canon EOS 6D Mark II Sony a7 Full-Frame
  • BEST OVERALL
  • Great performance at high ISOs
  • Incredible sensor
    • PREMIUM CHOICE
    • Improved Live view focusing
    • Refined touchscreen LCD
      • BEST BUDGET
      • Full frame sensor with accurate bokeh display
      • Light and compact body
      • Car Photography Camera Reviews

        1. Nikon D7500 DX-format DSLR

        Nikon D7500 DX-format DSLR

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        See the Nikon D7500
        • Pixels: 21.51 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Nikon F
        • Max Resolution: 5568 x 3712
        • Sensor: CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm
        • Image stabilization: Digital
        • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 51200
        • Recording mode: MOV/MP4/H.264
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 640g

        Features:

        Having a tight budget does not mean that you should settle for a low-quality camera and sacrifice your need for a powerful DSLR. The Nikon D7500 DX-format Digital SLR is an ideal enthusiast-level camera that offers a wide range of features at half the price.  

        Design

        Significantly lighter than the Nikon D7200, carrying the DSLR becomes much easier. However, the decrease in weight doesn’t mean that it lacks a power-packed performance. The solid, weatherproof body features a pronounced handgrip and soft texture coatings for secure yet comfortable handling. Instead of a metering mode button, there is a dedicated ISO button right next to the exposure compensation control, which makes it easier to adjust the settings. There are several other tweaks in the layout to enhance the overall accessibility.  

        Performance

        Armed with a 51-point AF system, D7500 delivers a decent performance in terms of accuracy and speed. It’s nowhere near its rivals but expecting a more advanced system from a camera at this price is quite unfair. There is a Group Area AF mode that offers enhanced subject detection and tracking with 5 AF fields for background isolation. When paired with the incredible 180,000-pixel RGB sensor, D7500 manages to deliver decent frame coverage and reliable tracking performance.  

        Further on, the camera delivers an 8fps shooting speed while the new EXPEED 5 image processor allows Nikon to produce up to 50 RAW files. The 180,000-pixel RGB sensor handles metering and white balance, too, and does a pretty great job at delivering stunning exposures and natural warmth regardless of the lighting conditions. Nikon includes an EN-EL15a battery that lasts for around 950 shots before giving up but does a better job than several other high-end batteries.  

        There’s no harm in appreciating the sensor once again, as the image results are excellent. Regardless of the decrease in the pixel count, you get great results at ISO levels as low as 100. The results display an exemplary level of detail, and it only gets better as you start ramping up the ISO. However, you may notice subtle hints of chromatic noise once you reach ISO12800.  

        Bottom line

        Old is gold, and Nikon D7500 doesn’t prove otherwise. This strong all-rounder DSLR is not only affordable but comes with a powerful sensor, 4K video resolution, and a decent 8fps burst shooting speed. However, there is a slight room for improvement in the AF system.

        What we like:

        • Incredible sensor
        • Tilt angle screen
        • Great performance at high ISOs

        What we don’t:

        • Limited SD card slots
        • Slow live view focusing

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        2. Canon 80D Digital SLR Camera

        Canon EOS 80D

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        See the Canon 80D
        • Pixels: 25.8 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
        • Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
        • Sensor: CMOS 22.5 x 15 mm
        • Image stabilization: None
        • ISO sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 16000
        • Recording mode: MOV and MP4
        • Focus type: auto and manual focus
        • Weight: 730 g

        Features:

        Canon 80D is an incredible option for those who want to upgrade from their entry-level DSLRs to a camera with some more substance. The array of advanced features allow enthusiasts to shoot under a variety of conditions.  

        Design

        Users appreciated the well-designed layout of Canon 70D; thus, Canon 80D kept the layout the way it originally was. Even though it’s not quite as big as other DSLRs, we didn’t face any issues with handling in terms of comfort and security. Talking about the layout, most of the buttons are on the top plate or the right side for easier access. Fortunately, users get an upgraded touchscreen LCD control for speeding up the process of choosing your desired settings. Moreover, the 3-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View II screen delivers a highly detailed view.  

        Performance

        Everyone loves a high-resolution sensor because they display an impressive level of detail, but there’s an issue: the smaller photoreceptors apply more gain, which results in image degradation. Fortunately, Canons 24.2MP sensor comes with an additional 25% pixel count for higher resolution and limited image noise. As a result, Canon has firm control over image noise even at ISO16000.

        A camera is nothing without its autofocusing system. Fortunately, 80D includes a great AF system that doesn’t waste any time on locking onto the desired subject regardless of the speed. Moreover, it performs pretty well under low light conditions too. There is a 45 point automatic selection option, divided into nine zones, with an advanced color detection system that works well throughout your shooting session: just select the zone, and you’re good to go.  

        Moving on, 80D consists of an incredible metering system with an A7,560-pixel RGB+IR sensor and several metering options, including 63-zone Evaluative mode, Centre-weighted mode, and Spot metering mode. We weren’t disappointed by the performance, but you may need to apply for exposure compensation in high contrast images.  

        Bottom line

        As an enthusiast photographer, Canon 80D is a great choice for you. This well-built camera features a great control layout, a wide range of reliable functions, along a powerful performance. The highly detailed image quality at lower sensitivities is something you’d surely not want to miss.

        What we like:

        • Powerful 24MP sensor
        • Great screen
        • the fast and accurate AF system

        What we don’t:

        • It isn’t a full-frame camera.
        • Complex AF system

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        3. Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

        Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

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        See the Sony a7
        • Pixels: 24.7 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Sony E
        • Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
        • Sensor: CMOS 35.8 x 23.9 mm
        • Image stabilization: none
        • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25600
        • Recording mode: AVCHD and MP4
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 416g

        Features:

        Knowing Sony, they always strive to amaze their customers with clever innovations and reliable performance. Sony Alpha A7 is one of the first few compact cameras with a full-frame sensor, helping Sony live up to its reputation.  

        Design

        Sony did a wonderful job of maintaining the size of the camera despite having a full-frame sensor. There is a deep grip that makes it easier to operate the camera singlehandedly. A7 doesn’t break any” style” records, but the simple layout is appealing to minimalists. Most of the buttons are on the right-hand side, with a mode dial on the top plate that allows you to switch between various exposure settings. However, our favorite feature is the level of customization offered to customers: there are three” c” buttons for this specific purpose while you may adjust the other functions accordingly.  

        Performance

        A7 redefined our perception of mirrorless technology with its content innovations and the urge to offer the best of each feature. Sony A7 utilizes the same base sensor as Alpha 99; thus, we knew that it won’t disappoint us. Despite the low price, the images boast an incredible level of detail with beautiful color representation. They are bright but not overflowing with vibrancy, while the skies and skin tones look natural. However, Sony offers picture effects or Creative Styles for those who prefer a different color output, such as vivid, black, or white.  

        Moving on, A7 features a decent metering system: the All-purpose mode delivers great performance, and you may hardly feel the need to adjust the exposure. Similarly, it’s auto white balance system manages to deliver natural results regardless of the lighting condition. A7s AF system isn’t the one we’d remember for years, but it works pretty well in terms of precision and speed as long as you’re working in good lighting conditions.

        Fortunately, the full-frame sensor helps to control chromatic noise at low sensitivities; we hardly noticed any hints of chromatic noise up to ISO6400. Moreover, the dynamic range optimizer produces well-balanced exposures to make your images look realistic.  

        Bottom line

        Sony Alpha A7 may get a beginner’s best bet considering the affordable price and pocket-friendly size. Not only is it a great traveling companion, but it offers a range of features, including a full-frame sensor for a great shooting experience.

        What we like:

        • Light and compact body
        • Full frame sensor
        • Has a tilting screen

        What we don’t:

        • Not compatible with several lenses
        • No touchscreen
        • Limited raw functionality

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        4. Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera

        Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera

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        See the Nikon D3500
        • Pixels: 24.78 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Nikon F
        • Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
        • Sensor: CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm
        • Image stabilization: None
        • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25600
        • Recording mode: MOV
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 365g

        Features:

        Beginners often feel intimidated by the complex functions of DSLR cameras. All they want is an easy user interface, and there’s nothing better than investing in Nikon D3500.  

        Design

        Nikon 3500 went through a major design upgrade compared to its predecessor and closely resembled D5600. The large, pronounced grip seems perfect for holding the camera comfortably and perfectly balances the much heavier cameras. However, it’s lightweight and compact to minimize any hassle while traveling. The streamlined array of controls with a fully exposed command dial makes it easy for users to take advantage of several features.  

        Performance

        Nikon D3500 incorporates the same old 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocusing system. It provides a great viewfinder coverage and works perfectly while focusing on stationary objects. You can make the most of the AF system by using an AF-P 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens. However, there won’t be any issues with other lenses. Focusing is nice and brisk under great lighting with minimal noise production. However, you may notice compromised performance under poor lighting conditions. We managed to solve it by taking advantage of the improved cross-type sensitivity of the central AF point.  

        Unfortunately, Nikon D3500 isn’t the best bet for practicing action photography because of the slow burst shooting speed of 5fps. On the other hand, it’s speed is decent enough for shooting under other” stationary” conditions.  

        We found the metering system reasonable with consistent exposures. Moreover, there is an exposure compensation button for quickly adjusting the exposure when the need arises. Similarly, Nikon’s auto white balance system is a treat to work with: it performs exceptionally well under artificial lighting. Thanks to the bright, clear viewfinder, you get vibrant images with pleasing colors while the details are well displayed on the LCD screen. Battery life is a plus point as it lasts for more than 1550 shots: more than enough for an intense shoot.  

        Armed with an incredible 24.2MP sensor and no optical low pass filter, the images produced display an exceptional level of detail. There are no issues with image degradation even at higher sensitivities of about ISO1600. With a great dynamic range and noise-free images, you’ll surely be satisfied with the overall results.  

        Bottom line

        Nikon 3500 is the ideal camera to get your hands on if you’re new to the DSLR world. It’s the perfect combination of long-lasting battery life and well-designed menus that aid beginners throughout the journey. Surprisingly, all of these features come at an affordable value.

        What we like:

        • Long battery life
        • Stunning image quality
        • Easy user interface

        What we don’t:

        • No Wifi
        • Lack of touchscreen control

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        5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

        Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera

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        See the Canon EOS 6D Mark II
        • Pixels: 34.4 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Canon EF-M
        • Max Resolution: 6960 x 4640
        • Sensor: CMOS 22.3 x 14.9 mm
        • Image stabilization: Digital (Video Only)
        • Recording mode: MP4/H.264 and 4:2:2 8-Bit
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 408g

        Features:

        We were desperately waiting for Canon EOS 6D Mark II because it’s great full-frame predecessor had a vast room for improvement. Fortunately, Mark II features some major upgrades along with some additional features to make your images look stunning.  

        Design

        The structure is somewhat similar to the original Mark 6D with an aluminum alloy and polycarbonate build. The robust body features dust and moisture seals for protection against unpredictable weather conditions but gives off a rather casual vibe; something professionals run away from. Moreover, it is smaller and lighter than 6D but includes a sculpted grip for secure handling. If you’ve worked with the older version, you won’t face any issues getting used to a similar layout.  

        Performance

        The original 6D comprised an outdated 11 point AF system; thus, we were delighted to see an improvement in this department. It employs a 45-point AF system with all the points being cross-type except the center having a dual cross-type point. As a result, the system delivers an extremely precise performance. Moreover, Canon allows users to control the AF set up to a great extent, with almost 16 options to choose from. There weren’t any issues under low light either, which makes 6D a great candidate for concert photography.  

        Furthermore, the camera features an upgraded burst rate of 6.5fps, which is adequate for enthusiast photographers. It is capable of shooting up to 21 raw files or 150 JPEG frames before slowing down. Canon features a 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor with 63 zone Evaluative, Centre-weighted, and Partial metering options. This system is known for delivering a consistently great performance, and you’d hardly find yourself opting for the post-production exposure compensation. However, keep in mind that it applies weightage to the Active AF point, so a slight movement in the points may result in two different exposures. There aren’t any issues with the auto white balance mode: it’s great at delivering neutrality and warmth for natural-looking images.  

        Moving on, the 26.2MP sensor was beyond our expectations as most cameras at this price include a mere 24MP sensor.

        We loved the images at higher ISO sensitivities as there wasn’t any sign of image deterioration.  

        Bottom line

        Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a well-rounded camera and significantly better than its predecessor. However, no camera is perfect, and Mark comes with its own share of issues, including poor AF coverage and a less than decent dynamic range.

        What we like:

        • Comfortable grip
        • Refined touchscreen LCD
        • Several connectivity options
        • Improved Live view focusing

        What we don’t:

        • No USB 3.0 port
        • Limited AF coverage
        • No 4K video resolution

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        6. Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera

        Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

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        See the Sony Alpha a6000
        • Pixels: 24.7 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Sony E
        • Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
        • Sensor: CMOS 23.5 x 15.6 mm
        • Image stabilization: None
        • Recording mode: XAVC S, AVCHD, and MP4
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 344g

        Features:

        Sony has a relentless desire to be at the forefront of the camera industry, and Sony A6000 helps them achieve their mission with ease. This APS-C device offers the best of every feature and stunning image results at a considerably low price.  

        Design

        The previous NEX-6 users may find the design and layout a bit similar with a number of buttons and dials to control the camera. If you’re fond of a crowded layout, Sony A6000 won’t disappoint you. There is a pronounced grip for comfortable handling while the body sports a nice overall texture for an” expensive” feel. Moreover, the top plate features two dials to avoid accidental adjustments and simpler control, while most of the buttons are customizable for your ease.  

        Performance

        Sony has never disappointed us in terms of its performance. Even some of the most mediocre cameras deliver a decent performance; thus, our expectations from Sony A6000 were pretty high. Being an APS-C camera, we found the final results pretty appealing. The images portrayed an exceptional level of detail with well-saturated colors that didn’t seem too over the top. Obviously, Picture Styles allow users to edit the images according to their wish, with Monochrome being our favorite mode.  

        Moving on, Sony is great at rendering detail and doesn’t falter until it reaches higher sensitivities like ISO6400. However, the best A4 prints are obtained at ISO3200. Moreover, Sony consists of an outstanding entering system that does a wonderful job of delivering the correct exposure. We didn’t find ourselves dialing in any exposure compensation except when we shot images in aperture priority or shutter priority mode. Similarly, the auto white balance system produces accurate colors under great lighting conditions. However, you may find yourself opting for a preset white balance setting while shooting under artificial light.  

        What about the AF system? A6000 claims to possess the fastest AF system out of all the APS-C format cameras. That is true while focusing on objects under bright lighting conditions, but the system lags once the light levels drop.  

        Bottom line

        Sony A6000 is a great camera for enthusiasts who want to experiment with shooting various scenes without investing too much. However, it needs a fully articulating touchscreen LCD and a better AF system to be a part of our favorites. We recommend you to use the prepacked 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens as it offers a great range of focal lengths and pleasing depth of field.

        What we like:

        • Compact and lightweight
        • Great viewfinder
        • Built-in Wifi option

        What we don’t:

        • Lacks touchscreen
        • Hard to set up the AF system

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        7. CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera

        CANON EOS REBEL SL3 DSLR Camera

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        • Pixels: 25.8 Megapixel
        • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
        • Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
        • Sensor: CMOS 22.3 x 14.9 mm
        • Image stabilization: Digital, 5-Axis (Video Only)
        • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 25600
        • Recording mode: MP4/H.264
        • Focus type: Auto and Manual Focus
        • Weight: 449g

        Features:

        Canon EOS REBEL SL3 is a great, budget-friendly DSLR that offers 4K resolution video amongst several other features. Even though it’s just a minor upgrade from the previous version, SL3 has the edge over its rivals.  

        Design

        Canon presented SL3 with the title of being the lightest and smallest DSLR of all time. Even though Nikon D3500 stole the title, the tiny dimensions remain ideal for tourists and all those bothered by the bulky body of DSLRs. The manufacturers didn’t make any major changes to the overall design except giving SL3 a much angular touch. We found the body easy to handle while the rubberized grip and thumb rest enhances safety. However, the control layout has been simplified so as to not intimidate the beginners.  

        Performance

        We recommend you to keep your expectations from the AF system on the low because the 9-point AF system is less than decent. Focusing seems much harder as the points are far away from each other, and it’s a nuisance when your desired subject falls outside of the nine predetermined positions. Moreover, it doesn’t track the erratically moving subjects with precision either; thus, if your job requires action photography, do not opt for SL3. However, the Dual Pixel CMOS AF is comparatively better by allowing users to position the point in one of the 3975 areas while the touchscreen makes the process much easier.  

        Photographers often assume that small cameras deliver an equally weak performance, but SL3 proves them wrong. Canon delivers a decent 5fps burst shooting speed that lasts for around 12-14 frames or 20-40 compressed raw files- great for an entry-level DSLR. With 95% frame coverage, you need to be wary of issues around the edges.  

        Moving on, we found the viewfinder reasonable as it provides accurate scene depiction and displays the necessary exposure information. On the other hand, the LCD screen is a clear winner in terms of responsiveness and performance under bright light. With great battery life, increase the brightness of the screen won’t cause any damage.  

        Further on, SL3 produces well-exposed images with an exceptional level of detail. The Auto Lighting Optimiser is a great way to lift any shadows in case of a wide dynamic range. Moreover, the results boast a pleasing color representation, but some photographers prefer using one of the several Picture Styles to match their aesthetic.  

        Bottom line

        Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is the perfect blend of tried and tested features and outstanding performance. Not only is it compatible with a wide range of lenses, but it delivers solid results, more than what one would expect from a compact camera.

        What we like:

        • Gray battery life
        • Responsive LCD
        • Compact and lightweight body

        What we don’t:

        • 4K video crop
        • Poorly designed power control

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        Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): About Cameras For Car Photography

        Q:  What is a good lens for car photography?

        A: Fortunately, automotive photography doesn’t have any special requirements for your camera lens, but a great lens delivers stunning images. We recommend you to invest in a zoom lens as it allows users to work with several focal lengths. Even though a prime lens produces sharper and well-composed images, you may find yourself switching between different focal lengths while shooting different cars.  

        A wide-angle lens proves useful for shooting the interior of the car because it fits everything into the frame and gives an illusion of space. A standard 50mm lens is great if you want to shoot a square-shaped car or a small aspect of the interior as it highlights the natural curves and objects.  

        Q:  How do you photograph motorsport?

        A: Motorsport events are fast affairs, and you may find yourself with several blurred images if you’re not well prepared. An SLR camera is a great choice since it responds well and shoots immediately after you press the release button. Moreover, you should carry a suitable lens, and a tripod or monopod since shooting the long event may easily tire you out. Even though everyone rushes out to shoot the fastest straight on the circuit, motion blur becomes a huge issue. A slow corner is a photographer’s best bet if he wants to obtain some great shots.  

        A manual focus mode, a fast shutter speed of around 1/500th of a second, and a wide aperture are just a few of the recommended settings to get amazing images of the event.  

        Q:  What is the best shutter speed for moving objects?

        A: We define shutter speed as the rate at which the shutter of your camera opens and closes. Slower shutter speed means that the shutter closes at a slower rate and produces brighter looking images without focusing in on any erratically moving objects. To make the most of slow shutter speed, place the camera on a tripod for minimal motion blur. On the other hand, a faster shutter speed results in dark yet sharp images and focuses well on fast-moving objects.  

        If you’ve understood our point clearly, you need to select a fast shutter speed for automotive photography. A shutter speed of 1/1000 is pretty fast and is perfect for recording cars on a racing track. On the other hand, a low speed of 1/10 seconds is great for shooting images under low light conditions. We recommend you to use a speed of 1/160 seconds or higher in the case of handheld photography to prevent motion blur and camera shake.  

        Conclusion

        We hope that you found our list of the best cameras for car photography useful. Shooting cars may be a tiring task for many, but the right camera makes your job several times easier. However, you need to make sure that the desired camera meets the event’s requirements and your budget. Car photography becomes much easier if you select the camera according to the cars you’d have to deal with on a regular basis.