To take all the photos on this blog I use a lot of tools. I thought it would be helpful for others to provide you with a list of everything I use to take photos for this blog.
In this list I will add my current set up as well as my previous beginners set up. Simply because my current set up does use some expensive items.
The current camera I use is a Canon 6D. I chose this camera for three reasons. First of because it was a full frame body, secondly because it has WIFI capabilities and lastly because of it’s excellent low light performance.
Full frame bodies do have some advantaged over cropped frames, on a full frame body you will get the total view while on a cropped frame you can only get 60% of the view. Secondly full frame bodies will have better low light performance as they have a bigger sensor to capture light. On the downside because of this you are also in a position where all lenses you buy will be substantially more expensive than cropped lenses. Especially if you will be getting lenses with the L designation which are the professional series lenses. In addition full frame bodies usually have more features, however the Canon 7D Mark II has some features that beat the 6D however the price is on par. It will come down to what you value in your camera.
The WIFI capabilities are great, I use them for two reasons. Firstly you can set up the camera in a way that you can take a photo and the photo will wirelessly transfer to your computer and then be imported into lightroom. What this means is that you can take a photo and within 10 seconds see what it looks like on your computer. The other use for WIFI is that you can use your iPhone or Android phone to see what the camera sees. I normally use this to style my photo and change the placement of props, because I can see what my camera sees on my phone I don’t have to keep checking via the camera but I can see on my phone whether I need to move something in the shot.
The last reason I went with the 6D is because this camera specifically has very good low light performance. With this camera I can take photos in my kitchen with crappy lighting quite easily.
My first DSLR camera was the Canon 1100D. This camera has now been replaced with the 1200D. This camera is great to get started with using a DSLR camera due to it’s relative low price.
If you are just starting out and you are most likely on a budget I would recommend getting a entry level camera like the 1200D and spend money on a lens. Everyone will tell you that to improve your photography you need better lenses. And when I got started I thought they were full of shit. However everyone is right. If you are on a budget and you want to upgrade your photography but an entry level DSLR and spend money on lenses before a body.
I recommend buying the body only as you most likely don’t want to use the kit lens for food photography. Instead opt to go with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens II, I will explain why below.
So you might be wondering why I use a full frame camera. The main reason to upgrade your body is for extra features, when you are taking photos think about what it is you want to improve in your photos. If you want to improve the photo quality, buy a lens. If you want a camera that focuses faster or that can take more photos per second or you want wifi capabilities, buy a new body. Buying a new body is not magically going to make you a better photographer, it will just provide you with more tools and options to make it easier to take photos.
When I bought my first lens it was a Canon 50mm f/1.8. This lens is a great starter lens for food photography. It makes it possible to get great bokeh (blurred background effect) for a very affordable price. The downside is that this is a fixed lens and doesn’t zoom in or out and it will actually require you to move. This is a great learning tool for taking photos though as it will make you consider composition more.
I recently upgraded to a Canon 50mm f/1.4. This leans has an even faster aperture which makes it possible to work with an even smaller dept of field. In addition this lens also takes slightly sharper pictures. If you are just getting used to taking photos with a DSLR I would recommend the 5omm f/1.8 as this lens is substantially cheaper.
My everyday lens is the Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS. This lens is part of the professional series lenses and this is certainly reflected in the price of this lens. This lens is great for everyday use though as it has a good zoom range you will use day in day out, you just won’t be able to get ultra wide angle or telephoto zoom with this lens.
Another lens which I have used but didn’t purchase is the 24-70mm f/4 L IS, the reason I mention this lens is because it produces a slight better quality photo which is sharper overall. The reason I chose the other lens is because I liked the extra bit of zoom I got. However if you are looking for best photo quality then I would recommend the 24-70mm f/4 L IS, it just means you will have to switch to a telephoto zoom lens for frequently if you are prone to zoom in.
The zoom lens I use for my camera is the 70-200mm f/4 L IS, this lens has a great zoom range and the aperture is fast enough for me to use in almost all situations outdoors. I only struggle with this lens at night time and with indoor photography. There is a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens available as well though, the downsides are the increase in weight, size and price for this lens.
One other good investment is a high speed memory card. If you want your camera to work to it’s full abilities you will need a good memory card with a high speed. My personal preference is the Sandisk Extreme range, I use the 32GB version. With this memory card I am able to take multiple photos in a second. While with my previous memory card my camera always ended up being busy writing to the card.
For my food photography I use a tripod, I use a Manfrotto Compact Advanced Tripod. I tend to only use this for food photography however due to it’s small size and light weight you can easily take this tripod with you anywhere you go.
Lastly I use the adobe creative suite. I use Photoshop and Lightroom and the best part is that it comes in monthly subscription plan. This means the software has become much more accessible as opposed to having to purchase it.
I hope this list has helped you in getting an idea of the things needed for food photography, I will keep this list updated as I update my set-up.