8 Best Cameras for Photographing Artwork in April 2024

By Tati Taylor 5 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

Whether you are a professional photographer or just need professional pictures of artwork for social media posts of events, a camera specifically designed for photographing artwork is essential. It helps produce high-quality images that accurately represent the color and texture of your art, making the capturing process easier and quicker.

Top 8 Cameras for Art Photography

First and foremost, resolution is incredibly important. You want a camera with a high-resolution image sensor that can capture all the intricate details of the artwork. This will allow you to make large prints and showcase your work in great clarity.

Sensor size is another crucial factor. A larger sensor will give you better image quality, contrast, and the ability to capture more detail.

Also consider the camera's dynamic range. This refers to its ability to capture a wide range of tones, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. With a dynamic range camera you'll be able to capture the subtle nuances and textures of the artwork more accurately.

It is also possible to shoot art objects with a smartphone, but I prefer a professional camera for photography. I described my experience of using a camera vs smartphone for photographing artwork below.

Canon EOS 90D
canon eos 90d camera for photographing artwork
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Nikon D850
nikon d850 camera for photographing artwork
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Sony A7 III
sony a7 iii camera for photographing artwork
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Canon EOS RP
canon eos rp camera for photographing artwork
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Olympus OM-D E-M5
olympus om-d e-m5 mark iii camera for photographing artwork
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Canon EOS R6
canon eos r6 camera for photographing artwork
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1. Canon EOS 90D – Our Choice

The best camera for photographing artwork
canon eos 90d camera for photographing artwork

Type: DSLR | Sensor Size: 22.3x14.8 mm | Resolution: 32.5 MP | Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-S | Screen Type: 3-inch articulating touchscreen LCD | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Great sharpness
  • ✚ High-speed shooting
  • ✚ 4K video
  • ✚ Optical viewfinder
  • Larger and heavier than other models
  • Expensive

Canon EOS 90D features a 32.5-megapixel CMOS sensor, up-to-date Digic 8 imaging processor, 4K video, and super slow motion 1080p video at 120p. This Canon camera for artists offers fast continuous shooting of up to 10 frames per second with no lags. The autofocus system lets you precisely focus on the object, which is a must for an artistic camera.

canon eos 90d camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Canon EOS 90D

Besides, Canon EOS 90D attracts attention due to the 3.0” touchscreen LCD monitor with various viewing angles. This option helps you take top-grade selfies and shoot videos with your participation.

2. Nikon D850

For professionals
nikon d850 camera for photographing artwork

Type: DSLR | Sensor Size: 35.9x23.9 mm | Resolution: 45.7 MP | Lens Mount: Nikon F mount | Screen Type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LC | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps

  • ✚ High-speed AF
  • ✚ Solid, waterproof design
  • ✚ Great ISO efficiency
  • ✚ 4K video support
  • High-priced
  • SnapBridge is a bit cumbersome

Nikon D850 is the best camera for art photography due to a 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and a tested EXPEED 5 picture processor. The sensor offers a high resolution for taking photos of artworks. The design of the sensor with backlight enhances details when shooting in a low-light environment.

nikon d850 camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Nikon D850

This DSLR camera is equipped with a 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen for live view photography, playback, and menu browsing. Its tilted design is suitable for working from different viewing angles.

The model supports connection via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and has a robust battery for long shooting periods – 1840 shots with no need to recharge.

3. Sony A7 III

Affordable for all photographers
sony a7 iii camera for photographing artwork

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor Size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.2MP | Lens Mount: Sony E-mount | Screen Type: Tilting LCD screen | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Advanced features
  • ✚ Responsive autofocus system
  • ✚ Creative functions for post-processing
  • ✚ Improved dust-reduction system
  • Frequent overheating
  • No built-in intervalometer

Sony A7 III camera for photographing artwork is absolutely crucial when it comes to capturing the intricate details and vibrant colors of artwork. With its excellent ISO performance and wide dynamic range, this camera allows you to showcase every nuance of your masterpiece.

One of the standout features of the A7 III is its advanced autofocus system. With 693 phase-detection points covering 93% of the frame, it can track moving subjects with incredible precision. This is particularly useful when photographing artwork, as it ensures that your images are sharp and blur-free, even in low light conditions.

sony a7 iii camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Sony A7 III

In addition to its impressive still photography capabilities, this Sony camera also offers 4K video capabilities. This means that you can capture high-quality footage that can be used for cinemagraphs and other artistic multimedia projects.

4. Canon EOS RP

Great for shooting in inefficient lighting
canon eos rp camera for photographing artwork

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor Size: Full-frame CMOS sensor | Resolution: 26.2 MP | Lens Mount: RF mount | Screen Type: 1.62-million dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 12 fps

  • ✚ Silent shooting
  • ✚ Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • ✚ High resolution image sensor
  • ✚ Fully articulating screen
  • Limited buffer capacity
  • No built-in image stabilization

Canon EOS RP is among the best cameras for photographing artwork as it features an electronic shutter that allows you to shoot in complete silence. This is a huge plus when photographing performances or skittish wildlife, as the sound of a camera shutter can be quite disruptive.

Additionally, the camera offers a range of shooting modes, including an easy-to-use focus bracketing mode. This mode helps create sharpness-boosting images, which is particularly useful for capturing the intricate details of artwork.

canon eos rp camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Canon EOS RP

One of the standout advantages of the EOS RP is its size and grip. It has a relatively small body and a more compact and comfortable grip, making it easier to hold for extended periods of time and allowing for more precise control. Despite its smaller size, this Canon camera still boasts a high-resolution image sensor, providing excellent detail and low-light performance.

5. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

For shooting 4K video
olympus om-d e-m5 mark iii camera for photographing artwork

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor Size: 17.4x13 mm Resolution: 4 MP | Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds lens mount | Screen Type: 3-inch articulating touchscreen LCD | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ 5-axis stabilization system
  • ✚ In-depth 4K video
  • ✚ Integrated EVF and flash
  • ✚ Small-sized, strong build
  • Without mic input
  • Lacks some advanced features

Due to a 20.4-megapixel MOS sensor and TruePic VIII picture processor, this model provides quick continuous shooting at up to 10 shots per second.

Its mechanical shutter produces up to 30 shots per second which makes it not only one of the best camera for photographing art but also a great video camera. Besides, it has an electronic shutter and records DCI and UHD 4K video.

olympus om-d e-m5 mark iii camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

This 4K camera boasts various shooting modes. With these modes, you can take clear and contrasting pictures regardless of conditions – indoors, in motion, at night or in low light.

There is also auto software for technically demanding pictures and artistic means for processing pictures onboard and creating different effects.

6. Canon EOS R6

Great performance in art galleries
canon eos r6 camera for photographing artwork

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor Size: Full-frame CMOS sensor | Resolution: 20.1 MP | Lens Mount: RF mount | Screen Type: 1.62-million dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 20 fps

  • ✚ Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
  • ✚ Wide ISO range
  • ✚ Vari-angle LCD touchscreen
  • ✚ High frame rates
  • Battery life is not long
  • Not very affordable

As the best camera to photograph artwork, Canon EOS R6 offers exceptional image quality, thanks to its high-resolution CMOS sensor and superb color reproduction. This is crucial when capturing artwork, as it allows you to capture all the intricate details and colors accurately.

One of the standout features of the EOS R6 is its fast and accurate autofocus system. With 5,655 autofocus points, it can quickly and precisely lock onto your subject, which is essential when photographing the finer details of artwork. This feature truly helps in achieving sharp and focused images.

canon eos r6 camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Canon EOS R6

This is the best camera for art photography also performs well in low light conditions, thanks to its ability to shoot at high ISO settings without losing sharpness or introducing excessive noise. This is a significant advantage when photographing artwork in galleries or dimly lit spaces, which makes it a wide choice of cameras for amateur photographers.

7. Sony Alpha A6600

Good camera for recording art
sony alpha a6600 camera for photographing artwork

Type: System camera | Sensor Size: 23.5x15.6 mm | Resolution: 24.2 MP | Lens Mount: Sony E lens mount | Screen Type: 3-inch 180° tilting touchscreen LCD | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 11 fps

  • ✚ 5-axis SteadyShot stabilization
  • ✚ Long-lasting battery
  • ✚ Integrated Wi-Fi
  • ✚ Great low-light efficiency
  • Mid-level 4K
  • Poor rolling shutter

Sony Alpha A6600 is the best camera to photograph artwork with a revised 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. It produces high-resolution pictures and footage up to UHD 4K with unlimited recording time. The model operates without any delays and boasts a fast focusing speed.

5-axis picture stabilization SteadyShot INSIDE diminishes camera shake with the attached lenses for product photography to support slower shutter speeds.

sony alpha a6600 camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Sony Alpha A6600

Due to the tilting touchscreen, A6600 becomes more helpful for recording vlogs. Still, you cannot use the camera for managing the main menu or the quick menu, but all the same it is in the list of the best cameras for art photography & video shooting.

8. Leica Q2

Compact camera for shooting art objects
leica q2 camera for photographing artwork

Type: Full-frame compact camera | Sensor Size: 36x24 mm | Resolution: 47.3 MP | Lens Mount: M-mount Summilux 28mm f/1.4 ASPH | Screen Type: 3-inch fixed touchscreen LCD | Max Continuous Shooting Speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Compact
  • ✚ High-resolution electronic viewfinder
  • ✚ Large zoom range
  • ✚ Manual focus selection
  • No flip screen
  • Extra zoom may require more light for distant subjects

Leica Q2 is among the best cameras for photographing artwork due to the manual control dials which gives you a film-like experience, which is a rare find in today's digital cameras. The tones it captures are exceptional, giving your artwork the justice it deserves.

One of the biggest advantages of this camera for product photography is its compact size and all-in-one functionality. It's perfect for serious photographers who want a camera that can do it all. The brand new, full-frame CMOS sensor with 47.3 megapixels is a significant improvement from its predecessor, allowing you to capture even more detail in your shots.

leica q2 camera for photographing artwork lifestyle

Taken with Leica Q2

The built-in macro mode is a great addition, as it allows for close-up shots of your artwork, capturing every intricate detail. Another advantage is the weather sealing of the Q2, making it resistant to dust and splashes. This feature ensures that you can confidently use this camera for photographing art in various environments without worrying about damaging it.

Shooting Artwork on Camera and Smartphone

As a seasoned photographer specializing in capturing the essence of art, I can attest to the unparalleled advantages of using a professional camera over smartphone cameras.

I’ve tested the Canon EOS 90D and Samsung Galaxy S23, and must admit one of the primary reasons lies in the superior capabilities of the camera with larger sensors and higher resolutions. These advanced features enabled me to preserve intricate details in the photos. When you enlarge or print images, the artwork's nuances remain intact, appearing sharp and crisp, ensuring a faithful representation of the original piece.

photographing artwork camera vs smartphone

Moreover, the flexibility and control offered by Canon EOS 90D are invaluable. Manual settings for ISO, shutter speed and aperture value empowered me to adjust brightness and depth of field precisely.

This precision proves crucial when photographing paintings, aiding in the elimination of issues like keystoning, ensuring the camera lens remains parallel to the painting's surface.

photographing artwork different focal lengths

Canon EOS 90D camera for photographing artwork also excels in lens quality and offers a diverse range of focal lengths. This versatility allowed me to experiment with various perspectives and achieve desired effects, such as artfully blurring the background to emphasize the artwork. In contrast, the smartphone camera has limited zoom capabilities, restricting the ability to focus on objects beyond close proximity to the sensor.

I know exactly that challenges often arise in low light conditions, common when photographing artwork in galleries or dimly lit spaces. The reviewed camera comes with low noise ISO settings shine, which surpasses the Samsung smartphone capabilities.

I really like the clear and sharp images even in low light the EOS 90D produces, eliminating the need for additional equipment like tripods or flashes.

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Note! Professional cameras for photographing artwork frequently feature built-in color calibration systems. These systems create precise profiles of your camera's colors under specific lighting conditions. Applying these profiles ensures accurate colors and values in your photographs, preserving the integrity of the artwork's original hues.

How to Choose the Best Camera for Photographing Art?

top 3 cameras for photographing artwork

First and foremost, it's crucial to understand that capturing the essence and details of artwork requires a camera that produces high-quality images. So, what should you look for?

Type of camera. The best camera for artists can truly capture the depth and color of your work is essential. Both DSLR and mirrorless cameras are fantastic options. DSLRs are known for their ability to produce high-resolution digital images. They have sensors made up of millions of tiny pixels that capture light and convert it into a digital signal. This translates to detail-rich images and superior color accuracy, even in low light conditions.

On the other hand, mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and perfect for artists on the go. They come with a zoom lens that allows you to capture close-up shots of your artwork. Additionally, some mirrorless cams are great for vlogging and recording your art process, which can be a fantastic way to engage with your audience.

choosing camera for photographing artwork sensor size

Sensor size - 32.5-Megapixel APS-C recommended. When photographing artwork, image quality is paramount. Larger sensors tend to capture more detail and offer a wider dynamic range compared to smaller sensors. They also allow you to create a shallower depth of field if desired. While larger sensors generally offer better image quality, they can be more expensive.

Low light performance. If you're someone who often works in low-light conditions, consider cameras for art photography with BSI architecture. This feature enhances low-light performance, which can be crucial when photographing artwork in galleries or museums where using additional lighting might not be possible.

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