Digital portrait photography is for those who are concerned for other people and are interested in knowing what motivates them and how they have become what they are. Digital portrait photography will give excellent results if you look upon the person you are photographing, as your most favorite person at that instant. A good portrait photographer is one who is able to connect with his subject and is deeply interested in him/ her, to get the best out of it, though just for the time of shooting.No doubt, a good portrait is something that may be treasured for years, but getting the perfect portrait does not mean that you need to hire a professional. With the new advancements in digital camera technology and little bit of photographing skills, you can achieve these superb results yourself.
Before selecting the camera for portrait photography, make sure that the camera has RAW format to help the photographer to do post processing in digital dark room.
Taken on Canon 7D
70-200 L f 2.8
Original Frame, untouched
The memory of the camera must be sufficient for multi shot bursts.
LCD monitor of the camera must be large one so that you can see images captured on the screen and go further only if you find images good enough. It is essential because flash photography is complicated and you never know whether you have captured what you saw or not. At the same time, flash is used at maximum in portrait photography compared to any other photography types.
You are not required to bother too much about ISO range, as it is not so important in portrait photography. It is because there is already couple of sources available for the purpose.
Type of Camera
Before buying a camera, you must be aware of all the types of cameras that you can use for portrait photography.
For portrait photography, you can buy any 35 mm single lens-reflex camera. However, if you can buy the snob 35 mm rangefinders such as Contax G2 or Leica M6 with a 90 mm lens, it will be a great choice.
"Point and shoot" camera is the worst choice for portrait photography. Their lenses are very slow at the telephoto end. Therefore, you can have f/10 at the place of f/2.8 to get sharp background rather than the blurry one. If you are working with the digital camera, then it is very tough to get good results in the absence of a real single-lens-reflex.
The format of your camera also determines the quality of your portrait. Always remember that you can crop only tightly around face or torso of a subject in a rectangular format of most of the cameras, on the contrary, you will have a little bit of space in the 6×6 cm square format.
While buying camera for portrait photography, make sure that the camera has a high magnification lens i.e. telephoto. Generally, you will find typical "portrait lenses" in between 90 and 135 mm in length.
As far as the choice of professionals is concerned, most of the professionals use 70-200/2.8 or 80-200/2.8 zooms as portrait lenses with a Canon or Nokia. However, these huge 3 lb. are not very convenient to hold. Therefore, if you just want to do portrait photography, then you should buy a prime lens, as they are lightweight and offer better image quality. Prime lens in this range, which most likely you would like to own, is the 100 or 105 macro. Though these lenses are optically of very high quality, yet you may find it very tough to focus accurately. It happens because of the reservation of most of the focusing helican precision for the macro range.
While looking for a digital camera for portrait photography, you may come across many digital cameras with a red-eye reduction flash mode. But you must remember that generally this feature does not give you good results especially in inexpensive cameras. So, the best thing is to take portraits in well-lighted areas.
While buying digital camera for portrait photography, do not forget to look for the shutter speed of the camera. Fast shutter speed is vital to capture quick changing facial expressions of people. You can have a digital camera without fast shutter speed only in a situation when you are shooting in a controlled studio setting. Otherwise, fast shutter speed is very important for portrait photography. You will need it in various surroundings like street scenes, a person being interviewed or playing children.
Portrait Scene Mode
While buying camera for portrait photography, you should not neglect 'Portrait scene' mode of the camera. It will prove helpful to you when you will be in a hurry and you will not have the time even to set aperture of your camera. You will find this 'portrait' scene mode in most of the digital cameras. It helps you in calculating settings that are generally responsible for good photo.
You will need to use a wide-open aperture in natural lighting. It will give a gentle feel or say touch to your portrait. You can select the depth of the field.
In short, if you are looking for an ideal digital camera for portrait photography, then you must be familiar with all the features of the digital camera required for the purpose. Just considering all these features will enable you to have a proper digital camera. Thus, you can capture your subject's most lively photographs in your camera.