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The 5 Best Cameras For Street Photography - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Cameras For Street Photography

Street photography is an art that requires a good eye, a little discretion, and a camera that you can take anywhere. There's a saying in photography that the best camera is the one you have on you, but while your smartphone can capture interesting moments in a pinch, a dedicated camera can take your street photos to the next level. A good street photography camera needs to be lightweight and portable, have easy-to-adjust settings, and have a relatively fast lens and effective autofocus to capture fleeting moments. For those reasons, premium point-and-shoots are favored, but depending on your needs and preferences, a larger interchangeable mirrorless camera can also fit the bill.

We've tested over 70 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras for street photography for most people to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their performance but also their feature set and price. For more options, see our recommendations for the best point-and-shoot cameras, the best compact cameras for travel, and the best cameras for photography.

  1. Best Camera For Street Photography

    The best street photography camera that we've tested is the Fujifilm X100V. Thanks to its discrete, compact rangefinder design, it's a great fit for on-the-go street photography. Like the pricier Fujifilm X-Pro3, it uses an unusually-designed hybrid viewfinder, which can be switched between a traditional optical rangefinder for an unfiltered view of your subject and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, which provides a real-time preview of your chosen exposure parameters and color profiles.

    This camera uses the same 26.1 MP sensor found in the flagship Fujifilm X-T4 as well as other APS-C Fujifilm models, so out-of-the-box JPEG image quality is excellent, while RAW images are impressively low in noise even at higher ISO levels. You can also give your shots a bit of added old-school flair by using Fujifilm's built-in film simulation profiles. Its fixed lens has a full frame-equivalent focal length of 35mm, which is well-suited to capturing day-to-day scenes or natural-looking portraits, while its wide maximum aperture should allow for a clear separation of subject and background. There's even an integrated four-stop neutral density filter, which is helpful in situations where you want to use a slow shutter speed in brightly-lit daytime scenes without over-exposing your shot.

     Unfortunately, this camera doesn't have an in-body stabilization system or an optically-stabilized lens, so you might have trouble snapping sharp images at slower shutter speeds. In addition, while its lack of a handgrip contributes to its pocket-friendly size, it also makes it hard to maintain a secure grip on its body. Otherwise, if you're looking for a portable camera that delivers fantastic image quality, it's a great choice.

    See our review

  2. Best Compact Camera For Street Photography

    The RICOH GR III is the third iteration of RICOH's GR street photography camera, and it's the best camera for street photography for those who prize discretion and portability above all. It's remarkably portable for a large-sensor compact, featuring a minimalist design with a small bump for grip and a large APS-C sensor, and all in all, it feels sturdy and well-built.

    Its built-in lens uses a relatively wide-angle 28mm equivalent focal length that's well-suited to street photography. It also has a built-in ND filter that lets you shoot at slower shutter speeds or use a larger aperture in sunny conditions. Overall, image quality is amazing, and it has excellent noise handling even when shooting in RAW at higher ISO settings. While the camera has a minimalist control layout, it also has several customization options, including up to three different custom setting configurations that you can save to the mode dial.

    The camera also has a disappointing battery life, which only lasts for about 200 photos, according to RICOH, although battery life depends heavily on how you use your camera and what settings you choose. It also lacks a viewfinder and has a fixed screen, making it a little hard to compose shots and shoot from different angles. Despite its shortcomings, this is a great option for street photographers due to its low-profile, portable design, and excellent image quality.

    See our review

  3. Best Multi-Aspect Sensor For Street Photography

    The Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II is a unique point-and-shoot camera that uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor with a smaller lens opening that lets it crop photos down to various aspect ratios in-camera without reducing its field of view. It's designed with enthusiasts in mind with dedicated exposure dials and a retro look. It's also highly portable and comes with an external flash accessory in the box.

    It has a built-in Leica DC lens with a 24-75mm equivalent focal length, so you have a bit of zoom range to work with. It also has a fast f/1.7 aperture, so you can take advantage of faster shutter speeds or shoot in more dimly-lit conditions. It delivers excellent image quality, with great dynamic range and impressive noise handling capability at higher ISOs. On top of that, it has a fast 11 fps burst rate and a virtually instantaneous buffer empty time, so you can shoot continuously to capture brief moments of fast movement.

    That said, the camera's autofocus system is disappointing. While it supports face and eye detection, it does a poor job tracking both faces and objects consistently. It also lacks in-body image stabilization, and its screen is fixed, making it harder to shoot from lower angles. Still, if you're looking for one of the best cameras for street photography, this is a great choice thanks to its unique multi-aspect sensor and fast aperture.

    See our review

  4. Best Interchangeable Lens Camera For Street Photography

    The Fujifilm X-Pro3 is the best camera for street photography that we've tested with an interchangeable lens design. While it's not the most compact option, being able to switch out different lenses to suit your needs gives this camera versatility that a fixed-lens camera can't provide. It's also uniquely designed with a reverse-tilting screen to encourage users not to rely on the camera's screen and engage more with their subjects, making it a great option for street photography.

    It has a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder offset from the center of the body, allowing you to get an unfiltered view of your subject and its surroundings or preview your exposure settings live through the viewfinder with the flip of a switch. It uses the same 26-megapixel X Trans 4 sensor found on other Fujifilm models and delivers great overall image quality when shooting in JPEG. It also has fantastic RAW noise handling capability, meaning it performs well even in low light. It also features two SD card slots which is great if you want a live backup of your work.

    However, its battery life is only okay. It's advertised to last for approximately 370 photos, which is decent but may not be long enough for heavy shooters. Note that battery life can also vary drastically depending on your settings and usage habits. It isn't as portable or discreet as a more compact camera would be, though it is weather-sealed. Still, if you're looking for an interchangeable lens camera that's well-suited to street photography, this one is hard to beat.

    See our review

  5. More Portable Alternative

    If you'd prefer a more portable interchangeable lens camera, consider the Fujifilm X-E4. It's smaller than the Fujifilm X-Pro3, with a rangefinder-inspired body that's even easier to carry around for extended periods. However, it doesn't have a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder; instead, it's been fitted with a more conventional lower-resolution electronic viewfinder. Its physical control scheme is quite limited, forcing you to make more adjustments through its touchscreen. Thankfully, it's also considerably cheaper and uses the same 26.1 MP sensor, resulting in similarly sharp JPEG and RAW image quality. It also uses the same NP-126S battery pack as the X-Pro3, which should be sufficient for fairly long usage sessions. Unfortunately, this camera's very compact design can make it uncomfortable to hold for users with larger hands, though you can buy a thumb rest and an accessory grip separately.

    Get the X-Pro3 if you want a more ruggedly-built camera with twin SD card slots and a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, but consider the X-E4 if you prioritize portability and want to save some money.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon EOS RP: The Canon EOS RP is an affordable full-frame mirrorless camera. It's more comfortable to shoot with than the Fujifilm X-Pro3 but lacks an optical viewfinder, has a worse battery life, and is a bit less portable. See our review
  • Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II: The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a good point-and-shoot option for street photography. It's more portable than the Fujifilm X100V, but it only has a small EVF and performs worse in low-light because of its smaller sensor. See our review
  • Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 delivers similar image quality and has an even better battery life than the Fujifilm X-Pro3. It's a great hybrid option for those interested in video as well as stills. However, it's less portable and doesn't have the X-Pro3's unique hybrid viewfinder. See our review
  • Nikon Z 50: The Nikon Z 50 is a good entry-level mirrorless option with interchangeable lenses. It's easier and more comfortable to shoot with than the Fujifilm X-Pro3, making it a good choice for beginners, but its autofocus system isn't as reliable, and it's less portable. See our review
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III: The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera that's more portable than the Fujifilm X-Pro3. It has a fully-articulated screen and features in-body image stabilization, but it's not as well-suited to low-light photography, and its autofocus is less reliable. See our review
  • Sony α6600: The Sony a6600 is a relatively portable interchangeable lens option. It has a longer battery life than the Fujifilm X-Pro3 and has in-body image stabilization, but its menu system is harder to navigate, and it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. See our review
  • Sony α7C: The Sony a7C is a good option if you want a full-frame mirrorless camera that's still relatively compact. However, it doesn't have as many physical control dials as the Fujifilm X-Pro3, and it only has a small electronic viewfinder. See our review
  • Sony RX100 VII: The Sony RX100 VII is a high-end point-and-shoot that's even more compact than the Fujifilm X100V and features a zoom lens. That said, it only has a tiny pop-up EVF, and its overall image quality and noise handling are worse due to its smaller sensor. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 18, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs and expectations.

  2. Jan 28, 2022: Reviewed article for clarity and accuracy.

  3. Jan 07, 2022: Reviewed accuracy of picks with no change to recommendations.

  4. Dec 17, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks; no change to recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras for street photography for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you'd like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our point-and-shoot and interchangeable lens camera reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.