Portrait cameras and lenses for every occasion

Capture the beauty and character of your subject, from babies and pets to fashion and family groups, by choosing the best entry-level Canon kit for portrait photography.
A close-cropped photo taken on a Canon EOS R10 of a baby raising its head from a fluffy blanket and looking intently to one side.

The best camera for portrait photography is one that doesn't hold back your creativity, whether you're photographing an adorable newborn, a beloved family pet, or an intriguing stranger in the street. In portrait photography, your kit must help you capture the personality, character and beauty of your subject, complementing your vision but never getting in your way.

There's a lot to consider when choosing a camera for portrait photos, and often the right choice will depend on the type of portraits you're taking. Don't worry, though: there's a Canon camera to suit every scenario, plus great lenses to pair with them to help you get the best possible portrait photos every time.

Newborn portraits and baby photos

In a photo taken with a Canon EOS R10, a baby looks at the camera over an adult's shoulder, with bokeh lights in the background.

The Canon EOS R10 is an ideal option for new parents who want an easy-to-use camera capable of capturing beautiful shots with minimal effort. Taken on a Canon EOS R10 with a Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM lens at 1/25 sec, f/4.0 and ISO640. © Mark Fensome

With their electronic shutter enabling completely silent shooting, Canon mirrorless cameras are ideal for baby portraits, where silence is often critical. Weighing only 429g, the lightweight Canon EOS R10 is an excellent choice. Silent when needed, to leave baby undisturbed, it also features a dedicated Portrait Mode to enhance the softness of both skin tones and those delicate little wisps of hair. There are also creative filters to play with, including a monochrome filter to accentuate the natural texture of skin, while the intelligent Eye Detection AF will ensure you're always perfectly focused.

Choosing the right lens is also important, and we recommend pairing the EOS R10 with the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM. The quiet STM focusing motor won't wake the baby, while its super-wide f/1.8 maximum aperture lets in enough light for perfectly exposed portraits, even in dimly lit bedrooms. The wide maximum aperture also allows you to shoot with an extremely thin depth of field, for beautifully blurred backgrounds.

Family portraits

In a photo taken on a Canon EOS RP, a couple raise a smiling child by the arms in a leafy forest. 

With its vari-angle touchscreen, self-timer and seamless integration with the Canon Camera Connect app, enabling you to control the camera from your smartphone or tablet, the EOS RP is ideal for group portraits of the whole family. Taken on a Canon EOS RP with Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens at 1/640 sec, f/1.8 and ISO800. © Valéria Fazekas

Featuring Face Tracking and Eye AF, the Canon EOS RP can make sure you keep your loved ones in razor sharp focus, making it ideal for capturing group portraits of even the largest families. Its full-frame CMOS sensor also provides a large field of view, which is ideal for framing group shots, while allowing you high levels of control over depth of field for artistic individual portraits. Family photographers will also want to use Group Photo scene mode, where the EOS RP automatically adjusts the depth of field to ensure everyone is in focus, whether they're at the front or the back.

When the family celebration is in full swing, pair your EOS RP with the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM. This lens is small enough not to call attention to you, allowing you to capture candid moments, while the bright f/1.8 maximum aperture will help you get the shot even in low-light conditions. Its wide 24mm focal length is ideal for squeezing an entire dynasty into shot without the distortion of an ultra-wide angle lens. But if you prefer a close-up, its macro capability allows you to capture every tiny detail.

Alternatively, if you want completely candid images, the Canon PowerShot PX is a fantastic choice. Placed discreetly on a table or worktop in a family area, this clever camera will take documentary-style photos of everyday activities without interrupting the moment, as it intelligently tracks subjects and frames shots. You can view the images recorded by the camera by connecting wirelessly to the Canon Connect app for Mini PTZ Cam, which will even suggest the best ones for you. The Canon PowerShot PX can also record short Full HD video clips, which are also transferable via the app.

Fashion and beauty portraits

A fashion photo taken on a Canon EOS R showing a model in a kimono-like dress holding palm fronds and branches, which frame her face.

It's important for fashion and beauty photographers to deliver flawless images each time, showing off the models and products they shoot. With face and eye detection, the Canon EOS R ensures you'll never miss focus and always deliver razor-sharp portraits. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/160 sec, f/1.4 and ISO160. © Guia Besana – Canon Ambassador

If you want to give fashion and beauty portraits the edge to stand out on social media, the Canon EOS R has a 30.3MP CMOS sensor which delivers high resolution images, ensuring every detail is captured in incredible definition. With autofocusing down to -6EV, thanks to a large and highly sensitive full-frame sensor, the EOS R also performs in even the most challenging lighting conditions, from studio to street, wherever and whenever the photoshoot takes you.

The Canon RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM lens is ideal for fashion and beauty portraits. Thanks to its wide f/2 aperture and telephoto distance compression, this lens produces soft backgrounds with tight blur, giving portraits an elegant feel and separating subjects from their surroundings. Telephoto lenses like this one also produce very low amounts of distortion, resulting in flattering portraits, especially of faces. If you want close-ups of hands or facial features for beauty photography, the RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM has you covered there too, with 0.5x macro magnification. What’s more, if you decide to head out for a nighttime street shoot, you can leave the tripod at home thanks to its 5-stops of image stabilisation.

Pet portraits

A fluffy brown and white dog sits on grass in front of the sea.

Combining speed and image quality, the Canon EOS R7 is the ideal camera for freezing a moving subject or capturing all the detail in a low-light scene. Taken on a Canon EOS R7 with a Canon RF-S 18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lens at 59mm, 1/30 sec, f/9 and ISO100.

While your pets may usually spend the entire day snoozing, it's inevitable that the moment you try to take their picture, they'll suddenly decide to start moving as if they're being chased. It's this that makes the Canon EOS R7 the ideal camera for pet photography. Built with wildlife and animal photography in mind, the EOS R7 features a blisteringly fast 30fps burst rate and 1/16,000 sec electronic shutter, to capture the action however fast an animal might move. With animal detection and AF tracking, your subject will be in sharp focus no matter where it goes within the frame, while up to 8-stops of image stabilisation (depending on the lens attached) ensures blur-free shots when shooting handheld. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the EOS R7 pairs seamlessly with smartphones using the Canon Camera Connect app, so you can trigger the shutter remotely while you concentrate on keeping your pet entertained and moving in the right direction.

The In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) in the EOS R7 works in conjunction with the optical IS in the Canon RF 15-30mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM lens to deliver up to 7-stops of stabilisation, enabling you to shoot handheld or at slow shutter speeds in low light, both without risking blur. All this comes in a compact lens which, at 390g, is light enough to make even the longest and liveliest of pet shoots effortless. Thanks to the APS-C sensor in the EOS R7, this lens produces a field of view equivalent to a 24-48mm lens on a full-frame camera, providing a versatile zoom range and much-needed flexibility in unpredictable pet sessions.

Environmental portraits

A photo taken on a Canon EOS R6 camera, showing a woman in a white dress dancing on a beach at night with buildings lit up in the background.

The Canon EOS R6 is designed for stunning performance in low-light and high-contrast situations. While its full-frame 20.1MP sensor has fewer pixels than some Canon cameras, each pixel it has is larger, and therefore much more sensitive to light. The result is that the camera is capable of autofocus down to a staggering -6.5EV. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/40 sec, f/1.4 and ISO32000. © Javier Cortés – Canon Ambassador

The unpredictable nature of environmental portraits demands a camera as versatile as possible. The Canon EOS R6, with its weather-sealed body, is designed to go anywhere you need to get the shot. Its In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS) offers up to 8-stops of stabilisation for crisp, blur-free images when you're shooting handheld, while its large, ultra-light-sensitive full-frame sensor and wide ISO range enable perfectly lit portraits in unpredictable and challenging lighting conditions. What's more, with advanced eye detection and tracking, plus autofocusing down to -6.5EV, the EOS R6 ensures that whatever time it is, your subject will always be in focus. And with a 20fps burst rate, you'll never miss a natural expression, no matter how fleeting.

The same characteristics that make the Canon RF 24mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM suitable for family portraits also make it a good choice for environmental portraits. Weighing in at just 270g, it'll go anywhere with you and its 5-stops of optical IS and that wide maximum aperture are designed to help you express your creativity whatever the lighting conditions, enabling you to capture full-body shots filled with context and interest. The focal length also means this lens doubles as a fantastic vlogging lens.

Whatever subject you're shooting, from cats to cousins, mothers to models, having the right Canon camera and lens by your side means you're ready to go.

Written by Peter Wolinski

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