Food Photography: Swapping my iPhone to a Canon 5D
I have always been nervous about large cameras. Thinking they were too complex and required special knowledge, so I avoided them. They are rather intimidating right? It's not just me?
I have always loved my iPhone and I love how portable and to hand it is. I have taken some wonderful photos of Harriets first two years on my phone. There are 3091 photos of Harriet since her birth on my phone. I love a photo. I don't know how my parents coped only taking 24 photos before the film ran out, and then waiting for them to be developed. No instant satisfaction, and then when you do get the pictures back my dads head was normally chopped out of the picture. Now, looking back, that was intentional on my Mams part. Good one mam. Anyway, I love shooting on my phone as it was always to within reach and there are no complex settings or a faff of lens swapping. No stresses. Set up the image and shoot with the click of a finger on a screen. Done. However, as my love of food photography grew and I started to get interest in my recipes and photography, my intrigue into 'how do they take a photo like that?' grew hugely! The details and colours people could obtain from their foods. I wanted that. So I made a rather large investment in a Canon 5D Mark III and a seriously good 100 lens (perfect for close ups and portraits).
I bought my camera second hand on eBay. This is always a little bit of a risky move but, if you find the right seller, you can grab a good deal. In my case, I found a great camera for a good price so I was a happy customer.
Canon 5D Mark III. It's a few years old now but still very much a great camera.
The first lens that I bought was a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens. This cost more than the camera itself but the close up capabilities of this lens are incredible and in food photography, that is a great quality. It really captures the food and every detail.
Look at my images before with my iPhone vs the Canon 5D.
iPhone 11 Pro Canon 5D Mark III
The phone worked really well for distant plate photos like the one above, where you don't need to see the detail and you just want a general area photo, but when taking a close up image, thats when the lens really works its magic.
I spent a little over a year using my phone for my blog and Instagram and now I am using a DSLR camera, I'm not sure I would ever go back to my phone for food photography (sorry phone, I still love you).
Using the DSLR not only changes my images but it makes me take my photography more seriously and make me think more about composition and what would work well and what wouldn't. It's helping me grow as a food photographer and food stylist. Im thinking more because I know the camera will capture more and if anything isn't right, the camera will punish me for it in the final image .
iPhone vs DSLR Camera
iPhone P R O S
- Small and handheld
- Cheaper (not by much)
- Editing and photography in one place
- Upload straight to social media
- Good photos
DSLR P R O S
- Images are clear and crisp
- Better depth in a photo
- Settings adjustments are vast
- Can connect to your laptop and edit images easily and shoot live from the laptop
- Takes fantastic videos (see below)
Video shot on Canon 5D with fixed 100 lens.
V E R D I C T
Don't get me wrong here. A camera like the Canon DSLR is a big investment, it's a lot of money and difficult to justify, especially once you start buying lenses. However, if you are wanting to take your food photography up a level then I would definitely recommend the purchase. I have loved shooting with my camera for the past couple of weeks. I don't have any other recommendations for any other cameras as I haven't used them and wouldn't want to sell you something I hadn't used myself but there are so many shops out there like John Lewis where you can go and try out the products yourselves.
* Equally, I am still learning and have a lot to learn about my new camera. I spend more of my time in Auto mode, which I feel is like the camera for dummies setting. So I am in the learning phase, but even with the little effort I put in, the images are still fabulous.