Is This the Best Portable Camera and Lens Setup for Portraits?

Whether you're shooting on a micro four-thirds sensor or medium format, beautiful portraits are attainable. But if your goal was to have the lightest, most portable setup that can create high-quality portraits, which body and lens would you choose?

I have taken a number of portraits on all sensor sizes and while the uninitiated may scoff and micro four-thirds, each sensor size has perks and drawbacks. My personal favorite setup for taking portraits is using a medium format body like the GFX 100 and a mid to long length prime lens, like the Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2, for instance. However, having had that camera and lens combination in my hands for a long period of time, I can tell you it's a physical experience. The weight means that even athletic folks will start to feel the burn and that can inhibit your shooting. That's before we consider carrying that sort of weight around on your back.

With the advancement of cameras still progressing rapidly, smaller cameras and sensors are not only viable in creating great images, but they're also getting smaller and better every year. The sensor size I would reach for in the smaller category would be crop (APS-C) as I think, quality-wise, it's the closest to full frame, but light enough to be portable, as shown in this video by ZP Productions. He has opted for the Fujifilm XS10 and Fujifilm XF 50mm f/2. You can fit that combination in the palm of your hand and has a combined weight of 665 grams with battery and memory card, which is lighter than many camera bodies alone. The results speak for themselves, but in combination with its weight is the affordability, with the entire setup costing $1,500 if you bought it brand new.

What do you think is the best combination of camera body and lens when it comes to weight, size, and quality?

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7 Comments

vik .'s picture

I'd rather buy a canon RP with a full frame sensor, less noise and less money :)

Christian Fiore's picture

It's definitely not less noisy. Remember that the tech behind the RP's sensor is from 2012. The same sensor that was used in the 6D II, which performed WORSE in image quality than the original 6D...

Petr Klapper's picture

Sony A7c + Samyang 75/1.8 for this field of view and few grams more. Plus 45/1.8 for wider/environmental portraits and general walkaround lens, done ;)

Christian Fiore's picture

Or even the Yongnuo 85/1.8. Yes, it's actually great, vs pretty much every other lens they've released.

Lucas Edwards's picture

Yuck..

Why would I want to use that when I have a Sony a7r3 with amazing eye autofocus 🤦

Christian Fiore's picture

The compact part. Though the A7C is a better choice, with better AF than the A7R III.

Michael Marcelletti's picture

I would recommend a Pentax K70 and a 50mm 1.8. Then take the $800 saved and put it into lighting gear.