It’s easy to be tempted to spend upwards of $3,000, $4,000, even $5,000 on professional cameras these days. However, you need to know that there are cameras that cost less than $2,000 that are more than enough for most professional photographers.
The ‘most’ statement in the above sentence is important to note here. We know that there are professionals out there that do need some of the big hitters on the market like the Canon R5, the Sony a1 or any of the Fujifilm GFX series cameras. If your pro work requires them, snap them up. They’re great professional cameras, but we also want you to know that most photographers needn’t spend more than $2,000.
The level of camera you can get for around $2,000 is truly mindblowing. Here, we’ll take a look at a few professional-grade cameras that we’re sure are more than enough for most photographers. They’re feature-packed, they’re built like tanks, and they receive regular firmware updates, which makes them better over time. Let’s dive into them.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 III is an absolute workhorse, and is as tough as nails. Rain or shine, the camera just works. The autofocus system is very fast and accurate. I’ve used it for sports and wildlife work. The eye and face detection will also delight portrait photographers. Then there’s the fully articulating screen, dual card slots, live comp modes, IBIS and more.
The 20-megapixel sensor gets a bad rap because of some ‘influencers’ who like to make noise, but in the right hands, it’s seriously capable. If you haven’t used a modern micro four-thirds camera, we urge you to try one. Pair the E-M1 III up with Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses and you’ll be blown away. Read more about it in our full review.
When it comes to professional cameras under $2,000, the Fujifilm X-T4 is easily one of the most well-rounded options on the market. The Fujifilm X-T4 is a feature-packed camera that’s more than capable of handling most photography work out there.
Powered by a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans APS-C sensor, the X-T4 delivers incredible images and excellent low-light performance. Fujifilm has worked hard to improve its autofocus performance, and it shows in this camera. The X-T4 also features IBIS, a fully articulating screen, dual card slots, gorgeous film sims … and it looks stellar, too. Find out more in our full review.
Panasonic Lumix S5
My current camera of choice for both my professional and personal work. The full-frame Panasonic Lumix S5 is perhaps one of, if not the best hybrid mirrorless camera on the market presently. This 24-megapixel full-frame camera is smaller than some Micro Four Thirds cameras. However, it’s bursting at the seams with features.
The IBIS in the Lumix S5 is fantastic. The build quality is excellent. I’ve used it in rain, snow, blowing dust and more without fault. The autofocus system, despite being contrast autofocus only, is rapid and accurate. Battery life is great and the menu system is a no-fuss affair. Mix in class-leading 4K video, a fully articulating screen, dual card slots and well laid out controls and you have a winner on your hands. Our full review will be coming soon.
Sony a7 III
The Sony a7 III is getting a little long in the tooth now, but there’s no way we can make a list of professional cameras under $2,000 without it. The a7 III still boasts an incredible autofocus system that won’t let professional photographers down. It has 5-axis IBIS, dual card slots, a good EVF, a vari-angle screen and great burst rates. One of the biggest selling points of the a7 III isn’t a feature of the camera itself, though.
Perhaps the biggest selling point is the camera’s access to the best lineup of lenses for mirrorless cameras on the market. With plenty of options from Sony and multiple third parties, professional photographers with all budgets are covered. If you’re looking at professional cameras under $2,000, you’d be crazy to overlook the Sony a7 III or its rangefinder-style counterpart, the a7c.