There’s a myth out there that states that you cannot be a professional photographer unless you own and use a full-frame camera. Quite honestly, we’re tired of hearing such drivel. Being a pro has nothing to do with the gear you use. It’s how you use it, and boy can you get some work done with APS-C cameras.
APS-C cameras are really the sweet spot in the world of cameras. Modern APS-C sensors capture tons of detail and work wonders in low light conditions. APS-C cameras have the benefit of being smaller and lighter too, which makes them easier to use on those long, all-day photoshoots (I know you hear me wedding photographers).
The problem is that APS-C cameras used to be aimed at prosumers. Times have changed, my friends. Now, APS-C cameras are just as powerful, if not more powerful than some full-frame cameras that are on the market. The APS-C cameras featured here are professional powerhouses that churn through photoshoots without breaking a sweat. They offer weather sealing, most offer IBIS, they have incredible autofocus systems and they’re reliable. Let’s check them out.
Sleek, sexy and eager to please — Fujifilm X-T4
The X-T4, the latest in the line of small sensor cameras from Fujifilm that offers everything modern photographers need. This APS-C camera has more than just a pretty face. A 26.2-megapixel X-Trans sensor that produces some of the best colors around powers this beauty. The unique film simulations are gorgeous and they help cut down on editing too. Software like Lightroom and Capture One have the profiles built right in so you can shoot RAW and apply the film sims during post as well!
On top of helping creators produce top images, the X-T4 has a solid IBIS system and photographers will find 425 autofocus points. There’s a fully articulating screen, weather sealing, a nice EVF, solid battery life, dual card slots and mod-cons like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The X-T4 is a powerhouse in the world of APS-C cameras. Be sure to check out our full review.
Versatility is the name of this APS-C cameras game — Sony a6600
The Sony a6600 is a camera that doesn’t get as much love as other APS-C cameras. This could be partly down to the fact that Sony hasn’t changed much within the A6xxx series of cameras for a while. Still, this doesn’t mean that the a6600 isn’t capable. Ask those who use it and they will tell you that it’s just as powerful as any other camera out there.
The 24-megapixel sensor performs excellently. The a6600 has a solid 5-axis IBIS system and has one of the fastest autofocusing systems in the world (can acquire focus in 0.02 seconds). The a6600 boasts 425 autofocus points, can track objects in real-time and can fire off 11 frames per second. It’s topped off with tons of 4K video modes and a mic jack. So as you can see, this is an APS-C camera that suits many professional creators down to the ground.
Feature packed and ready to work — Pentax K-3 III
Pentax is known for its feature-packed APS-C cameras. Their latest, the K-3 III is as powerful as APS-C cameras come. The K3-III is quite possibly the most ergonomically pleasing camera I have ever held. It packs enough tech to please and who can argue with the gorgeous optical viewfinder. In our full review, we said:
“The K-3 III is perfect for landscapes, wildlife, sports, portraits and even street/documentary photography. The Pentax K-3 III is rugged, ergonomically sound, feature-packed and the image quality is fantastic.”Brett Day, Gear Editor
So, what makes this camera so great? The 25.7-megapixel APS-C camera boasts 5-axis IBIS, a responsive touchscreen, a self-leveling sensor, an excellent live view mode, two SD card slots and fantastic high ISO performance. The new and improved SAFOX 13 autofocus systems makes this camera super reliable and the K-3 III can rattle off 12 frames per second. I would not hesitate to use this as my only professional camera.
The king of DSLR APS-C cameras — Nikon D500
Yes, it’s another DSLR but hear me out. The Nikon D500 is perhaps the best APS-C cameras ever made. This tough, rugged, weather-sealed DSLR is a monster that will not let you down when the going gets tough. The D500 is used by many professional sports and wildlife photographers thanks to its incredible 3D tracking, overall top-notch autofocus performance, and 10 frames per second burst modes.
The D500 has a 20.9-megapixel sensor that produces nicely detailed images. It’s also a beast when it comes to low-light performance. The dual card slots will allow you to have confidence when out on important shoots. The large, bright optical viewfinder will allow you to see and follow the action easily. Throw in a great LCD, Wi-Fi and 4K video modes, and you have a great camera that professional photographers still flock to.