Best newborn photography cameras and lenses, according to baby photographers.

Newborn and baby photographers get to spend their days with some of the cutest subjects around, and the images they create are treasured by families for years to come. While that’s a wonderful way to make a living as a photographer, it’s also a pretty big responsibility. You want to make sure you have the best tools in the business to deliver professional, high-quality results

Newborn and baby photographers reach for a range of different cameras and lenses, so we’ve created a roundup of options at different price points that you can trust to be up to the task of creating beautiful baby photos. We’ll also get into some of the equipment you’ll want to have on hand for your next newborn or baby photography shoot. 

Ready to start capturing baby images your clients can’t wait to share with their loved ones? Read on to discover the best equipment for the job

mother and father holding swaddled newborn near a window

Best newborn photography cameras.

When it comes to choosing a newborn and baby photography camera, the right choice will depend on your individual preferences and budget. However, there are a few features worth keeping in mind when making your selection.

Since your little subjects can constantly be changing their positions and expressions, you’ll want a newborn baby camera that can focus quickly and that has a fast shutter response. You may also be capturing a sleeping baby at times so the quieter your camera is, the better. Since bright lights can sometimes disturb the little ones, low-light performance is another priority.

Here are some choices that have been vetted by professionals.

Sony Alpha a7 III

Mirrorless cameras are quieter overall than their DSLR counterparts, making them a good choice for baby photography, especially newborn photography. Sony is a leader in the mirrorless camera body space and the a7 III is loved by professionals. Here’s why:

  1. Full frame sensor for superb image quality that you can create prints with
  2. Silent shutter mode
  3. 10 fps burst mode for capturing fleeting moments
  4. Great low-light performance

Canon EOS R

Canon loyalists love the EOS R for its balance between features and pricing. If you already have a collection of Canon DSLR lenses, you can use them with this mirrorless offering by purchasing an adaptor. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want a silent mirrorless option but don’t want to give up their collection of Canon lenses. Here’s why the EOS R is a great choice:

  1. Among the best low-light performers
  2. 8 fps burst mode
  3. Fantastic autofocus system
  4. Silent electronic shutter
  5. 30-megapixel sensor

Pentax K-1 Mark II

While the retro styling makes this camera look like something that’s been around for decades, it came out in 2018. It’s notable for its sturdy build that you can feel confident lugging around without worrying about wear and tear. As a DSLR, it won’t be as silent as mirrorless options, but it more than makes up for this with other features:

  1. 36.4 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  2. ISO range up to 819,200 with impressive performance even at higher ISOs
  3. Vari-angle LCD screen for easier composition
  4. Stunning image quality
  5. Solid image stabilization 

Nikon Z 6

Nikon is quickly establishing itself as a key player in the mirrorless space. The Z 6 provides all of the features that newborn and baby photographers care about, without the hefty price tag of their more premium Z 7. The Z 6 has an even better low-light autofocus than its more expensive counterpart, making it perfect for the demands of newborn and baby photography. Features include:

  1. 12 fps burst shooting
  2. Tilting touchscreen for easy camera control even at tricky angles
  3. 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor
  4. Built-in image stabilization
  5. Excellent low-light performance

Canon 5D Mark IV

While mirrorless cameras have become more popular for newborn photography, the 5D mark IV deserves a mention for those who still love what DSLRs offer. A major benefit of DSLRs over mirrorless options is better battery life. If you don’t want to fuss around with changing batteries mid-shoot this is a big plus. The image quality from this pro-Canon DSLR offering also speaks for itself.  Features include:

  1. 61 autofocus points, 41 cross-type sensors to ensure ultra-sharp images throughout the frame
  2. Dual Pixel RAW technology, allowing you to adjust bokeh and sharpness in post-production 
  3. 30-megapixel full-frame sensor
  4. Excellent high-ISO performance
  5. Wide range of compatible lenses at a range of price points to choose from

Olympus E-M10 IV

For an affordable, reliable option, look no further than the E-M10 IV from Olympus. Luckily, newborn and baby photography is not a niche in which you have to spend top dollar to get beautiful results. You can create images your clients love with this wallet-friendly option. Reasons to love it include:

  1. Beautiful, comfortable build
  2. Excellent image stabilization 
  3. Lots of lenses to choose from 
  4. Touchscreen interface

Best newborn photography lenses.

When choosing a newborn photography lens, quiet options are usually best. However, you’ll likely need a few different lenses in your kit, since the best newborn photography lens will vary a bit depending on the type of shot you’re trying to capture. As a rule of thumb, consider including a macro lens, a 50mm prime lens, and a medium telephoto lens in your newborn and baby photography bag. 

If that sounds like a lot to buy right out of the gate, remember that the best lens for newborn photography doesn’t matter quite as much as your creativity and ability to work with what you’ve got. You can always start with one lens, build out your newborn photography portfolio, and add more lenses as your budget allows. 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens

If you can only start with one lens, make it a go-to 50mm lens that you’ll reach for again and again in your newborn photography photoshoots. The EF 50mm from Canon is a compact, well-built option that is both fast and quiet, two features you’ll appreciate as a newborn photographer. You’ll love these features:

  1. Crisp, beautiful image quality
  2. Portable design
  3. Excellent autofocus
  4. Affordable

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS Portrait Lens

If you have any of Sony’s e-mount mirrorless cameras, their 50mm f/1.8 lens is a workhorse that you’re guaranteed to get a lot of use out of in your newborn and baby photography sessions. As Sony keeps adding more impressive cameras to their E-mount lineup, investing in their lenses seems like a solid choice. Features include:

  1. Built-in image stabilization,
  2. Silent, quick autofocus
  3. Compact, lightweight design
  4. Beautiful defocus effects

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM

A macro lens comes in handy when you want to be able to get up close to your subject. When it comes to tiny newborns, being able to capture all their adorableness up close makes for some great additions to your portfolio. Your clients will love to get detailed shots of their little ones’ fingers, toes, and pout, for example. Here’s why this Canon offering is among the best:

  1. You’ll get excellent, sharp images even when shooting hand held
  2. Built-in compensation for angular and shift-based movements
  3. Best-in-class bokeh
  4. Fantastic autofocus
  5. Surprisingly lightweight

Sigma 105mm f/2.8

Lens offerings from third-party manufacturers have come a long way, often providing high performance at a more accessible price point than native options. Nikon DSLR users looking for a macro lens to add to their kit for newborn photography should consider this Sigma offering. Features include:

  1. Excellent performance for close-up photography
  2. 1:1 magnification
  3. Fast autofocus
  4. Gorgeous bokeh
  5. Solid build

Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8

This medium telephoto offering from Nikon is ideal for capturing beautiful newborn and baby portraits, even in challenging low-light situations. It’s versatile enough that you can capture close-up portraits and images that capture more of the background. Here’s why this lens is worth buying:

  1. Flattering, natural perspective without distortion
  2. Ultra-sharp 
  3. Stunning bokeh for dreamy effects
  4. Excellent, quiet autofocus

Sony 85mm f/1.8-22

A beautiful portrait lens for full-frame Sony mirrorless camera users, it’s also relatively affordably priced compared to other lenses in their range. While it lacks built-in stabilization, other features coupled with the attractive price tag make it a choice professionals love. Features include: 

  1. Bright aperture for wonderful low-light images
  2. Very sharp
  3. Fast focus speed
  4. Beautiful background effects
  5. Lack of built-in stabilization is not an issue if using a Sony camera with in-body stabilization

Newborn photography gear.

When it comes to newborn and baby photography equipment, you don’t typically need a ton of equipment. As you’ll likely be traveling to your clients and setting up in their homes, you’ll want newborn photography equipment that can still easily be used if you’re in a small space. Here are the essentials to consider for your collection.


For newborn photography, you won’t want a bunch of hot and heavy studio lights. Not only are they cumbersome to set up in people’s homes, but they can also pose a danger to the newborn if knocked over. Natural light is always a good bet, and if you need some extra light, consider incorporating a softbox or two in your setup.

Reflectors can also come in really handy for bouncing more light onto a scene.


Having a collection of cute backdrops is a great way to book more newborn and baby photography gigs since clients will love being able to choose from a range of different looks. Cloth and vinyl options are best because they’ll hold up better over time compared to paper options. 


Every newborn and baby photographer specializing in posed newborn photography should have a collection of cute props for clients to choose from. These can be seasonal or suitable year-round, and while you do have to invest a bit upfront to build your collection, they’ll certainly pay off in the long run. These include:

  1. Hats
  2. Headbands
  3. A selection of fabric swaddles.
  4. Knit blankets for texture and light covers.
  5. Costumes
  6. Little baskets and beds.

Posing and safety accessories.

In addition to themed decorative props, you’ll need some extra props to assist in posing the newborn or baby and making sure they’re comfortable. Newborns, in particular, are very sensitive and you must understand how to keep them safe and comfortable. Here are some posing and safety props that will help every shoot run smoothly: 

  1. Pillows and beanbags for comfortably posing little ones.
  2. Blankets to keep them warm between shots.
  3. Weights for holding down lightweight props that the baby is placed in, such as baskets.
  4. Baby wipes for inevitable messes.
  5. Sanitizer to prevent passing germs to newborns.
  6. Puppy pads to limit messes between shots.
  7. Space heaters and heated blankets to ensure the newborn doesn’t get too cold.
  8. White noise machine to keep them sleeping during shoots.

Extra batteries and power bank.

The last thing you want on a newborn or baby shoot is to run out of batteries. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand, and to keep one set charging with a power bank in your bag. Here are some power bank options that professionals love:

  1. Champ lite portable charger.
  2. Nitecore NB5000 power bank.
  3. MaxOak K2 50000 mAh power bank.

Memory cards.

Memory cards can fill up surprisingly fast, especially if you’re shooting large RAW files. Having extra memory cards in your camera bag is a smart best practice for any professional photographer. Here are some trusted choices:

  1. SanDisk 65GB Extreme PRO
  2. Lexar 64GB Professional 2000x
  3. SanDisk 128G Extreme PRO

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