Photojournalism vs Studio Cameras: What Is the Difference?

Photographers make pictures for a wide variety of reasons and work in a wide range of styles. And though there are hundreds of different genres, photography is usually divided into studio photography and photojournalism. However, studio photography doesn’t necessarily mean that the photos should be taken indoors, whilst photojournalism doesn’t always have to do with journalism.

The former includes styles like portrait, fashion, model, landscape, street, wedding, event, wildlife, and product/architecture photography where quality and artistic element are more important than quantity and speed. Photojournalism is mainly about political, sports, and journalism photography where reaction and shooting speed mean a lot.

Most of professional DSLRs are designed correspondingly and have different technical characteristics and features. Let’s find out the differences between the two and learn which one suits your photography needs better.

Before getting down to it, we should point out that these difference will be only noticeable in full-frame cameras. Crop DSLRs differ from each other just slightly and even the cheapest and the most expensive APS-C cameras won’t be too different when it comes to the essential properties and features. We have taken Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D810A—typical photojournalism and studio cameras—as an example to make this comparison.


And though both cameras were announced in 2015 and 2016, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II has only 20 MP against 36.2 MP in Nikon D810A. As we already mentioned above, image quality is the most important element in studio photography and this is why the total number of MPs is crucial. Photojournalism DSLRs sacrifice the amount of MPs for other technical features, which are more important to this style.


Since political and sports photographers often shoot in bad lighting and use slower lenses with bigger focal length, extremely high light performance, ISO, and dynamic range become the most important characteristics of the camera. 409,600 ISO in Canon EOS-1D X Mark II vs 51,200 ISO in Nikon D810A.


Yet another thing which might be different between the two camera types is the number of focus point and cross-type focus points. And though it’s not completely certain and depends on the camera, photojournalism DSLRs usually have more focus points than studio cameras because subjects of sports and political photographers are constantly in motion.


Shooting speed, or in other words FPS, is probably the most important difference between the photojournalism and studio cameras. The former have a really fast shooting speed that may be up to 16 FPS (faster than an M4A1 rifle) and the latter usually feature the speed of shooting of 5 to 8 frames per second. Since the quality is more important than quantity in studio photography, the rate of 5 to 8 frames per second is more than enough.


The last but not the least major difference between the two camera types is weight. As you can see from everything we said above, photojournalism cameras have more advanced technical characteristics even though they make photos of lower quality. This is exactly why they weigh more, a lot more.

The difference in weight between Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D810A is 700 grams. The former weighs 1530 grams and the latter is only 880 grams. Political and sports photographers often take photos using a tripod, making the camera weight irrelevant, whilst studio photographers need a light-weight camera because they always walk about their subject and shoot hand-held.

We hope that this article was of help to you and we’ll be glad to answer your questions in comments. Feel free to shoot us a message!

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