ListsBest Cameras for Black and White Photography 2023: top-rated

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography 2023: top-rated

Black-and-white photography is a great way to show how a scene makes you feel.

When embarking on the journey to find the best cameras for black and white photography, several factors come into play. You have options like making black-and-white pictures right in the camera or taking pictures in colour and changing them in post-processing. Another thing to think about is whether you prefer digital photography or the analogue charm of film cameras, even though you’ll have to give up some convenience for a unique style and a wide range of options.

So, our complete guide to the best cameras for black and white photography has a lot of different categories to make things easier for you. We’ll start by talking about digital cameras that are only made for taking black-and-white pictures. These models have a clear advantage: their colour filters have been taken out, so the pictures they take are sharp and clear in a way that other cameras can’t match. But there are costs and benefits to this advantage.

Benefits of Shooting in Black and White

Shooting in black and white can help photographers and filmmakers be more creative and artistic, even in a world where colour is the norm. Here are some good things about taking pictures in black and white:

Focus on Composition: Without colour to distract, viewers are more drawn to compositional elements like lines, shapes, textures, and contrast. This can help photographers highlight the most important parts of a scene and make pictures with more visual impact.

Emotional Impact: Black-and-white photos often make people feel nostalgic, like they are from a different time, or like they are dramatic. It can also bring out a person’s true feelings and mood, letting photographers capture a more personal and intense connection with the viewer.

Simplifying: Taking away the colour from an image makes it easier to focus on the main subject and get rid of any distracting details. This is especially helpful when there are a lot of people or things going on.

Light and Shadow: Light and shadow are very important to black-and-white pictures. By taking pictures in black and white, photographers can try out different lighting setups and techniques that make their pictures more dramatic.

Texture and Detail: When there are no distracting colours in an image, people are more likely to notice the texture and small details. This can add depth and richness to photos and draw attention to things that might not be noticed otherwise.

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography Comparison Table

This table compares the best cameras for people who like to take pictures in black and white. It looks at a number of important factors, such as image quality, low-light performance, resolution, and price, to help you make an informed decision and take stunning black-and-white photos.

FeaturesResolutionPhoto Sensor SizeMax Shutter SpeedMin Shutter Speed
Canon EOS R732.5 MPAPS-C1/16000 seconds30 seconds
Nikon Z524.3 MPFull Frame (35mm)1/8000 seconds30 seconds
Panasonic Lumix S524.2 MPFull Frame (35mm)1/8000 seconds30 seconds
Fujifilm X-S2026.1 MPAPS-H1/32000 seconds3600 seconds
Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome2160p23.3 x 15.5 (mm)1/8000 sec30 sec

Canon EOS R7

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography
Model NameCanon R7(US)BODY
Resolution32.5 MP
Photo Sensor SizeAPS-C
Max Shutter Speed1/16000 seconds
Min Shutter Speed30 seconds
Check Price

The EOS R7 does have a basic monochrome mode, which is probably best for converting your photos to black and white after you take them. It’s one of the best APS-C cameras ever made in every other way. It has a unique combination of resolution and burst speed that makes it great for capturing fast action. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF II focusing system is especially worth mentioning. It is incredibly accurate and has AI-powered subject detection that can recognise people, animals, and vehicles.

In our lab tests, we found that the EOS R7 makes a little more noise at mid and high ISOs than competitors like the Nikon Z5 or the Fujifilm X-T4, which are also around the same price. This might be less of a problem when you are working in black and white, where a little bit of image grain can sometimes look quite chic and artistic. Overall, this is one of the best Cameras for Black and White Photography you can buy right now.


  • High-resolution sensor for detailed B&W images.
  • Good selection of B&W post-processing tools.
  • Fast autofocus for capturing dynamic B&W scenes.


  • Limited native B&W shooting modes.
  • May require additional lenses for optimal B&W results.
  • Expensive compared to some alternatives.

Nikon Z5

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography
Model NameZ 5
Resolution24.3 MP
Photo Sensor SizeFull Frame (35mm)
Max Shutter Speed1/8000 seconds
Min Shutter Speed30 seconds
Check Price

So far, most of what we’ve talked about has been black-and-white photography done in-camera. But many black-and-white photographers prefer to do the conversions after the fact. In this case, you can focus less on the different black-and-white options a camera has and more on its overall image quality. The Nikon Z5 can shoot in black and white with a few options in the Picture Control settings, but it doesn’t have the stylish, unique black and white looks of a Fujifilm X camera, for example.

It does, however, make full-frame pictures that look great for a reasonable price. The Z5 has a very good dynamic range, especially at lower ISOs. This means that when you convert your photos to black and white, you should be able to get a lot of detail back from the highlights and shadows. It’s also well made and has one of the best electronic viewfinders you can get for this price. Still, this is one of the best Cameras for Black and White Photography you can buy right now.


  • Excellent image quality for B&W photos.
  • User-friendly interface for easy shooting in monochrome.
  • Good low-light performance for B&W night photography.


  • Limited selection of native B&W features.
  • Fewer lens choices compared to other systems.
  • Average autofocus performance.

Panasonic Lumix S5

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography
Model NamePanasonic LUMIX S5
Resolution24.2 MP
Photo Sensor SizeFull Frame (35mm)
Max Shutter Speed1/8000 seconds
Min Shutter Speed30 seconds
Check Price

People don’t talk much about monochrome when they talk about Lumix cameras, which is too bad because the L. Monochrome picture profiles on cameras like the Lumix S5 are great. Taking advantage of the S5’s bright and sharp JPEGs, modes like L. Monochrome D make great black-and-white photos that look like they were taken with a Leica, which is fitting given that the L-mount was made for Leica cameras.

The Lumix S5 is one of the best full-frame hybrid cameras you can buy right now. This is especially true now that its successors, the Lumix S5 II and S5 IIX, are available. The big improvement of the S5 II was its phase-detection autofocus, which works much better than the Lumix S5’s contrast-detection system. If you plan to take a lot of pictures of things that are moving, it might be worth it to buy the newer camera. Overall, this is one of the best Cameras for Black and White Photography you can buy right now.


  • High dynamic range for B&W photos.
  • In-body image stabilization for steady B&W shots.
  • Good video capabilities that can be useful for monochrome filmmaking.


  • Limited native B&W shooting modes.
  • Smaller lens ecosystem compared to competitors.
  • Potentially complex menu system for beginners.

Fujifilm X-S20

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography
Model NameX-S20 Body
Resolution26.1 MP
Photo Sensor SizeAPS-H
Max Shutter Speed1/32000 seconds
Min Shutter Speed3600 seconds
Check Price

Modern Fujifilm X cameras, which all have Fuji’s famous Film Simulation modes, are great for shooting in black and white. For those who don’t know, these are shooting modes in the camera that mimic the “looks” of classic film stocks, like the unique, fine-grained black-and-white ACROS stock. Thus, this is one of the best Cameras for Black and White Photography you can buy right now.

The X-S20 is less complex than its cousins in the X-T and X-H series, but it’s probably a better camera for most people to use every day. With a lower megapixel count of 26.1MP, files are easier to work with, but they still have enough resolution for most uses. As a newer camera, it has the must-have feature of the last couple of years: subject-detection autofocus.


  • Dedicated B&W film simulations for unique looks.
  • Compact and lightweight for on-the-go B&W photography.
  • Great selection of prime lenses for B&W enthusiasts.


  • Crop sensor may limit some B&W shooting scenarios.
  • Limited resolution compared to full-frame competitors.
  • Higher cost compared to other crop sensor cameras.

Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome

Best Cameras for Black and White Photography
Model Namek-3
Photo Sensor Size23.3 x 15.5 (mm)
Max Shutter Speed1/8000 sec
Min Shutter Speed30 sec
Check Price

This B&W version of one of Pentax’s APS-C DSLRs was announced in April 2023. It keeps the DSLR dream alive. Like the Leica models above, the K-3 Mark III Monochrome has a sensor with no colour filter and no anti-aliasing filter. This means it can only take black-and-white photos, but they are very clear and detailed. Overall, this is one of the best Cameras for Black and White Photography you can buy right now.

In most other ways, this camera is pretty much the same as the original Pentax K-3 Mark III. It has a rugged DSLR design, a lot of exposure modes, and an impressive ISO range of 100 to 1,600,000. It’s also nice that you can shoot at 12fps, but you’ll probably find that the shot buffer fills up very quickly, and if you use Live View mode, you’ll find that the contrast-detect autofocus doesn’t keep up with the action as well as on-sensor phase detection.


  • Specialized monochrome sensor for exceptional B&W quality.
  • In-body stabilization for sharp B&W shots.
  • Weather-sealed build for rugged B&W photography.


  • Limited lens selection for Pentax cameras.
  • Potentially higher price due to the specialized sensor.
  • Heavier and bulkier than some mirrorless options.

What to Look for in a Camera for Black and White Photography?

Black-and-white photography has its own special appeal, and you need to keep a few things in mind when choosing a camera. Here are some of the most important things to look for in a black-and-white camera:

Sensor quality: A camera with a larger sensor and higher resolution can capture more detail, which is important for black and white photos where texture and contrast are important. For better image quality, look for cameras with larger sensors, like full-frame or APS-C sensors.

Dynamic Range: A camera with a good dynamic range can capture a wide range of tones, from pure black to pure white. This lets you make black-and-white photos with rich grayscale tones. Find out about a camera’s dynamic range by reading reviews and looking at its specifications.

ISO Performance: Playing with shadows and highlights is a big part of black and white photography. A camera with a good high ISO will let you take clear, detailed pictures even when there isn’t much light, which can be especially useful for black-and-white photography.

Monochrome shooting mode: Some cameras have a special mode for shooting in black and white, or they can be set to do so. This can make it easier to picture the end result while you’re shooting.

RAW Format: When you shoot in RAW format, you have more freedom in post-processing, which lets you change the grayscale tones and contrasts in a good way. Make sure that the camera you pick can shoot in RAW.


Are there black and white digital cameras?

If you know you will only be shooting in black and white, this model is a good choice. The best black-and-white camera you can buy is the Leica Q2 Monochrom. It looks great and is easy to use, making it one of the most immersive shooting games out there.

What are black and white cameras called?

Simply put, a monochrome camera is one that doesn’t record different colours but only different amounts of light. Monochrome cameras only show one colour, and the photo is made up of the lightness values of each pixel. A regular camera, on the other hand, can take pictures of colours from all over the spectrum.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams, a prominent content writer at Bollyinside, renowned for his expertise in hardware products. Specializing in list-based articles, Jonathan simplifies intricate tech details about laptops, phones, tablets, and accessories, making them accessible to readers. Off-duty, he indulges his passion for fiction and tech sci-fi, exploring new realms of creativity.
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