Recommended Street Photography Equipment by Eric Kim

My favorite digital camera for street photography

One of the questions I get asked most is what camera I recommend for street photography.

Like I mentioned, there is no perfect camera for street photography and everyone’s tastes are different. However my favorite digital camera for street photography is:

#1: Ricoh GR


Disclaimer: Ricoh gave me a GR for free to keep. I am not getting paid to include the camera here.

At the moment, my favorite digital camera for street photography is the new Ricoh GR. I think the biggest problem most street photographers have is that they never have their camera with them. The great thing about the Ricoh GR is that you always have it in your pocket, the image quality is amazing (it has an APS-C sensor), and it is small and unobtrusive. The awesome “snap focus” mode also allows you to pre-focus your distance, and take photos of “the decisive moment” without any lag.

You can see read my in-depth review of the Ricoh GR.

Film camera recommendation for street photography

#1: Leica M6 and 35mm f/2.5 Voightlander lens


I have a lot of people asking me for recommendations for film cameras for street photography. I have been using my Contax T3 a lot recently (love the compact size, image quality, and auto settings) but I still would choose my film Leica at the end of the day. Why? Film Leicas are indestructible, reliable, and can operate without a battery.

The Leica M6 is definitely the best bang-for-the-buck film Leica you can get. It is has a meter, all the frame lines you need, and is quite compact and light. I loved my first Leica M6 (thanks to Todd Hatakeyama for giving it to me as a gift) but I ended up upgrading to the Leica MP after I sold my M9. The MP and the M6 are pretty much the same camera, except the MP is newer and thus more reliable (which helps when I travel).


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Introduction to Composition for Street Photography by Eric Kim

Eric is one of the most well-known street photographers out there, today. In his continues efforts to shoot and share, Kim has put out the full presentation he used in hisIntroduction to Composition for Street Photography talk at Gulf Photo Plus 2014

Gannon Burgett  


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5 Street Photography YouTube channels you should subscribe to


I always find a plethora of YouTube channels available about any subject, no matter how crazy it is. So naturally I thought that if I searched for Street Photography channels I would get loads of hits in the search results. Well, I was wrong. It turns out that there aren’t many Street Photography YouTube channels out there after all. As a matter of fact I can count them on the fingers of my one hand!

I thought that even though there aren’t that many YouTube channels available it would still be useful to list them all in a blog post, because you never know when you will want to take a look at a Street Photography tutorial, or listen to a Street Photography idea / concept.

So, here it is, just for you, 5 Street Photography channels you should subscribe too, presented in a totally random order:



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17 Lessons Walker Evans Has Taught Me About Street Photography

by Eric Kim

Walker Evans

Walker Evans

I want to write about a photographer that most art and photography students know, but not that many street photographers know (or appreciate) online.

That photographer is Walker Evans, one of the most pivotal American photographer from the 20th century. He inspired a league of influential street photographers such as Robert FrankLee FriedlanderDiane Arbus, and even Bruce Gilden. He is most famous for photographing the Great Depression with the FSA, his candid work of Subway riders in NYC, and his street photos and urban landscapes all around America (his most famous book being “American Photographs” which was the first photography exhibition to be held at the New York MOMA. He was also a non-dogmatic photographer who often proclaimed that the camera didn’t matter and experimented with the 35mm format of the Leica, the 2 1/4 format of the Rolleiflex, the cumbersome 8×10 large-format, and even using a Polaroid SX-90 more or less exclusively towards the end of his life.

There is a lot that I don’t know about Walker Evans, so I made it a point to learn more about him through doing research for this article. I hope that you find his work to be as inspirational as mine.

Before I start this article, I want to share this excerpt that Robert Frank said about Evans and his influence on his famous project, “The Americans“:

“When I first looked at Walker Evans’ photographs, I thought of something Malraux wrote: ‘To transform destiny into awareness.’ One is embarrassed to want so much for oneself. But, how else are you going to justify your failure and your effort?” – Robert Frank

1. Make a living with a day job.

Like many photographers and artists, Evans was always straddling the line between paying his bills and being dead broke. Not only that, but Evans resented and was very reluctant to take on commercial work. Starting off, Evans supplemented his photography by having a day job, which ultimately gave him the freedom to photograph on his own terms. He shares more in an interview:

L.K. How did you make a living?

Walker Evans: I had a night job on Wall Street in order to be free in the daytime. It paid for room and food. You didn’t have to sleep or eat much. In those days I was rather ascetic; I didn’t lead the bohemian life Crane led.

Takeaway point: Evans held a day job (or in this case, “night job”) in order to pay his bills which also gave him the freedom to photograph during the day as he’d like. I think in life freedom to do what you want is one of the most valuable things, more than material wealth or anything else. Many of us want more time to shoot on the streets, but we think that we need to work more to earn more money, which will give us more time to shoot on the streets. I used to believe this, but when I had my day job I actually found my job to suck way more physical and mental energy which could have been better used towards my photography.

Therefore realize that regardless of whatever your profession is, photography is your ultimate passion and whatever you do to pay the bills doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that you work as a photographer to pay the bills. Rather, I think it is a better strategy to hold a day job and work on your personal photography projects completely on your own terms (to prevent having professional photography gigs corrupt your personal photography work).

So remember at the end of the day, don’t spend so much time at work (this means not staying in the office after 6pm) that it robs time from your photography. Try to free up as much of your time to go out and shoot.


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103 Things I’ve Learned About Street Photography

By Eric Kim

Thought as we have our Street Photography Workshop next weekend, you might like to read about one Photographers 103 things he learnt about Street Photography Article.

Just remember they are Eric's thoughts on the subject not ours. A good read all the same.

1.  A good photo asks more questions than provides answers

2. 35mm as a focal length is generally ideal for most street photographers. 28mm is too     wide (most people don’t get close enough) and 50mm is too tight.

3. My keeper ratio : one decent shot a month, one shot I am proud of in a year.

4. When in doubt, take a step closer.

5. You will become a better photographer by asking people what they don’t like about       your shots (rather than what they like).

6. A harsh and constructive critique is better than a pat on the back.

7. A good photo critique needs (at least) 4 sentences online. Preferably 8 sentences or      more.

8. It isn't the quantity of social media followers you have that matters, rather then quality    of followed you have that matters.


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Tutorial // What to consider when buying a new camera for street photography

By Eric Kim

Street Photography is a big passion for many of our WECC members, so when Digital Photography Review team up with Eric Kim for a blog entry, we couldn't resist the temptation to share. 

Eric Kim

Eric Kim is one of the most prolific street photographers around, but he's also a keen blogger. In this article, originally posted on his site back in spring, he offers some advice on how to buy a new camera for street photography. Rather than a simple buyers' guide, though, Kim delves into the psychology of purchase decisions, citing research by psychologist Barry Schwartz which divides us into two categories - 'maximizers' and 'satisficers'.


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Eric Kim