My Favorite Street Photography Gear

100% – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor Superia 800

Street photography is a very popular genre, and I get asked fairly frequently what my favorite gear is for it. While I do dabble in street photography, it’s not my most common photographic subject; however, I’ve done enough street photography that I feel comfortable giving gear recommendations for it. In this article I’ll tell you what I use and why.

While there is no definitive explanation, street photography is best described as pictures of chance encounters in public places. It often takes place in urban environments (such as downtown city centers), but it is certainly not limited to that. Some will say that humans must be included in the pictures for it to be street photography, but others will argue that the effects of humanity within the environment is acceptable, and some believe that any urban image fits within the genre. It is commonly understood that street photography involves candid (unstaged) pictures, but some will state that it is the chance encounters that are most important, and it is okay to provide some direction to that randomness in order to create a stronger picture. In other words, there’s no universal answer to what exactly street photography is, but most of the time you recognize it when you see it.

Grandmother & Grandson – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Fujicolor Superia 100

If you’ve never done street photography but want to try, the first place to start is understanding the laws and customs of the place you are photographing. Each country is different, and it may even vary from specific location to specific location. You want to understand your rights as a photographer in a public location, and the rights of those potentially being photographed. Besides the legal question, there is the ethical one: should you? While something might be legally ok, it does not necessarily mean that it is moral. These are all things that you should consider before attempting any street photography. Research the local laws. Consider what you are comfortable photographing and why, and what you are not comfortable photographing and why not. I cannot emphasize this step enough, and I encourage you to spend some time on these questions before heading out with your camera.

After that, the next step is to go to a public place and capture some candid images. The most common location is an urban environment, such as the center of a large city, but it can be anywhere where people are. If you don’t have easy access to a large downtown, consider what is nearby where you live. Even if you live in a small town or a rural location, I bet there are opportunities nearby if you look hard enough.

Now, let’s discuss gear. To be clear, you can use any camera. I’ve done street photography with most of my gear. There are a few tools that I do prefer over others, but if you don’t have these don’t worry too much about it, because whatever gear you currently own is good enough. The list below is simply the cameras that I personally prefer for street photography.

Fujifilm X100V

This is my favorite camera for street photography. Actually, it’s my favorite camera, period. The Fujifilm X100V is my “desert island” model—if I could own only one camera for the rest of my life, it would be this. There are a few things that make it especially good for street photography.

First, it’s pretty small. It’s good for carrying as you walk around for awhile, and people don’t often get intimidated by it like they would with a larger body. Second, the leaf shutter is basically silent, and allows you to be more stealthy. Yes, electronic shutters are silent, too, but they do have a couple of drawbacks that might affect your photography (situationally dependent), so a silent mechanical shutter is an excellent feature. Third, the optical viewfinder allows you to see outside the frame to better anticipate the decisive moment. There are many other things that make the camera great, such as the build quality, weather sealing, traditional tactile controls, built-in ND filter, etc., etc.; this isn’t a review of the X100V, just some reasons why it is my favorite tool for street photography.

Perhaps the top thing that makes the Fujifilm X100V great for street photography are all the Film Simulation Recipes that you can program into the camera. Almost no matter the aesthetic you want to achieve, there is a Recipe that will allow you to get the look straight-out-of-camera, no editing needed. This can make street photography more fun, while saving you time and frustration later.

The only accessories that I commonly use on my X100V are a Hoage filter adapter, Fotasy UV filter, and 5% CineBloom filter (I only use one filter at a time).

Friendly Wave – Carlsbad, CA – Fujifilm X100V – Kodachrome 64
Paid Fare Zone – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X100V – CineStill 800T
Folding Chairs – Panguitch, UT – Fujifilm X100V – Kodak Tri-X 400

Fujifilm X100V in black:  Amazon   B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X100V in silver: Amazon   B&H  Moment

Ricoh GR III

The Ricoh GR III is a super small and compact camera that you can literally carry with you everywhere, since it fits so easily into a pocket or purse. If you own a Ricoh GR III, there is no excuse for not having it with you. Since photo opportunities aren’t always planned, it’s important to have quick access to a camera at all times, and this model makes it easy. I try to carry my GR III with me whenever I go out, even if it is just to the grocery store.

There are a few reasons why I like the GR III for street photography in particular. Since it is so small and unassuming, most people won’t figure you to be a photographer; if they even notice that you have a camera, they’ll likely think you are a snap-shooter or tourist, and will often disregard you. The 27.5mm (equivalent) lens gives a wide view, which can be good for showing context. Like the X100V, the GR III has a nearly silent leaf shutter. If you don’t want to be noticed, this camera is probably the best bet. There are certainly drawbacks to the GR III (no model is perfect), but for the size and weight it is pretty darn excellent.

There are Recipes for the Ricoh GR III, although not nearly as many as there are for the Fujifilm X100V. If you want to skip picture editing (called one-step photography), the GR III is a solid option that should be strongly considered. In fact, the Fujifilm X100V and the Ricoh GR III compliment each other, and can coexist comfortably in your camera bag.

Urban Crescent – Salt Lake City, UT – Ricoh GR III – Royal Supra
Speak Up or It Will Be Flat – Salt Lake City, UT – Ricoh GR III – Kodak Chrome
Bike with Basket – Scottsdale, AZ – Ricoh GR III – Aged Print

Ricoh GR III:  Amazon  B&H  Moment


Since you always have your phone, you always have a camera. If you accidentally left your “real” cameras at home, no worries! Your cellphone camera is a perfectly capable photographic tool. My current cellphone is an iPhone 11. I don’t think your cellphone make and model matter much—any cellphone camera will suffice—but I personally prefer Apple, since I can use the RitchieCam camera app, which is only available for iOS (click here).

The iPhone is great for street photography because nobody thinks twice about seeing someone with their phone out. Even if you do get “caught” capturing a picture, you can easily fake that you are taking a selfie or texting someone or some other typical phone action. Many cellphones have multiple focal length options, so they’re surprisingly versatile. My favorite accessory is the Moment Tele 58mm lens.

While I do use my phone for photography, I also use it for another important reason: Apps! Specifically, the Fuji X Weekly App (Android, Apple) and the Ricoh Recipes App (Android, Apple). In my opinion, those are essential tools to accompany your Fujifilm and Ricoh cameras.

Fame, Fortune – Moab, UT – iPhone 11 + RitchieCam App – Standard Film
Yield then Stop – Panguitch, Utah – iPhone 11 + RitchieCam App – Night Negative
Exxon in Winter – Moab, UT – iPhone 11 + RitchieCam App – Night Negative

Let me show you a few more street images that I captured recently.

The three above pictures, despite being pretty different overall, all have something in common (besides being street photography). If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to tune into SOOC Live on March 2. Nathalie Boucry and I will be discussing the theme of street photography, including things like gear and Film Simulation Recipes and such. Mark your calendars now! Be sure to subscribe to the SOOC Live YouTube channel so that you don’t miss out on all the great upcoming broadcasts.

See also: Elevating Your Street Photography with Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes + 5 Recipes to Try Today!

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.


  1. Hank R. · February 24

    Hi Ritchie:

    I really enjoy reading your posts, and learning about the film simulation recipes you create! I’ve also learned a lot about various film stocks.

    I wanted to let you know that “Fuji X Weekly” got a nice plug from Andrei Dima’s YouTube channel. You can see it at the 3:06 minute mark in the link below:

    Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this site!



    • Ritchie Roesch · February 27

      Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the kindness!

  2. Onno · February 24

    Nice post. I like to shoot urban environments, but not people up close & personal; it does not feel comfortable for me. I used to own an X100F and an X70. Never developed a relationship with the X100F; it is not pocketable and in that case, I rather shoot with an XT series; hardly bigger and much more flexible. Selling the X70 was a big mistake. I’d like to rebuy, but there’re hard to come by and prices are inflated. Same for the XF10, which at the time of introduction received lukewarm response and is now much sought after. I’m eyeballing the Ricoh GRIII for casual photography, but the colors do not seem to have that “pop” that you can get out of the Fuji’s. Also, people comment that it feels cheap and plasticky. What is your experience, Ritchie? The B&W images sure look good, though, and I love to shoot B&W. Shooting with an iPhone (currently have the 14) does not do anything for me. There is no sense of achievement in getting a picture “right”; shooting does not seem to require the slightest skill or effort. I’m a meagre amateur, but for me, photographing is 75% the process itself and 25% the results. With a phone, that process is just not engaging. Anyway, if I ever press the button on the Ricoh (the jury is still out), I’ll be sure to use you B&W recipes! All the best.

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 27

      The Ricoh GR feels less like a “real” camera than the Fujifilm X70 and other models, but it does deliver good results. I personally prefer Fujifilm pictures over Ricoh, but Ricoh is still good. If you can get the X70, I’d go with that, but if not, the GR models are decent enough.

  3. Francis.R. · February 27

    The only place in the world with legal issues about street photography is continental Europe and, while I wouldn’t call it discrimination, I think it is rather an issue of cultural eurocentrism. Their issues with what they call “right to image” (for both people and buildings) goes to dust when they travel to Peru and start doing a lot of street photography, I guess in the grounds that they see us exotic, but apparently we cannot see them exotic xP. But cultures are different, when our politicians tried to make it illegal there were protests against it, as the prohibition was proposed after many citizens recorded them using state property as cars or budget from taxes for their personal profit. Said that I think there are two type of cameras that makes oneself acceptable and non threatening to the persons: one has to look totally casual with cameras that look compact, or one has to have very professional cameras to point one is a photographer working. Outside of touristic places bridge cameras or normal DSLRs make people nervous, more like maybe the person behind the camera has been send by banks or so.
    I adore that you can use your cellphone with the apps you yourself made : D

    • Ritchie Roesch · February 27

      I think there is a question of whether it is better to be sneaky or obvious. If you are sneaky, you won’t offend people who don’t notice you, but it’s kind of creepy if you think about it. If you are obvious it might offend people (because they notice), but at least you are being open and upfront about what you are doing. I’m not sure what the “right” or “best” method is, but either way I do think the golden rule should fit into it somehow.

      • Francis.R. · February 28

        I think it is not creepy if the persons are just to give scale or mood to that organisms that are cities. A portrait of a stranger doesn’t tell much, except it is a musician or, let’s say, a sailor in the harbor.

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