Famous portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz has a lot of cameras in her collection. Over the years, she’s used the Canon EOS 5D series, 1D X series, the Mamiya RZ67, and more.
My name is Caleb, and I’ve been a photographer for over four years. I’ve gotten a good feel for what to look for in a camera during that time, using that knowledge to break down Annie Leibovitz’s camera setup in this article.
If you’re interested in which cameras Annie uses and what advantages are offered by which models, keep reading for a full overview.
What Camera Does Annie Leibovitz Use?
As expected of a famous photographer with a long-running career, Annie Leibovitz uses a wide variety of cameras. These days, her collection is primarily digital and has high-end models from multiple brands.
Canon EOS 5D Series
Leibovitz is a known user of the Canon EOS 5D series, specifically the Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV models.
The 5D series has some of Canon’s top full-frame DSLR designs from over the years, with each of the camera bodies boasting a larger amount of features as well as a higher cost.
All the cameras in the 5D series are still usable right now, despite the age of the older models.
That’s largely because the first couple of 5D models were revolutionary when they came out, leading the way for improvements in image quality and making full-frame digital cameras more accessible.
The latest entry in the series, the EOS 5D Mark IV, carries on that legacy of improvement by adding a 30.1-megapixel sensor. That kind of detail makes it easy to see why Leibovitz sometimes uses the Mark IV for her portraits.
Canon 1D X Series
The Canon EOS-1D X and its successors are also some of the company’s flagship cameras and are priced accordingly.
This family of cameras isn’t seen as much among portrait photographers. Because of the fast speed found in the 1D X and its successor models, it’s more popular in the realm of sports photography.
The latest entry into the series, the EOS-1D X Mark III, might be the last flagship DSLR that we’ll see from Canon in a long time. Canon is reportedly moving to mirrorless and isn’t planning on following up the Mark III with another DSLR.
The Mark III will also go down as one of Canon’s most advanced cameras, as it can shoot 5.5K video at up to 60 frames per second.
Furthermore, its 191 autofocus points are a further help for getting crisp and focused images even in challenging situations such as a fast-moving sports match.
Annie Leibovitz is also known to use Hasselblad medium format cameras with digital backs.
Hasselblad’s cameras are hard to come by compared to other brands, both because of their limited production and their prohibitively high price.
Their cameras are known for their large sensor and extreme image quality, making them suitable for fields such as art and fashion photography, where capturing the small details is important.
It’s unclear which Hasselblad model Leibovitz uses. With that being said, we do know that she uses digital backs with her Hasselblads.
Fujifilm GFX 100S
Leibovitz also uses the Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format camera, which costs much less than a Hasselblad but is still quite expensive for the average photographer.
However, the cost is more or less justified by the high specs that are expected of a medium format camera. The sensor is a whopping 102 megapixels, and this model also has in-body stabilization and autofocus.
It’s not as large and bulky as some medium format cameras, making it easier to use for photographers with limited space to work with.
In 2022, Leibovitz notably used the GFX 100S as her camera of choice for a pregnancy photoshoot with popular singer Rihanna.
Rounding out the modern cameras used by Annie Leibovitz is the Nikon D810, a DSLR with a powerful 36.3-megapixel sensor.
This camera has more than a good censor, however. It also has a 51-point autofocus system, an image processor with noise reduction, and an ISO range that is expandable to 51,200.
While these specs aren’t the absolute best that Nikon can offer, they provide good performance for a lower price than the Nikon D850 that succeeded this model.
What Cameras Has Annie Leibovitz Used Before?
Annie Leibovitz has had a long photography career, and a decades-long career means plenty of chances to use different cameras. While her camera setup is mainly digital now, she started out with film cameras.
Leibovitz was using medium format cameras before they ever went digital. In fact, she originally started with the Mamiya RZ67.
This is a medium format film camera that has stood the test of time. Some photographers still use it for the nostalgia factor of film photography.
It’s more than just a nostalgia camera, however. It has a sturdy build quality, and the variety of available lenses are still praised as excellent to this day.
The RZ67 is also smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the RB67. Of course, it still has the increased size that is usually expected of a medium format camera. But it’s not as large and unwieldy as some other models from the same category.
The lenses for the RZ67, which have been heavily praised, come in a wide variety of ranges to cover any type of shot you might think of.
Minolta SR-T 101
Another film camera used by Annie Leibovitz before the turn of the millennium is the Minolta SR-T 101 35mm camera.
It’s a fairly old design, having come out in 1966 originally. The camera was also mass-produced, and a large amount of cameras in circulation has kept the aftermarket prices from inflating too much.
This model is entirely mechanical, and the basic design and high quality of the build means a used model is likely to hold up well despite its age.
With that being said, you aren’t going to get modern bells and whistles with this one. That, however, is to be expected when the camera design is from 1966.
Before we wrap up, here are some popular questions about Annie Leibovitz and her methods.
Does Annie Leibovitz Use A Tripod?
Yes, Annie Leibovitz does use a tripod. In fact, she has claimed that the tripod is one of the most important pieces of equipment for a photographer.
What Lighting Does Annie Leibovitz Use?
Annie Leibovitz is known for using a simple lighting setup consisting of a single light as well as one umbrella to soften the light.
Annie Leibovitz uses a diverse range of cameras, from the popular EOS 5D series to the powerful Hasselblad medium format line. However, earlier in her career, she used classic film cameras such as the Mamiya RZ67 and the Minolta SR-T 101.
Do you have any questions or comments about the cameras in Annie’s collection? Have you used any of these models yourself? Tell us about it in the comments.