When you’re working with the best camera for product photography, you can sell a product without writing a single word. While things like skill, experience, and a brilliant marketing campaign are also crucial to selling a product online or in a physical store, having visual aids that highlight the best details of your product can cater to audiences that, these days, are generally swayed by visuals. Very few are willing to buy a product they can’t see, which is why a successful commercial product photography project requires working with exceptional tools – like your camera.
But just like any product on the market, what’s expensive isn’t necessarily the best. At Stellar Studios, we know that a good camera for product photography doesn’t have to be costly and, as long as you know what you’re looking for in a product photography camera, you can easily find a reliable model that produces stunning results for your business or for your clients.
With that in mind, here are some product photography cameras that may be your best investment for getting stunning photos that can bring vibrance and versatility to your product shoot ideas. Find a camera that suits your needs, your budget, and the products you’re working with.
What Should I Look for in a Product Photo Camera?
Product photography is a totally different circus from the different types of photography. That’s why it’s important to note which features matter more and which ones you don’t have to invest in.
First, your subject is likely to be static, so shutter speed is more for the sake of how much light your lens capture (which can depend on what your lighting system is, which can range from a professional studio decked with large lighting, to a lightbox, to just plain natural lighting) rather than trying to avoid motion blur, especially if you have a reliable tripod. Ideally, your camera has impeccable white balance settings. You’ll want your photos to represent the true colors and hues of your product, and having to remove unrealistic color casts or change the color temperature to make the colors reflect the product’s natural vibrance can be a time-consuming process and additional cost on your part.
You’ll also want to work with a camera that can provide high-quality crystal-clear imaging (especially for reflective products like jewelry and glass). Cameras that offer lens versatility can also be useful if you want to toggle your aperture and focus. Features like megapixels also play a crucial role in your decision. Ideally, you should have a camera with at least 12 megapixels to get good-quality photos. However, the number of megapixels your photos have can affect loading and performance. If you’re taking photos to use for online content, you’re better off using less megapixels as you could end up reducing the image quality to upload your photos. But if you’re taking photos for print and publication materials, cameras with high megapixels can maintain the image quality, especially for bigger materials like posters.
Price can also be a consideration. While larger businesses have the means for a large studio decked out with top-of-the-line cameras and photography equipment, smaller businesses and startup photographers may want to opt for mid-range cameras and space-saving options like light boxes. You should have a realistic budget in mind on how much you can spend, and these cameras can give you an idea of what kind of products you can buy within your range.
Smartphones with at Least 12 Megapixels
Price: If you or anyone on your team already has a smartphone, you won’t need to spend a thing (though you may need to spend on other areas like lighting equipment). Otherwise, smartphones with at least 12 megapixels can start at P30,000.
- Many of the latest smartphone cameras have features that can be useful for product photography.
- Great for small businesses and startups with little to no budget for product photography.
- Some phones have multiple cameras that allow you more versatility.
- May not have the features to produce the best results.
- May not have some of the manual controls present in cameras.
- Will require additional photography equipment to compensate for lack of control.
Best for: Small business owners who have little to no budget for a good-quality professional camera but have access to one of the latest smartphones with advanced camera features.
If you’re a small business and you really don’t have the budget for a professional camera for taking product photos, you might find it more practical to take pictures with your phone rather than settling for a budget camera that doesn’t provide the same level of quality. The latest smartphones are equipped with state-of-the-art cameras that can provide high-quality results close to that of professional DSLRs. For a smartphone camera, get one with at least 12 megapixels.
Keep in mind, however, that depending on which smartphone is available to you, the quality might not be completely similar to professional cameras for product photography. Even photos taken by high-end cameras need some amount of retouching and editing, so depending on your product, the same can also apply to camera photos. Some smartphones also don’t have the manual adjustment settings that other cameras have, To stay on budget, you can invest in (or DIY) lighting equipment like light boxes or work in areas with plenty of natural light.
Price: The body alone can cost around Php 53,000 while getting the kit lens can reach around Php 59,000.
- Has reliable automatic features, making it a good point-and-shoot camera for beginners.
- Smart subject-tracking features, which can allow you to take better angles without having to adjust focus.
- Large sensor and the state-of-the-art image-processing engine makes it easier to capture images even in low-light settings.
- No image stabilization features.
- Reviews claim bad JPEG color rendering compared to similar models.
- Doesn’t have the increased detail of a full-frame sensor.
Best for: Small business owners and startup photographers that prefer automatic features over manual settings.
The Sony A6400 is a good point-and-shoot camera perfect for beginners and those who prefer reliable automatic features that can speed up the process. This is ideal for small business owners who want good quality, clear, crisp product images without having to toggle settings they’re unsure of.
This model offers 24 megapixels, making it a step up from your average smartphone specs. Don’t let its size fool you: this small camera comes with a number of automatic features that adjusts to your environment to produce the best results. On top of its image quality, its performance and control when it comes to movement mean that you have the flexibility to switch up your angles without having to constantly re-adjust your focus every time. And another one of its valued features is its compatibility with other Sony E lenses, providing you with even more ways to improve your product photography.
However, this camera has some limitations. This camera is meant for both photos and videos, so you might feel like the price of the camera isn’t worth the video features you aren’t using for photography. And while you can create a custom white balance with the body’s features, a few reviews online claim that there can be some JPEG color rendering issues on JPEG photos.
Canon EOS 90D DSLR
Price: The body alone starts at Php 83,000 while getting the additional 18-135mm lens costs extra.
- Good battery life and performance, smooth touchscreen UI for easier navigation.
- 45 focus points, allowing you to create different types of macros and other creative shots
- Excellent raw resolution and in-camera raw processing, which enhances your images and minimizes the need for retouches.
- The kit lens doesn’t have the best performance in low light, so additional equipment may be needed in certain types of environments.
- Doesn’t have in-body stabilization, so it’s best to take photos using a tripod.
- Compared to other cameras with larger sensors and APS-C, you could find other cameras that provide more resolution and dynamic range.
Best for: Photographers who want a mid-range DSLR who want quality and versatility in their investment.
Now we’re getting to the DSLRs. These are on the pricier side of DSLR cameras for product photography, with some of the cheapest models fetching around Php 30,000 for second-hand and budget options. But for professional photographers and startup product photography studios, this could be a worthwhile investment, especially if you get the right model with features most useful for product photography.
The 90D is a good mid-range option for photographers who want excellent image quality and versatile options within their studio. Although it’s better left on a tripod, the 90D provides precision crucial for products like jewelry or food that needs to emphasize even the smallest details of the product to really wow the audience. And with its 32.5-megapixel sensor, it’s one of Canon’s better models that offer a high resolution to capture even the most subtle details of your product.
While it’s a good camera, we should also cover some of the features it lacks. If you’ve browsed older Canon models, you might notice that the 90D isn’t that far off from Canon’s older versions. Depending on what your product is or who your clientele is, you might be better off investing a little bit more for Canon’s later models to really get the most out of Canon’s photography technology. There are also some issues with the sensor and performance, but it’s still overall a powerful mid-range camera good for a product photographer that wants the flexibility and performance of a DSLR in their hands.
Choose the Right Type of Product Photography Camera for the Best Results
The best camera for product photography can vary depending on a number of factors. When you’ve established what you need from your camera and how much you’re willing to invest, you can narrow down your options and work with what works best for your product photography.
At Stellar Studios, our professional photographers are fully-equipped to deliver the stellar images you need for your business. Our commercial product photography services highlight the best of what your product has to offer, providing you with the means to boost sales in an age where visuals are crucial to potential buyers. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.