Which camera is best for use in product photography? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among those pursuing this profession or looking to do their own merchandise photo shoots for commercial purposes. Everybody knows how impactful stunning photos are. Brilliant looking snaps are the game changer in ecommerce and as a result, the perfect cameras, lenses and other equipment are constantly being sought after. But at what price?
While most cameras including those of mobile devices such as iphones work just fine, every optical device produces its own quality standard and it is upon the user to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice in terms of money, quality, creativity and comfort. Also, besides a camera, lenses**** are equally or maybe even more critical when it comes to images quality and must be selected carefully too.
Cameras with interchangeable lenses are best for product photography. This is because they allow users to switch lenses depending on suitability towards a subject particularly specialized lenses such as macro or tilt and shift. Also, one can start with a general purpose lens and keep adding more specialized lenses as they go without necessarily getting a new body. That notwithstanding there are good fixed lens cameras for product photography too. Here are our three picks.
- Compact -Best price
This is a small, digital, fixed lens camera. A distinct feature is the absence of a mirror to reflect images such that light goes directly to the sensor. Most models come in full auto mode with lots of presets while a few others have semi manual features. It is also lies in the lowest price tier making it an affordable option. The biggest downside as a camera for your wares is the minimal manual features which limit settings manipulation, a key aspect for perfecting these kinds of shots. Also, its flash is often too close to the lens affecting light balance and being too harsh on an image. A 10 megapixel with macro settings takes some pretty nice shots if you are really looking for a floor priced option, otherwise, for breathtaking films, you might have to look elsewhere for a better result.
- DSLR -Best picture quality
For sharp, clear, high calibre images of your inventory, a DSLR is the best you can get. It permits more light to go in and has outstanding pixel density. It also utilizes a reflex mirror and optical view finder that allows a photographer to preview an image being projected by the lens before clicking away. Unlike a compact where light passes through, here, it hits the mirror bouncing an image to the view finder. It has lens interchanging capabilities too. However, the mounts are unique and will not fit into a different lens model from the camera. What makes this selection impressive for product shoots is its full manual settings allowing for proper ISO, white balance and shutter speed manipulation. This can however be complicated if you do not have a clear grasp of photography settings at the back of your hands; not the best for learners and entry level photographers. The biggest drawback for this camera would be its price which is at the peak. Otherwise it is one of the best investments you can ever make.
- Mirrorless interchangeable lens compact -Best mid range
Bearing close resemblance to the compact, a mirrorless’ only difference is that it has a slot for changing of lenses. It has no reflex mirror and the viewer depends on an LCD screen. Some modern models allow the view finder to be purchased as a separate unit and fixed. It possesses more manual settings than a compact but is less complex than a DSLR and also way easier on users. If you need something intermediate level in terms of quality, complexity and price, a mirrorless would be the perfect choice.