With the surge in the popularity of online shopping over the past several years, the way we purchase new things as consumers has changed completely. When purchasing something online, there is no way to reach out and feel the item, or see the item in the flesh to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. Instead, we rely on a product description and detailed product images to show us exactly what we will be receiving.
For sellers, it’s obvious that the most important factor when it comes to producing high-quality images that really sell your product is the camera; but which one should you choose? Luckily, our team have reviewed several cameras that are ideal for specifically for shooting product images, and we have narrowed our favorites down to a list of just 5.
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If you are struggling to find the best camera for product photography, you can’t go wrong with any of our top picks. Here is an overview of them all:
The Absolute Best Product Photography Camera On The Market!
The first camera on our list – and probably one of the most popular DSLR cameras on the market – is the D7200 from Nikon. We wouldn’t recommend this camera to a beginner photographer, or to anyone who has never had experience with a DSLR camera before, as it’s not the easiest camera to come to grips with. However, if you are looking for the best camera for product photography, and you are comfortable using the manual modes of a DSLR camera, the D7200 would be our best recommendation to you. Now, let’s dive into the specifics…
The D7200 is not what we would qualify as a light camera, with the body alone weighing around a pound a half, but when it comes to taking pictures of stationary products, the weight becomes less of an issue, and the additional dials and buttons that pack this camera with more features than most others on the market are, more than welcome. It’s also weatherproof, if that’s something you are looking for.
What impressed us the most when we were testing the D7200 was its ability to capture the warmth, and the subtleties of the products that were shooting. Canon DSLR cameras are famous for their superior image quality, but there was something surprisingly unique about the D7200s ability to perform in all light conditions, while still picking up all of the tiny details of the items we were photographing. When combined with efficient lighting (which is crucial for product photography), this heavyweight DSLR will produce product images to rival the best of the best. You will have no problem bringing out the best from your products if you decide to go with the D7200 – that we guarantee.
Our Final Verdict…
We were already fans of the Canon D7100 when we managed to get a hold of the D72000, but we were sold on the improvements within an hour of testing. The two cameras are very similar aesthetically, and they do have a lot of similarities, but when it comes to taking product photographs, there is only one winner. The better ISO and shutter speeds will add a depth and character to your product images, and the addition of built-in WIFI will allow you to share your images as fast as you can take them.
If you have got the money to invest in a top-of-the-range camera, we would highly recommend that you go with this one.
The Second Best DSLR For Product Photography Available
Another high-end DSLR camera for the camera enthusiasts is the Mark 3, from the EOS 5D series by Canon. While it’s true that there are newer releases in the EOS series, we figured that the Mark 3 is where we would draw the line when it comes to product photography. Although the new Mark IV is an absolute beast of a camera, and undeniably has more features and better specifications than the Mark 3, the improvements are not necessarily going to benefit us, as product photographers.
The two stand out features of the Mark 3 are the 22.3-megapixel sensor and the incredible ISO range of 100 – 25600. This camera is capable of capturing the true likeness of any environment, regardless of the lighting conditions. Given that, it performs extremely when taking stills of a stationary product, on a flat surface with direct lighting and white backdrops. The Mark 3 can also record 1080p HD video at a continuous 6.0 frames per second, which is perfect for those who need to produce video reviews of your products without losing picture quality and clarity.
A few of the additional features that makes this camera stand out are its HDR and multiple exposure capabilities, an iFCL metering system, a professional-grade optical viewfinder and a 3.2-inch LCD screen with over 1 million dots.
Our Final Verdict…
Again, the Mark 3 is not the best choice for beginner photographers, so we wouldn’t recommend this camera to those who are new to the world of product photography (unless you are willing to learn). For the true photography aficionado, you will have a hard time finding a camera that will challenge you, but at the same time reward you with the best product images you have ever laid your eyes on. If image quality is important to you, then this is the camera we would recommend.
The Third Best Digital Camera For Product Photography
A camera that we would happily recommend to a beginner photographer is the PowerShot G16 from Canon. It’s a compact digital camera, with a 12.1-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom, a DIGIC 6 image processor and built-in wireless sharing capabilities.
The star of the show inside of the G16’s tough, but modern looking exterior is the DIGIC 6 image processor, which is essentially the driving force that takes this camera from a 7/10 to a 10/10. The DIGIC 6 image processor, when combined with the 12.1-megapixel sensor can produce excellent quality images, even in low-light conditions (up to ISO 12800). It also provides a welcome speed increase to both the shutter and the auto-focus, both of which are paramount to good quality video recording, or capturing images in a fast-paced environment.
What’s great about the G16 is the fact that it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. The design is slim, the hand grips are comfortable, and it’s compact enough to easily travel with. Simply throw the G16 on a quality tripod, set up your products and you are ready to start shooting. The auto-focus is good enough to start capturing high-quality shots straight out of the box.
Our Final Verdict…
The G16 is an absolute gem of a camera. It’s not as expensive as the DSLR cameras on this list, but it’s more than capable of producing consistent images that will showcase your products in all of their glory. It’s lightweight, its fast and it’s perfect for beginners.
The Fourth Best Camera For Product Photography
The cheapest camera on this list, and in our opinion the best value for money is the X-M1 from Fujifilm. First of all, it’s a really good looking camera. It’s also available in three different colors. For those who are used to using DSLR cameras, the drop to an X-M1 would substantial in terms of both image quality and available features, but for those who are new to the scene and need a compact digital camera that is perfect for product photography, the Fujifilm X-M1 is a great choice.
What makes this camera perfect for beginners is the fact that all of the controls and dials are situated on the right hand side of the camera, and can control pretty much every function with just one finger. Again, for more experienced photographers, this design may seem a little bit gimmicky and underwhelming, but for those who need something easy to use, it’s absolutely perfect.
The camera itself has a 16.3-megapixel sensor, can shoot up to ISO 6400 out of the box, can shoot 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, has a tiltable 3-inch LCD screen and has built-in WIFI capabilities. It can shoot in both RAW and JPEG format, and is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory.
Our Final Verdict…
Don’t let the price point of the X-M1 fool you – In regards to image quality, it can definitely hang with some of its chunkier, heavier DSLR cousins. You won’t be shooting any award-winning photographs with this camera, but with the right lighting and set up, you can capture product images that are worthy of being featured on any e-commerce website.
An All Round Good Camera For Product Photography
Pentax are one of the lesser known brands in the DSLR camera world, but that doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the K50. While it’s true that you may struggle to find the perfect lens or accessory if you ever need to customize your camera, due to the limited number of manufactures catering for this lesser known brand, you still have more than enough to provide good quality, consistent product images.
The image quality, we found to be on par with any other entry-level DSLR camera we have ever tested. The images were sharp, full of color and looked extremely clear when transferred to a desktop computer screen. Unfortunately, the K50 can only record 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, which is a considerable drop when compared to the 60fps that most DSLR cameras can shoot at.
With that being said, if your main goal is to produce perfect quality product images for your online store, with less focus on video production, the Pentax K50 is a great choice. Being an entry-level DSLR, the features are powerful, but not necessarily difficult to use, so if you are a rookie photographer and you want to gain some experience with a well-rounded DSLR camera, this is the one we would recommend.
Our Final Verdict…
The Pentax K50 is a solid entry-level DSLR camera that is perfect for product photography. The camera itself is sturdy and completely water sealed, making it perfect for shooting in all environments. For the price point, you can’t go wrong.
Still Struggling to Decide Which Camera Is Right for You?
As with most forms of photography, the endless number of factors that will determine the type of camera you need for your specific requirements can be overwhelming, to say the least. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee at an e-commerce company or simply someone who wants to start selling a few bits and bobs on eBay or Etsy, your product images are a huge contributor to your overall success. The better your product images turn out, the more likely they are to sell – it’s as simple as that.
If you are still struggling to decide which product photography camera is the best choice for you, we have put together a buyer’s guide which we hope will shed some light on the most important factors that you need to consider when making your final decision.
What Type of Camera Do I Need?
The first, and probably the most important question you need to ask yourself, is “What type of camera do I need?”. There are several different types of cameras that are designed for specific types of photography.
One benefit of using a camera for product photography is that your choices are not limited to just one type of camera. This allows you to choose a camera that is within your budget, rather than being forced to fork out considerably more than you can afford.
There are three main types of camera that you will typically find in the hands of a product photographer…
Point and shoot cameras are generally the least expensive of the three, but with a drop in price comes a drop in quality and features, as you would expect. However, that doesn’t mean that a point and shoot camera is not capable of producing excellent product images. Most modern point and shoot cameras are more than capable of capturing high resolution images that are worthy of any online store. If you are looking for a budget friendly camera, or a camera that is more beginner inclined, then a point and shoot will be the best option for you.
The camera with the most flexibility, and the overall better image quality capabilities is the DSLR. What makes DSLR cameras so powerful is the ability to change the lens whenever you see fit. If you need to upgrade your lens in the future, or if you need to swap and change between different lenses that are more suited to a specific product, scenario or environment, a DSLR camera will allow you to do that. The only downside to DSLR cameras is the cost. You can expect to pay upwards of a few thousand dollars for a top of the range DSLR, not to mention the cost of the lenses and other accessories.
If you are looking for something that has the image quality of a DSLR camera, but the ease-of-use and compactness of a point and shoot camera, a mirrorless is probably the right choice for you. Mirrorless cameras are lightweight, easy to use and can produce images that are on par with some mid-range DSLR cameras. However, the downside to mirrorless cameras is the inability to change lenses or to customize the camera to your own specific needs. If flexibility is something that you are willing to sacrifice, but at the same time want something a little better than a point and shoot, a mirrorless camera is the perfect choice.
The biggest contributing factor when it comes to choosing the best camera for your specific needs is undoubtedly your budget. If you need the cream of the crop and you have the budget to accommodate, we would highly recommend that you go with a DSLR camera with all of the trimmings. If you are a small-time seller who needs simple product images for your small business, then a point and shoot camera will be the easiest one to use, and will be easier on your wallet. Lastly, if you want something that can blend the best of both worlds, we would suggest that you go with a mirrorless camera.
With all of that being said, it’s worth noting that your product images are an integral part of the online selling experience, and they have the power to either make or break the success of your business. The better the camera, the better the product images will ultimately be, so while we still recommend establishing a budget when you are shopping for a new product camera, it’s definitely not something that you want to skimp on.
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