Fujifilm X-T2 – Amazing mirrorless camera for commercial photography.
Nikon D610 – Best affordable full-frame DSLR for product shots in 2019.
Let’s get started.
Best Budget Nikon DSLR for Product Photos
Type: Mid-size SLR
Weight: 765 g
Resolution: 6000 x 4000
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C
LCD screen: Fixed, 3.2″, 1.2M dot RGBW
Weather sealed: Yes
ISO: Auto, 100-25600
The DX-format matrix of this Nikon has no optical low-pass filter (OLPF).
Nikon D7200 produces sharp, radiant images in a 24.2 MP resolution and rarely creates digital noise. It has the same AF system installed that they use on pro level DSLRs. Surely clarity of focus does not need to be described.
It might not be fully suitable for shooting garments, though, as it doesn’t feature a shock-proof filter.
Still, I place it among the best cameras for product photos.
If we compare with its predecessor, D7200 got an enlarged battery capacity that can last through a 1000-shot working session before having have to charge it.
With this quick f/1.8 aperture lens, you’ll definitely get incredible shallow depth-of-field images.
It will gently blur the background (for product lifestyle photos) and focus your attention on the primary object in the shot.
Best Canon Camera for Product Photography
Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Type: Mid-size SLR
Resolution: 6000 x 4000
Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C
LCD screen: Versatile 3.0-inch vari-angle
Weather sealed: No
ISO: 100 – 25600 (expands to 51200)
This Canon DSLR, apart from boasting the finest 24MP sensor, received a recently developed great feature – the two-pixel autofocus.
Its capabilities make it the best camera for jewelry photography.
I find the articulated screen particularly helpful. It gives access to new angles and perspectives. The device is great for people who don’t have a lightbox or those who just don’t like to constantly check the image in the viewfinder.
Beginners will appreciate the teaching guide and quickly find their way through the easy interface. Another great feature is Bluetooth. It creates different possibilities to control the gadget remotely.
Best Mirrorless Camera for Product Photography
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
Type: SLR-style mirrorless
Resolution: 4608 x 3456
Sensor: 16.1MP 4/3 Live MOS
LCD screen: 3.0-inch tilting monitor
Weather sealed: No
ISO: Auto, 200 – 25600 (expands to 100-25600)
Have a look at this model if you’re an amateur photographer.
If you want to take shots for further printing or sharing on stock websites, the quality requirements are higher.
The photo can be shrunk for digital use, while image printing greatly depends on the way your DSLR captures the scene, renders colors, textures, etc.
Camera Features to Pay Attention to:
The majority of commercial photographers use mirrorless and DSLRs. This happens because of certain features only these camera types can boast of.
Though all types have an Auto mode, professional photographers use it only in rare cases.
The thing is that cameras can’t always accurately evaluate the situation and choose the best settings needed, so shooters control and configure it manually in accordance with shooting and lighting conditions.
That’s why, you need a camera with a manual mode.
Even if you have little or even no experience of how to shot in this mode, you will quickly figure everything out if you practice a lot. In fact, there are many guides and video tutorials that you may use.
In addition, manual mode increases the lens focus. This means that photographing even tiny earrings or pins, you will have every detail clearly visible.
Taking product images, you can notice that a sensor isn’t always accurate.
This is the most frequent problem with jewelry shots. In such cases, it is so great to have a chance to select the perfect shutter speed, ISO value, aperture, etc. To represent colors in the most natural manner, you can also regulate the white balance.
All this makes a manual mode a decisive factor for many photographers.
Video Recording Function
Being engaged in product photography, you may need not only to take pictures but also record videos, so check whether your gear has such a function.
For example, your client may order a 360° view of the product and you need a suitable DSLR to cope with this task. Mind this while choosing the equipment.
Mainly all modern products have video recording capabilities, but if you can’t afford buying a new model, and are about purchasing an older device, check whether it offers video shooting features.
Besides, opt for gear with auto focus for videos, otherwise, you will need a tripod to hold your digital camera steady. Again, new models can please users with this parameter.
The most pleasant feature of mirrorless and DSLRs is removable lenses. What is the point of using only a kit lens, if there is a variety of cool models that suit different photoshoots?
For instance, you need macro lenses for jewelry photography, while 24-70mm lenses are the best bet for fashion shooting.
Attaching a suitable lens to DSLR or mirrorless body, you get more possibilities to take brilliant shots.
You may affirm that point-and-shooters, as well as mobile phones, have advanced built-in cameras. Still, they can’t compete with removable lens bodies.
What Specification to Consider:
This is the feature that defines the differences between mirrorless and DSLRs for product photography most vividly. As for specification, some will show themselves better than others.
The Number of Megapixels
Ask about the number of megapixels before buying a camera for product shots.
The bigger the number, the better the quality and the more controllable details in the shot are. This also makes further photo post processing more effective.
Another advantage is the possibility to accurately crop pictures and print them in a big format without detail loss. The compression won’t be so severe, so you can play with the composition without risks.
If you wish to cooperate with professional photography agencies, you need to specify the number of megapixels your DSLR has. Fortunately, there are many brands that produce models with decent MP number and don’t cost a fortune.
(The best examples are Sony A7, Nikon Df and Canon EOS 6D Mark II.)
Camera Performance in Low Light Conditions
Don’t expect that you will always shot in a studio with ideal lighting setup.
So, look for the cameras that work equally good in poor lit places and bright locations. The best variant is a device with sensitive sensor and insignificant noise level at high ISO.
To check it, compare images taken with different SLRs at the same ISO values. For example, Canon 5D Mark II shows worse results than Canon 5D Mark IV.
Improved AF System in Newer Models
Though manual focusing gives you better control over the shooting process, sometimes you can’t do without its auto analog.
It becomes irreplaceable when you are limited in time, but don’t want to compromise the photo quality because of the haste.
New models feature great auto focus systems both for dynamic and motionless shooting, while older models are more suitable for photographing static products.
Be very attentive when selecting the lens, as it affects the final result even more than the body.
The Color Spectrum of a Camera
Every camera has a specific color spectrum. Some are vibrant, while others are colder or warmer.
There are photographers, who greatly rely on image editing and believe that they will be able to alter the coloring of a shot as much as they want. In fact, it is not so easy.
So better choose a model with an advanced color range such as Nikon D850 or Sony A7 III.
Best Product Photography Cameras for 2019
The choice of a perfect camera for product photography won’t be so tough, if you mind all the above-mentioned recommendations.
There are lots of quality DSLRs and mirrorless bodies from world-known brands that you can use to take professional product images.
Study the market carefully and choose something to your taste and budget.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Hey guys, this is Zarina here.
I hope you enjoyed Ann’s post on the best cameras for product photography for 2019!
I’d like to hear from YOU:
What’s your skill level: beginner, intermediate, advanced?
What’s the exact product photography genre are you into: jewelry, food, clothes etc?
What do you think of Ann’s recommendations for product shots?
Any questions? Suggestions? Recommendations?
Let us know in the comments below!
Buying Guide: 5 Best Cameras for Product Photography in 2019 (Guest Post)