Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm– These are the names most often heard when talked about cameras. Being a renowned photo editing company and a guide for photography, we often get asked what equipment setup makes for an appropriate photography studio for beginners and for professionals. More commonly, we are asked about the camera that photographers need.
We have already written an article on the camera equipment, so you can check it out. But in this article, we will be talking about the cameras that you might want to purchase and which one would be better in terms of the price, performance, and quality. We understand that everyone has their own preferences. Some may like Canon or Fujifilm, and some might prefer another brand. Therefore, to make this compatible with a wider array of audience, we will be reviewing cameras from different brands at different price ranges. The selection will be based on choosing cameras for product photography, but these cameras are appropriate for any type of photography in general.
What to consider before making a camera purchase?
Before deciding on that high-tech camera that you’ve always wanted to get hands-on, first know if it is worth it. Product photography is fun, but at the same time is also quite versatile. Various guidelines are maintained for each type of product photography. Let’s say, for example, you want to host your photos on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba, even point and shoot cameras will do the job. These sites don’t need any extra high-resolution images, in fact, images are compressed down to lower quality for better speed optimization.
However, for something more demanding such as shooting images for print, you will need a camera with a fairly high-resolution image output capability. Or let’s say you are photographing for a billboard ad. Due to the size, if the images are not really high-quality, the final output will come out crappy. Therefore, understand what you will be doing with the camera and make your decision.
What about using smartphone cameras?
Most Smartphones you can get your reach on in 2021 are respectably impressive. The newer models of the iPhone and Google Pexels can take outstanding images. But these come with various notable limitations. Firstly, these are mostly automatic. Only a few allow for a certain level of modification and certain software allows for more manual controls. Still, these can’t by any means compete with a dedicated camera setup.
More importantly, you can’t switch lenses on a smartphone. Some do offer add-on lenses but aren’t even that great. With a dedicated digital camera you will be able to gain full manual control over how your images look.
If the budget is really a serious factor, then going with a point and shoot might be a better option. These do offer some level of control. But still are out of the competition. Most don’t offer a swappable lens feature.
Choose the lens wisely
Although this article is about cameras, the lens is an equally important part that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Doesn’t matter how great your camera is, if the lens is cheap and low quality, the images will also be the same.
Beginner’s Camera Selection
If you are just starting out with product photography, or maybe photography in general, these are the cameras you should choose. You wouldn’t need anything substantially powerful.
Starting at just $500, the Nikon D3500 is a major win for any beginner. Its predecessor the D3400 was popular in itself and didn’t take much away from the D3500. In fact, this latest version updated to the latest APS-C sensor and also implemented further battery life enhancement. A single charge can get you over 1500 frames without issue. Because of the popularity, there will be no trouble finding lenses and other add-ons for this camera. Although doesn’t offer 4k recording capability, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if you are doing just photography. One thing that might bother some is that this DSLR camera doesn’t offer touch screen functionality. Otherwise, this is an excellent choice for most beginners.
Sony Alpha A6000
The Sony Alpha A6000 is a bit more expensive at just $650 but is an excellent pick considering it’s a Mirrorless. The digital viewfinder in some lower budget Mirrorless is fairly laggy. But the A6000’s viewfinder is very responsive, and more impressively, it uses an OLED panel for optimal color accuracy. You will get an instantaneous view as if it was from a traditional DSLR.
The built-in Wi-Fi is a blessing. You can immediately send your files OTA without worrying about losing any valuable data due to SD card issues. The ISO can be increased from the usual point of 100 to a staggering level of 25600. You would most likely don’t need that much but is definitely nice to have. Overall, this is another good camera we recommend for any beginner.
Cameras for Professionals
When you get more familiarity with product photography you will need to make adjustments with the gears you use. The camera is the first thing photographers replace. These listings below are some of the most popular ones recommended by professionals.
Canon EOS 5DS
The Canon EOS 5DS is amongst the most popular DSLR you can find in the market right now. It is definitely pricy but packs more features compared to some of its counterparts. Starting at $3000, this camera is not for everyone. The 50.6 Megapixels combined with the sophisticated full-frame CMOS sensor helps to achieve perfect realism and stunning clear image.
It comes with its advanced anti-flicker feature, which is able to properly maintain exposure under cycling light conditions. This feature will detect the frequency of light exposure and captures images at the peak brightness. This is extremely useful for professional studio photography. The user interface is also very intuitive. Users can very quickly and easily access the settings. Even beginners will find the navigation easy due to proper labeling and placement of features. This camera offers USB 3.0 for fast data transfer on PCs and printers. There’s also the wireless capability that users can make use of.
Fujifilm GFX 100
Medium format cameras! These are the cameras used by professionals for commercial use. Product photography may also include product videography. And medium formats are used for exactly that. The Fujifilm GFX 100 is one of those untraditional cameras that you only get your hands-on when you reach a certain professional level.
Unlike how these medium formats usually look, this camera is just slightly bigger than a DSLR. This camera has an unbeatable image quality output and can easily knock out a flagship DLSR or a mirrorless. The body alone will cost you $10,000. It has a 102Mp image sensor with 4 image-processing engine for outputting optimal 16-bit images. The body is made of magnesium alloy which makes it light and easily carryable. Definitely, it can take some studio quality images and videos with its 4k/30p motion capture. Assume you are doing product videography for a car company, then the GFX 100 is what you take along.
With a price tag of $48,000, the Hasselblad H6D-400C is the most expensive medium format camera on this list, and certainly, amongst the most priced DSLR camera you can buy right now. It has a 100MP 54.4×40.0mm CMOS sensor with the ISO ranging from as low as 64 to 12800, plus, a 15-Stop dynamic range.
You can make an entire Hollywood film using this camera. You will need huge storage space for using the H6D-400C. It will easily fillup gigabytes of spaces in a matter of minutes. This camera can record UHD 4k at 30fps and the images are saved in Hasselblad Raw Format. It also comes with its support for the mobile app for wireless connectivity. More information about this camera can be found online.
Don’t rush into buying the best that’s out there. You might think investing in an expensive camera will be worth it in the long run. But higher-end cameras come with more complicated features that might get anyone overwhelmed quickly. Therefore, starting with a beginner-friendly setup is always recommended. Most cheap cameras come with semi-automated featured geared towards new users. Make use of those and gradually move towards the manual mode. The most important thing to takeaway is that no matter what camera you choose, your skills will define the image quality. So, have patience and try to learn effectively.