The product marketing industry is growing exponentially today, and it has honestly been an excellent option for professional photographers to showcase their skills.
Whether you are a newbie in product photography or a professional who has landed a significant product photography project, one factor can make it or break it for you: a good quality camera.
There is no denying that your skills and experience also hold a lot of importance. However, the right equipment can act as the cherry on top and offer you that support boost.
Choosing the perfect camera for product photography with the correct lenses is crucial in bringing out the best in the subjects.
You want a camera that will help you capture those pixel-perfect shots and offers good image quality, required white balance settings, and enough lens choices to dial in the required aperture and artfully blur the background.
So without any further ado, let’s dive right into my top recommendations for the best camera for product photography.
The 7 best cameras to choose from if you’re a product photographer.
Here are my top 7 picks if you are looking for the best suitable camera for product photography. Along with the features, you will get to know about the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right decision according to your needs.
1. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera.
Panasonic is one brand that does not need any introduction. If you are someone who loves capturing pictures portraying every super detail, this is the best companion for the job. Shooting excellent quality content in 4K while being affordable at the same time is a tough criterion to fit in. However, this beauty checks both the points.
Thanks to the 18.1MP MOS image sensor, it offers that signature Panasonic image quality. The camera boasts a super long 20-1200nm (60X) LUMIX VC VARIO lens along with a super bright aperture range of F2.8-5.9. The Panasonic Power O.I.S technology helps to stabilize the range optically.
Want to capture fast-paced videos? No worries because the high resolution 4K video Technology helps you capture every moment in exquisite detail. You also get the option to capture printable photos with 4K Photo’s blistering 30fps burst feature.
To sweeten the deal a bit further, the post focus and focus stacking feature allows you to change the depth field of the image or focus points after you have captured the shot.
You are also getting the low light mode, where you can enjoy photography during the nighttime and still get impressive results.
Coming to design, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 has to get some bonus points since it is highly compact, lightweight and straightforward to handle. Like the other Panasonic cameras, this also has a curved shape for better grip. The handle has a textured finish to further help you get a steady hold.
However, if we have to deduct one point, it would be because of the fixed LCD display. However, it still manages to do its job well due to its decent size of 3 inches.
The camera is relatively simple to use, but a few buttons might take a little getting used to if you are a complete newbie, like the photo mode, manual mode, and buttons for controlling shutter speed. You are also getting a memory card slot.
And last but not least, you get USB charging support and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device, making it super travel friendly.
- The zoom range of the camera is fantastic.
- Superb image quality and 4K video.
- Battery life is exceptional.
- Value for money according to performance.
- The LCD screen is fixed.
- It might take some time to learn how to operate.
2. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera.
If you have used the T6 model, you will find that this particular model is quite similar. However, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR camera offers you better picture quality, good control over your images and sports a higher 24.1MP sensor. And of course, there are some performance improvements which give it a slight edge.
Again, it does not lose any points regarding affordability as the price is quite reasonable. With its EF-S 18-55mm IS II lens, it offers good picture quality, and even those who are new to DSLRs will find it easy to use.
A DIGIC 4+ image processor is not the fastest in the industry, but it still does its job pretty well. The autofocusing technology is powered by a 9 point system and helps you to create off-center compositions and experiment around a little with negative space.
The camera’s body is made of plastic, and the buttons might come across as a little stiff. But the dials are marked clearly. The external controls offer one-touch access to some of the essential shooting parameters, including ISO, and the capability to adjust white balance, drive and focus modes.
The camera’s pop-up flash can cover a distance of up to 30 feet. So, if your subject is within 15 feet of you, this feature can be highly effective. The input/output compartment is encased in a rubber flap.
However, the screen does not tilt, and hence you cannot see it if the camera is pointed at you. Talking specifically about the design, there is a rubber eyecup around the viewfinder which can feel uncomfortable against your eye if you use the camera for long shoots.
The handgrip is decent and has a textured surface that gives you a secure grip. If you want to adjust the aperture, you will have to hold a separate button while turning the command dial.
- 9.5 autofocusing mechanism.
- Fairly easy to use.
- Full HD video recording.
- Outstanding image quality and white shutter speed range.
- The rear LCD screen is fixed.
- Construction is slightly bulky and feels cheap.
- No 4K video shooting feature.
3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
This one is definitely a favourite of many and has the best features of Olympus packed into one. With the latest sensor, autofocus and camera features while eliminating the bulky construction, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III deserves a spot in this list of the best cameras for product photography.
This model is much lighter and better than its predecessor. Instead of 16MP, it boasts 20MP. Moreover, the autofocus feature is much better, and the image stabilization system has been enhanced.
This camera features the latest and the highest resolution 20MP MFT sensor and is a fantastic option for individuals enthusiastic about photography and even semi-professional photographers.
Talking about the specifications, it features 127 phase-detection AF points, 4K UHD at 30p, 10fps mechanical shutter, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, and much more.
Honestly, there is a lot of technology and features involved with this camera, and while you’ll find some of them in the rival options, you won’t see some of the rest.
Again, this camera is not exactly designed for professionals and is also not one of the cheapest options you will get in the market with these specifications. However, I can assure you that the combination of features and the performance at the price point will definitely seem appealing.
The construction is weather-sealed, which means it is splash, dust, and freeze resistant. This beauty ticks all the boxes and offers you 10fps continuous shooting with the mechanical shutter when it comes to action photography.
While in the Pro Capture mode, you get 30fps with the focus locked on the first film. And with continuous AF, you get 15fps.
Another feature worth mentioning is that as soon as you half-press the shutter release, it immediately starts buffering images.
The brand claims that all the parts have been miniaturized in this latest model to create the most compact design possible. The image stabilization has also been improved and offers up to 5.5EV shake compensation.
The four-way controller might seem small, but it is equally effective. The rear screen does not only offer tilt, but it is a fully vari-angle type screen. Hence, you can always flip it around effortlessly.
The video credentials of this camera are supplemented by an exclusive “Flat” mode, which provides more effective grading later on. You are also getting focus bracketing and in-camera focus stacking.
The former lets you combine the images later in the Olympus workspace image editing software, and in the latter, the camera automatically combines 8 separate photos in-camera.
Talking about the performance, you will have to spend a little time if you want to get comfortable with the different AF modes and area patterns to figure out which particular setting suits your subject the best.
The shots captured in the daylight look beautiful, vibrant, but natural at the same time with crystal clear image detail. The dynamic range is also pretty decent.
Olympus has cleverly tried to incorporate many technologies and features in this particular model. And I suggest you not judge the camera by its size.
- Compact size and easy to handle.
- Great in-body stabilization.
- The camera body is weatherproof.
- Portable and perfect for travelling.
- Clear and crisp picture quality.
- Battery life could have been better.
- The quality of the body feels cheap.
4. Sony Alpha A230L 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera.
A replacement for the popular A200 model, the Sony Alpha A230 is a solid entry-level option that has managed to gain a large number of fans. This camera was designed to make it user-friendly for people new to SLR to photography.
The features of this camera are mostly similar to its higher-priced sibling, the A330. You are getting a 2.7 inch LCD screen, ISO range of 100-3200, anti-dust system, built-in anti-shake system, dynamic range optimizer, and eye-start autofocus.
The first observation you might have when you start using this camera is that the build quality feels a little cheap compared to its previous model. And it’s not just the dimensions that I am talking about. The grip on the right-hand side has received a total makeover, but it did not impress enough.
The separate drive mode, display buttons, and ISO in A200 have all been merged into a four-way controller. But this decision has led to a significant disadvantage. Now you have to press the buttons too many times to change the active AF point.
The viewfinder is not exceptional but is still better than many competitors. You also get a SteadyShot scale, which lets you know when your position is the least shaky.
The camera is pretty fast and boasts smooth operation. Considering the different metrics, including noise, sharpness, and exposure, the picture quality is pretty decent. You can set the screen’s brightness manually, but the camera can also add that to ambient light levels.
- The autofocus is pretty fast.
- The viewfinder offers high magnification.
- Easy to use and handle.
- Dual card slots.
- Image stabilization and built-in wireless flash.
- Effective SteadyShot indicator.
- No live view and video mode.
- The LCD screen does not tilt.
- Below average ergonomic design.
5. Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Even after the launch of the newer Fujifilm X-T4, the predecessor is still considered one of the finest models because it offers cutting edge technology. The combination of high-quality 26MP images and excellent 4K video capture makes it one of the best mirrorless cameras of all time.
Talking about the specifications, you are getting a 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4, 23.5 x 15.6mm sensor, 91 point phase AF across the entire image area, 4K UHD video quality, 2-axis tilting LCD touch screen of 3 inches and of course, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for connectivity.
This is the first time Fujifilm included a back-illuminated X-Trans sensor, leading to better light gathering power and overall image quality. Due to the new X-Processor 4 image processor, the camera offers faster focusing and enhanced subject tracking. You are also getting an upgraded continuous shooting speed at 11fps with its mechanical shutter.
Another exciting factor for the videographers is that the camera can capture 10-bit 4K video at up to 60p with 4:2:0 colour sampling. The value can go up to 4:2:2 if you use an external recorder. This is indeed an exceptional video specification and gives the X-T3 a significant edge.
The viewfinder is nothing less than glorious. You are getting the 3.69-million-dot OLED EVF with a 60fps refresh rate. However, when your camera is in the boosted performance mode, the value goes up to 100fps. If you have used the X-T2 before, this will definitely seem like a significant step up.
The autofocus feature really steals the show because you can actually notice how superior its performance is as compared to the other X-series cameras of this brand. The feature doesn’t disappoint even in low light.
Talking about the camera’s design, the brand has gone the retro route. Furthermore, the body is weather-proofed and gives the feeling of an analog film camera. The buttons are pretty sturdy, and the build is mostly solid. Due to the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it becomes pretty easy to offload the images from the camera to your smartphone.
The only disadvantage that I can point out in this camera is its grip, which can be a little annoying if you have big hands, especially when you attach bigger lenses.
But overall, this is one of the best camera for product photography and will help you capture those crisp product photos. It has an old school vibe even with all the modern technology involved. The controls are great, will give you a premium quality field, and is well-balanced.
- Fast and enhanced autofocus feature.
- 4K video creation tool is powerful.
- Buttons and dials are sturdy and easy to control.
- AF coverage over the entire image area.
- An excellent sensor that offers superb quality images.
- Cannot flip the rear LCD screen for vlogging.
- Grip isn’t suitable for large hands.
6. Nikon D7500 20.9MP DSLR Camera.
If you are looking for a professional level camera to click product photos, this is genuinely a great option. It is powerful and really packs a punch with some of the best features you will come across at this price range. Well, I’m not saying that this is absolutely perfect. But Nikon did manage to get a lot of things right in this model.
Going quickly over the specifications, the camera features a 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor and offers a 4K UHD video resolution. The autofocus feature boasts 51 point phase-detection AF and a max burst rate of 8fps. You are also getting a tilting 3.2 inch LCD touchscreen. The price range isn’t exactly cheap but do the features make up for it? Mostly yes.
The continuous shooting speed of 8fps is enough for capturing even the most high-action shots.
Along with that, you are also getting outstanding buffer capacity. The camera also sports an amazingly high ISO setting and is an excellent option for video as well with 4K UHD capture.
Talking about the build quality, the D7500 has a carbon fibre body instead of a metal alloy. But the camera still feels sturdy enough. It’s also weather-sealed and has a tilting touchscreen on the rear side.
However, one downside is that you get only one memory card slot. Although it might not be a significant disadvantage, it’s worth mentioning that both the older D7200 model and the higher-priced D500 have two slots.
Another con is that there is no provision for a battery grip. The battery life is honestly decent, and it is not a big deal to carry spare ones in your pocket. But having a grip makes it easier to handle long lenses, and it also makes it easier to use the camera vertically if you are going for long portrait shoots.
I have to say that both these omissions did come as a surprise and not a pleasant one.
Considering the camera’s weight, Nikon has managed to keep it light despite having a chunky body. You get a good, firm hold on the camera due to its ergonomic design.
The optical viewfinder is quite good and offers 100% coverage. The control layout is pretty much the same as its predecessor. The dynamic range is perfect, the images portray vibrant yet natural-looking colors, and you do not have to adjust white balance much manually as the auto white balance does its job pretty well.
There are two main factors that make the Nikon D7500 very likable- speed and sensitivity. The brand new sensor and the processing technology pair together to give you optimum performance.
The maximum 1,640,000 ISO is spectacular, but it’s at the cost of image quality. That really takes a nosedive. However, the results will surely amaze you at a lower ISO range. From clarity to colour to saturation to detail, it performs well as a whole.
- Exceptionally high ISO range.
- Fast and accurate autofocus.
- The ergonomic design is excellent.
- Offers good battery life in most conditions.
- 8fps continuous shooting.
- 4K video quality is great.
- Only a single card slot.
- No provision for battery grip.
- Doesn’t let you know how many gigabytes are left on your card.
7. Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera.
The Nikon D750 is one of the best choices for photography enthusiasts, and it also appeals to working professionals. Compared to the older D700, this one sports a much faster processor, offers more resolution, is quicker and has a much superior autofocus system. The D750 also has a tilting LCD screen, and the video capabilities are downright incredible.
It has made the list of one of the cheapest full-frame cameras of many, but don’t let the price make you feel that you will have to compromise with the quality. In my opinion, it’s not always about buying the camera with the latest kit. It’s more about buying the kit which offers you the best value for money. And when I say the D750 delivers in that zone, I really mean it.
Covering the specifications quickly, the D750 comes with a 24.3 MP full-frame CMOS sensor and offers an ISO range between 100-12,800. You are getting 51 phase-detection points in terms of autofocus and contrast detection in video and live view modes.
The max burst rate is 6.5fps at full resolution, and the camera also comes with a 3.2-inch screen. All of these features in a lightweight camera of only 750g.
An interesting feature worth mentioning is the Group Area AF mode, which is very effective when you’re shooting comparatively small subjects placed against a distracting or high contrast background.
Hence, it can be considered an option for the best camera for small product photography. A 91,000 pixels RGB sensor handles the exposure metering, which means that even the brightest section of the scene will not be burnt out.
Even though the video shooting is limited to up to 1080p, this beauty can record up to 60fps. For the videographers out there, features like Spot White balance mode, Flat Picture Control Mode, microphone port, headphone port and zebra patterns will be extremely helpful. The HDMI connection further helps to output uncompressed footage.
The build of the D750 is a blend of carbon fibre and magnesium alloy. You’re getting a good solid feel without all that excess weight and, of course, the weatherproofing as well. Since this is an SLR, it features an optical viewfinder for composing. It isn’t the brightest one out there, but fairly good and offers a field coverage of 100%.
The captured details aren’t as great as some higher resolution cameras, but according to the 24MP sensor, you are getting what you expect. The D750 also controls noise even when you turn off the noise reduction.
The images captured are of good quality and are perfectly exposed. The new Clarity control option helps to adjust micro contact, enhancing the sharpness and detail in the photo. Overall, it’s a great buy and does its job well.
- Excellent AF system and range of AF modes.
- Tons of customisation options available for the photographer.
- Features like zebras make it video-friendly.
- Twin card slots.
- AF system offers pro-level control.
- Recording is limited to 1080p.
- LCD screen is tilting, but not vari-angle.
Factors to consider while buying a camera for product photography
The products mentioned above were my top 7 picks for the best camera for product photography. But how to make the best decision when there are so many options to choose from?
Capturing product photos means you’re essentially representing the products using the images. And you always want the customers to see the best out of the products and make them look as appealing as possible. So how to do that?
If you’re looking for the best camera to help you do that, start with the understanding that aperture, ISO, and shutter speed- these 3 factors can create a massive impact in capturing those perfect product shots.
And when it comes to choosing a good quality camera, the choice also depends on how far you’re willing to stretch your budget. Here are some factors you need to consider while choosing the best camera for product photography.
What kind of camera are you looking for?
- DSLR– there are thousands of options to choose from here, and the most significant advantage is the expandability. Later on, if you want to move on to better and more powerful lenses, they’ll help you with that.
- Point and shoot- this one is for you if you do not want to invest in cameras with interchangeable lenses. The options are several here as well, with superb optics and features.
- Blend of the two- this is if you want to enjoy the best of both worlds- the scalability of DSLRs and the ease of use with point-and-shoot cameras. In this case, hybrid options like the “mirrorless” are the best bet. You’ll have a digital display while shooting instead of a viewfinder in this one. Mirrorless cameras are lightweight and compact, but they have small image sensors.
High or low megapixels?
What exactly are you shooting for? If you’re shooting for sites like Amazon or eBay, a cheaper camera with even a 12MP sensor will suffice.
Usually, the websites aren’t compatible with big file sizes. You’ll have to reduce the quality of your images before uploading if you use a high-resolution camera.
However, the scenario changes if you shoot products to take prints. In this case, you want every fine detail to be captured in your image on large size posters.
Useful features you need for product photography that can be game-changing
Every camera has its own auto mode. But it’s not usually preferred by photographers as it’s not always reliable. No matter the technology used in automatic cameras, they can still never be compared to the human eye.
The photographers highly desire manual mode as it lets them have overall control over each and every aspect of photography.
Must have camera settings.
When you are working in the field of product photography, the automated camera settings aren’t always precise. It’s considered great if your camera gives you the freedom to choose the required shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.
In this way, you can ensure to get the right exposure always. Your camera should also let you adjust the white balance to capture the correct colours.
Are interchangeable lenses worth it?
Today smartphones and point and shoot cameras are catching up for sure. But the built-in lenses do not always give you the best results.
And why just go for a fixed lens when tons of options are available in the market, each specifically designed for different situations?
For example, while shooting small products like jewelry, macro lenses will do the job. However, you will need a 24-70mm lens for the best product photos.
Check the compatibility of lenses.
If your camera has a 100MP sensor, it will be rendered useless without a proper lens. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the higher the megapixels, the higher the price. Hence, choosing an expensive lens with brilliant sharpness and resolving power is the best idea.
But before buying, check the type of lenses you can purchase for your camera. Check if your brand sells good quality lenses specifically for your device.
Make sure the camera you’re going to choose is compatible with the lens you need.
While choosing a camera, always make sure to check the megapixel count. The higher the number of megapixels, the better the print quality and the bigger the file size. When you have higher resolution sensors, you’ll be able to capture details much better. Later on, you can also fine-tune your edits according to your preference.
Another advantage of going for high-resolution sensors is that you’ll be able to crop very tight but still end up with big prints.
How many megapixels do you need?
For large commercial projects, a resolution between 40MP yo 100MP will suffice. However, that doesn’t mean the suitable camera for product photography should be 50MP or above. When you’re just starting out, it’s unlikely that you’ll need large print ads so soon.
The higher chances are that you’ll be working on a social media project when you’re just starting out. So choosing even a 12MP camera will do the job. But for better results, it is best to go for 24MP options, and they are quite common as well.
A lot of the effect on your photograph comes from the lightning. Your camera should have an excellent dynamic range to capture even the darkest shadows and the brightest highlights.
The dynamic range performance varies according to every camera. So how to choose the best one?
In this case, the only thing that will really help you is research and going through reviews.
Well, out of the top 7 cameras for product photography, here is my opinion on which one really impressed me and will be my pick.
Did I leave the best for the last? In this case, a 100% yes! The Nikon D750 will be my top pick for the best camera for product photography. Even though it was launched a few years ago, I genuinely feel that it is worth buying and is still one of the top-performing full-frame cameras in the market today.
Here is why you will love this one-
- the image quality is fantastic.
- Burst rate up to 6.5fps.
- Tilting LCD screen.
- Great dynamic range and autofocus.
- Very reasonably priced.
If you are starting out with this camera in the professional market, you definitely can’t go wrong, and will be your perfect companion.
However, it is always the best decision to do proper research according to your requirements and exactly what you are looking for so that it can help you make an informed decision.