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If you got here by searching for “best cameras for product photography” then you’ve probably already come across a few lists telling you that you need a $1000+ camera (along with expensive lighting kits) to take decent pictures of your products. If you can afford one, that’s not a bad option.
Cameras like the Canon Rebel, the Pentax K-3 II and the Nikon D7200 are all fantastic pieces of equipment. They’re built to shoot in low-light environments, making it easy for you to take amazing pictures right in your bedroom. However, each of these is going to run you at least $750, and that’s with no added features.
If your goal is to make your living as a product photographer, then, you’ll probably want to fork up the dough and invest in one of these higher-end cameras. As you may already know, $750-$850 is a relatively low price when we’re talking about camera equipment.
If you’re simply trying to shoot thumbnail images for your eBay and Etsy accounts, however, you can probably get away with spending a little less money.
Best Cameras for Product Photography in Your Price Range
Below we’ve created a guide to help you out: Here are 4 of the Best Cameras for Product Photography
Panasonic FZ80 Camera
This one is actually somewhat of a secret weapon in Panasonic’s catalog, offering 60x zoom and an ultra-bright lens. Both of these things are unheard of in a camera that only costs $298.
It’s particularly great for product photography because it shoots amazing photographs in low-light situations. The majority of us, after all, are shooting product photos in our homes and, unfortunately, not everyone has Hollywood-grade lighting in their living room.
Like the FZ80, this one also has a price point just below $300, making it a smart investment for DIY product photographers. It has a 12 megapixel 2/3” sensor, which is a tad larger than the ones you’d find on similarly-priced cameras.
The thing we love about this one is that it’s super thin, making it easy for you to put it in your pocket and take it on the go. The biggest downside is that the lens is kind of slow to come out, so it can sometimes be a pain for entrepreneurs (time is money, people!).
Nikon 1 S2
This one’s an oldie-but-goody, having been released just about 4 years ago. However, due to its shutter speed, which maxes out at 1/16,000 of a second, and its autofocusing capabilities, it’s a favorite among product photographers.
The great thing about the S2 is that it shoots in RAW mode, so you can get very high-quality photos out of it. If you’re not well-versed in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, though, you might need to watch a few online tutorials to get the most out of RAW photos.
Using Your Phone for Product Photography
If you’re already running an online store but haven’t yet purchased a camera, it’s likely that you’ve been shooting your product photographs with your phone. This can be a good choice, particularly for those folks who are trying to grow their revenue stream before investing in a camera.
These days, you can get great photos off of your phone, especially when you have good lighting. So, if you’ve got something like the Samsung Galaxy (S8 or S9), Apple iPhone (X, especially) or Google Pixel 2, you might want to stick with that for a while. Make sure that you have well-balanced lighting (shoot outdoors if you can) and you’ll have customers flocking to your page in no time.