Product photography gear can be increasingly expensive which is why it can be hard to know what to use.
But you don’t always have to have the latest and greatest gear to make your work look good. If you can learn how to understand lighting and certain tools you can really improve your product photography quite quickly.
(Copyright Oliver Howells)
Choosing the Right Camera For Your Product Photography Gear
When starting out there’s no right or wrong camera you can pick to build your product photography portfolio. Yes there are a lot of cameras with much higher resolution, quicker frame rate and better colour, but if you’re just starting then it’s about what you prefer to use. All cameras have different layouts, weight, functionality and more, so you have to find what brand is right for you.
Camera prices can start anywhere from £300 right up to £4000 (That’s even without a lens) so when choosing a camera look for the ones that fit within your budget. If you’re like me I only had a budget of £400 for getting my first camera and the camera I decided to go with was the Panasonic Lumix G7.
Why did I choose the Panasonic Lumix G7?
There was quite a few reasons why I decided to choose this camera, but to make things easier i’ve listed the top features that made me pick the Panasonic G7:
- Price £349 (Available to Purchase Here)
- 20fps Shooting
- 4k Video Recording
- 16 Megapixels
- Live view finder
Picking the Right Lens
This is an easy one for me and i’d honestly recommend this to any photographer, pick a macro lens! The key reasons for why it will help support your product photography is because of it’s price point, sharpness and versatility.
This lens really ticks so many boxes when you’re trying to get creative with product photography. At a fixed focal length of 30mm (60mm Equivalent) it really improves the sharpness of your images. The ability to switch between close up shots of the product detail to standard focal view means that it’s perfect for getting a variety of shots for the product company you’re working with.
This lens fits the Panasonic Camera above, and it’s available to purchase here: 30mm Macro Lens
You Will Need a Tripod
Any photographer will know that a tripod is a fundamental piece of gear and that’s simply because it will help you stabilise all your shots.
When shooting product photos your main focus will be changing the setup in front of you, so once you have your tripod ready you wont be changing much of the cameras position.
One feature I love with my tripod is the ability to change it from front facing position to an over head position. I think this is really useful when you’re trying to setup a flay lay style shots and having that ability to switch makes your tripod more versatile.
I use the KF Concept tripod for all my shots, click the link to view the full specifications.
Get yourself a flash & flash trigger
One thing i’ve learned whilst doing product photography is how useful it is to have a flash.
A flash is used when we don’t have access to natural light, and it can also be used to create light in specific ways.
All the top product photographers will usually use a flash to create their own bespoke shots and thats because they know how to control the light so they can position it in the right places to create atmosphere.
There are two types of flashes that people use and that can either be a strobe flash or a speedlight flash.
A strobe flash is much more powerful, and its usually more expensive. As you develop your product photography you will want to upgrade to a strobe, but it’s not something you need at the beginning.
A speedlight flash is what I used at the start of my product photography journey. I bought myself one speed light, and I used some foam board to bounce the light the other direction. I would personally recommend using these two items when starting out, just so that you can get used to how light changes depending on what you do.
You can buy speed lights starting from around £30-£50, click here to look at range on amazon.
The last thing you’ll need is a flash trigger. It’s extremely crucial you also get this with your very first flash, it will be a tool you use for life and it can work with multiple flashes. It’s great because you can trigger flashes at different powers, meaning the light will be different in areas of your final photo.
I personally think that Godox produces some of the best starting flash equipment, and this is the flash trigger I still currently use.
The flash trigger I use is available to purchase here: Godox XPro-O