Setting up a camera for e-commerce product photography

e-commerce product photography

A product can only be sold online with professional photos. Thus, product photography has entered the frame and has become one of the quickest growing branches of photography.

Potential customers usually view product photos in search of a detailed description, not looking for artistic value in the photos. Packshot is a highly faithful photography style (as opposed to styled photography) that we will be concentrating on in this article. The background type and frame composition will be of secondary importance in this type of amazon photography china, no matter how important they might be in other styles.

With new technology, basic settings for taking packshots don’t change rapidly. Throughout this article, we will take you through the basics of camera settings for product photography, so that you won’t get stuck in front of the camera due to lack of experience.

The first three settings on a camera are aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Together, they determine the characteristics of a photograph. With the comparison we’ve provided below, you’ll see how changes will go in the photo as the triangle changes.

Product photography: Basic Camera Settings

The shutter speed for the product image

Combined with aperture, shutter speed controls the flow of light to the camera sensor. The shutter stays open for a certain period of time, allowing light to fall onto the image sensor. The shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second and can start as low as 1/8000s and go as high as 30s.

To adjust the brightness of your photo, you need to adjust the shutter speed. The higher the shutter speed (shorter the time the picture is exposed to light), the darker the resulting picture will be assuming the aperture and ISO are the same. Let’s see what happens when we just change the shutter speed in our setting triangle. Isn’t this picture lighter?

Product image aperture

In our article about the best lens for product photography, we discussed aperture in more detail. An aperture is a hole in the lens that regulates how much light falls on the image sensor. With the f-stop parameter, values from f/1.8 (a big hole) to f/29 (a small hole) can be measured.

Together with the shutter speed, aperture is responsible for determining how much light reaches the sensor and how bright your photo will be. Higher f-stop values result in darker pictures, while lower values result in lighter ones.

Photographing products with ISO

ISO settings are responsible for this. The measurement ranges from 64 to tens of thousands.

ISO should be kept as low as possible in photography with the given lighting conditions. It is even more important in product photography since choosing a higher ISO will result in more noise in the picture. 

Although outdoor photography may indeed require a higher ISO setting (due to the uncontrollable light and distance to the subject), product photography should aim for ISO 100. 

Settings for advanced users

Being aware of the light color temperature when setting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO is an integral part of product photography, in fact wherever you use a camera. To learn more about live view, color space, stabilization, and fault correction options, continue reading.

A Live Preview of Live View

Live View is essential if you capture images under constant lighting (such as LED).

With this function, you’ll be able to check the output photo even before you take it by previewing it on the screen. It has simplified the process and saved photographers countless hours of time.

Live View has the advantage that autofocus is usually more accurate since it takes place directly in the camera. 

With Live View ON, you can simulate exposure

You can only preview an image before you take it with Live View. Canon, Sony, and some Nikon cameras provide the option of simulating exposure (ON/OFF). 

It is important to remember that the camera will always show “something” in the live view preview, but the final result will also depend on the camera and flashlight settings, and it may not necessarily be the same as it was in the preview.

Briefly summarized

As a photographer, you get familiar with basic settings pertaining to the image exposure. Also, you’ll discover there are many peripheral settings that affect the quality of your photos and the speed of your sessions.

In the previous section, we discussed the importance of the correct white balance, file formats, and color spaces. You can also save your post-processing time by using the camera’s in-built image correction options. Setting up camera presets before you start taking photos is definitely worth your time.

You’ll get better repeatability, better resolution, and more faithful color rendering if you spend time on camera settings. Regardless of how automated a product photography process is, camera setup is necessary. 

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