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Point-and-shoot photography

From: Product Photography for E-Commerce

Video: Point-and-shoot photography

Now obviously, you're going to need a digital camera for e-commerce photography, and chances are, you already have one. But maybe you're thinking about upgrading or maybe you aren't sure what features are important for product photography. Let's focus on those features now. There are two basic kinds of cameras, point-and-shoot and digital SLR. Point-and-shoot cameras are less expensive and they are great for a lot of e-commerce photography. There are a lot of differences between point-and-shoot cameras and digital SLRs, but the biggest difference is the lens.

Point-and-shoot photography

Now obviously, you're going to need a digital camera for e-commerce photography, and chances are, you already have one. But maybe you're thinking about upgrading or maybe you aren't sure what features are important for product photography. Let's focus on those features now. There are two basic kinds of cameras, point-and-shoot and digital SLR. Point-and-shoot cameras are less expensive and they are great for a lot of e-commerce photography. There are a lot of differences between point-and-shoot cameras and digital SLRs, but the biggest difference is the lens.

A point-and-shoot camera has one lens and you can't change it. With a digital SLR, you can buy separate lenses like a telephoto lens or a macro lens or taking distant shots, all of these things are really important for closeups in getting close to your product photography. One thing you don't really have to pay much attention to is megapixels, how much resolution your camera has. Your photos are going to end up on the web where the resolution is really low. So, any current camera on the market today will have plenty of resolution for you.

So, what features should you pay attention to? Well, you're going to be photographing small things. A macro is really important. It lets you get nice and close up to what you're shooting. We'll do this little bit later on, but we'll ask you to take some closeups of some coins and some other small objects. Most point-and-shoot cameras have a built-in macro feature. To turn it on, you just press the button that has the flower icon on it. Now the interface will give you some visual feedback and it'll show that icon on the screen itself.

This lets you know that you're shooting macro. Now if you're shooting big things like cars or furniture, a zoom lens can be a big help. By zooming in or out, you can frame your shot without actually having to move around a lot. All point-and-shoot cameras have a zoom capability and you can buy them for a digital SLR too. Now, here's a tip. Most point-and-shoot cameras have two kinds of zoom: optical and digital. Generally, you want to avoid digital zooming. It doesn't give you very sharp results. For the sharpest image, always use optical zooming.

Now, if you're buying a new camera, look at the optical zoom ratio. That indicates wide and how close the zoom lets you get. Now, for example, a 6:1 ratio gives you more range between wide angle and telephoto than a 3:1 ratio. No matter what kind of camera you buy, you might want to attach a tripod so that it's really easy to have a nice steady and consistent framing from shot to shot. Just about every camera has a tripod socket on the bottom, but make sure. I'll show you some examples of some cool tripods later on in this course.

So, those are some basic things to look for and compare when you're picking a camera. Here are few tips that will help you get a better quality no matter what kind of camera you have and no matter what kind of products you're photographing. Tip number one, turn off your camera's flash. The lighting from a built-in flash is harsh looking and you can't control things like shadows and reflections, besides, I'm going to show you much better ways to get great lighting in your product photography. On most point-and-shoot cameras, you can turn off the flash by pressing a button that has a lightning bolt on it.

You'll know that it's off, because there's usually a slash through the lightning bolt itself. Tip number two, learn how to adjust your camera's white balance. This is setting that lets you adjust the colors in your cameras to make sure the photos are accurate. That's really important when you're photographing products that you want to sell online. Now depending on the lighting you use, you might not have to change your white balance. But if your colors look wrong, it's probably because your white balance setting doesn't quite match the lighting you're using. So, check your camera's manual and read up on adjusting the white balance.

It isn't hard to do and it can make a big difference. Finally, tip number three. You should learn how to adjust your camera's ISO setting. This controls the camera's light sensitivity and that gives you a lot of control over your exposures. With a high ISO setting, like 800 or 1000, you can take shots in really dim light, but there's a trade-off. The photos may look a bit grainy or noisy. On the other hand, with a low ISO setting like a 100 or 200, you get maximum sharpness from your camera.

These low settings are ones to use when you've got a nice, bright light, sunshine, or diffused light and of course, you're using a tripod. Okay, so how do you adjust the ISO? Well, it depends on the camera. Higher-end cameras give you a dial that allows you to make it really convenient. On other cameras, you might have to go into a menu and make the adjustment manually. Either way, it isn't hard and adjusting the ISO is a great way to match the brightness of the light compared to the work you have.

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This video is part of

Image for Product Photography for E-Commerce
Product Photography for E-Commerce

41 video lessons · 22136 viewers

Dane Howard
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 11s
    1. Introduction
      1m 11s
  2. 10m 6s
    1. Point-and-shoot photography
      4m 45s
    2. Digital SLRs and lenses
      3m 19s
    3. Additional equipment
      2m 2s
  3. 8m 54s
    1. Keeping it simple
      56s
    2. Angles, triangles, and cropping
      1m 4s
    3. Getting great close-ups using macro
      45s
    4. Adding context with backgrounds
      42s
    5. Using live models
      1m 29s
    6. Using diffused, natural light
      47s
    7. Turning off the flash
      29s
    8. Using a quick setup and tear down
      52s
    9. Shooting multiple images
      1m 5s
    10. Keeping it human
      45s
  4. 10m 44s
    1. You CAN do this!
      45s
    2. Build it yourself for $10
      6m 4s
    3. Build it yourself for $30
      1m 17s
    4. Using the EZCube ($100)
      2m 38s
  5. 5m 1s
    1. Equipment choices and price ranges
      2m 47s
    2. Positioning and assembly
      2m 14s
  6. 7m 28s
    1. Shooting like a trusted seller
      2m 20s
    2. Establishing trust with audio
      2m 25s
    3. Beyond the 360 view
      2m 43s
  7. 10m 29s
    1. Tips and tricks
      1m 41s
    2. Coins
      3m 9s
    3. Jewelry
      2m 31s
    4. Collectibles and toys
      3m 8s
  8. 15m 0s
    1. Clothing, shoes, and accessories
      10m 53s
    2. Glass and transparency
      4m 7s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Shooting larger stuff
      4m 40s
    2. Real estate curb appeal
      3m 48s
    3. Living spaces
      4m 46s
    4. Panoramas
      1m 7s
    5. Kitchen spaces
      1m 45s
    6. Tall spaces
      2m 7s
    7. Special features
      1m 57s
    8. Real estate photography overview
      59s
  10. 16m 35s
    1. Cropping and adjusting
      4m 53s
    2. Retouching
      5m 10s
    3. Using your iPhone as a publishing platform
      6m 32s
  11. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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