Digital camera for product photos and video

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What would you recommend for a digital camera to take product review photos and do video reviews?

If you had to choose a camera < $100 - what would it be?

Buy new or buy used?
 

Potatoe

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If I had to choose a camera under $100, I'd use my phone + good lighting.

At that price range especially, good lighting is going to be your biggest bottleneck. If you have even a halfway newer cellphone and a good light source you'll be able to do pretty well.

Even if you end up going with a cheap camera instead, you'll still need lighting for it, so I'd look into that either way.

You could build a lightbox for pretty cheap, or look at Amazon / AliExpress for something premade, you can definitely find one under $100 just make sure it's not too small for your needs.

Between a decent backdrop / lightbox,
A couple light fixtures, (It's just something to hold your lightbulb that you can point in the right direction, some sort of diffuser or shade can be good too, you can make them really easily and cheaply)
A tripod,
Cellphone camera...

You'll be much better off than a < $100 camera without any of those other things. Check out Youtube for guides on doing product shots for cheap.

If you're really looking to get some professional-tier stuff done, it's going to cost you a lot more than $100 in equipment, but the good news is that you can do halfway decent for less than that.
 
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Thanks man, but my phone just broke and I can't afford a decent new one. Only have an iPhone 4 now, which doesn't have a good camera imo.

I am off the idea here, that it's better to get something done, than psyche yourself out and wait for the perfect setup. I already did some photos of products and people do click on and buy even if they're horrible lit and horrible photos in general. I don't think it hurts too much honestly. It can even add a bit of authenticity, you know it's definitely not the work of a marketing agency with such amateurish quality.

Can you recommend a camera for $200 then?

I just want something better than a phone camera or are you saying I should get a phone for the camera instead?
 

Potatoe

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I'm far from an expert, not a photographer or anything, I just went through a similar research phase when I was looking to take some photo shots and videos, and the consensus was that in that price range, you're going to be better off just using your phone + good lights. Now with an iPhone 4 that changes things...

That price range is basically the entry level of consumer stuff, so there's not a ton to choose from and I can't imagine there would be a huge difference between one brand or another, going used might be a good option to squeeze out some more value.

I think you'd still be better off with a $100 camera and a lighting setup than a $200 camera in terms of image quality you get. IIRC the difference in price could be features like blur reduction, optical zoom, waterproof, which might not really matter for the type of pictures you'll be taking, just something to keep in mind that might be able to get you a better camera for your money.

My knowledge on any of this is from a couple years ago and very surface level so someone with more experience can hopefully chime in with specific brand recommendations and stuff. I think you'd be fine with any brand you recognize... Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic all make entry level consumer stuff.

You MIGHT be able to find an older used DSLR in that price too, I'd probabally go with that and look into getting the appropriate lens for your needs and slapping together some DIY lighting.
 
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Sony Cybershot H300 seems reasonably priced at around $250 tho.

I did a bit of research and it doesn't seem like many recommend a digital cam unless you're a pro.

I think I'll get myself an iPhone SE and use the cam on that. I'm also considering a Huawei at the same price range which has a dual camera, but honestly I don't really want these plastic android phones.
 

darkzerothree

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Seriously, ANY product photos are better than none.
For web, the camera is not the factor. Try something like this:

https://www.pixelz.com/blog/diy-1-build-photo-studio-bootstrapped-budget/
https://www.weebly.com/inspiration/product-photography-on-a-budget/

if you have several angles and some detail shots (I don't know what you are selling), you win already.

And cameras are dirt cheap:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-COOLPIX-S220-10-0MP-Digital-Camera-Black/352432376565?epid=100227680&hash=item520e9b4af5:g:neutral:YcAAOSwtBJbdB~-&LH_Auction=1

(Picked the coolpix cause I know this one and it does well.)

Another good one is canon powershot

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Canon-PowerShot-SX160-IS-16MP-16x-Optical-Zoom-3-LCD-Digital-Camera-Black/292688971321?epid=127268542&hash=item44259f4639:g:YBgAAOSwvF1bek8a&LH_Auction=1

So if you can get your head out of your... and overcome the ego traps of "I need something new" 10$ (TEN!!) or less can get you a camera that is more than good enough for products.

Get a tripod, that is important.
 
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^ Haha, yeah I arrived at this conclusion and will just buy a used cheap one for $50.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

EyesExist

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I have a camera ........ for $150 bro if you need it.
I was just actually selling it.
1 lens is cracked, 18-55 but it works, you just have to 'know the lens'

Then i have a telephoto lens , more long distance
Canon Rebel Xti + some upgraded lenses

My other camera, the 6TI got stole by some thieves at Rome, Italy's airport (worst airport in the world for thieves I've seen & the people there do NOT help. F--K ITALY)

The telephoto lens by itself sells for like $120 i think. Def not $150 for the package but I'll do you the favor, shipped. Let me know how it works out.

I had offers on criagslist for the telephoto lens but i turned them down b/c it was a reseller.
 
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Here are some tips:
1. the camera doesn't matter, it does nothing but copy what you see, so your vision is more important.
2. if you need white background pictures, purchase a nice clean cheap white bedsheet, nothing fancy or expensive, iron it and use that. Keep it clean and purchase a new one if it get's dirty after a while. Easy replaceable. Choose one that is big enough, so you can crop pictures if needed.
3. Make pictures outside, from 12:00 PM - 15:00 PM. If it's cloudy, the better. But inside is just never going to work, no matter how professional your camera is. Hence the big strobes pro's use in a studio. Your eyes perceive far more light than any camera ever will.
4. The scenery, just holding the object against a beautiful background can produce nice results. Even if you do lay-flat, keep the background in mind (lay it flat and shoot straight from above). Backgrounds can be trees, brick walls, flowers etc..
5. You can get blurry backgrounds if you go close enough with your camera. Like, really really close. Test it out, go as close as you can and see if the camera still focuses. Keep going back, until you find the closest distance. I think an iPhone 4 can go till 4 cm/1.5 inches.
6. Use the combo of your iPhone and your $50 camera. Each has its strengths, so, for closeup use iPhone, for scenery use the other one.

I don't think it hurts too much honestly. It can even add a bit of authenticity, you know it's definitely not the work of a marketing agency with such amateurish quality.
Never thought of this. But it sounds like you need to A/B test this ;-) I mean if amateur pictures (whatever that is) makes people feel taking "less risk", and buy from you more than from big shiny company that covers themselves for every itty bitty thing.
 
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Never thought of this. But it sounds like you need to A/B test this ;-) I mean if amateur pictures (whatever that is) makes people feel taking "less risk", and buy from you more than from big shiny company that covers themselves for every itty bitty thing.
Yeah, I guess that's wishful thinking, though I was referring to giving more of a "amateur blog" feel instead of "big bad affiliate".