This article is for small business owners that want to start creating their own photos or videos for their eCommerce inventory.
There is a lot more to taking professional photos than just snapping a button. I want my gear to be able to travel well and be able to produce video, photos, and audio on the go.
Here is some research I did on my last shopping spree for my ecommerce business camera.
How To Choose A Camera For eCommerce Photography
You do not need the latest and greatest camera technology to take great photos for your eBay store, Amazon store, or online shop. You just need a good all around camera with a few standard features. Most modern cameras have a fairly large resolution setting by default. For the web, you do not need photos to be any larger than 1600 pixels. Most modern cameras are designed for high resolution print use which we do not care about. Our photos are for the web. Every camera on this list will cover the basics. What it comes down to is what do you need the camera to do outside of just taking a photo? Do you want to use it personally as well? Do you need to take night photos or underwater shots? I’ve included some of the most affordable well rounded cameras below. Some of these cameras are only a couple hundred dollars while others run up into the thousands.
Serious? Check Out A Professional DSLR Camera.
DSLR cameras are the cream of the crop. They can get really expensive really fast but they take spectacular photos. Both these cameras I have listed here have articulating screens for self recording and are great at taking photos at different viewing angles. They also have audio inputs in case you want to snap a small video of your product. Looks like the touch screen is a real nice feature as well. D5500 Review vs Nikon D3300, Canon 70D & Sony a6000: Portraits, Landscapes & Sports
The two brands in the DSLR world are Nikon and Canon. Each brand has their group of religious followers but both cameras do pretty much the same things.
Compact Cameras: Easy To Use. Easy To Carry.
These Sony cameras are lightweight and have an amazing auto focusing system that a novice like myself can appreciate. In addition, they have a full flip out screen for self recording. I really enjoyed using these cameras. They do offer an app store for remote viewing, but no mic input so for quality audio you would need to get an external audio recorder. The DSLR cameras listed above seem to handle motion better (as expected). A review here confirms this: Sony a6000 review (vs E-M10). Check out these small cameras if your budget is small and your time is tight.
- Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (No Touch Screen)
- Sony a6000
- Samsung Electronics NX500 (Video Conversion Needed)
Sony a5000 & a5100 Features:
- NFC Transfer (Needs Wi-Fi)
- NFC View Finder (Needs Wi-Fi)
- Thumb Rocker Switch for Zoom (Great for Self Recording)
- Flip Screen for Self Recording
- CON: No Viewfinder
- CON: No Hot Shoe
Sony a6000 Features: (Review) | (Sony a6000 tops gear of the year, 2014)
- NFC Transfer (Needs Wi-Fi)
- NFC View Finder (Needs Wi-Fi)
- Electronic Viewfinder
- Hot Shoe
- CON: No Thumb Rocker Switch for Zoom (Great for Self Recording)
- CON: No Self Recording
- WORK AROUND: DSLR Smartphone Hot Shoe Flash Camera Mount for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3 2
Android Powered Cameras: One Device To Do It All.
The benefit of an android camera is that you could download the eBay, Craigslist, and photo apps and do all your work on the camera. If I was a thrift or pawn shop, this type of camera would be a no brainer. These do not have articulating screens but do have a remote viewing app. The one downside is the videos need to be converted so forget about doing video as it is too much of a hastle.
- Good: Samsung GALAXY Camera™ 2 Wi-Fi (Video Conversion Needed)
- Best: Samsung SMART NX1 (Video Conversion Needed)
Professional Video DSLR & Video Cameras Are Beasts
These are s few popular video and DSLR cameras for video makers. Video cameras can get pricy quick. They also require quite a bit of time to get over the learning curve of properly using the device. Here is a fun review about the Sony a7S vs Panasonic GH4.
- Sony a7 Full-Frame
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4K
- Canon XA20 Professional Camcorder
Travel Cameras. Small. Great. Can Take a Beating.
If you need to take footage of your product in the field, you may need a travel camera that can take a beating and even get wet. Try these ones…
- GoPro (Example)
- Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 (Flip out Screen)
Web Cameras. For Screencasts And Product Reviews.
If you plan on doing a screen cast for your product, you will need a webcam. Here are some good options for setting up a webcam:
- Tutorial: How To Use A DLSR as Webcam
- Great Webcam Camera: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920
Special Cameras Like The Infrared Cameras
I am sure there are more good uses for these than I can think of but survival gear and hunting gear could easily benefit from using these types of cameras.
What Kind of Lens should I Use?
Get a nice lens with a wide range so you can easily zoom in and out. A good starter lens would be in the range of: 24-70mm or 24-105mm
Conclusion. What Did I choose?
I got the chance to play around with several cameras after doing some research and really fell in love with the Sony Alpha a5000. The Sony Alpha a5100 is a little better so I will probably purchase that one on Amazon or eBay.
Found a great camera? Comment below with what you use. If you want my excel research notes just sign up for our newsletter and reply back saying you want my excel file for this article and I’ll send it over.
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