Anyone operating an e-commerce site is already familiar with how important it is to have quality product photography. However, there is this misconception that nothing less than a high-end DSLR camera is fit for the job. While this might have been true once, recent advances in mobile technology mean that even humble smartphones are often equipped with cameras that are more than adequate.
Realistically speaking, there is no way that a smartphone, however good, is ever going to be able to beat a DSLR, especially one with a decent lens. For sheer versatility you can’t go wrong with the DSLR route as the ability to change lenses gives you so much more options. Factors such as the depth of field and light conditions are easier to manage with a DSLR camera thanks to their larger lenses.
However, smartphones are not without their advantages, primarily when it comes to size and portability. It’s not always practical to lug a large DSLR camera, complete with lenses and other accessories, around with you all the time when your smartphones can fit snugly in your pocket. Smartphones usually act as a convenient way to access online photo sharing services as well, which provides you with the option to upload your snaps instantly. Compared to the elaborate methods required to do the same with a DSLR, the smartphone will come out as the clear winner every time. There are also other costs involved with using a DSLR camera, such as the software needed for post processing, and more technical know-how to transfer the photos online.
When adding up all the costs involved with investing in a good DSLR camera, along with the required lenses, it often makes more sense to opt for a smartphone. It won’t cost nearly as much, is versatile enough to be used for plenty of other things, and you’ll probably have enough money left over to grab some lights and a tripod as well. There are a couple of options available on the market when it comes to smartphones with decent cameras, and unsurprisingly they come from the big names in the field.
If you are looking for features, then the newly released iPhone 6 from Apple is a good choice. At 8-megapixels, its megapixel count is not as high as some of the competition’s phones, but it makes up for it with features such as “Focus Pixels” that improves the autofocus. The included image stabilization is obviously a big plus, especially when shooting in low light conditions.
The Galaxy S5 from Samsung, on the other hand, boasts a 16-megapixel camera with lightning fast auto-focus. You can even change the focus of the image after it has already been taken. Thanks to its fast autofocus and the ability to do so continuously, the S5 is a great choice for action shots.
For sheer image quality it is hard to beat the Lumia 1020 from Nokia, which boats a jaw-dropping 41-megapixel camera. This is probably as close as you are going to get with competing directly with a quality DSLR camera and it is great for snapping highly detailed shots of your product. This smartphone is also a winner in settings with lower light thanks to its optical image stabilization.
If you are looking toward a future upgrade, the Nexus 6 is looking like a good bet. While the phone isn’t available yet it is known that it will feature a 13-megapixel camera along with the obligatory image stabilization features. Thanks to the display size of this phone, it also offers a great platform for performing some image editing before uploading the results. If the Nexus 6 can live up to its expectations, especially the claims that it can achieve great nighttime photos, it will be a great choice for product photography.
The smartphone to choose really comes down to your budget and the features that most interest you. As far as ease of use and the ability to provide great quality photos consistently, the iPhone is probably the best bet. Thanks to its popularity, it is also a product that most people already own. All you need to do to push its capabilities is download a few apps that are designed to enhance the look of your photos.
If money is not an issue then it is obviously best to get yourself a decent DSLR camera and get snapping. Not everyone can afford this option though, which is why using a smartphone is a viable alternative. If you are on a tight budget, but don’t want to compromise on the quality of your product shots, it is possible to get great results using your phone.