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The best camera for product photography in 2021

Included in this guide:

Best camera for product photography: woman photography a pair of shoes with DLR
(Image credit: Getty Images)

More people than ever are looking for the best camera for product photography. As well as professional photographers looking to capture pixel-perfect images in the studio, there are also loads of people selling from home who want to photograph products. Perhaps you’ve got some old things to sell on eBay, or have made some crafts to put on Etsy, or maybe have a lot of clothes to shift on Depop. In all cases, a great product photography camera will be hugely helpful.

Getting dynamic and interesting shots of products can be quite a challenge. While it can be done using natural light, you’ll find you have an easier time if you get your own lighting – our guide to the best LED lights might be of help there. Ideally you also want to be able to shoot with a shallow depth of field – this means having the main subject of an image sharply in focus, and the background artfully blurred. While this effect can be simulated on a smartphone, it looks much better shot on a camera with a larger sensor and a lens with a wide aperture.  

We’ve picked out a selection of cameras of different types, and at different price points. If you would like an all-in-one package then we’ve included some compact cameras with fixed lenses. We’ve also selected some mirrorless cameras and DSLRs where you can pick the lenses you use, giving you greater flexibility in the kinds of shots you take.

As product photography is effectively still life, there are quite a few camera comparison features you don’t really have to worry about – autofocus speed, for instance, isn’t much of a concern when your subjects don’t move. One thing that is key is resolution and sharpness however, as you may well need your images to be printed or blown up very large. That’s why we’ve included some high-resolution, professional cameras, as well as more affordable models that will get the job done for a simple online store.

Best camera for product photography 2021

(Image credit: Sony)

This versatile mirrorless camera is the best all-rounder for product photography

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Sony E (APS-C only)
ISO range: 100-32,000 (exp. 51,200)
Image stabilization: None (lens only)
Weight: 396g
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and user-friendly+Excellent image quality
Reasons to avoid
-No in-body stabilization-Still relatively expensive

A good product photography camera ideally should do a bit of everything, and do it pretty well. For this, we’d recommend a capable all-rounder like the Sony A6100. This APS-C mirrorless camera is very easy to use, but still capable of producing images of excellent quality thanks to its 24.2MP sensor. The Sony E-mount lens selection is extensive, with plenty of large-aperture optics to capture images with a shallow depth of field. 

Lightweight and compact, this is an easy camera to take anywhere you need to go, and it also has some handy features like the option to shoot in 1:1 aspect ratio. If you need something similar cheaper, then the original Sony A6000 is still available at a great price, though it lacks the latest super-speedy BIONZ processor. There’s also the more expensive A6600, with a higher-resolution viewfinder and a headphone jack for video. We reckon for product photography, the A6100 represents the best balance. 

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

A highly capable mirrorless shooter for products, with an exceptional lens selection

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
ISO range: 160-12,800 (80-51,200)
Image stabilization: Sensor-shift (up to 6 stops)
Weight: 465g
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic handling+Superb lens system
Reasons to avoid
-Small-ish viewfinder-Unexceptional battery life

Almost as important as the images a camera produces is the way it handles, how it feels to use in the hand all day. If you’re going to be embarking on long product shoots, it makes sense to get a camera that feels good to use, and the Fujifilm X-S10 is a big hit in this regard. Using a regular mode dial makes it a little less intimidating to newbies, but the X-S10 still produces fantastic images thanks to its sophisticated X-Trans sensor. You can experiment with its film simulation modes for a classically cool look, but one of the main draws is the Fuji X lens mount, which grants you access to some of the sharpest, best lenses available right now.

(Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony RX100 V

The best compact camera for product photography

Specifications
Camera type: Compact
Sensor: 1-inch
Megapixels: 21MP
Lens: 24-70mm (equivalent) f/1.8-2.8
ISO range: 125-12,800 (exp. 80-25,600)
Image stabilization: SteadyShot optical (lens)
Weight: 299g
Reasons to buy
+All-in-one package+Can power via USB
Reasons to avoid
-Clunky menu system-Can be fiddly

A good compact camera can be great for product photography, providing everything you need in one convenient package. We’d definitely recommend getting the Sony RX100 V, which pairs a 1-inch sensor with a 24-70mm equivalent lens that has a maximum aperture range of f/1.8-2.8. This is pretty much all you’ll need for product photography, and means you’ll be able to capture great images in any lighting conditions, with a camera small enough to take everywhere. 

The RX100 V isn’t the latest in Sony’s hugely successful RX100 compact range – that’s actually the flagship Sony RX100 VII. We’ve included the V here as we think it’s the best balance of price and features at the moment, but every model in the series is still available. Need something cheaper? Try the RX100 IV, or an older model than that. Want a longer lens? The RX100 VI and VII can reach equivalent focal lengths of 200mm. Whichever RX100 model you pick, you’re getting a great camera!

See Sony RX100 III vs RX100 IV vs RX100 V vs RX100 VI vs RX100 VII

(Image credit: Olympus)

A great beginner option for product photography

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20MP
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
ISO range: 200-25,600 (exp. 100-25,600)
Image stabilization: Sensor-shift (4.5 stops)
Weight: 383g
Reasons to buy
+Loads of shooting options+Intuitive controls
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively small sensor-A bit plasticky

If you’re a little new to photography and want to shoot products, a camera that’s well-oriented to beginners is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. Nippy and lightweight, with intuitive, dial-based controls, this is a top-notch camera for getting to grips with the basics of photography.

We’ve included a couple more beginner models further down the list, but the E-M10 IV is our pick for beginner mirrorless models. Its sensor-shift stabilisation system makes shooting hand-held easier in all lighting conditions, and having access to the huge stable of Micro Four Thirds lenses gives you real flexibility when it comes to your setup. 

(Image credit: Nikon)

The best beginner DSLR for product photography

Specifications
Camera type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24
Lens mount: Nikon F (DX-format only)
ISO range: 100-25,600
Image stabilization: No (lens only)
Weight: 415g
Reasons to buy
+Tremendous value+Good image quality
Reasons to avoid
-Fixed screen-No Wi-Fi

While mirrorless cameras are undeniably getting more and more advanced, there’s something truly reliable about a DSLR. These cameras are still hugely satisfying to use, and you know you’re going to get a great image with something like the Nikon D3500. The beginner model of the Nikon range, this camera is equipped with loads of handy guide modes to help new users get to grips with its functions.

It might be slightly too basic for some – the rear screen is fixed in place, and there’s no Wi-Fi, meaning wireless image transfer is only possible via Bluetooth and Nikon’s SnapBridge functionality, which is slower. Still, with access to the huge range of F-mount lenses, it’s easy to craft a powerful product photography setup with the D3500.

(Image credit: Canon)

An excellent intermediate DSLR for product photography

Specifications
Camera type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.1MP
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
ISO range: 100-25,600 (exp. 51,200)
Image stabilization: No (lens-only)
Weight: 451g
Reasons to buy
+Handy vari-angle touchscreen+Loads of EF lenses
Reasons to avoid
-No in-body stabilisation-Some controls feel cramped

While the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (also sold as the EOS 250D depending where you are) is still replete with beginner-friendly modes, it caters to a slightly more advanced user than the likes of the Nikon D3500. Its vari-angle touchscreen allows for much easier variation in shooting angle, and its battery life is hugely impressive. Wi-Fi is present and correct as well, making for super-speedy image transfers, and the EF lens library is one of the biggest in the business. While Canon does make cheaper DSLRs, the Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D) and Rebel T100 (EOS 4000D) are too stripped-down for our liking, making this the cheapest Canon DSLR we’d happily recommend buying. It’ll allow you to produce excellent product images with ease.

(Image credit: Canon)

7. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Canon’s APS-C mirrorless offering is portable and reliable

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24MP
Lens mount: Canon EF-M
ISO range: 100-25,600 (exp. to 51,200)
Image stabilization: No
Weight: 387g
Reasons to buy
+Stills look great+Intuitive focus point control
Reasons to avoid
-Unexceptional lens range-Very similar to predecessor

Canon’s EOS M cameras may not be particularly glamorous, lacking the pizzazz of its full-frame EOS R series, but they do get the job done. For simple product photography, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II will do everything you need it to, and also comes at a reasonable price that makes it a tempting choice. The APS-C sensor is large enough to get a good shallow depth of field, it produces great-looking images. While the EF-M lens selection isn’t amazing – certainly not a patch on the EF lens range for the DSLRs – there are certainly enough optics for product photographers. Not the most exciting choice, but definitely a safe one.

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon’s powerful compact may be pricey, but it’s a seriously capable machine

Specifications
Camera type: Compact
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24MP
Lens: 24-72mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8-5.6
ISO range: 100-25,600
Image stabilization: Image Stabilizer (four-stop)
Weight: 399g
Reasons to buy
+Large sensor+Good control layout
Reasons to avoid
-Somewhat expensive-Max aperture f/2.8

One of the reasons that serious enthusiast photographers tend not to use compact cameras is that they generally have small sensors. Not so with the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, into which Canon has somehow jammed an APS-C sensor, making it more than capable of producing excellent product images. If you like the idea of an all-in-one camera with no need to swap lenses, this is a good choice – the 24-72mm equivalent lens should work just fine for shooting products. The aperture topping out at f/2.8 is a bit of a drawback, but the size of the sensor means you’ll still be able to produce images with a shallow depth of field. 

(Image credit: Sony)

A mirrorless powerhouse, this is the best full-frame product photography camera

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Megapixels: 61MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
ISO range: 100 to 32,000 (exp. 50-102,400)
Image stabilization: 5-axis in-body stabilisation (5.5 stops)
Weight: 655g
Reasons to buy
+Incredible resolution and detail+Pixel-shift multi-shot mode
Reasons to avoid
-Awkward handling-Big lenses cause imbalance

If you’re looking for a professional-grade camera for product photography, the Sony A7R IV is one of the best you can get. Not only does it have a 61MP sensor boasting one of the highest resolutions around, but it also has Pixel Shift Multi Shooting, which can combine multiple images to create images up to 240MP in size. And when you’re shooting products, a.k.a. things that don’t move, you’re free to take full advantage of such modes! This also means that the handling niggles of the A7 series – their slightly boxy construction and balancing issues with big lenses – aren’t such an issue, as you likely aren’t trekking outdoors with them when shooting products. This is one of the best high-resolution cameras you can get for product photography – to get more pixels and image detail than this, you have to venture into the world of medium format. Speaking of which...

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Making medium format affordable(ish), the best high-resolution product photography camer

Specifications
Camera type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Medium format
Megapixels: 102MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm G
ISO range: 100 to 12,800 (exp. 50-102,400)
Image stabilization: In-body image stabilization (5.5 stops)
Weight: 900g
Reasons to buy
+Even better resolution!+In-body stabilization
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive (albeit cheap for MF)-Heavy

It’s been a few years since Fujifilm turned the world of large-sensor medium format cameras on its head with its mirrorless GFX series. The GFX 100S, while still costing a chunk of change, is the most affordable camera in the series yet, and is the best way to capture products with unprecedented levels of detail. A triple-digit megapixel count meets an in-body stabilisation system and an easily understandable control layout, making medium format more accessible than ever. It’s a heavy camera (though your wallet will be much lighter once you’ve bought it if that’s any consolation), but it’s one of the best ways to capture professional, high-resolution product images right now.

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Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  


An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.