Pixel By Hand Blog

Information focused on eCommerce product image editing & post-production

How To Set Your Camera’s ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed for DIY Product Photography

camera setting for diy photography

Anyone on a tight budget or who **loves DIY projects** can save some cash by skipping professional gear or services for product photos. A **tripod**, a **camera**, and a pinch of know-how are all it takes to **snap great shots** on your own.

This guide will walk you through the basics of setting your camera’s ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for DIY product photography.

Let’s transform your product images!

Get started with a Free Trial of our product photo retouching service or if you have any questions simply click Ask A Question to get started.

DIY Product Photography

When it comes to product photography, you need to remember a couple of things:

  • The product must be in focus.
    This means that the product should be the highlight of your images and not the background. Especially in online stores, you want your images to represent your product in the best possible light.
  • The background should be uncluttered and appropriately lit.
    Since your product is the star of the show, your background should be simple and not distract from the product. When it comes to lighting, you want to make sure that there are no harsh shadows cast on your product.

Now that we’ve gone over the basics, let’s talk about the equipment you need.

DIY Product Photography: The Setup

First, you need to decide on what camera you want to use. Any type of camera will do, but we recommend using a DSLR camera for the best results. If you don’t have a DSLR camera, you can use your phone’s camera, but you might not get the same quality of the image.

You’ll also need a tripod. This is important because you want your images to be as sharp as possible. A tripod helps keep your camera still so that you can get a clear image.

Finally, you’ll need some sort of lighting. While natural lighting is the best for product photography, there will be instances when you need to take photos indoors. This is when you will need to use artificial light. The important thing is to make sure that the light is diffused so that it doesn’t create any harsh shadows on your product.

DIY Product Photography: Backdrop

Now that you have your camera and tripod, it’s time to set up your backdrop. The best type of backdrop for product photography is a plain white wall. This will help make your product stand out and make it easier to edit your photos later on.

If you don’t have a plain white wall, you can use a piece of white poster board or a white sheet. Hang the backdrop up so that it’s nice and straight. You don’t want any wrinkles in your backdrop, as they will show up in your photos.

DIY Product Photography: Props

If you decide to be a bit more creative, you may want to use props. Get all props that you want to use in your photos. This could be anything from a vase to flowers to a piece of fabric. The important thing is that the props complement your product and don’t take away from it.

Once you have your props, arrange them around your product. You want your product to take center stage, so don’t overdo the accessories. A few well-chosen props will do the trick.

DIY product photography: Lightbox

If you want to take your DIY product photography to the next level, we recommend using a lightbox. A lightbox is a small tent that you can put your product in to take photos. The benefit of using a lightbox is that it diffuses the light and eliminates any shadows.

You can buy a lightbox online or make your own. If you want to make your own, all you need is a cardboard box, some white tissue paper, and a light source.

Cut a hole on top of the box and cover it with tissue paper. This will diffuse the light and create a soft, even light for your product photos. Position your product in the box and take your photos.

DIY Product Photography: Camera

So what camera is best for DIY product photography? It depends on your budget and the type of images you want to get. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use your phone’s camera. However, if you want the best quality images, we recommend using a DSLR camera.

Some of the best cameras to use are:

1. Sony A6100
The Sony A6100 is the best all-around camera for product photography. It’s affordable and takes great photos. It is lightweight and very user-friendly.

This is an easy camera to bring with you on trips, and it also has some useful features like the ability to shoot in 1:1 aspect ratio. The original Sony A6000 still exists at a fantastic price, albeit without the latest super-speedy BIONZ processor.

There’s also the more expensive A6600, which comes with a higher-resolution viewfinder and a headphone jack for video. For product photography, we think the A6100 strikes the best balance.

2. Fujifilm X-S10
The Fujifilm X-S10 is a high-performing mirrorless camera for products with an exceptional lens selection. It’s known for fantastic handling and superb lens system, which makes it ideal for product photography.

Fujifilm’s X-S10 is a great choice for small business owners who want to upgrade from their phone’s camera or a point-and-shoot. The only downside in using this camera is that it’s on the pricier side. But if you’re serious about product photography, it’s worth the investment.

3. Sony RX100 V
This is the ideal compact camera for product photography. It can be considered an all-in-one package and can be powered by a USB. This camera is also incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry with you on the go.

The Sony RX100 V is a fantastic camera for taking photos in low-light scenarios. It has a 1-inch sensor and a 24-70mm lens with a maximum aperture range of f/1.8 to f/2.8, which allows you to capture stunning shots even in dim lighting.

This is essentially all you’ll need for product photography, allowing you to shoot fantastic pictures in any lighting situation with a camera that’s small enough to carry everywhere.

camera setting for diy product photography

Camera Settings for DIY Product Photography

Now that you know what camera to use, let’s talk about settings. The three main settings you need to adjust are ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

ISO: Keep it as low as possible

In simple terms, ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to light and vice versa. For product photography, you want to keep your ISO as low as possible. This will minimize the amount of noise in your photos.

Aperture: Keep it wide open

Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. The wider the aperture, the more light that comes into the camera. For product photography, you want to keep your aperture as wide open as possible. This will allow you to get a shallow depth of field, which is great for product photos because it keeps the focus on your product and blurred out the background.

Shutter Speed: slow and steady (on a tripod)

Using a slow shutter speed is ideal for product photography. This will help minimize any camera shake and ensure that your photos are sharp and clear. A shutter speed is the amount of time that your camera’s shutter is open while taking a photo. A slow shutter speed means that the shutter is open for a longer period of time, while a fast shutter speed means that it’s only open for a short amount of time.

We recommend using a tripod to keep your camera steady while you’re taking photos. If you don’t have a tripod, you can try propping your camera up on a stable surface like a table or a shelf.

Camera Mode: Use manual mode

For product photography, we recommend using manual mode. This will give you the most control over your camera settings. In manual mode, you can adjust your ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to get the perfect photo every time. If you’re new to photography, we understand that manual mode can be daunting. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems. We promise it’ll be worth the effort once you see the amazing photos you can take in manual mode.

Image Format: RAW

When it comes to product photography, image quality is key. That’s why we recommend using the RAW format. RAW files are unprocessed and contain all the data from your camera sensor. This gives flexibility when editing your photos later on.

White Balance: Automatic

White balance is the process of removing any color cast from your photos. This is important in product photography because you want your products to look their best. The easiest way to remove a color cast is to set your white balance to automatic. This will correct any color casts automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it.

For product photography, we recommend using an automatic white balance. This will ensure that your colors are accurate and consistent.


DIY Product Photography: Controlling Light

Lighting is the most crucial aspect of product photography. After all, you’re taking pictures of products, so you want them to look their best.

There are a few techniques to control the light when taking product photos.

1. Natural Light
As we’ve mentioned earlier, natural light is the best option for product photography. It’s free and it’s easy to find. If you’re shooting outside, we recommend using diffusers to soften the light and reduce any harsh shadows.

2. Artificial Light
If you’re shooting indoors, you can use artificial light. Using a flash is the most common type of artificial light. We recommend using a diffuser with your flash to soften the light and reduce any harsh shadows.

3. Studio Lights
If you’re serious about product photography, we recommend investing in a set of studio lights. Studio lights are specifically designed for photography and will give you the best possible results.

4. Continuous Lighting
Continuous lighting is another option for indoor product photography. Continuous lights are less expensive than studio lights, but they’re not as powerful.

5. Lighting Kits
If you’re just getting started with product photography, we recommend using a lighting kit. Lighting kits have everything you need to get started, including lights, stands, and diffusers.

Ecommerce Photo Retouching Services

Ecommerce Photo Retouching Services

Once you’ve taken your photos, it’s time to edit them. Retouching your product photos will help you achieve the perfect look.

When doing DIY photography, mistakes are pretty much inevitable. Some product images may appear too dark or too bright. Other times, your product photos may have a color cast that needs to be removed. This is where photo editing becomes crucial.

Image editing is essential as it allows you to correct any imperfections in your photos and make them look their best. This is essentially important especially for online stores as the quality of your product photos will directly affect your sales.

Some techniques used in photo editing are:

  • Adjusting the brightness and contrast
  • Adjusting the color temperature
  • Cropping and straightening the photo
  • Removing any unwanted blemishes

There are several software (free and paid) you can use to edit your product photos.

1. Photoshop
If you’re serious about product photography, we recommend using Photoshop. Photoshop is a software for product photo editing that gives you a lot of control over your photos.

2. Lightroom
Lightroom is a great alternative to Photoshop. It’s less expensive and it’s easier to use.

3. PicMonkey
PicMonkey is a free online photo editor. It’s a great option if you’re on a budget or if you’re just getting started with product photography.

4. Canva
Canva is a free online design platform. You can use it to create professional-looking product photos.

5. BeFunky
BeFunky is another free online photo editor. It’s easy to use and it has a lot of great features.

6. Outsourcing Product Photo Editing
If you are busy taking orders or just don’t have the creative skills to edit your own product photos, we recommend outsourcing the task. There are a lot of great agencies that offer professional photo editing services.

At Pixel by Hand, we offer professional product photo editing services including Background removal, Color correction, Image retouching, Shadow creation, Clipping Path, and more. We have one of the fastest turnaround time in our industry which is usually within 24 hours or less for small batches. We also take bulk photo editing projects.

If you’re interested in outsourcing your product photo editing, we’d be happy to help. You can learn more about our services by using the chatbox below or contacting us here.

Now that you know the basics of DIY product photography, it’s time to get out there and start taking some amazing photos!

Let’s transform your product images!

Get started with a Free Trial of our product photo retouching service or if you have any questions simply click Ask A Question to get started.

Let’s Get Started Today. It's Free!

Send us a selection of your current images and we will show you how we can improve them.
All our sample images are completely Free.