How to Use a DSLR as a Webcam

Looking to use your DSLR for video chats and work calls? You’re in the right place. We’ve scoured the internet to find some of the best options out there. The good news here is that there’s usually a pretty simple answer for most cameras.

With just a few tweaks, you’ll have a powerful video conferencing tool at your fingertips. You’ll be live streaming with incredible video quality before you know it! Just so you know, many of the tips on this page also apply to mirrorless cameras.

Whether you’re using a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera or a more modern mirrorless, we’ve got you covered!

Advantages of Using a DSLR Camera for Video Calls

The events of the past two years have made video conference calls a regular fact of life (for better or worse!) An increasing number of people are looking to up their game when chatting on Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Zoom.

In this section, we explore some of the main reasons that people decide to switch to a more premium capture device for their calls.

Better Video Quality

It’s pretty obvious, but picture quality is probably the main reason that most people make the switch. If you’ve spent any time calling on your average computer, chances are you’ve realised that your laptop’s camera leaves a lot to be desired.

A DSLR webcam is a different story. These devices are built from the ground up to deliver some of the best quality video available for live streams and the like. With the right software installed – and a small amount of tweaking in your settings – you’ll be good to go!

dslr as a webcam

Improved Control

In addition to better image quality, your new webcam can also offer an increased level of control than you may be used to. This depends on the webcam utility you’re using, but most camera manufacturers these days offer pretty good solutions.

You’ll be able to tweak your high quality webcam to your heart’s content!

Less Stuttering and Dropped Frames

As a general rule, using a DSLR as a webcam means you’ll be dealing with less stuttering overall. This is because many DSLR cameras can record footage with a much higher FPS than your average webcam. You’ll enjoy buttery-smooth video for your calls.

Provided you have a decent internet connection, that is; a call with a slow connection will suffer in quality no matter how good your camera is!

Better Low-Light Performance

A lot of the time, you won’t be video calling in ideal lighting environments. Oppressive fluorescent lighting, overhead lamps, and dim rooms can all affect the quality of your calls. A decent DSLR or mirrorless camera with a good lens usually does a much better job of adapting to lighting changes than a traditional webcam.

Using DSLR Cameras as Webcams – What You May Need

In this section, we explore what you may need when setting up your DSLR camera for video conferencing. You won’t need all of these as it all comes down to the specific camera you’re using and the approach you choose when setting up your gear.

In short, these are the main ways people set up a DSLR webcam:

  • By using a capture card like this one
  • Using their camera manufacturer’s webcam/ streaming software
  • Using other software that works more universally

We discuss the details below!

Your Digital Camera

No points for guessing this first one! You’ll need a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera to make this process worthwhile. Make sure you’re familiar with your camera’s settings and know how to use its HDMI output features.

When streaming video with your camera, you’ll have to switch to video mode or find the appropriate ‘streaming’ option in your settings.

A USB Capture Card

You’ll often have to pick up a capture card like this one to allow your camera to communicate with your desktop PC or laptop. In short, a capture card lets your computer and camera talk to each other via your DSLR’s HDMI output.

HDMI to Micro HDMI Cable

In most cases, you’ll want a micro to full-size HDMI cable to connect your camera to your PC. Double-check the socket on your camera to make sure. Some older Sony and Canon models may use a proprietary cable that you’ll need to source through them.

If you’re using extras like an external microphone, you’ll also need a usb cable.

External Microphone

This one isn’t strictly necessary, but it can really take things up a notch. Depending on the age of your DSLR, your internal microphone might let down the quality of your streams. External microphones can be picked up reasonably cheaply and give your streams the crisp audio they deserve.

A Tripod or Mount

Another piece of additional hardware worth considering is a decent tripod/ mount for your camera. Most DSLR cameras are quite heavy and will need some hands-free support to function properly as a webcam.

Check out our guide to camera tripods if you’re unsure where to start.

Free Software

As mentioned earlier, you’ll need some form of extra software in order to use your camera as a webcam. Make sure that any option you consider works with your operating system and will actually play nicely with programs like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

We list a few options below.

SparkoCam

SparkoCam is a webcam app that works with a broad range of DSLR cameras. It comes with a suite of tools that make it easier to control your camera with your PC. There are also some fun gimmicks like face filters and green-screen modes thrown in for good measure.

This option is for PC users only and costs $70 a year (free options below!).

CamTwist

Using a Mac? The program CamTwist makes it possible to run live streams using your digital camera. It’s designed to work with HDMI capture cards and can be downloaded for free. You’ll also have access to a ton of different effects and visual tools which is a great bonus.

digiCamControl

Another option for Windows users is digiCamControl. Expect a suite of tools and effects that make using your DSLR as a webcam a breeze! Just as a head’s up – the settings menu might feel a little fiddly to non-power users but it’s nothing you can’t get used to.

If You’ve Got a Canon DSLR Camera

Want to take advantage of the image quality on your Canon camera? You’ll want their dedicated webcam software.

canon camera as webcam

Canon EOS Webcam Utility

Download here: link

The Canon EOS webcam utility is designed to transform your Canon DSLR into live video powerhouse! Using your digital camera as a webcam doesn’t get much better than this. When downloading the program, you’ll need to provide some info about your camera’s specific model.

Check your camera’s manual if you’re unsure. This lets you download the right drivers so everything runs smoothly from the moment you open the app. When plugging in your camera, you’ll probably have to switch to ‘movie mode’ in your settings menu.

If you’re scratching your head and wondering where to start, this guide might be able to help:

It will talk you through the camera settings, hardware, and other considerations you’ll need to think about.

Use a Fujifilm DSLR as a Webcam

Fujifilm users don’t need to feel left out of the party. The company’s ‘X Webcam’ software works with a ton of their cameras and seems to work very well.

Fujifilm X Webcam

Download here: link

This handy bit of software is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems and can interface with your camera via a USB or HDMI connection. You’ll be able to use your DSLR for Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and more.

Just make sure you’re using Edge or Chrome as your web browser of choice.

Overwhelmed? This guide from Fujifilm may help.

Use a Nikon DSLR as a Webcam

Nikon users should install the Nikon Webcam Utility to use their DSLR as a webcam

Nikon Webcam Utility

Download here: link

This live streaming app is available on both MacOs and Windows and has been tested on all of the video conferencing apps you care about. When connecting your Nikon camera to your PC, make sure you’ve selected ‘PC Mode’ and disconnected your USB cable from any other hardware.

A note for Mac users – this doesn’t work in Safari and you’ll have to use Chrome or Edge.

Panasonic Live Streaming App

Using a Lumix camera? There’s a beta version of Panasonic’s webcam app available that you might like to try.

LUMIX Webcam Software (Beta)

Download here: link

Say goodbye to your laptop’s webcam and boost your video quality with this handy software from Panasonic. Make sure you’ve put your camera in ‘PC Tether’ mode before plugging in your USB. Use the link provided above to double-check compatibility and setup support.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve already got a powerful camera lying around, setting it up as a webcam can be easier than you might expect. Our main advice is to double-check whether you actually need a capture card before ordering one.

Some setups need them, others don’t. Check the guidance from your manufacture online if you’re unsure. Whichever approach you go with, we hope it serves you well during your video calls and streams!

Best Canon Camera for Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is a fulfilling career. It’s a lovely pleasure to photograph animals and birds in their natural surroundings. Having the correct photography equipment can further enhance the experience.

While various cameras can capture wildlife, those serious about the endeavor should invest in a Canon model that will repay the long hours (sometimes long hours of travel) spent bringing a wildlife subject in front of the lens. One should buy a camera that can capture the moment perfectly.

Wildlife photographers need to use AI Servo AF mode to track a moving subject. A camera with many AF points is crucial in this case, as it allows for appropriate subject framing.

Cameras used for wildlife photography; place a higher priority on durability and weather resistance than cameras used in other situations.

Why Canon Wildlife Photography Cameras?

Wildlife is often unpredictably unexpected and moves quickly. That implies a high frame rate is advantageous for catching the exact moment of movement, as is a superior autofocus (AF) system. Your camera needs to deal with low light and the physical demands of the outdoors.

When it comes to capturing amazing photographs in the wild, Canon cameras have a reputation for being the best. They’re razor-sharp, quick, dependable, and simple to use. Wildlife photography is challenging. You’ll need a sturdy camera that can withstand a lot of abuse in a variety of situations. Canon, fortunately, has you covered in this area as well.

Canon, likewise, offers a diverse range of wildlife cameras and compatible telephoto zoom lenses. It comprises low-cost cameras with only the most basic functionality and high-end cameras with numerous features and functionalities. As a result, the bulk of professional wildlife photographers solely use Canon cameras.

7 Best Canon Cameras for Wildlife Photography:

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
  • Canon PowerShot SX620
  • Canon EOS 5DS R
  • Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera
  • Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

When looking for the best camera for wildlife photography, there are several factors to consider. This guide will assist you in making that decision and selecting the best camera for your requirements.

1. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only)

Although the camera’s resolution isn’t the highest, its lightning-fast autofocus, sturdy design, and indestructible weather sealing make it ideal for usage in the wild. The 14fps and 120fps shooting speeds in live view are best for filming running animals and flying birds. When photographing an adult cheetah sprinting at 120 kilometers per hour, you need that type of speed.

A continuous burst of up to 170 photos in uncompressed 14-bit RAW format is also available from the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. Again, having such a high burst rate makes photographing fast-moving wildlife much better. The camera also has a wide ISO range, so it performs well in low-light situations.

Pros:

  • The tough weather-sealed body
  • 61 autofocus spots for lightning-fast autofocus
  • Full HD video (1920×1080) at up to 120 frames per second (119.9 fps)
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • Quick and accurate animal tracking.
  • The 14fps continuous shooting speed
  • Ideal for capturing quick action.

Cons:

  • Quite heavy
  • Expensive.

2. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Body

Although the 1D X Mark III does not have the highest resolution sensor, it is the best camera in almost every other way. It is Canon’s rugged and most weatherproof camera, ready for whatever the outdoors throws at it. When photographing birds in flying, creatures running, or even catching eyes between blinks, the 16 fps frame rate is incredible.

With a vast array of focus points for tracking the subject, the 1D X Mark III’s AF technology enables exceptionally rapid and accurate focusing.

The 1D X III is a popular choice for photographers who want to capture the action at huge events like the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and (insert any other event here), and it’s just as capable in the wilds.

This camera is not small, light, or inexpensive, but when getting the right image is critical, this one consistently delivers. If there’s going to be action, this is the camera I want in my hands.

Pros:

  • JPEG and Raw image quality are both excellent.
  • Low levels of noise and a wide dynamic range
  • Video quality and feature set are among the best in the industry.
  • HEIF HDR files are a good substitute for the old JPEG format because they have the best Canon autofocus ever.
  • Excellent touchscreen interaction
  • AF Smart Controller is a unique and practical device.
  • Build quality is durable.
  • Long battery life
  • Switching between stills and video is simple.

Cons:

  • Live view is a must for the best AF subject tracking, which is a bit impractical.
  • Menus are becoming more complex
  • It is a bit huge and heavy.

3. Canon PowerShot SX620

Canon Powershot SX620 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Bundle w/Tripod Hand Grip, 64GB SD Memory, Case and More (Black)

The SX620 has 25X optical zoom and is an excellent camera for birding. It also boasts an easy-to-use IS system; that allows you to keep the camera and image stable. The camera’s 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 image processing produce excellent image quality in all lighting settings.

The SX20 lacks 4K, which is understandable given its price and type. It does, however, record fantastic videos in 1080P high quality. It features Wi-Fi and NFC built-in, making it simple to share your photos and movies on social media.

Pros:

  • A very low-cost camera
  • It’s ideal for birding and chasing after fast-moving objects.
  • Intuitive IS 25x optical zoom
  • Exceptional picture performance

Cons:

  • The user interface needs to improve.

4. Canon EOS 5DS R

Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR with Low-Pass Filter Effect Cancellation (Body Only)

If you want your photographs to have a lot of detail, the Canon EOS 5DS R is a great camera to use. It’s also a superb landscape camera because of the resolution. A low-pass cancellation filter is present for improved clarity. As a result, it’s great for macro photography and close-ups.

The Canon EOS 5DS R is great for wildlife photography. In terms of burst rate and other capabilities (only 5fps), it lags behind the EOS 5D Mark IV. However, its massive 50.6-megapixel sensor outperforms all other cameras on our list in terms of image quality.

Pros:

  • Sensor with 50.6 megapixels
  • Excellent image quality
  • Images with a lot of detail
  • Landscapes, macros, and close-ups benefit the most from this lens.

Cons:

  • Slow Frame Rate.

5. Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera

Canon DSLR Camera [EOS 90D] with 18-135 is USM Lens | Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DIGIC 8 Image Processor, 4K Video, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and 3.0 Inch Vari-Angle Touch LCD Screen, Black

The announcement of the Canon EOS 90D DSLR’s arrival in 2019 came as a surprise, owing to Canon’s focus on mirrorless cameras at the time. This camera has proven to be a better replacement for the older EOS 80D. More importantly, it has evolved into a great wildlife camera over time.

The EOS 90D can record uncropped 4K video, which is a huge plus when shooting wildlife. In the same way, the 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor produces unrivaled photos and movies. It also enables you to make larger reproductions of your photographs without sacrificing overall image quality.

The EOS 90D, like all current Canon cameras, has Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus technology. When combined with the 45-point phase-detect autofocus system, it shines.

Pros:

  • A wide selection of telephoto lenses is compatible with this camera.
  • 1080P or 4K video capture with a 32.5-megapixel sensor
  • Autofocus using dual pixel CMOS
  • 10fps burst rate Intuitive touchscreen
  • Image quality is excellent.
  • The battery has a 1300 shot capacity.

Cons:

  • Buffer capacity is limited.

6. Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless

Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera + RF24-105mm F4-7.1 is STM Lens Kit, Black (4082C022)

The Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame mirrorless camera is ideal for wildlife photography, especially catching fast action.

The EOS R6 Full-mind-blowing Frame’s Dual Pixel CMOS focusing makes it a great Canon digital camera for wildlife photography and outdoors. The 1053-point autofocus system is simply incredible. A dedicated animal autofocus option is also present in the camera. In general, autofocus monitors every object with excellent precision. With time, the deep learning autofocus improves as well.

Shooting fast-moving birds and animals is a breeze with continuous shooting speeds of 12fps and 20fps and an electronic shutter. The low-noise full-frame picture sensor also produces high-quality photographs.

Pros:

  • The Autofocus system is excellent.
  • Sophisticated image stabilization
  • Sensor with a better dynamic range
  • Outstanding low-light performance
  • With the electronic shutter, you can shoot at a rate of 20 frames per second.
  • 4k filming at 60fps in a weather-sealed and durable body

Cons:

  • The number of megapixels is relatively low.
  • Quite expensive

7. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame DSLR Camera is an option to consider if you want an affordable professional camera for wildlife photography. The product is excellent for professional photographers and can come with a variety of lenses.

If you prefer a full-frame camera with a better CMOS sensor, this is also the best Canon DSLR for wildlife photography. The camera has a 30.4MP sensor as well as a 1x optical zoom multiplier. It also can capture video in 4K UHD definition. 4K Motion JPEG video technology is present in the camera.

Wi-Fi technology is available in the camera. It facilitates wireless communication by allowing users to share photographs with other devices. A built-in LCD makes it easy to organize your photos.

Pros:

  • 30.4MP CMOS sensor on a full-frame camera
  • Expandable ISO range
  • Continuous shooting
  • 4K motion JPEG video
  • Dual Pixel CMOS

Cons:

  • Low-resolution video recording
  • Continuous shooting at a low frame rate

Related

How to Choose the Best Camera for Wildlife?

Wildlife photography is distinct from landscape and nature photography. What works for one sort of photography might not work at all for another. As a result, if you enjoy photographing wildlife, keep the following requirements in mind while choosing the best camera for wildlife.

Autofocus

When it comes to wildlife photography, autofocus wins every time. Stunning wildlife photography necessitates great autofocus and object tracking. Choose a camera with phase-detection autofocus and a high number of points. Ideally, you should purchase a camera with at least 50 autofocus points.

Sensor Size

Photographers prefer Full-frame cameras because of their superior low-light performance and image quality. APS-C and other tiny sensors, on the other hand, can produce stunning images. When photographing distant animals, the APS-C format is the superior choice.

Shooting Speed

Taking fantastic photographs necessitates a high shutter speed or frames per second. If you have an intuitively fast camera, you can capture wildlife’s actions and emotions. One should go for a frame rate of at least ten frames per second to record fast-moving animals.

Decent Buffer Depth

A decent buffer depth is necessary to capture wildlife. You can take more shots in a single burst with a larger buffer. However, other elements, such as the memory card’s writing speed, play a role.

Lens Range

The best nature photographs have subjects that fill the frame. A camera with a large zoom lens is required to generate this look. The majority of bridge cameras come with built-in zoom lenses.

ISO Equivalence

One needs higher ISOs for wildlife photography because you often have to shoot near dawn and dusk or low light conditions. As a result, cameras with a wide ISO range are better for wildlife photography by definition.

Final Thoughts

Wildlife photography is an art form that requires a high-quality camera to perfect. Our guide to the best Canon camera for wildlife photography will help you pick the correct camera and establish a reputation in this prestigious hobby or job.

FAQs

What is the best camera for wildlife photography?

The best camera for wildlife photography: considering the specifications, lens compatibility, and pricing, is the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

How many megapixels are good for wildlife photography?

There is no minimum megapixel requirement for a wildlife camera. The finest cameras for wildlife photography have at least a 10MP sensor, but for larger prints, at least a 24MP camera is good.

Is a 200mm lens enough for wildlife?

When it comes to the best camera for animal photography, most experts think that a 200mm lens is sufficient for capturing wildlife at a great angle.

How do you photograph wildlife like a pro?

Start with the best camera for wildlife and environmental photography. Make sure you have a good lens with picture stabilization. The lens should also not produce noise when focusing.

What is the best camera for a wildlife photographer beginner?

The best camera for wildlife photography beginner classes and sessions is the Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera.

Is Canon EOS 90D great for wildlife photography?

The Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera is a good option if you are still a beginner and focus primarily on wildlife. Canon EOS 90D is also great for other types of photography sessions.

Best camera bag insert (6 ideal solutions for backpacks)

Carrying around a lot of camera gear can become quite cumbersome, especially if you have to use a separate bag. Fortunately, many people make special inserts you can just slide into a backpack to use it as your camera bag. In this post, we’ll look at the best camera bag inserts, why they’re an ideal solution for backpacks, and how to choose the best one.

Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert - Gray/Black (636-223) Soft Shell Camera In-Bag Holder with Padded Adjustable Compartments

The problem with camera bags

Even though you can go out and buy a dedicated camera bag, most of them are quite expensive, and they’re very limited in purposeYou can only carry a camera, some lenses, and other accessories. Good luck trying to fit any other items! At best, you may be able to sneak in an umbrella or water bottle.

Additionally, most camera bags have fixed compartments, so if you’re not using all of them, you’re essentially wasting space because there’s not much else you can fit in those dedicated lens/camera gear compartments.

So unless you’re a seriously professional photographer that needs a dedicated bag for all the specialized camera equipment you carry, you don’t need to spend your money on a dedicated camera bag. Instead, you can pick up a simple camera bag insert, which will fit into your existing bag.

Camera bag inserts have the advantage of protecting your camera gear and still leaving enough space for your other daily carry, like a laptop, a book or two, and anything else you may need.

Another advantage camera bag inserts provide is comfort. Let’s face it: camera bags are not comfortable, and you probably already have a favorite backpack which is so comfortable you hardly feel it on your back.

Backpacks also comparatively less expensive(or at least more value for money) than camera bags. So if you could combine a backpack and a camera bag into one without a significant difference in cost at worst, or saving money at best, why wouldn’t you?

Not only can camera bag inserts work with backpacks, but satchels, shoulder bags, and tote bags too. You just have to find the right size.

So if you don’t like hauling a backpack, but instead prefer to sling a shoulder bag or tote, an insert will be a good solution for you.

At the end of the day, hikers, students, and hobbyists will find camera bag inserts to be the ultimate solution of convenience

Hikers won’t want to carry an entire extra bag, and this would solve their problem.

Students already have a lot to carry and an extra bag is just cumbersome, and this would solve their problem.

Hobbyists don’t want to haul an extra bag around just for fun, and this would solve their problem.

Finally, an added secret benefit is being able to fit everything you need in a compact manner, which will make a huge difference in air travel!

Related

Best Camera Bag Inserts: Top 6 picks

1. Tenba BYOB 10: Best overall camera insert

Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert - Gray/Black (636-223) Soft Shell Camera In-Bag Holder with Padded Adjustable Compartments

Normally BYOB means something else, but here, I’m assuming it means bring your own bag!

The BYOB camera insert is really awesome and I think it’s the BEST camera insert out there. It’s a bit more expensive than the other ones but it’s totally worth the money in my opinion.

The reason being is that you can fit a DSLR/mirrorless camera and up to 4 lenses and accessories.

Whether you have a backpack, a messenger bag, a duffel, or a carry-on, or what have you(!), the BYOB 10 should fit easily.

The exterior of this camera insert is very well padded, and the dividers are also padded to keep your gear from bumping into other pieces of gear.

Another really nice design touch is the mesh side pockets that stretch out to fit a wide variety of items like your wallet, phone, or even a small water bottle.

There’s also a D-ring to attach keys or a carabiner for hanging a lot more accessories.

There are also front and rear pockets for even more storage. It’s also got a little handle on top so you can use it as a lunchbox style carry.

All in all, Tenba have taken a limited amount of space and turned it into a very functional and expandable bag. If you don’t mind spending the slightly extra money(and you may want to considering it will house $1000s of dollars of camera gear), you should stop reading here and pick up the Tenba BYOB 10 🙂

The Tenba BYOB is also available in smaller sizes.

Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert - Gray/Black (636-223) Soft Shell Camera In-Bag Holder with Padded Adjustable Compartments
  • PROTECTION IN ANY BAG: Designed to carry & protect a camera inside a larger backpack, suitcase or handbag, the BYOB's soft shell easily molds to the shape of a carrying bag. They work with a variety of camera systems, with pockets to organize accessories
  • INSERT YOUR CAMERA: The BYOB 10 fits a DSLR or mirrorless camera with 2-4 lenses & accessories & features padded dividers that are adjustable to fit multiple configurations, & a zippered top cover that can be folded back to allow quick access to gear.
  • INDUSTRY LEADING EQUIPMENT PROTECTION: For 40 years, Tenba has been building industry-leading equipment cases for rental houses, studios and professional imagemakers. Our cases can withstand being shipped or checked as luggage while ensuring protection
  • HEAVY DUTY: Our Transport series is a collection of maximum-protection cases for everything from cameras to computers, lighting to grip gear & more. Made with ballistic & Cordura nylon, YKK zippers, seatbelt-grade webbing, & heavily reinforced stitching.Features interior dimensions of 10 inch W x 7.5 inch H x 4 inch D ( 25 X 19 X 10 centimeter )
  • COMPARE THE QUALITY: Compare our camera bags, air cases, messenger bags, laptop bags & travel bags to similar products from Timbuk2, Travelon, Tous, Herschel, Vera Bradley, Chrome, Manhattan Portage, Eastpak, Tokidoki, Asus, Patagonia or Kenneth Cole

2. Mountainsmith Kit Cube: great for carry-on bags

Mountainsmith TAN Kit Cube for Cameras, Large

Featuring a striking black and yellow design, the Mountainsmith Kit Cube is a really nice insert that fits easily into a backpack or roller bag.

The internal compartments are padded and you can switch around the sizes of the cubicles to adjust the sizes for fitting a variety of equipment from your camera, lenses, memory cards, extra batteries, and chargers.

The outer covering is a water resistant fabric that will help keep your camera gear safe even if you’re in the field and have to set your bag on some wet or damp grass.

It should be noted that it’s water resistant and not water proof, so don’t plan on dropping it into a swimming pool anytime soon.

A zip closes all around the cube for a secure and easy open and close.

There’s also a zip compartment in the inside of the top closure for throwing in some memory cards or flat items.

Mountainsmith TAN Kit Cube for Cameras, Large
  • Padded compartment with internal dividers for custom camera carry
  • Water resistant exterior fabric panels
  • Color-coded pockets to organize new vs used memory cards, storage devices, etc.
  • Water resistant 5000mm PU fabric panels for extreme durability in the field
  • Fits most FAA carry-on sized lugagge and bags

3. S-ZONE Water Resistant DSLR SLR Camera Insert Bag: great for messenger bags

s-zone insert for messenger bags

If you have a messenger bag or satchel style bag, the S-Zone insert is a really good choice. It’s comparatively sleek and tall, ideal to fit into a messenger bag.

It’s made out of nylon and is water resistant. It’s also really lightweight, and when you’re not using it, you can fold it up by removing the inner dividers and flatten it down to condense the size to a certain extent.

You have two dividers in this bag insert that you can adjust to a variety of configurations. The really cool thing about this insert is that you can use it to carry one camera with a large lens, a camera with a small lens and one extra lens, or just use it to carry three lenses.

This model is available in 4 different sizes which you can choose depending on the size of your bag and the size of your camera.

For really small DSLR cameras and just one lens, the smallest size will do the trick.

If you use a bigger lens that has more zoom, you’ll need the medium or large size.

Of course, you’re also limited to the size of your backpack/messenger bag. For a large backpack, you can use any of the sizes. For a messenger bag, you’ll probably be limited to small or medium.

Sale
S-ZONE Water Resistant DSLR SLR Camera Insert Bag Inner Case Bag(Medium)
  • Material: High density nylon, Raindrop proof, Light weight, Foldable and Portable.
  • Dimensions: 9''Lx7''Hx4''W inch,suitable for a DSLR/SLR camera and ONE camera lens
  • Absorbing shock and vibration to protect your camera against damages, dust and scratches
  • DIY a camera bag, you could insert this case into most of S-ZONE backpacks or messenger bags
  • Detachable divider enable you to adjust the space of this case to match your camera well

4. Tenba Tool Box

Tenba Tool Box 4 (636-241)

Since we’re talking about camera inserts in general and not specifically DSLR camera inserts, it’s worth mentioning the Tenba Tool Box too.

Essentially, the Tenba Tool Box is the same as the Tenba BYOB, except it’s much flatter and more compact. That makes it a really good choice for carrying GoPros(or similar action cameras) and smaller, compact cameras and their accessories.

It doesn’t have any of the extra bells and whistles that the BYOB has(the mesh pockets and extra compartments, but you can still rearrange the inserts to any configuration and fit quite a bit of smaller gear in it.

One other huge difference is that the top is NOT padded but it is see through. So you won’t get protection from all sides.

Since it’s smaller, you can fit it in even smaller bags, too!

Tenba Tool Box 4 (636-241)
  • Rigid, padded Tool Box provides protected storage and organization for equipment and accessories inside any bag.
  • Clear, PVC-free TPU window so contents are visible at a glance.
  • Durable elastic loops keep cables untangled without the need for individual cord wraps, and are also perfect for batteries.
  • Fits GoPro camera systems, professional shoe-mount flash units, radio triggers, mirror less cameras and lenses, and so much more.
  • Movable dividers can be repositioned to any configuration. Rigid design keeps contents from moving.

5. Lens wraps

Domke F-34M, 15x15 Protective Wrap, Red.

Sometimes you don’t really need anything special for your camera itself but you do need something to carry your delicate lenses in. In case your camera insert does not have enough room for yet an extra lens, or you just need something safe to put your lens in before putting it in your everyday bag, consider using a lens wrap.

Some companies make dedicated lens wraps, while others make general protective wraps that you can use for anything from lenses to the camera itself.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Domke F-34M 15-Inch Protective Wrap -Black
  • Wrap around lenses, tools, or anything else that needs protection
  • Solid black color for easy organization and quick ID
  • Medium 15-inch square size
  • Made of padded, Velcro-compatible knit with a non-scratch nylon backing
  • Velcro tabs on all four corners let each wrap be self-secured in any number of ways
Bestseller No. 2
Tenba Protective Wrap Tools 12in Protective Wrap - Blue (636-323)
  • Smooth interior lining of water-repellent silicone-coated rip stop nylon.
  • Velcro corners and a soft knit, Velcro-compatible fabric allow it to be rolled, folded or wrapped into many configurations, form-fitted safely around contents.
  • Available in three sizes - 12, 16 and 20 inches square.
  • Four available colors - black, gray, blue and lime.
  • Four available colors - black, gray, blue and lime.
Bestseller No. 3
Foto&Tech Flexible Magic Cloth Wrapper, Anti-Scratch Camera Lens Wrap Travel Case, Compatible with DSLR Camera Lenses Laptop Smartphone Tablet Gaming Consoles (20.75 x 20.75 Inch, Navy Blue Camo)
  • SECURE. Thinking about your camera case unravelling? No worries here. Foto&Tech’s DSLR wrap can cover any photography essentials inside it firmly, leaving no room for it to slip out. Position, fold, and go!
  • SOFT BUT STRONG. This DSLR wrap is made of a soft synthetic cloth that is scratch proof and dustproof. Keep your essential devices secure inside your handbags, backpacks, or luggage while on the go. Provide that extra layer of padding for your electronics.
  • VERSATILE. Never be limited. You can use our camera wraps to cover your camera peripherals, phones, tablets, gaming consoles, etc. You can also use it as a lens changing mat while outdoors. An easy solution to cover your valuable electronics.
  • CONVENIENT. Our camera wraps stay firmly in place, but easily peels back when necessary. The thin cloth is reusable and can be easily rearranged to cover any camera accessory or device on hand. It can be cleaned by hand wash after each use since it dries easily.
  • TRAVEL FRIENDLY. Great for indoor and outdoor use. Weighing 5 to 6 oz, the DSLR wrap is lightweight and thin, making it easy to store along with your cameras and lenses.

6. Lens pouches

You can also use lens pouches instead of lens wraps. Pouches may be a bit more secure and snug and have a more secure zip open and close.

The only disadvantage is that you’ll have to buy a pouch that is the same size as your lens. With wraps, you have more flexibility and a single wrap can fit many sizes of lenses.

Bestseller No. 1
(4 Pack) Altura Photo Thick Protective Neoprene Pouch Set for DSLR Camera Lens (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Tamron, Sigma, Panasonic, Fuji) - Includes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large Pouches
  • (4 PACK) Includes: Altura Photo Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large neoprene lens bag / lens case for DSLR and Mirrorless camera lenses.
  • BUILT TO PROTECT CAMERA LENS BAG: Thick water-resistant neoprene camera lens case protects against moisture, sand, dust, and accidental bumps or scratches.
  • LENS POUCH WITH DUAL ATTACHMENT POINTS: A belt loop and Snap and swivel clip for convenient and secure transport.
  • Lenses Pouch COMPATIBLE with lenses from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax, Panasonic, Sony, Leica, Sigma, Tamron, and more.
  • Backed with DigitalGoja 90-Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Bestseller No. 2
Powerextra 4X Zipper Lens Case Lens Pouch Bag with Thick Protective Neoprene for DSLR Camera Lens Fit for Canon Nikon Sony Olympus Panasonic Includes Small Medium Large XL Size
  • 【4 PACK INCLUDE】Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large Neoprene Pouch Bags for DSLR Camera Lens + MagicFiber Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth.
  • 【COMPATIBLE MODELS】Compatible with almost all camera lenses. Works for Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax, Panasonic, Leica, Sigma, Tamron, etc.
  • 【PRACTICAL LENS CASE】With waterproof, dustproof, moistureproof and shock absorption function, protecting lens against bad weather, keeping your valuable camera equipment safe and dry, search ASIN: B06XPQ3327 for the waist strap that matched with the lens cases.
  • 【THICK WATERPROOF FABRIC】Thick soft neoprene protects lens, telephoto zoom from accidental bumps and scratches.
  • 【AFTER SALES SERVICE】If there is any question about the products, please feel free to contact us, Powerextra offers 24 hours friendly customer service!
Bestseller No. 3
CADeN Lens Pouch Set 4 Pack Replacement Compatible for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus (Small, Medium, Large, X Large) Camera Lens Case Bag Thick Protective Neoprene Pouch Soft Plush for DSLR Lens
  • 【Item Feature】Compatibled with Canon, Nikon, Sony and other lenses. 5.0 MM thickness material not only be a good protection of lens, but also heat preservation for putting cola cup, thermos cup, kettle, bottle. because of insulation rubber layer. The inside super soft fabric which gently embraces your lens and best protect for it.
  • 【Multi-Functions】The buckle is durable which load-bearing up to 12kg(26.46lb). 5MM elastic thickness SBR foam that give best protection of camera lens and avoid damage when falling off.
  • 【Multi-Functions】Many portable ways for hanging on D triangle lock, waist belt, or suitcase etc. Outside liner and middle SBR rubber material are of waterproof material.
  • 【Good Quality and Perfect Design】The outside neoprene and inside rubbber are waterproof Zig-zag lock stiching technology,make this camera bag more stronger and durable The inside super soft fabric which gently embraces your lens and best care for it.
  • 【Satisfied Services】1 Years warranty: Any problem within 1 year, we will offer a new one for you. 20 Years factory experience with more than 1000 people focused on camera lens bag, trustworthy for you.

U3 vs U1 SD Cards: A Detailed Comparison

U3 and U1 are among the fastest SanDisk SD cards that this manufacturer has released into the market. U3 came into the market after u1, which means that it has advanced features. Herein we take an in-depth look at these memory cards and their characteristics.

Londisk 4K 64gb U3 Class 10 Micro SD Memory Card for GoPro Hero Version, Free Adapter (U3, LONDISK-64gb)

Also, we compare u1 vs. u3 and the features that set them apart as well as the similarities that they share. You can buy u3 cards in both virtual and land-based stores as well as u1 cards. Both these MicroSD cards are UHS versions, and they are known to have higher write speeds, which makes them compatible with an array of DSLR cameras and many others in the market.

Speed class is the first feature that distinguishes these two MicroSD cards. U1 has a speed class of one while that of the U3 is three. This feature dictates the quality, resolution, and format of the video or imagery being recorded. Their names are also derived from this element.

If you want to capture videos that are consistent and steady, then you ought to go for the card with a higher class. You are likely to get an error message if you use a card with a lower level because it cannot accommodate the quality of the video being streamed. The class one variation has a minimum write speed of 10mbps same as the class 10 models while the u3 card has a rate of 30mbps.

Differences and similarities between U1 and U3

Many other features of u1 and u3 are similar and an array of them that are worlds apart. Below are some of the features of these cards that we explore in this comparison of the u1 vs. u3.

Capacity

This feature is measured by gigabytes, and it varies from one memory card to the next. When you compare other cards vs. u3, you will find that they all have varied capacities depending on the choice that the manufacturer made regarding the same. U1 SanDisk models are available from as low as 16 GB to as high as 512 GB.

U3 HAS provisions that range from 16 GB to 1TB availing more options for individuals who are after long term storage or those who have a need the capacity to handle the footage for a given project. Picking the largest capacity available is not an assurance that you will get the best quality of recorded work.

Renowned cinematographers recommend that you buy SD cards with small volumes for better quality work. Also, remember the purpose of the storage card, and this will make it easier for you to choose one between the u1 or u3 variations.

Listed transfer speed

A card that identifies and writes data quickly is among those that most people need for everyday use. U1 models have lower listed transfer speeds when compared vs. U3 models.

U1 models have a rate of 100mb/s, while U3 models are faster with a transfer speed of 175mb/s. If you want high write and copy speed, then the u3 model is your ideal pick for the task at hand.

UHS Bus Speed

This feature is indicated by roman numbers on the cards’ faces. They range from one to three. It refers to how the data collected is transferred between the cards pin and the host device connector. UHS I which both the U1 and U3 models have uses a single row of pins on the back of the card to transfer approximately one hundred and four megabytes per second.

UHS I is common among many cards since it is compatible with an assortment of cameras. This is one of the elements that these SD cards share; hence making a choice based on this feature will not be hard.

Before buying those with two or three indicated on the face with roman numerals, confirm that it will work with the existing hardware. Also, during an upgrade, ensure that the camera you acquire has a provision to accommodate different UHS formats.

Video speed class

This is another crucial feature that we cannot overlook in our comparison of these SanDisk memory cards. It is specific for video recording and is indicated using a V icon on the face of the card.

The U1 cards do not have this feature explicitly listed on the top of the card, making it hard to know this component. On the other hand, the U3 cards have the v icon with the number 30 alongside it.

This, therefore, means that HD video can be recorded at 30mbps without dropping any frames. This feature is only available on SDXC cards. Buying the U3 variation avails more options regarding recording video to the user when compared with the 10 u1 model.

UHS speed class

Although closely related to the UHS bus speed, these features play different functions. The ultra-high-speed rating is also on the face of the card.

It is a number inside a u-shaped logo that tells you how fast the card’s write speed is. The U1 sd card has one as the number inside the u-shape while U3 cards have three, meaning that they have a faster speed than the former.

Related

Best memory cards for Nikon D3300

How to format SD cards

Conclusion

Many factors ought to guide you in choosing the right sd card for the project at hand. The features above are critical, and so are other elements such as pricing, availability, compatibility with your hardware, and physical size, among many other things. Ensure that you buy a memory card that will cater to your needs for an extended period.

What is UHS U3?

UHS is the minimum sustained writing performance for recording video, and that for the u3 sd card is three.

Is UHS 1 the same as Class 10?

Yes, UHS 1 is an equivalent of class 10 since they have the same minimum data transfer speed of 10mbps. The technical specifications are also identical.

Is U3 better than U1?

Yes, U3 is better than U1 since it has some features which the other model does not have. It can, therefore, perform more functions making it the better choice.

Best Memory cards for Nikon D3300: 6 high performance picks

If you are looking for a good camera with optimum features that suits your budget, then nothing fulfills your requirement more than the Nikon D3300. It is certainly an idealistic entry level DSLR camera for beginners and has exceptional video quality and sharp image features. With comprehensive features, this camera is programmed to accept SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. Let’s look at the best memory cards for Nikon D3300.

Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto Focus-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens (Black)

What memory card does a Nikon D3300 use?

The Nikon D3300 uses SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. Each card has its own memory capacity with different Speed Class rating and different pricing. Where SD is the basic version which incorporates low storage capacity, SDHC can be classified as intermediate in terms of memory and SDXC is the advanced version with higher storage capacity.

The pricing depends on the type of memory cards as per Speed Class ratings. However, higher memory capacity influences camera performance and quality. For instance, if your prime requirement is recording movies you should opt for a SD Speed Class rating of 8 or above for best performance.

Lower Speed Class rating memory cards are unsuitable to serve the movie recording purpose as it may disrupt the movie recording experience.

What’s the difference between SD/SDHC/SDXC cards?

These abbreviations are used to determine the memory capacity of cards. The basic SD card or Secure Digital has a limited memory capacity of 2GB.

SDHC or Secure Digital High Capacity is the advance version that incorporates the memory capacity up to 32GB and comes in the sizes micro, mini and standard. These cards are formatted with FAT32 file system.

SDXC or Secure Digital Extended Capacity can be called the pro-version memory card that holds a maximum capacity from 32GB to 2TB. The exFAT file format is used to format the SDXC cards.

A device designed to support only SD cards will not support SDHC and SDXC memory cards, similarly a device that supports SDHC memory cards may support the previous version of SD cards but not in the case of SDXC. The SDXC is the most advanced and pro version and it is programmed to support both its previous versions the SD and the SDHC cards.

The Nikon D3300 supports the SDXC card which makes it compatible to support the previous SD and SDHC memory cards.

What kind of write speeds do I need?

Photos

Speed Class 6 with a write speed of 6mb/s is suitable for a Standard definition (SD) photo and if you are shooting a photo in High Definition (HD), Speed Class 10 which has write speed of 10mb/s to UHS3 with write speed capacity of approximately 30MB/s will be compatible depending on your usage capacity of shoots.

Video

Speed Class 6 is compatible for Standard Definition video and Speed Class 10 has a minimum write speed of 10mb/s that supports High Definition video recording.

Burst photography

UHS Ultra High Speed Class is compatible for burst photography as it is competent for quick data transfer encompassing a transfer speed of up to 312MB/S. These include UHS 1(UI) and UHS 3 (U3) amongst which U3 with write capacity of 30mb/s is best suitable to serve the purpose of burst photography.

High resolution/ High Fps video

U1 with write capacity of 10mb/s and U3 (30mb/s) are best compatible to serve the requirement of high resolution and high 60fps video shooting.

The Nikon D3300 supports UHS-1 cards and provides a pretty fast writing speed to suit your requirement, it could be a waste of money to buy a U3 card that fails to write as fast as the card reads.

Best Memory Cards for Nikon D3300

SDHC and SDXC memory cards with UHS-1 interface along with a Speed Class of 10 sounds like a reasonable pick and can be considered as the perfect compatible memory card for a Nikon D3300, taking the overall performance and features of the equipment under consideration.

Selecting an expensive card with interface UHS-2 won’t serve you any additional advantage as its high end performance won’t compliment the features of the device and you may end up disappointed spending more money for something that would not benefit you as much as your expectation.

There are multiple reputed brands available in the market that manufactures memory cards. All these brands are quite competitive in terms of features and performance. A comprehensive list of brands and its features may guide you to an extent to select the brands that would suit the Nikon D3300 keeping its features and performance in mind.

1. SanDisk Extreme U3 UHS-I

  • Read/write speed: 60mb/s read and 39.2mb/s write speed
  • Ideal for: full HD Video recording
  • Sizes available: 16gb to 256gb

Sale
SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I Card - C10, U3, V30, 4K UHD, SD Card - SDSDXXY-128G-GN4IN
  • Shot speeds up to 90MB/s, transfer speeds up to 170MB/s [requires a compatible device capable of reaching such speeds, such as the SanDisk SD UHS I card reader (sold separately)] | Based on internal testing; Performance may be lower depending upon host device, interface, usage conditions and other factors 1MB=1,000,000 bytes; X = 150KB/sec
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video (1) and sequential burst mode photography, (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video support may vary based upon host device, file attributes and other factors. Compatibility - Compatible with microSDHC and microSDXC supporting host devices
  • Capture uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and video Speed Class 30 (V30)(2) | (2)UHS Speed Class 3 designates a performance option designed to support 4K UHD video recording with enabled UHS host devices; UHS video speed class 30 (V30), sustained video capture rate of 30MB/s, designates a performance option designed to support real time video recording with UHS enabled host devices
  • Built for and tested in harsh conditions (3): Temperature Proof, Water Proof, shock Proof, and X ray Proof, (3)Card only
  • System ram type: ddr3l_1600_sdram

2. SanDisk Extreme Pro

  • Read/write speed: 72.8mb/s avg. write and 90mb/s read
  • Ideal for: Fast burst, full HD video
  • Sizes available: 16gb to 256gb

Sale
SanDisk 64GB Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card - C10, U3, V30, 4K UHD, SD Card - SDSDXV6-064G-GNCIN, Black
  • Shot speeds up to 60MB/s, transfer speeds up to 150MB/s requires compatible devices capable of reaching such speeds. | Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending upon host device, interface, usage conditions and other factors
  • Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video(1) and sequential burst mode photography | (1)Full HD (1920x1080) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video support may vary based upon host device, file attributes and other factors
  • Capture uninterrupted video with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30)(2) | (2)Sustained video capture rate of 30MB/s, designates a performance option designed to support real-time video recording with UHS enabled host devices
  • Built for and tested in harsh conditions(3): temperature-proof, waterproof, shock-proof, and x-ray-proof | (3)Card only

3. Lexar Professional 633x

  • Read/write speed: 95mb/s read and 70mb/s write
  • Ideal for: Full HD images and videos
  • Sizes available: 16gb to 512gb

Sale
Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC UHS-I Cards, Up To 95MB/s Read, for Mid-Range DSLR, HD Camcorder, 3D Cameras, LSD64GCB1NL633 (Product Label May Vary)
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depends on capacity) technology for a read transfer speed up to 95MB/s (633x).
  • Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video
  • Enjoy shooting longer without changing cards large capacity options up to 1TB
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow
  • Operating Temperature 0 Degrees Celsius to 70 Degrees Celsius ( 32 Degrees Fahrenheit to 158 Degrees Fahrenheit). Limited lifetime product support

4. Transcend V30 UHS-1

  • Read/write speed:95mb/s read and 40mb/s write
  • Ideal for: HD video recording
  • Sizes available: 64gb to 256gb

PNY 256GB Elite Performance Class 10 U3 SDXC Flash Memory Card - 95MB/s read, Class 10, U3, 4K UHD, Full HD, UHS-I, Full Size SD
  • Sequential read speed of up to 95MB/s
  • Class 10, U3 rating delivers speed and performance for burst mode HD photography and 4K Ultra HD videography
  • Record, store and share videos, photos, music, files and more across device
  • Compatible with point & shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, standard & advanced HD-enabled video cameras, and more
  • Reliable & Durable: Magnet proof, shock proof, temperature proof, waterproof

6. Sony U3 UHS1

  • Read/write speed: 94mb/s read 90mb/s write
  • Ideal for: HD videos and high speed burst photos
  • Sizes available: 16gb through 256gb

Sony M Series SDXC UHS-II Card 128GB, V60, CL10, U3, Max R277MB/S, W150MB/S (SF-M128/T2), Black
  • Read up to 260MB/s UHS-II
  • Uhs-ii reader (mrw-s1) is needed to realize transfer speed
  • Write up to 100MB/s UHS-II
  • Speed Class U3, Class 10
  • Memory card case supplied

Conclusion

Buying the perfect memory card for the camera is the most essential part you need to keep in mind as your entire hard work completely relies on this small device, especially when you are working professionally and have spent hours looking for the perfect candid shot.

You certainly cannot afford to sabotage the hard work and perfect moments to be wasted if your shots fail to get saved or takes relatively a lot of time to read and write consuming your valuable time.

We also need to keep in mind that whichever memory card we plan to purchase should be completely compliant with the camera features. Don’t prefer buying a high end memory card spending a fortune which would fail to serve you the advance technology it has got just because your camera features do not support it.

The Nikon D3300 demands a big memory card as it has a 24 megapixel sensor. You can opt for a 32 GB or 64 GB depending on the amount of your usage.

There’s no need to buy UHS2 interface when you can settle for a UHS 1, as for a Nikon D3300 the UHS2 would certainly be a waste of money.

As far as brands are concerned you can refer the above list and select the best brand that is compliant to your usage and budget.

Nothing remains out of focus when shot on the Nikon D3300 as it successfully captures the finest detailed images with its Expeed 4 image processor and can shoot up to 5fps.

Even though it’s a low budget camera it can out-perform other high end cameras through its features because of its cost-efficiency factor, and if the right memory card is attested to it that boosts its performance. If not, it may sabotage your video quality and disrupt the overall camera performance.

Best Camera for Night Photography: Picks For Low Light Shooting

Night photography involves some of the most challenging subjects for beginner and pro photographers alike. While low-light environments take a little more work to capture effectively, the payoff can be huge.

Night sky photography can reward you with stunning images if you’re using the right equipment. The thing is, there are a number of obstacles that can prevent a camera from performing well at night time, so it’s worth making sure your gear is up to the task.

This page will explore some of our picks for the best camera for night photography. We’ll discuss their strengths, weaknesses, and why they’re so great for the task at hand.

night-photography

Best Cameras For Night Photography: Top Choices

The cameras in this list have been picked for their fantastic night photography performance.

1. Sony a7 III

This thing tackles night sky photography like it’s a walk in the park. The ISO performance in particular deserves a whole lot of praise. When you’re dealing with night photography, every last inch of light sensitivity counts, so the ISO range of 50 to 204,800 is great to see here.

Another welcome addition with the a7 III model is Sony’s “BIONZ X image processing engine”. In layperson terms, this means reduced image noise and better onboard image processing overall; your images have a better chance of turning out as planned.

Poor light conditions and similar obstacles that emerge in night sky photography can make unwanted blur far more common. Image processing like this make things much more manageable.

When taking images of the night sky, you’re likely to be using a tripod. For any other photography task, the 5-axis stabilization system on the Sony a7 III will go a long way in keeping your shot shake-free.

Pros:

  • Lightweight body with decent battery life
  • Brilliant high ISO performance
  • Great onboard processing

Cons:

  • Video recordings are capped at 29 minutes and 50 seconds which is quite a let-down

2. Nikon D810 DSLR

This is one of our favorite cameras for night photography. The max ISO is expandable up to 51,200 for stellar low-light performance and some jaw-dropping images of the night sky.

This is one of the most premium cameras that Nikon sells. While not everyone needs this level of firepower, this camera is a fantastic choice for those serious about their night photography. The super-wide dynamic range will make it easier to capture the night sky with confidence.

Other features on this camera that begin to justify the price include the 51-point AF system and new, smaller RAW image format. The former will keep your images razor-sharp, while the latter can save you tons of drive space without compressing your shots.

The overall speed, precision and performance of this model from Nikon makes it a strong candidate for best night photography camera.

Pros:

  • Huge expandable ISO
  • Excellent Wide dynamic range
  • Convenient smaller RAW file size

Cons:

  • Some features like image overlay are restricted for smaller RAW files

3. Sony a7S II

This mirrorless offering from Sony is a low-light powerhouse. Don’t let the numbers mislead you; the lower number of megapixels on the a7S II actually makes elements of night sky photography easier.

While it might seem counter-intuitive to recommend a camera with a lower resolution, it makes several common astrophotography artefacts much less noticeable. In short, fewer megapixels can be more forgiving when working with night photography.

This isn’t true for every camera, but the sizeable sensor and fantastic dynamic range on offer here make this an excellent camera for night photography. Photographs produced by this camera feature, rich, deep, true-to-life colors that are remarkably easy to tweak in post production.

If you’re serious about taking photos of the night sky, this full-frame camera is a phenomenal choice. When released in 2015, the a7S II was the first full-frame camera to offer built-in 4K recording. This level of innovation and quality are fast becoming characteristics of the Sony brand.

Pros:

  • Probably the best low-light option out there
  • Wide dynamic range for jaw-dropping night photography
  • Full-frame 4K recording

Cons:

  • The settings menus can be a pain to navigate

4. Nikon Z6 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

You may have noticed the prevalence of two particular brands in this article: Nikon and Sony. There’s a reason for this; they’re the two best producers of cameras that work well for night photography. Their sensor choices and onboard processing lend themselves very well to this type of work.

This isn’t to say that Canon and others don’t have good options, it’s just that Nikon and Sony both have several products that take glorious photos of the night sky. The Nikon Z6 is a great example of this. The adaptability, low-light performance and overall polish of this full-frame camera make it an excellent option.

The Z6 is compatible with Nikon’s line of Nikkor lenses. If you’re looking for a good lens for night photography, this is a line worth checking out. There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to the Nikkor line, making this a versatile tool in the right pair of hands.

Pros:

  • Ultra-adaptable, full-frame camera
  • Great low-light performance for night photography
  • Reasonable price considering the feature set

Cons:

  • The battery life isn’t great and third-party options are hard to come by

5. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Weather resistance, excellent low-light performance and a built-in “astro tracer” mode make this one of the best night photography cameras there is. A camera for night time shoots needs to feature a broad dynamic range, ISO and shutter speed.

Luckily, the K-1 Mark II has all of these by the bucket load. The “astro tracer” feature of this full-frame camera significantly extends the exposure of your image for bright, gorgeous shots of the milky way. Another killer feature that’s worth mentioning is Pentax’s “Hand Held Pixel Shift Resolution”.

This powerful process compiles up to four images together for a final result with superior color rendition and sharpness. In the context of night time shooting, this can make for some stunning images that far surpass the result of an unedited shot.

When it comes to finding the right lens for night photography, the selection of compatible options for Pentax cameras is comparatively small. Fortunately, there are a few gems that perform fantastically.

Pros:

  • Built-in modes that are perfect for night photography
  • Brilliant ISO sensitivity range
  • Full-frame camera

Cons:

  • Fewer compatible lenses available

6. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The 5D series from Canon has developed something of a cult following in the world of photography. In fact, the series regularly makes it into the top three for many of our “best of” lists. The versatility, reliability and all-round fantastic performance of the Mark IV make it a welcome addition to anyone’s gear.

The performance in darker conditions is very impressive here considering the megapixel count. You’re not just upping your milky way game with the Mark IV, you’re also buying a camera that can tackle virtually any scenario you throw at it.

Canon has spent years establishing itself as a photography powerhouse and this model brings a wealth of versatility with it. Stunning video capture, best-in-class onboard processing and staggering color reproduction are just some of the things take make this camera great.

Pros

  • Excellent sensitivity for night sky shots
  • The 5D line has an excellent reputation

7. Fujifilm X-T2

Another option with weather sealing for protection from the great outdoors, the Fujifilm X-T2 is no slouch when it comes to capturing the milky way in all its glory. The ISO range on this mirrorless camera can be boosted up to 51,200 for excellent performance in poor light conditions.

Getting the exposure right is critical when take photos at night time. Fortunately, the settings dial on the X-T2 is a breath of fresh air to use. Your ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation are all a twist away.

For when you feel like getting creative with your shots, the range of “film simulation modes” on this model can create some impressive effects. Fujifilm maintains a strong “film-focused” brand and this lives on in their line of digital cameras.

Up to 15 modes give a rich variety of color temperatures and create the impression that you’re switching films on the fly.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-control settings
  • Fujifilm’s unique “film” modes
  • Excellent night time performance

Cons:

  • The price is quite an investment

Finding a Good Lens for Night Photography

The camera body is only half the battle; you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right lens too. The good news is that there’s plenty of choices available. Choosing the right model for your requirements means getting to grips with what makes a lens a good candidate for night time shooting.

Image Stabilization

When capturing images of the sky, the most common subject for night time shots, you’ll almost definitely be using a tripod, as astrophotography involves much longer exposures and wait times. For this reason, you don’t need to prioritise stabilization features.

That said, stabilization is useful for a huge list of other applications, so it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind.

Wide Angle

To capture the heavens in all their glory, it’s best to use a wide angle lens. This will give you the space you need to get a fantastic shot of the sky.

Prime Lenses

As a general rule, prime lenses are an excellent choice for night photography. You won’t have to worry much about zooming in or out as your subject is vast. Manufacturers of prime lenses tend to double down on optical performance to compensate for the lack of zoom.

Our Top Pick

In our opinion, one of the best lenses for photography in this category is the Nikkor 50Mm Prime Lens. It’s packed full of anti-noise and high-ISO considerations that produce beautiful images in even the darkest settings.

A great budget lens with a strong wide angle and night time performance is this option from Rokinon. Another great choice is this behemoth from Zeiss.

Night Photography – The Fundamentals

If you’re new to astrophotography, a few things might be alien to you at first. This section will run through the absolute basics.

Sensor size

The sensor is the most critical part of taking low light photographs. Since the sensor is what actually captures the light, the larger your camera’s sensor is, the more light(and detai) it can capture.

For any decent night photography, you’ll want at least an APS-C sensor. If you’re really serious, don’t settle with anything less than a full-frame sensor.

Read more about APS-C and full frame sensors here.

High ISOs

ISO determines your camera’s sensitivity to light. For taking photos of the night sky, you’ll generally want to set the ISO on your camera quite high. 1600 tends to work well for your average camera.

If you’re using one of the options from this list with phenomenal performance even at a high ISO, you can afford to push that number much higher.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range describes the full spectrum of light present in a given scene. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to find a camera with a broader potential dynamic range. This will give you the flexibility you need to capture the stars effectively.

Exposure

Understanding how to set the right exposure for your image is key to getting a good night time image. Read up on the basics of exposure and then practice, practice and practice again. Our digital photography guide is a good place to start. This guide from Photo Genius is also a great resource.

Related

Megapixels Aren’t Everything

It can be easy for newbies to get waylaid by the “bigger is better” mantra when it comes to picking up a new camera. In reality, a higher resolution can let you down when it comes to astrophotography.

It depends on the size of the sensor you’re using, but some high-megapixel options can make artefacts from the movement of stars far more noticeable. The frustrating thing is that some products that do have lots of megapixels can actually be great for night shoots.

The important thing to remember is that megapixels are just one small part of the picture. You also need to weight up things like sensor size, light performance and exposure options.

Related

Conclusion

The best cameras for night photography will produce our favorite kind of photos: images that truly create a lasting impression. The night sky is packed full of wonder for those with the patience to capture it. You just need the right kit and bit of know-how.

Whichever camera you choose, we hope you have fun using it!

What Does the mm Mean on a Camera Lens?

We’re a little biased, but we think photography is one of the best hobbies in the world. With just a little practice, you can quickly start capturing the world around you in all its glory. Nothing helps you appreciate your surroundings more than a good photo shoot.

One thing that we don’t love about this hobby, however, is how intimidating it can seem to newbies. For example – what does the ‘mm’ mean on a camera lens? Why are there so many different measurements floating around?

If you’re wondering how to read camera lens specs then you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we’ll run through what the mm measurements on lenses are actually referring to. We’ll explore some of the most common examples and bring you up to speed on the basics.

Read on to up your photography game.

numbers-on-lens

What Does Lens Size Mean – Focal Length

So what kind of measurement is ‘mm’ referring to anyway? The first thing to explain is that this is a measurement in millimeters. Older lenses and formats could sometimes use measurements in cm or even inches, but this is increasingly rare. Millimeters has been the industry standard for many years now.

So what are we actually measuring in millimeters? The answer is focal length. These numbers tell you about the effective focal length of any lens you’re considering. While there’s a whole lot of optical science involved with focal length, it’s not too difficult to get to grips with the basics.

The focal length of a lens tells you how well it will perform in certain situations. It explains the following:

  • How much you’ll be able to fit into frame
  • How far away you’ll have to be from your subject(s)
  • How big objects will appear in the shot (magnification)
  • How much ‘wiggle room’ you’ll have to keep things in focus

Higher focal lengths (eg 300mm) offer a narrower field of view and higher levels of magnification (things appear bigger in the frame). The same is true in reverse – smaller focal lengths deliver wider viewing angles with lower magnification.

You’ll be buying lenses with different ‘mm’ numbers depending on the type of photography you want to do. A macro lens will have a very different focal length to a telephoto lens, for example.

What do the Numbers on a Camera Lens Mean – Prime Lenses Explained

So why do some lenses have just one ‘mm’ number (eg – 35mm) while others offer a range (eg – 75mm-300mm). The answer is that some lenses can zoom and some are fixed at one focal length. When a lens is fixed to one focusing distance, it’s called a prime lens.

As a general rule, these lenses can offer higher levels of optical performance and sharpness vs a zooming lens. What they lack, however, is the versatility that many people need when working.

You won’t be able to zoom in to your subject at all. You’ll have to physically move closer or further away if you want to tweak your shot.

A zoom lens is different in that it offers users a range within which a photo can be successfully focused. A 75mm-300mm lens, for example, can keep subjects in focus anywhere within this range.

What Does ‘35mm Lens’ Mean?

35mm is one of the most common focal lengths for camera lenses. The format is very well suited to street photography and can make for a great all-rounder travel lens. It’s worth keeping the following in mind about 35mm lenses:

  • They offer wide viewing angles (good for group photos)
  • They must be kept fairly close to their subject(s)
  • Can be great for macro/ close-up shots
  • Can’t zoom

What Does ‘50mm Lens’ Mean?

Another super common focal length you’ll see for modern lenses is 50mm. These products are often referred to affectionately as ‘nifty fifties’ thanks to their versatility. A 50mm lens is a little narrower than a 35mm option but offers significantly more wiggle room when setting up your shot.

If you’re set on buying a prime lens, we strongly recommend considering a 50mm product. They’re super versatile and tend to offer excellent levels of optical performance. The ubiquity of this focal length also means that there’s tons of choice out there when it comes to the specific lens you choose.

How to Read Camera Lens Specs

For better or worse, focal length isn’t the only thing you’ll have to think about when looking at lenses. This section is designed to introduce you to some other common terms, settings and confusing letters that could trip you up if you’re not familiar with them.

The main thing to keep in mind is that none of this is rocket science. Anyone can get into photography – don’t let the snobs online put you off. All you need to do is read up on some of the basics.

Aperture Ratios

When looking at different lenses online, you might have noticed terms like this: “1:2.8” or “f/2.8.” So what on earth is this referring to? The answer is aperture. The terms we just introduced are describing the maximum aperture of a lens.

In other words, it tells us how wide the opening of a lens is capable of going. When looking at zoom lenses, you’ll probably see an aperture range. In much the same way that the focal length of a zoom lens is represented by a range, the same is true of that lens’s aperture.

For example, the following – “f/2.8-5.6” or “1:2.8-5.6” tells us that a lens offers a max aperture range between f/2.8 and f/5.6. Your aperture setting determines how much light can enter your lens when shooting.

Understanding the aperture offered by a given lens will go a long way in helping you take better photos.

What Does ‘Ø’ Mean?

While this symbol can seem super intimidating to the uninitiated, it’s just referring to the diameter of a lens. A Ø77mm lens, for example, will have a front screw mount 77mm in diameter. This tells you which cameras and other accessories it’s likely to be compatible with.

What Does AF/MF Mean?

Have you been working with your lens and noticed a switch labelled “AF/MF”? Don’t worry – this one’s super simple. This switch allows users to toggle between the autofocus and manual focus modes on your camera.

It’s found most often on Nikon and Canon DSLRs but is fairly ubiquitous. Once you’re ready to take your photography to the next level, try switching to manual mode for your focus to get the sharpness just right.

What Do “IS” and “VR” Mean?

These stand for image stabilization and vibration reduction respectively. Most modern lenses come with technologies built in that are designed to reduce the results of camera shake and keep images free from noise.

Look for “IS,” “VR,” “Image Stabilization” or “Vibration Reduction” near the glass of your lens to make sure you’ll have this feature at your disposal.

What Does “Mark II/III” Mean?

You see this one a lot with lenses, especially with products from Canon’s EOS line. This is referring to the version of a specific lens. “Mark II” is more recent than the original, and so on.

Related

Conclusion

We hope this page has cleared up any confusion. The world of photography can be a confusing place for the uninitiated. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that you don’t have to be an expert to take gorgeous photos.

Check out the other guides and explanations on this site to continue growing as a photographer.

Best Tripod for Overhead Shots and Food Photography – a Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right angle for your photoshoots can be difficult at the best of times. When it comes to product or food photography, the stakes get pushed up a notch. Taking photos for clients and your audience takes a huge amount of attention to detail. Finding the right tripod for product photography is an absolute must.

Fortunately, your options are far from limited; there’s a ton of choice out there with a broad spectrum of different brands to choose from. The trick is knowing what exactly you should look out for when shopping.

In 2021, the amount of choice can actually be fairly overwhelming. How are you supposed to know when a tripod is right for your setup? Different photographers have different goals and means when it comes to food/products shots. How do you even make sense of it all?

Don’t worry, help is at hand. This page is our guide to the world of overhead tripods and product photography accessories. We’ve trawled through Amazon listings, considering customer reviews, feature sets, and prices to find the best options available online.

Be sure to check out our tips for finding the right tripod too!

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod ,Black

So Why Do You Need a Tripod?

If you’re wondering why you even need a tripod, this section is definitely for you. Many newcomers overlook the utility of a good overhead or standard tripod. In our opinion, they’re basically indispensable if you want to take your photography seriously.

We outline the main benefits to using a tripod below.

Guaranteed Stability

Taking photos handheld provides a degree of flexibility, but it means that camera shake and motion blur are inevitable. This can quickly undermine the quality of your food photography. A good tripod will guarantee you some stability when working.

Taking the time to find the right angle, set it with your tripod, and then getting to work can dramatically elevate the final results of your images. If you’ve never worked with an overhead tripod before, we strongly recommend giving it a go.

Consistent Results

One key to product photography is consistency. If you can’t guarantee that you’ll get similar quality results every time, you may struggle to keep or even find clients. The tripods that we recommend below are all designed to improve your chances of getting the results you need every time.

When it comes to shooting professionally, flexibility and consistency will be two of your most important assets. A tripod can help improve both!

They Provide the Vantage Point you Need

Getting killer food or product photos calls for more inventive vantage points than you may be used to. Overhead shots are very popular in these photography categories. This angle makes it easy to capture your chosen subject in all of its glory.

Without a decent overhead tripod, you’ll really struggle to take this kind of photo. You can of course ‘cheat’ by holding the camera yourself, but this will be very difficult to maintain without any camera shake getting in the way.

They Boost the Rest of Your Skills

Working with a high-quality tripod means you have one less thing to worry about when shooting. Once you’re familiar with your equipment, the stability of your setup will require far less attention than before.

This frees up valuable energy that you can focus on the more important aspects of your shoot. The increased degree of control you’ll have at your disposal will also make it much easier to fine-tune the composition of your food photography.

Sharper Focus

As mentioned earlier, camera shake can quickly impact the quality of your product photos. When taking photos professionally, it’s important to make sure that your subject really ‘pops’ in your images.

Editing software can certainly help with this, but the best approach is to make sure every aspect of your shooting environment is well optimized for success. This includes maintaining a sharp focus for your shots.

A tripod is the best way to do this in our opinion.

How to Find the Best Tripod for Overhead Shots and Food Photography

We’ve found some excellent recommendations for the best overhead tripods. They’re featured a little further down this page. Before we jump into our suggestions, however, it’s worth exploring how to find a high-quality product on your own.

The more you understand about this kind of tripod, the easier it will be to find an option that works for you. Check out our tips below to become a savvy shopper!

Price

How much did you spend on your camera and lenses? Are the tripods you’re considering priced proportionately? There’s no point going over budget on a tripod until you have a very good reason to buy a specific model. There are plenty of excellent options out there that won’t break the bank any time soon.

Take some time to consider your own circumstances. How much are you willing to spend on a new accessory? Set a max limit for yourself before shopping to keep costs down. Your specific requirements will also influence this decision.

A professional working with clients will need a more expensive tripod than a beginner, for example.

Weight Capacity

This is an important one that many newbies overlook. The max weight capacity of a tripod tells you how much weight it’s able to hold before it starts to topple over. Consider the weight of your camera body and the lenses that you use for your food photography.

Make sure that any overhead tripod you consider can handle the weight of your existing gear. The last thing you want is to damage your expensive equipment – trust us!

Other Accessories – Tripod for Shooting Straight Down

For product photography and food photos, there are a few extra accessories that can come in handy when working with your tripod. For overhead shots in particular, you may need some of the extras listed below.

Extending Arms

An extending arm is usually designed to fit universally with most pro-grade tripods. They make it much easier to achieve the overhead vantage point you may be looking for. Good models are easy to adjust and fit securely in place once you’ve found the angle you need.

Weighting Equipment

Things like sandbags and weighted bags can be critical in professional shoots. They can either be hooked onto some tripods or placed around the feet of your accessory. This makes it possible to add even more weight to your setup.

If you want to take photos with a particularly heavy lens, for example, you’ll need an accessory like this.

L Brackets

L brackets, as you may have guessed, are L-shaped plates that fit onto an existing tripod. They make it much easier for users to shoot in both vertical and horizontal orientations with ease.

More importantly, they make it much simpler to switch between both orientations. For tweaking your setup effortlessly on the fly, an L-bracket might just be the answer. They can be super helpful.

Adjustability

When taking photos of food or other products, you’ll likely be making tweaks constantly as you work. For this reason, any tripod you consider should be as easy as possible to adjust. Our recommendations below are all effortless to tweak to your heart’s content.

Durability

There’s no point picking up a new accessory if it’s just going to break down on you a couple of months down the line. While most tripods out there are at least reasonably durable, there are definitely options out there that will disappoint quickly.

Look for high-quality materials and build qualities that are made to last.

Max and Min Height

Much like weight capacity, this is one factor that some new photographers fail to consider. The maximum and minimum height of your tripod will determine the kind of work you’re able to do with it. What are you looking for with your overhead shoots?

Choose a tripod with the heights that fit your requirements.

Stability

Rubber feet are a must with most tripods in our opinion. The whole point of buying this kind of camera accessory is to improve the stability of your shoot. This put stable, ‘unshakeable’ tripods at the top of our list.

Compatibility

When buying a new tripod arm for overhead shots, it’s important to make sure that it’s actually going to work with your existing gear. Most camera accessories are fairly universal, but manufacturers like Sony and Canon sometimes use proprietary systems for their hot switching plates.

Double-check the compatibility of any model you consider.

Quick Food Photography Tips

When taking photos of food, there are a few basic principles to keep in mind. Check out our tips in this section to keep your photos looking awesome.

Lighting

Lighting is the most important aspect of practically all photography. If you can nail your lighting environment, you’re much more likely to nail your final scene. Experiment with how you light your food, use as much soft diffused light as you possibly can.

Spot lighting and reflectors can also help to boost your available light when shooting.

Use the Right Gear

Do you want to use a macro lens for super close-up shots? Maybe a versatile 50mm lens instead? It all comes down to the specific results you’re looking for. Whatever your goals, make sure you’re using the right gear for the job.

For overhead shots, you’ll want a sturdy tripod with a high weight capacity and compatibility with extendable arms/ L brackets.

Think Twice About Flash

For food photos, flash shouldn’t ever be necessary. It can make meals look quite ‘washed out’ and unappetizing. Whenever possible, try to ensure that your shooting environment is bright enough that you don’t need to rely on flash.

Take Advantage of Food Hacks

Remember that the food you see in most commercials and posters isn’t as real as it seems. If you want to keep your subject ‘photo ready’ for longer, you’ll have to take advantage of some common hacks.

Practice Your Composition

Composition is everything when it comes to taking a great photo. Remember the rule of thirds when working and frame your food to make it look as delicious as possible. How can you draw attention to the meal you’re shooting?

What’s the best way to make the food really shine? If you want more in-depth composition tips, check out our guide here.

The Best Tripod for Food Photography and Overhead Shooting

Let’s get into it! We’ve curated a list of seven awesome tripods that we think would be amazing for both food and product photography. They would also come in useful for any kind of overhead shoot you might be involved with.

We’ve picked options from a range of brands and price points, so there should be something for almost everyone here! Read on to find your new shooting companion.

How We’ve Found These Recommendations

At Photography Focus, we’re dedicated to writing reviews with genuinely useful recommendations. The products featured on this page were found by comparing online reviews, comparisons and customer feedback.

Each listing is very highly reviewed on Amazon and offers a tripod that’s excellent for overhead shooting.

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum 4-Section Tripod ,Black

First up is this fantastic option from Manfrotto. If you haven’t encountered the Manfrotto name before, you’re in for a treat here. The brand has an excellent track record for producing some of the best camera tripods the industry has to offer.

They’re not the cheapest options out there, but they are some of the best. This model is compatible with a ton of L brackets and extending arms so you can shoot your overhead food shots to your heart’s content.

One thing we love about this calibre of tripod is how sturdy and stable it feels. Even a clumsy photographer should have little to worry about here. It’s also remarkably simple to adjust your setup with this tripod. You’ll be able to tweak your equipment with ease.

Why We Love it:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Compatible with overhead accessories
  • Sturdy design
  • Reliable Manfrotto brand

Some Drawbacks:

  • Quite expensive

Overhead Tripod for DSLR Cameras

Overhead Tripod for DSLR Cameras, Heavy Duty Camera Desk Mount Stand with Flexible Articulating Boom Arm, Camera Holder Table Clamp for Canon Nikon Sony Fuji SLR Mirrorless Cam Video Photography

This cheap and cheerful option won’t be perfect for everyone. For those on a budget, though, it could prove indispensable. It’s designed to clip onto most desks and gives your DSLR camera the overhead vantage point you’re looking for.

The adjustable crane arm doesn’t have quite the versatility that some pros will need, but it should be more than enough for most overhead food shots. With a max load of 5lbs, most mid to small camera setups should be just fine.

If you make content for TikTok or produce cooking content for YouTube, this kind of mount can be super useful. Throw in the fact that it costs comfortably less than $40 and you’re looking at an absolute steal in our opinion.

Why We Love it:

  • A great budget option
  • A simple way to get an overhead shot
  • Clips onto basically any desk

Some Drawbacks:

  • Not quite as versatile as a pro-grade tripod
  • The max load could be a bit higher

Geekoto Tripod for Food Photography

GEEKOTO Tripod, Camera Tripod for DSLR, Aluminum Tripod with 360-Degree Ball Head and Rotatable Center Column, 75-Inch Professional Tripod for Travel and Work

We’re huge fans of this premium tripod from Geekoto. It’s versatile, easy to adjust, and very sturdy when working. For overhead product photography, there’s a ton of compatibility with L brackets and extending arms. The 360° swivel base will also come in handy here.

Photographers who need a tripod that can handle anything will love what this tripod has to offer. It comes with a huge height range of 19-79 inches and can function as both a tripod and detachable monopod mount.

If you work in a studio that’s constantly changing its approach, you may want to consider this option closely. With a weight limit of 26.9lbs, this thing can handle practically anything you throw at it. It gets a huge thumbs up from us.

Why We Love it:

  • Very versatile and adjustable
  • Sturdy when working
  • 360° swivel head
  • Great for overhead accessories

Some Drawbacks:

  • Not the cheapest option out there

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminium Tripod with Multi-Angle Column and PH-32 Pan Head

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AP Aluminium Tripod with Multi-Angle Column and PH-32 Pan Head

Vanguard is one of those names that just keeps delivering results time after time. The brand’s line of camera accessories has reached legendary status with photographers around the world. This multi-angle option certainly lives up to the hype.

The central column of this tripod is what makes it so special. It can be adjusted through a huge spectrum of different angles. In simple terms, this makes it possible to achieve vantage points with your camera that other tripods just can’t match.

For overhead food shots or experimental photographs, this one is a no-brainer in our opinion. The height range, max load, and durability here also all seem excellent. We strongly recommend checking this one out if you’re a professional or enthusiast.

Why We Love it:

  • Super versatile central column
  • Very durable and stable
  • Legendary Vanguard quality

Some Drawbacks:

  • It’s pretty expensive

Peak Design Travel Tripod

Peak Design Travel Tripod (5 Section Aluminum Camera Tripod)

This is our suggestion for those who prioritize portability when working. This tripod offers pro-grade performance while maintaining the ability to fold away to practically nothing. If your equipment bag is already packed full, you won’t think twice about adding this accessory.

If you’re hoping to add an adjustable arm for overhead shots, you’re in luck. The built-in weighting hooks with this model make it trivial to stabilize your setup for more experimental shots. Your product photography is about to get a welcome boost!

With a max load capacity of about 20lbs, this thing can handle most shooting equipment with ease. For portable, versatile shooting on the go, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. It gets a big endorsement from us.

K&F Concept TM2515T Professional 67 inch Camera Tripod

K&F Concept TM2515T1 Professional 67 inch Camera Tripod Horizontal Aluminum Tripods Portable Monopod with 360 Degree Ball Head Quick Release Plate for DSLR Cameras

This is another fantastic option that features a 360° swivel base. If you’ve never worked with this range of movement before, it can really elevate your work in certain circumstances. The ability to effortlessly adjust your gear to any angle can be a real Godsend.

K&F makes tripods that are tough and sturdy – it’s as simple as that. Even if you’re lugging this thing around from set to set, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. The quick-release hot switch works well with most common DSLR brands and makes adjusting things much simpler.

At around $125, this isn’t the cheapest option on the list. In our opinion, though, it’s well worth the investment. If you’re looking for something that can take your food photography to the next level, we think this option is worth considering.

ChromLives Overhead Video Stand Phone Holder Articulating Arm Phone Mount

Overhead Video Stand Phone Holder Articulating Arm Phone Mount Table Top ChromLives Scissor Boom Arm Articulating Phone Stand Tablet Phone Holder for Streaming Phone Baking Crafting

Last, but certainly not least, is this overhead phone stand from ChromLives. Listen, this thing isn’t going to fare very well with most bulky DSLRs. The thing is, a huge amount of contemporary video content is filmed with smartphones at home.

Plenty of professional studios making web content make use of high-end smartphones rather than more traditional cameras. If this sounds like you, we think this tripod clamp is worth a look.

It’s designed to fit seamlessly onto most tables and provides an adjustable overhead vantage point for your food or product photography. The anti-slip rubber pads seem to grip very well and the construction seems reasonably well made.

At comfortably less than $30, we think this one’s a steal.

Best Tripod for Overhead Shots

We hope you’ve found our tips and recommendations on this page helpful. Remember that everyone’s needs are different. The goals you have as a photographer will determine the tripod that works best for you.

Consider your requirements, budget, and shooting environment closely when shopping. Whichever option you choose, we hope it serves you well for many years to come! Happy clicking.

What is a gimbal? (plus how it works and types of gimbals)

Have you ever wondered how your favorite YouTubers are able to get silky smooth videos, even if they seem to be walking or running?

It’s not like they have any special cameras, but rather, a special camera accessory called a gimbal. In this post, we’ll talk about what is a gimbal, how it works, and why you may want to buy one.

Once you set up a gimbal, it uses motors to essentially cancel out any unwanted movements, making it seem like the video is smooth.

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Professional Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone Smartphone Android Cell Phone 3-Axis Handheld Gimble Stick w/ Grip Tripod Ideal for Vlogging YouTube Vlog TikTok Instagram Live Video Kit

What makes gimbals so handy

A gimbal(also referred to as a brushless gimbal) is really good at producing silky, stable, smooth video. Though gimbals are newer developments, you rarely see camera shake in older movies, even in action and chase scenes.

That’s because the precursor to the gimbal was something called a Steadicam. Steadicams were complicated, since they used a lot more moving parts and you’d have to be trained in using one. They’re still used today in many professional filming situations.

Gimbals, on the other hand, are much cheaper, lighter, and geared towards everyday users. You don’t have to be a professional filmmaker or cinematographer to use one!

How does the gimbal work?

Brushless gimbals work using a special sensor called an IMU. IMU stands for internal measurement unit, which contains tiny sensors called accelerometers that detect motion.

Accelerometers used to be quite expensive but they’ve since become really cheap and a lot of devices from video game controllers to mobile phones use them.

If you’ve ever played the Nintendo Wii, the way the Wii was able to detect the speed and direction you swung the remote was through accelerometers. This is the same technology your phone utilizes to know if it’s in landscape or portrait mode, too.

In addition to the sensors, the gimbals have very efficient and quiet brushless motors(hence the name brushless gimbal). The brushless motors are able to make micro-movements to each of the three axes that counteract any movement detected by the IMU, resulting in all camera shakes being cancelled out.

It’s really simple when you think about it! If the IMU detects a 5 degree movement in one direction, the computer directs the motor to turn 5 degrees in the opposite direction, cancelling the movement out.

The whole process happens so fast that you can’t notice any lag with your eyes in the resulting video.

This form of stabilization is present in nature, too, and the results are both stunning and cute!

Understanding the three axes

When shopping around for gimbals, you’ll see three terms thrown around:

  • pitch(also known as tilt)
  • yaw(also known as pan)
  • roll

These are the three axes that a camera can rotate on, and the gimbal will cancel out any movements on these axes.

Pitch is when the camera tilts up and down, like you would move it if you wanted to transition from the sky to the ground.

Yaw is when you pan or turn the camera left and right as you would if you wanted to transition from one corner of the room to the other.

Roll is when you rotate the camera from landscape to portrait and vice versa.

As you may imagine, pitch and roll are the two movements most people would like to cancel out, so 2 axis gimbals will cancel out pitch and roll, but they won’t cancel out yaw. This is going under the assumption that if you’re panning the camera left to right, you’re probably doing it on purpose.

Three axis gimbals can also cancel out unwanted yaw movements, which results in even more stable footage.

While three axis gimbals certainly produce better video, you may wish to opt for a 2 axis gimbal if you want to save a few dollars, or if you want to save on weight, since the extra motor does mean the gimbal will weigh a little more.

Related

How to use a gimbal

There’s just one thing that you need to take care of before using your gimbal. When you put your phone or camera into the mount, it is ideal to balance the camera or phone as much as possible before powering on the gimbal.

It’s also super important to not power on the gimbal unless you have a phone or camera mounted! The gimbal motors are sensitive and can easily overheat.

Upon powering up the gimbal, you’ll generally have a choice of modes. You can either choose to lock all axes, or keep one axis following your movements. This is useful if you are not going to keep the camera in one position and you want to pan from left to right or tilt from top to bottom.

If you don’t relax these axes and try to pan or tilt, the gimbal will fight your movement and mess up the shot.

Types of gimbals

Since the gimbal uses motors to stabilize the camera, it follows that bigger motors are required for bigger gear. Here are some of the most common types of gimbals available:

Mobile phone

Mobile phone gimbals are arguably the most common today and they are the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a gimbal.

These are inexpensive and easily accessible for most people to use since smartphones are so common. Now that most modern smartphones shoot really good 4K video, you can produce nearly professional-quality video yourself for very little investment!

Read my review of the Zhiyun Smooth 4 here, one of my favorite mobile phone gimbals.

GoPro

Another kind of gimbal commonly available is an action camera gimbal or GoPro gimbal. These gimbals are almost the same as mobile gimbals since the average weight of a smartphone and the average weight of an action camera is not too far apart.

However, the difference will be in the camera clamp. Mobile gimbals have clamps designed to hold mobile phones, whereas GoPro gimbals will have smaller clamps that will fit action cameras. You will not be able to use one in the other without a special adapter.

dSLR

Gimbals are also available for dSLR cameras. Naturally, these will be much bigger and pricier, but if you have an application for it, it will be worth the investment.

Say you’re producing high-quality content for YouTube. In this case, you’ll want a really good camera and in order to stabilize said camera, you’ll need a gimbal that can handle it!

SaleBestseller No. 1
DJI Ronin-SC - Camera Stabilizer, 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras, Up to 4.4lbs Payload, Sony, Panasonic Lumix, Nikon, Canon, Lightweight Design, Cinematic Filming, Black
  • Lightweight and Compact - Opening possibilities for filmmakers and content creators in almost any situation, Ronin-SC was built to go anywhere.
  • Tracks the Action - The Ronin app, and Ronin-SC work together seamlessly to achieve smooth, precise gimbal movement at all times, allowing you to focus more on creating the shot that matches your vision.
  • Dynamic Stability - Even in action-packed scenes, Ronin-SC gives a perfectly stable shot. Continuous stabilization makes Ronin-SC more effective in fast follows, sudden motions, and even complete changes in direction.
  • Automated Features - Ronin-SC offers a suite of advanced capturing features to unleash your imagination.
  • Easy to Handle - The buttons and trigger are easy to reach for every essential control. A flared battery grip makes extended holding easier and slip-resistant, letting you capture moments throughout the day.
Bestseller No. 2
DJI RSC 2 - 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR and Mirrorless Camera, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Fujifilm, 6.6 lb Payload, Foldable Design, Vertical Shooting, OLED Screen, Black
  • Foldable Design - DJI RSC 2’s foldable design means easy transportation and storage, along with expanded shooting options. When folded, RSC 2 is smaller than a sheet of A5 paper, making it as portable as it is powerful.
  • 2.6 lb Weight / 6.6 lb Tested Payload - Titan Stabilization Algorithm captures smoother footage than ever. SuperSmooth mode compensates for micromovements and increases torque, stabilizing even 100mm zoom lenses.
  • 1" OLED Screen - A 1-inch built-in OLED screen gives you complete control, right at your fingertips.
  • Quick Switch to Vertical Shooting - The Manfrotto + Arca dual-layer camera mounting plate is compatible with popular brands. Switch to portrait mode with just a tap to bring professional-grade footage to your social media content.
  • Max 14hr Fast-Charge Batteries - Charge less and shoot longer thanks to RSC 2’s advanced battery, which provides a 14-hour runtime and supports fast charging.

Drone

Finally, we have drone gimbals. These are the gimbals found on the DJI Phantom, DJI Mavic, and other camera platforms.

The DJI gimbals are really specialized and have the camera built into the drone. In some models like the Mavic Mini, they’ve been able to use a really tiny camera, so they can get away with using a really tiny gimbal, too!

Separate 3 axis and 2 axis gimbals are also available for using with home-built drones but those are getting harder and harder to find since you really can’t beat the cost and functionality of DJI with something home-grown.

Related

Interested in learning how to film? Check out some great documentary schools

You can use a gimbal for shooting stop motion video

Gimbals vs Steadicams and other mechanical stabilizers

The last thing I want to talk about is gimbals vs mechanical stabilizers.

Mechanical stabilizers have been used for years and they work! However, they involve a lot of mechanical parts like counterweights, springs, nuts, and bolts.

A combination of all of these things effectively eliminates camera shake.

Gimbal motors are just not strong enough to handle the heavy cameras that are used for professional filmmaking. That’s why you’ll still see steadicams and mechanical stabilizers in studios.

If sometime in the future someone makes a motor big enough to carry a large camera, maybe mechanical stabilizers will go the way of the dodo.

Otherwise, professionals will have to stick to Steadicams while hobbyists, Instagrammers, YouTubers, and amateurs can produce really smooth and professional video with their brushless gimbals.

Jet Camera Reviews: MUST READ before you shop

JetCamera.com is a family-owned business, launched onto the retail scene in 2015 as a direct challenger to the global e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com.

When they launched their site, their primary goal was to provide the highest level of customer service, with prices so cheap that anyone could afford it. They sold cameras at a price lower than the average cost at Canon and Nikon – the manufacturers.

If you visit the web and search for Jet reviews, you’ll likely see questions like these:

  • Is jet cameras legit?
  • Is jetcameras.com a bait and switch?
  • Has anyone purchased anything there before?

The list goes on and on…

What is JetCameras?

This family-owned and operated business has stirred a lot of discussions and debates in forums, such as Reddit. JetCamera assures its customers of perfect cameras and other products.

They sell numerous products sorted into the following four categories:

  1. Camcorders
  2. Photography
  3. Audio
  4. Projectors

The following are some of the services that attract people to Jet Cameras:

  • Brand new jet cameras, lens, and factory-fresh products
  • Low prices that can save you up to 50%
  • You can purchase small items such as a lens or battery
  • No sales tax on camera, battery, and lens
  • Free camera shipping nationwide
  • ridiculously low prices on small items their customers want such as lens or battery
  • Multiple payment options on any item you want
  • User-friendly and easy to navigate website
  • Polite sales staff and well-informed customer service
  • Quick turnaround shipping of orders – within 2 days
  • Prompt communication and reply to customer inquiries
  • Latest and perfect cameras and camcorders
  • Trusted and reliable camera equipment
  • Obtaining unavailable accessories such as a lens or any other item their customers want

The Buying Experience

Here’s how the company’s buying experience compares to Jeff Bezos’ behemoth. When Jet.com launched a few years ago, it introduced an initial membership model where members were eligible for free shipping. They soon dropped the prime membership and allowed free shipping on orders $35 and over.

They also introduced a two-day delivery on common household items. The customers were promised discounts and new deals if they waived free returns, pay with debit cards, add items to their online carts or buy in multiples – a game show style shopping experience. They were trying to get as many customers as they could to buy goods in bulk.

This new business model attracted many free shipping-loving and savings-hungry shoppers from all over the world. At first, many customers thought that Jet Camera was destined to become Amazon’s biggest competitor and make inroads with consumers. Competitors were sure that the new entrants would last for years if not forever.

Why is Jet Cameras so Cheap?

Many customers claim that the camera website sells equipment at ridiculously low-cost. Their advertised price is even lower than what is advertised on Fujifilm, Nikon, and Canon – companies that make the products. This makes people start questioning the legitimacy of the website.

Many people believe that Jet Cameras is a gray market bait-and-switch operation. A “gray market” camera is a product advertised for a significantly lower price compared to the price offered by the original manufacturer and authorized dealers.

When customers visit the Jet Cameras website for the first time and see their prices, they think it’s just a switch bait site. This is one of the reasons why many people lack confidence in investing their money into this site. Jet cameras’ primary goal was to get as many customers as possible. But they lacked what any serious customer would want – exceptional client service.

With these totally amazing deals, it’s hard to tell if a camera is really genuine. When planning to purchase an expensive camera for an absurdly low price, do a quick research on the camera specifications and how the discount market for the product works. Remember, you want to get a camera that would last for years.

A Big Positive

When Jet Cameras entered the retail scene, it had free two-day shipping on household items. This offer was later extended to shoppers who did not have the budget and those who opted not to become members. The offer included a broad range of widely used products ranging from household essentials to groceries.

At the time, Amazon used to give such offers to prime members only. Shoppers had to fill a box of goods with such items and would be charged a small fee for delivery.

Amazon would later expand the prime delivery service and free two-hour delivery to its customers. This helped Amazon serve its customers well while solving the shipping expenses problem among the retailers – making it a winner in this category.

Jetcameras.com has been advocating for higher-volume orders. Shoppers are encouraged to buy in bulk in order to receive discounts. They can also unlock discounts on other cameras when they add specific items to their carts. Some offers would even include a discounted trip to the Caribbean.

Offers like this made customers make purchasing decisions they had not planned. The discount “game show” became a little off-putting and perceived as treasure hunting ventures. This made the Jet camera customers question their legitimacy.

Glaring Drawbacks

There are so many reviews trying to answer some of the questions that web visitors ask. Some of the posts include keywords phrases such as, “is jet com Canada shipping reputable, jet cameras scam or not, b h camera legit, etc.” If you read posts from previous years, you’ll see numerous discussions and feedback from their previous consumers.

Unfortunately, almost 95% are complaints and negative feedback. Customers have been complaining about their cameras having been shipped via third-party sellers. Notwithstanding that buying products online from an unverified third party seller is a very risky affair. Amazon on their part, allows new shoppers to access posts and ratings from their previous buyers. A buyer can even pose questions to a seller through messages.

One may wonder whether the “no review” approach that Jet takes on its website is worth considering. Most buyers do quick research on products before making a buying decision. Amazon understands the importance of placing both negative and positive posts on their website. They are undoubtedly one of the few places in the world where you can get posts that are genuine.

The company understands that products with low ratings drive more sales than those with no ratings. This is one of the reasons why Amazon drives traffic and potential customers to its website. According to research, Amazon is the top information destination for buyers, followed closely by Google.

Over the years, Amazon has earned the trust and loyalty of online shoppers. They offer a wide selection of products and exceptional shopping experience to their customers. However, Jet has failed to replicate the Amazon retail business model.

Complaints

By looking at Jet Camera consumer insights on their previous shoppers, they have a poor track record. The company’s image has been tarnished by multiple complaints and low ratings. One customer took her complaint to the next level, attracting the attention of BBC Channel.

One customer visited Jet.com and found the camera that she’d been looking for. When she saw that she would save hundreds of dollars, she was very much excited that she wanted to make the purchase right away. She received a message from the high-ranking site on Google, stating that she finish processing the order. However, the company’s staff kept insisting on how they would package battery, lens, and other camera accessories.

Within a short time, she received another message stating that she must add another $350. Which she was to pay later. She realized there was no deal and the company was using sleazy strategies to upsell her. What angered her most was that during the buying process, no one mentioned about the additional price. Yet, the company went ahead and charged her credit card.

When she canceled the purchase, the company told her that there was nothing they could do and instead ordered her to pay a 15% fee to return the camera. She refused the shipment and expressed her case publicly and her story was broadcasted on BBC. She opened a case with her credit company. Within a few weeks, she was able to get a full refund.

Conclusion

After doing a bit of research and reading Jet Camera reviews, I realized that the equipment advertised on their website is not sold as a whole. My conclusion is that these guys seem like a bait and switch site. They sell products at extremely low prices, hoping to upsell their customers when they receive the merchandise they ordered. The trick here is to make customers pay more money to make the products work.

Because of multiple complaints and negative posts about Jet.com, the company is no longer operating, however, if you visit the website, it is still active.

Whether the business ceased operations or is fully functional, that’s a story for another day. Regulatory Authorities like Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ABC2 have since stepped in following numerous complaints filed to them. ABC2 is on record as having called the company and even sent them an email, but are yet to hear from them.

Additionally, the address provided by the company on their homepage is not real. ABC2 contacted Jetcom’s office space provider to inquire about the listed location. They were told that the company was not located there and is using their address without permission.

It’s worth noting that whenever you want to purchase a product online, don’t be blinded by the low price. As the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you blindly make a purchase online, do not expect a return policy from a bait-and-switch site. Do some thorough research on the product, the website you’re buying from, and check out posts on their online ratings. This way, you won’t risk losing your hard-earned money.