Camera & Lens Selection for Jewelry Photography

Do you sell jewelry on Etsy or Amazon or your own site?

There is no such thing as the best camera or best lens for jewelry photography. A good photograph requires the right lighting and editing. You don’t need expensive equipment to take quality product shots.

Camera for Jewelry Photography

What to buy? Buy an entry level DSLR. Both Nikon and Canon have DSLR’s in the $500-$700 price point. For example, the Nikon D3400 (or prior versions d3200, d3300) is a 24mp camera.

Why? While you can get similar megapixels in point and shoot cameras, the advantage of owning a DSLR is that you can tweak the settings like shutter speed and aperture to match your lighting and the product you are shooting.

A DSLR is important for jewelry because if you need to take a 1000px image, you need to take pics from up close. It’s difficult to use point and shoots to get large clear images of rings, small studs etc. Point and shoots could work for larger items like necklaces because you don’t need to shoot those from too close.

Why not a more expensive DSLR? Because higher end camera’s have features that you rarely need for product photography. For example, if you’re shooting sports or wildlife or shooting in dim lighting conditions, the higher priced cameras can help. For product photos, where lighting is abundant and controlled, a basic DSLR is all you need.

Options: I’ve mentioned the Nikon entry level DSLR above. Canon also has equally good camera’s in the same price range. All DSLR’s let you control the shutter speed and aperture settings so you can buy any brand. The differences between these cameras are mostly about look & feel — how heavy they are, how they feel in your hands, price/deals going on, etc.

Lenses for Jewelry Photography:

What to buy? For web images, the 18–55mm lens that is included with your camera is sufficient. You don’t need a macro lens.

Why? Because for web images, you don’t need pics that are poster size magnifcations. For example, if you want to print an image of a ring on a 2 feet wide poster, then a macros lens will help. For web images in a 1000×1000 size, the basic lens is sufficient.

Options: Again, both Nikon and Canon make all the same types of lenses. Some might argue one is better than the other but for the most part, the differences are too minor to be picky about.

So to summarize, if you know how to use basic functions like aperture and shutter speed with a DSLR, you can get great pictures of your jewelry with the basic 18–55mm kit lens. The difference between an expensive DSLR (like the Nikon D750 or D810) is more feature related — for example, the higher-end cameras let you take faster pics which can be useful when you’re shooting sports or wildlife. For product photography, when you’re shooting in a still setting with light pointing at your product, any DSLR is sufficient.

Which camera do you currently use?

Originally published at on October 12, 2016.