Unlike regular still photography, 360 product photography requires extra consideration when it comes to picking a tripod and a tripod head. Yes, it has to be sturdy enough to support your camera and the lens, but there’s a bit more to that when you photograph products rotating in 360 degrees.
Let’s start with a tripod..
An important thing about the tripod is that you don’t have to move it much in the studio. Quite opposite, it’s essential for the tripod to stay fixed precisely in the same spot while you are shooting a batch of products. Precisions is a key here as even a slight touch can alter you camera alignment with the center of the turntable pretty much ruining your photography and wasting a lot of time. So if your tripod is heavy and can sit firmly on the floor – it’s a good thing with 360 degree product photography!
Another point to consider is how easy it is to change tripod’s height without tilting the camera as often you would need to adjust the height of your camera to accommodate for products of different dimensions.
Camera should be carefully aligned with the turntable to ensure that both are sitting on two parallel planes such that products don’t wobble up and down on final images. So tilting the camera during height adjustment will require realigning it with the table which is also a pretty time consuming operation. The problem here is that most tripods on the market have telescoping legs that have just 2 or 3 fixed positions.
Only these fixed positions can be used reliably to change the height of your tripod without altering camera’s tilt. Your best bet here is having more telescopic leg sections in your tripod and have a taller center column (the one that you can slide up and down without adjusting the legs).
There are couple of quirks with the tripod head also. For one thing you don’t need a ball head as there are only two types of head movement when aligning camera for 360 product photography – camera panning and tilting (tilting towards a product). That’s why a 2-way pan / tilt head is the best. Secondly, the panning handle should be as short as possible to allow for quick access to camera controls without risking to shift the camera which is quite possible when you use those hybrid photo/video tripod heads with longer panning handles.
Happy 360 Product Photography!
Winbiz 360 Degree Photography situated in Delhi, India. Our mission is interactive e-commerce. Our passion is 360 product photography and rich media production.
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