Digital Camera Tips for Photographing Jewelry

© by Rena Klingenberg; all rights reserved.

The best digital cameras for photographing jewelry include two important features – a macro mode and a white balance control.

These two “tools” are especially important in jewelry photography so you can get super close-up, clear shots and adjust for the color cast of your lighting so you pictures accurately represent your jewelry.

The Two Most Important Features
of Digital Cameras
for Photographing Jewelry

Macro mode – The macro mode on a digital camera is a close-focus mode that allows you to get extra close to your subject for a clear shot.

Without this feature, it’s almost impossible to get a sharp photo of something as small and detailed as jewelry. You’ll know if your camera has a macro mode if one of its menu buttons has a flower icon on it, or if a button that has two triangles representing mountains gives you a flower icon option when you press it.

Some older and / or cheaper digital cameras don’t have a macro mode.

White balance – White balance is a camera feature that compensates for the color cast of the light that’s present when you take the picture, which is extremely important when photographing jewelry.

Some digital cameras’ white balance mode is programmed for certain types of lighting, such as sunlight or fluorescent light. Other cameras have a white balance feature you can set yourself.

Either way, being able to adjust your camera for the color cast of the present lighting makes a huge difference in the quality and accuracy of your jewelry photos.

Best Digital Cameras
for Jewelry Photos

I used to recommend specific digital cameras for photographing jewelry.

But to be honest, camera technology has advanced so much that many of today’s digital cameras are capable of taking very good jewelry photos.

My first good digital camera for photographing jewelry was a Fuji FinePix A310 that I bought in 2004. I took thousands of jewelry photos with it over a five-year period, until it finally died.

Nowadays it would be thought of as an almost prehistoric camera – but here’s an example of the shots I was able to take with my trusty old Fuji FinePix:

Photo of one of my pendants, shot with my old Fuji FinePix digital camera.

Currently I’m photographing my jewelry with a Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital Elph camera, which is already considered to be an outdated model – the newer version is the Canon PowerShot SD1200IS camera.

One of the things I love about my Canon camera (and its newer version) is that they use an eco-friendly, rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack. Both versions of this camera come equipped with the battery and its recharger that plugs into a wall socket.

The rechargeable battery means I can have long, leisurely jewelry photography sessions without burning through a handful of expensive, environmentally-damaging disposable batteries.

In fact, I bought a second rechargeable battery for my Canon camera, so I can be taking pictures with one battery in my camera and the other battery recharging.

Here’s an example of the shots I can get with my new Canon camera:

Photographed with my newer Canon PowerShot camera: my Gladys Necklace.

If You’re Choosing a Camera
for Jewelry Photos …

The main things I would look for if you’re buying a camera for photographing your jewelry are:

  • high megapixels (at the time of this writing 6 or more)
  • macro mode
  • white balance.

Taking Great Jewelry Photos
with Your New Digital Camera

When you get your new digital camera and start taking jewelry pictures with it, you’ll probably go through a learning curve of trial and error to find what works best for you.

Hot Tip:

When I experiment with a new camera and learn how to take the best jewelry shots with it, I find it very helpful to take notes on the specific camera settings, lighting, etc. that result in the best photos.

Then I keep these notes in a folder in my filing cabinet.

That way I don’t have to figure everything out again if I don’t take any jewelry photos for awhile!

Besides your camera, I think the most important factors in getting professional-looking pictures of your jewelry are:

  • using a tripod and your camera’s timer, so the camera will hold perfectly still for the shot
  • using only indirect natural light, with no flash
  • using some sort of a light tent to prevent glare on your jewelry
  • editing your photos after you take them.

You can also check out more tips for photographing jewelry.

You can use these success tips as a starting point, and experiment with some techniques of your own to get great jewelry photos with your new digital camera.

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