Tabletop photography, sometimes called "product photography," is one effective way to showcase an item. You place the item on a table and take a photo. With this, you can highlight the design and details of the subject. Often, one uses a light table to further highlight these details. So there is a high chance you are looking for the best light table for photography.
You have come to the right place. Here is a list of the 4 best light tables in the market.
In this article
Things to Consider Before Buying a Light Table for Tabletop Photography
Proper lighting is essential for tabletop photography's success. It accomplishes many things. That includes illuminating subjects, controlling shadows, setting the mood, and ensuring image quality. With skillful use of light, you can enhance the overall visual appeal, making images captivating and professional-looking.
That said, it is wise to invest in a good light table. Here are a few considerations when buying one.
1. Size and Its Level of Portability
Are you planning to place the light table in your studio and never move it? Or do you want a light table to carry around for different shoots? Depending on your answer, the ideal size and portability level of the light table you should buy changes.
Choose a light table size that suits the scale of your typical subjects. A larger table allows you to photograph bigger objects but may require more space in your studio.
Furthermore, consider the portability of the light table, especially if you need to move it frequently. Some models may be foldable or lightweight, making them more convenient for on-the-go photography.
2. Lighting Capability
Of course, you want to check for a table's lighting capability. You want even lighting across the entire table surface; it is essential for capturing high-quality images. Suppose your light table provides uneven lighting. It can create unwanted shadows and highlights, which can distract from the subject and diminish the overall quality of the photograph.
Therefore, look for a light table with adjustable brightness controls to tailor the lighting intensity to your needs. Some light tables offer color temperature adjustments, enabling you to achieve warm and cool lighting effects.
3. Default Backdrop
You should also consider the backdrop of the light table. Different photos require different backdrops. And some light tables provide you with different colored backdrops, while others don't. But check these backdrops, as they may be too shiny, negatively affecting the photo quality.
Check if the light table comes with a default backdrop. A neutral backdrop can simplify the setup process and help focus on the subject without distracting elements.
4. Supported Aperture Settings
Different aperture settings determine the amount of light that enters the camera and the depth of the area in focus. For tabletop photography, capturing intricate details and controlling the depth of field is often essential.
Therefore, a light table supporting various aperture settings allows you to achieve the desired visual effect. It lets you adapt to different shooting scenarios and creatively control the background blur and sharpness of the subject. As a result, you get stunning and professional-looking images.
4 Best Light Tables for Tabletop Photography
Now that we've looked at the important things to consider when buying a light table for tabletop photography, let's check out the top choices known for giving great results. These four light tables are the best and were picked because of their size, lighting capabilities, and other factors. They are designed to meet different photography needs and provide dependable performance.
Take a closer look at these light tables and their special features to help you decide which is best for your tabletop photography projects.
1. Duclus 16 x 16 Inch Portable Photo Studio Box
|16 x 16 x 16 inch (40.6 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm)
Includes 2 lights
|Perfect for jewelry, small objects, and still-life photography
If you are looking for a portable light table, this one is among your top options. You can fold it flat, easily moving or storing it. It is also not that big or heavy.
Another remarkable feature of this light table is the 60-piece LED lights in a circular arrangement on the top. You can dim these, and the table has diffusers, reflectors, different backdrops, and reflective sides. These allow you to create the desired effects when photographing small to medium products.
2. LimoStudio LED Light Box
|16 x 16 x 16 inch (40.6 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm)
Includes 2 lights
|Perfect for jewelry, small objects, and still-life photography
This product features two lights that reach 600 lumens. Thus, lighting the subject through the fabric walls is super easy. Besides that, this kit comes with extra items. Different backdrops are available, so you are not stuck with just white. Additionally, it comes with a mini camera tripod that can extend up to 8 inches. You can use that to stabilize the camera when taking a tabletop photograph of a small to medium size product.
3. MyStudio MS20LED Professional Tabletop Light Box
|20 x 20 x 12 inch (50.8 x 50.8 x 30.5 cm)
5000K Color Temperature lighting
|Tabletop photography on a permanent or semi-permanent setup
There are many good things you can say about this light table. It features a base construction where you can attach a paper or card to alter the tone, shade, or color. However, white is ideal, as it lets you leverage the product's infinity curve. This lets you help reflect the light, effectively reducing post-production editing time.
The MyStudio MS20LED Professional Tabletop Light Box has a color temperature of 5000K. This means the light it gives off is similar to natural daylight. The neutral white light with a slightly cool tone helps show colors accurately in tabletop photos. This is great for taking pictures of products, jewelry, crafts, and other small items, making the photos look professional and consistent.
4. AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio Box
|30 x 25 x 2.6 inch (76.2 x 63.5 x 6.60 cm)
|Led, Led Light
High-Performance LED Lights
|Versatile tabletop photography applications
With its size, it fits various product sizes perfectly. You get an installed power supply, a user manual, and a removable bright-white backdrop.
The built-in LED lights are super bright for taking photos with your camera or smartphone. They're placed strategically to create great contrast, and they have 5600k daylight-balanced LEDs with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) for consistent and accurate colors. There's also an extra light to give your product images a more studio-like look with better highlights, contrast, and shape.
Plus, it has three doors in the front, allowing you to capture images from multiple angles while reducing reflections from the outside. And there's a hole in the top for taking pictures from above.
After exploring the 4 best light tables for tabletop photography mentioned above, there are still four other light table options that you may want to consider for your photography needs. These light tables offer unique features that cater to specific preferences and shooting requirements.
- MyStudio PS5 Tabletop Light Box
The MyStudio PS5 is a compact and versatile light table designed for capturing small objects with exceptional clarity. It features continuous lighting with a 5000K color temperature, mimicking natural daylight for accurate color representation.
The seamless infinity background ensures a clean, professional look, while the front and top openings provide flexibility in capturing multiple angles. Ideal for jewelry, small objects, and still-life photography, the MyStudio PS5 delivers high-quality results with minimal setup required.
- Newer 24 x 24 inch Light Cube
The Newer Light Cube is a mid-sized light table that offers evenly diffused lighting for shadow-free tabletop photography. Its 24 x 24-inch dimensions provide ample space for photographing various subjects.
The light table has multiple openings, allowing you to shoot from different angles effortlessly. Four background color options add versatility to your shots, making them suitable for product photography requiring larger setups and consistent lighting.
- HitTopss Photo Studio 32 x 32 x 32 inch Light Box
If you require a more extensive shooting area, the HitTopss Photo Studio is an excellent option. Its spacious 32 x 32 x 32-inch dimensions accommodate larger products or multiple items for your photography needs. The built-in bright LED lighting ensures even illumination across the entire setup, and the three-door system maximizes image angles while minimizing outside reflections. The HitTopss Photo Studio is perfect for capturing larger products or engaging in creative tabletop photography projects.
- PULUZ 20cm Portable Light Tent
The PULUZ 20cm Portable Light Tent offers a compact and portable solution for photographers focusing on smaller objects and macro photography. This mini light tent is only 20cm in size and provides a controlled environment with built-in LED lighting. It includes black and white backdrops for versatile background options, ensuring that your small subjects are showcased with precision and clarity.
Other Important Equipment Needed for Tabletop Photography
Tabletop photography requires more than just a light table to achieve promising results. Several other essential photography equipment can help you enhance the quality of your images and make your photoshoots more effective and professional.
Let's go through each of them:
A high-quality camera is the backbone of tabletop photography. While many modern smartphones offer impressive camera capabilities, a dedicated digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) or mirrorless camera will provide greater control over settings and image quality. When shooting tabletop photography, it's essential to use a camera with manual mode to adjust settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Recommendation: Canon EOS Rebel T8i (DSLR) or Sony Alpha a6400 (Mirrorless)
A diffuser is essential for softening and diffusing harsh light, creating a more even and natural-looking illumination on your subject. It helps reduce harsh shadows and eliminates glare, resulting in smoother and more flattering images.
Recommendation: Neewer 43-inch Collapsible Light Diffuser
Tip: Position the diffuser between the light source and your subject to soften the light. This can be achieved using natural light from a window or by placing studio lights behind the diffuser.
A reflector is used to bounce light back onto your subject, filling in shadows and adding highlights to create a more balanced and three-dimensional look to your images. Reflectors come in various shapes and colors to produce different lighting effects.
Recommendation: Neewer 5-in-1 Portable Reflector
Tip: Position the reflector opposite the main light source to bounce light onto the side of your subject facing away from the light. Experiment with colors (white, silver, gold) to achieve the desired effect.
Choosing the right lens is crucial for tabletop photography. A macro lens is highly recommended as it allows you to capture intricate details and achieve close-up shots of small subjects.
Recommendation: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
Tip: Set your camera to aperture priority mode (A or Av) and choose a wide aperture (low f-number) to create a shallow depth of field, blurring the background and emphasizing the subject.
A sturdy tripod is essential for tabletop photography, especially when shooting at slow shutter speeds or using a macro lens. A tripod ensures stability, reduces camera shake, and helps maintain consistent framing.
Recommendation: Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod
Tip: Mount your camera on the tripod and adjust its height and position to frame your subject accurately. Use the tripod to keep the camera steady during longer exposures or when capturing small subjects with precise focus.
Bring Your Tabletop Photography Ideas to Life With booth.ai
Tabletop photography opens up a world of creative possibilities, with countless wonderful ideas waiting to be captured. However, it's no secret that some of these ideas can be quite complicated or require expensive equipment to execute successfully. But worry not, because there's a solution that can bring your tabletop photography ideas to life with ease and without breaking the bank. Introducing booth.ai, an innovative generative AI that can turn your vision into reality using simple text prompts, making it an ideal tool for tabletop photography.
With booth.ai, you no longer need to fret about the complexities or costs associated with tabletop photography. This cutting-edge AI generates images with little to no effort and without the need for costly photography equipment.
Booth.ai understands your text prompts and translates them into tangible visual representations. By merely describing your vision, you can see it come to life before your eyes. No more struggling with complicated setups or expensive gear – booth.ai simplifies the process and lets you focus on your creativity.
Adhere to the following steps to process the perfect product photography.
(1) You can use Booth.ai by opening its website on a computer or phone. Simply click on "Get Started" to begin.
(2) To get started, add your photo. Click the "+" button on your device to choose a photo for editing. Then, easily move it into the specified area by dragging and dropping.
Select the image workflow you want. Then, use a text prompt to describe your vision.
(3) Generate image(s) and get your results in just a few seconds.
Making product photography is a bit more complex and costly than you think. However, we got you covered by listing the best light table options for photography. For an easier process of product photography, try using booth.ai. This tool simplifies what you need to do without breaking the bank.