With more and more people shifting their goods via eBay, auction sites and online shops, it’s important to be able to back up your sales patter with some high quality images.
Although digital cameras make it easy to quickly snap product shots, the built in flash often creates unflattering shadows and reflections, so Lastolite are hoping that people will be prepared to shell out for their economy-priced ePhotomaker kit.A much smaller and less complex affair than the three hundred quid Lastolite Cubelite Portable Studio set-up we reviewed last September, the ePhotomaker comes in two sizes, and promises pro-quality, studio-style shots at a cut price budget.
The package comes in a small round blue bag, with the igloo-shaped light tent almost bursting out, thanks to its super-springy wire skeleton.
Also lurking in the bag is a sheet of blue ‘gel’ (to compensate for the yellow hue of the average light bulb) and two crocodile clips for attaching it to a desk lamp.
Inside the igloo
Looking inside the igloo-like tent, there’s an all-white interior with the right side covered in reflective silver material.
The idea is that you shine your desk light through the left hand side of the tent, with the material diffusing the light inside and the silver material ‘filling in’ shadows from the opposite side.
In general, we got pretty good results, although you’ll almost certainly have to fiddle about with the EV compensation and/or white balance controls on your digital camera to get the best results.
Fortunately, the included illustrated instructions do a fairly good job of talking newbies through the process of setting up the camera, with directions for both digital and film users.
The desk lamp isn’t included by the way, but just about any old light source will do (indeed, we got excellent results sitting the light tent on a sunny table top).
Also included in the kit is a grey card for setting exposure and a wee tripod, but unless you want to see your expensive dSLR nose-dive into the ground, we would only recommend attaching this to small digital compact cameras.
If you’ve ever battled to produce a decent product photo at home and suffered the inevitable distracting backgrounds, inconsistent shadows and disappointing results, it may well be worth investing in the ePhotomaker.
Although you could just as easily make your own home studio with a white sheet, some stickyback plastic and a few shoeboxes, the ePhotomaker kit has the advantage of being easy to set up and quick to pack away – and it’s pretty cheap too.
Once you’ve delved into your digicam’s menus to work out the best settings for your camera, you should have no problem knocking out high quality images – and if the better product photos help you sell your stuff on eBay, the ePhotomaker kit may well end up paying for itself sooner than you think!
Ease of Use: 80%
Value for Money: 85%
0Small ePhotomaker kit
Price: £50 inc. VAT.
Large ePhotomaker kit
Price: £80 inc. VAT.