Tips for 360-Degree Motorized Turntable Photography

Following up on our guide to motorized turntables are these tips for 360 turntable photography covering installation and implementation in the studio. Motorized turntables are extremely effective for producing 360 and 3D product content, and PhotoRobot has a family of turntable robots and companion devices specifically for these purposes. To learn more about these turntable robots as well as tips and tricks for usage and setup, dive into this quick guide on PhotoRobot’s motorized turntables for 360 product photography.

Tips and tricks: motorized turntable photography

Motorized rotary photography turntable supporting product.

Motorized turntables for 360 product photography are among the most effective solutions for creating 360-degree product content for the web and digital presentation. This is why PhotoRobot has designed a family of motorized turntables and companion devices strictly for turntable photography.

These robots range in capabilities for items as small and complex as an engagement ring to products as large as cars and other heavy machinery. The trick is learning how to best utilize the machinery, from the workspace to the lighting, cameras, post image processing and more. 

Thankfully however, the intuitive design of PhotoRobot’s motorized turntables and companion devices makes them all easy to learn and master. In this guide, we’ll offer advice and tips for 360-degree motorized turntable photography, from installation to use and additional features of these products in the studio.

Tips for motorized turntable photography

Different photography turntables for furniture or automobiles.

PhotoRobot has a range of motorized turntables for eCommerce photography of various size products. However, the same tips and considerations apply across the entire family of turntables. There are models like the Centerless Table for small to medium size products, as well as the Robotic Turntable and the Turning Platform for medium size or heavy objects. There is even the Carousel 5000 motorized car turntable for 360 photography of automobiles and heavy machinery, which possesses similar tips for best usage.

Learning how to best utilize these products involves considerations typical for any photoshoot. You want to consider elements such as lighting, space for devices and equipment, planning for smoother workflow, and post photoshoot tasks like reviewing, editing and distributing photos. 

Attaining the perfect lighting for 360-degree turntable photography

Product photography light front and control panel.

With 360-degree turntable photography, there are in fact less concerns than with traditional product photography. You still want to create well-lit and color-balanced photos, however the main objective involves eliminating distracting hard shadows to obtain more natural and balanced illumination. In this way, spin presentation of the product comes to life in both the shape and depth expected of 360 imagery.

This is why PhotoRobot’s motorized turntables work best with quality strobe lights, LED panels, or a combination of both. The goal is to paint the product in extremely bright light from all angles to then capture the photos necessary for creating 360° spin imagery. For this, PhotoRobot suggests lighting equipment from trusted brands like Profoto, Broncolor and Fomei

The high intensity of the strobe lights allows the use of higher aperture and makes it possible to reach a deep depth of field, while also playing a crucial role in shooting larger products. With smaller products, such as a new smartphone, RotoLight LED lighting or any other DMX controlled lighting is often sufficient. PhotoRobot has direct support for the DMX protocol, opening the doors for photography automation.

Make use of a pure white background

Pure white photography backdrop with light diffusion paper.

Another tip for 360-degree turntable photography involves utilizing the appropriate background. When using a motorized turntable with a glass plate, such as PhotoRobot’s Centerless Table, this is however less of a concern. This is due to the integrated white fabric background.  

Together with the transparent plate, the integrated background makes products appear to float in thin air and allows for illumination of the background in standard 255 white and simultaneously the independent lighting of products. The division of lighting enables the use of traditional photography techniques, while also sharpening and better defining product edges to minimize the need for post image processing.

When using larger PhotoRobot turntables without a glass plate, like the Robotic Turntable, the Turning Platform, or the Carousel 5000, similar tips on backgrounds for 360-degree turntable photography apply. You’ll want a background and lighting conditions that eliminate distracting shadows. The product must be fully illuminated, and there should be a separation of light levels for the chosen background and the product.

Utilize the best cameras for capturing zoom, details and color

Canon DSLR camera model and accessories.

The next tip for 360-degree turntable photography is obvious: utilize the best camera for the job. 

To create high quality 360-degree imagery, your cameras must be able to capture not only high resolution photos but also a deep field of zoom on products. Color balance is equally important. The goal is to create detail-rich product content that customers can zoom in and out of from any angle of the 360 spin. 

PhotoRobot motorized turntables support DSLR and mirrorless Canon or Nikon cameras for this. These long-trusted brands produce the quality of cameras necessary for capturing 360-degree photos, and together with PhotoRobot machines meet all the requirements for creating remarkable product content.

Review and edit as necessary

Photo editing software user interface with product 360 spin.

Oftentimes with 360-degree turntable photography, there is less need to edit or retouch photos after the photoshoot. This is due to the fact that creating 360° spin photos involves many photos from all angles and creating a more ‘moving’ experience, much like a product video. 

PhotoRobot’s suite of software for automation and control also reduces the need for image post processing. As much of the photoshoot is automated (from robots to cameras, lighting and more), operators can remotely control the entire workspace, manage workflow and also enjoy the benefits of effective automation in image post-processing. 

Plan for higher output with smoother workflow 

Post image production on photo software interface.

The final tip: utilizing a motorized turntable in the studio leads to higher output capacity, and thus to better workflow overall — if you plan for it. With one station alone, it’s possible to shoot over 7000 images per day, so you want to plan photoshoots to realize maximum output and efficiency. This involves elements such as setting the scene, styling products, quick exchange and the like, which will vary depending on the scale of the photoshoot and the size of the studio.

Then you have PhotoRobot’s suite of control and automation software, designed specifically for improving studio workflow. This software provides control and automation features for often time-consuming tasks like file management and delivery, naming conventions, image post processing and publishing to the web. This means photographers have more time to focus on what they do best, the photography.

PhotoRobot’s Family of Turntable Robots

Close-up turntable hardware features and construction.

No matter if it’s for a small webshop or an industrial scale photoshoot, PhotoRobot has designed its family of motorized turntables to meet the demands of any space and any product. Whether it’s jewelry product photography, or shooting cars and heavy machinery, there is a rotary turntable for products of any size.

To learn more, dive into our blog for further reading, or reach out to us today for a free consultation with one of our specialist technicians. Online, your images are your products. Make the most of your 360-degree product content with PhotoRobot.