A little while ago my social media platforms were awash with adverts for a mini photo studio box. Obviously, I succumbed and ordered one from Bentley Goods for US$24.99.
Firstly, I have to say something about the ordering process of this company. The website stated that it could take 3-4 weeks for the goods to be delivered. That was OK, I was in no rush. When after 4 weeks I hadn’t received notification of the box having been dispatched I emailed their customer support team. A week later I got a pre-formatted reply saying it could take 3-4 weeks from ordering for my goods to arrive. To cut a long story short, it took another few weeks for my box to arrive.
The good and the bad
The box comes folded, with 2 foam backgrounds (one black, one white) and a USB lead which plugs into a laptop or such like to provide power to the LED lights. Made of a durable, waterproof matte-finished white plastic, the box unfolds easily. Built-in magnets hold the side panels in place and the interchangeable backgrounds are hooked into place.
This type of box has been designed to photograph small objects. In fact, at 23cm x 26cm x 19cm (WxHxD) you aren’t going to get anything too big in there. While the backgrounds are great because you can position them to create an infinity curve, they are a little narrow. This means that you need to be careful how you set up your shot so not to get bits of the box creeping into your composition.
The LED lights are mounted along a lip at top of the box. They are bright and provide a neutral light which does not affect colours. My only grip is that to get the best lighting conditions you have to fold the lip inwards. Otherwise the lights shine down in front of the box and not inside on the subject. Unfortunately, the side panel blocked the USB connector until I cut a piece out of it.
So, who’s going to want one of these?
I can see a number of people using this: from professional photographers who go on location to photograph private jewellery collections, ornaments and other small objects maybe for insurance purposes, to online shops and even bloggers. The box is compact light and so simple to set up.
There are various models on sites like amazon at various prices, which won’t break the bank. I’d recommend investing in one.