Table Top Photo Studio Kit Reviews and Comparison Chart

Table top photo studio comparison chart & reviewsWhile many DIYers try to go it alone, purchasing a relatively inexpensive table top photo studio kit can save you a lot of time spent building your own photo studio.

What is a table top photo studio kit?

A table top photo studio kit is an “all in one” package of everything a beginner needs to get started photographing their small crafts.  Kits are small, hence the “table top” designation.  Most are designed to take up less than a few feet of space.  Kits typically include a light tent, a couple of lamps, backgrounds (‘sweeps”), and a camera stand.   Many of the kits on the market today are very similar and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices.  Prices range from $40-$100, so you definitely want to make an informed choice!

This interactive comparison chart will help you decide which photo studio kit is right for you and your budget.  Below the chart are 3 of DIYCraftPhotography’s top photo studio kit picks with detailed reviews.

The comparison chart and reviews only considered kits that meet the following requirements:

  • $110 or less – most models in this chart are around $45
  • Rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5) rating or higher on Amazon.com

Amazon.com links are affiliate links.

Click on any of the columns to sort the data.

$ = $30-45
$$ =$45 – $75
$$$ = $75+

Table Top Photo Studio KitsScore
PriceTent Size (L x W X H) in inchesCamera SupportLight Stands & Bulbs
Extras
Idirectmart Photo Tent Table Top Studio Light Photography Soft Box Kit

4.0$19.75" x 19.75" x 19.75"Stand (range: 11" - 18")Bulbs: (2) 3000k 110V tungsten bulbs4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
CowboyStudio Table Top Photo Studio Light Tent Kit in a Box

3.5$$16" x 16" x 16"StandBulbs: (2) 50W 5100k tungsten4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
SP200 Photo Studio In a Box

4.0$16" x 16" x 16"Stand (10" - 18")Bulbs: (2) 50W 3000K tungsten4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
Square Perfect SP500 Platinum Photo Studio in a Box

4.0$$$30" x 30" x 30"
12" x 12" x 12"
Tripod (22" - 32")Bulbs: (2) not halogen8 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
PBL Photo Studio Tent

4.0$$$30" x 30" x 30" NoneStands: (2) 6'6" black non-glare finish

Bulbs: (2) 65 watt fluorescent bulbs 225 watts of tungsten light 5100k high output daylight bulbs
2 Backgrounds: white, black

Carrying case.
Shutter Starz Professional Quality Studio ProPhotoz Kit

3.5$20" x 20" x 20" Stand Bulbs: (2) 3000K 4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
LimoStudio Photography Photo Studio

3.5$20" x 20" x 20" Tripod (10.5" - 17") Bulbs: (2) 120V 50W 5000K output4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
Sunpak 620-EBOX Camera Light


4.0$$21" x 21" x 21" TripodBulbs: (2) 50W 4 Backgrounds: black, blue, red. (note: no white background included)

Carrying case.
LimoStudio Photography Studio 12" and 30" Photo Studio Tent Backdrop Kit

4.0$$30" x 30" x 30"
12" x 12" x 12"
Tripod (up to 41")Bulbs: (1) 30W Photo CFL 5400K, Daylight Balanced, Pure White8 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
Portable Studio Lighting with Studio Light Tent Kit

4.5$$23" x 23" x 23" StandBulbs: (2) 110V 35W 5400K Fluorescent Bulb Mini Lights 4 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
Fotodiox Pro, Deluxe 1000 Photo Studio in a Box Kit

4.0$$$30" x 30" x 30"
12" x 12" x 12"
Tripod ("table" size) Bulbs: (2) 30W 5400K8 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.
CowboyStudio Table Top Photo Studio Light Tent Kit

3.5$$$24" x 24" x 24"
17" x 17" x 17"
Mini tripod - premium with liquid levelBulbs: (2) 50W High Intense UL 8 Backgrounds: white, black, blue, red.

Carrying case.

 

Our Top 3 Favorite Kits

These three kits stand out as being particularly well-reviewed.

LimoStudio Photography Studio 12″ and 30″ Photo Studio Kit ($$$)

limostudio_photography_studio_12_30_agg941We like this kit by LimoStudio because it comes with two light tents (12″ and 30″), two powerful 28″ tall lamps, and a full-size 41″ tripod – all for just $72.

Buying this kit’s components separately would cost well over $100, so as long as the components of this kit meet your needs this is a great deal.  We especially like the 28″ tall lamps and switch cords (no need to get your hands near the hot lamp heads).

Both light tents feature a “slit” wall, which is a great feature for minimizing undesired light sources inside the light tent.  Many DIY light tents simply leave off the side that the photographer’s camera uses, but this “pro feature” helps keep the interior of the box free from being affected by other direct light sources and colors in the room you’re using.

The light bulbs are two 30W photo CFL 5400k, daylight balanced, pure white.  The subject of light bulbs is a constant cause for debate among professional photographers, but these bulbs should be sufficient for beginners making their crafts looking pretty on Pinterest and Etsy.

Some potential downsides: like all kits in this price range, the backgrounds arrive folded and will need to be ironed to get rid of creases.  You also may never use any of the colored background “sweeps”, though virtually every kit on the market includes at least three backgrounds.  Do you need two light tents?  If not, having an extra one laying around might be clutter you don’t need.  Unlike the photo suggests, the tripod is a full 41″ tripod.  It is not miniature.  If you already have a large tripod, getting another one might be unnecessary.  This is one of the most space consuming kits on the market in the <$100 price range (28″ tall lamps, 41″ tripod, 30″ light tent), so make sure you have enough space for this kit.

But for those of us who need to “go big” while keeping within a $100 budget, this kit is an excellent choice.

Check out this kit’s pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com

 

Portable Studio Lighting with Studio Light Tent Kit ($$)

portable_studio_lighting_with_studio_light_tent_kitUp next is another highly-reviewed kit, this one sold by Fancier, an online vendor specializing in photography equipment.  At $47 plus shipping, this kit is one step above the bottom of the typical table top photo studio kit price range.  Included is a 23.5″ photo tent, a “monopod” camera stand, two 35W 5400K fluorescent light bulbs on retractable stands, and four colored background sweeps.  We like that the light stands and bulbs are larger and have a bit more “oomph” than most kits in this price range.

We like this kit because of its compactness and because the lamps and camera stand are small enough to fit on a table next to the tent (rather than on the floor with the tent on a table in between), making this kit a true “table top” kit.  Like many other professionally-made kits, this kit also features a front panel with a slit to minimize colors and shadows from elsewhere in the room.

Some potential downsides: all included backgrounds are plastic cloth, so they are difficult to iron and unsuitable for doing a smooth “infinity background”. Cutting up a piece of thicker poster board for use inside this light tent will solve this problem.  A few buyers on Amazon complain of broken bulbs (immediately replaced by Fancier, to the vendor’s credit).  The small tripod base on the lamps reduces their overall footprint, which is a great space saver, but it makes them a bit top heavy and they may tip over easily if you aren’t careful around them.

All in all, this kit by Fancier is an excellent mid-priced table top photo studio kit perfect for beginners.

Check out this kit’s pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com

SP200 Photo Studio In a Box ($)

sp200_photo_studio_in_a_boxAt $41 the SP200 Photo Studio in a Box is one of the lowest priced kits in the list, but its our favorite in its price range thanks to its solid 4-star rating on Amazon.com.  This kit includes a 16″ photo tent (which is notably smaller than what you’ll find in our other top picks), two high output lights, four backgrounds, and a “monopod” for your camera.  The whole thing folds up into a neat little “suitcase” for easy storage and transport.  Many reviewers praise the easy set up and take-down.

Some potential downsides: There is no “front panel with slit” like many slightly more expensive models include (see our #1 pick and #2 pick above), so your photos may reveal more shadows and colors from the light sources from the surrounding area than they would using a light tent that includes this panel.  The lamps included in this kit are small, and according to many reviewers, both underpowered and very hot to the touch.  Be sure to use this kit in a well-lit room, as the lights included may not be enough on their own.  The top of the light tent is black (due to it being part of the storage case) so you won’t be able to angle an additional light through the top panel like you can on other light kits.

If you’re on a very tight budget but you’re also photographing small objects, don’t mind the missing front panel or white top panel, and you’ll be photographing in generally well-lit areas, this is the best table top photo studio kit we could find under $45.

Check out this kit’s pricing, ratings, and reviews on Amazon.com

Did our chart help you decide which kit to get?  Or did you go the DIY route and build your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Some links in this article are Amazon Affiliate links. Read DIYCraftPhotography’s full disclosure here.



Hello there! I'm Mandi, a lifelong crafter with a passion for helping others use technology. DIYCraftPhotography shows artisans how to photograph and publicize their handmade goodies. Thank you for visiting!

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