I just built a photobooth with a Rebel T3 as my camera. My original plan was to just cut a hole in the box for the lens (I see a lot of DIY photobooth projects that do this), but I ended up just mounting the camera to the top of my booth. (This doesn't look as professional in my opinion, and I would LIKE to mount it internally.)

My concern is this: Doesn't the camera do some kind of light calibration before taking the shot? If I disable the flash, will the camera calibrate itself based solely on what it can see through the lens, or am I interfering with its operation in someway by covering the body of my DSLR in a dark box?


2 Answers 2


Your DSLR (and most DSLRs, for that matter) performs light metering and autofocus detections through the lens. If your lens can see it, your camera will meter it and try to autofocus on it.

The only caveat is that if your DSLR has an autofocus assist illuminator/lamp (used under low light conditions to help the camera autofocus), it is not in the lens and will therefore be blocked, meaning that it won't be effective to provide some light to the autofocus work. The solution to that is simple, however: provide enough light in the scene (i.e., in the photo booth) that the measly AF-assist light won't be needed anyways.


A photo "booth" would imply an enclosed space and therefor set or unchanging light within that space. In my world i would consider the photo booth as a mini studio and i would set the lighting and camera to achieve the end results i am after.

I would meter the space and set the camera manually to the the light levels within the space. ( i would create the lighting within the space that i wanted ) I would not use on camera flash for this unless i was bouncing it, so in that case the flash would need to be unobstructed.

If i had to use a flash I would put the camera in a "box" and the flash in the booth and use a slave to fire it. I would not rely on letting the camera make the decisions, i would test it all and set my camera, lighting accordingly.

In such a small space a flash is probably not necessary and a more simple or flattering light set up would not be difficult to set up.

I would also set focus manually, Your distance to subject is not going vary much. use an fstop sufficient to get a good depth of field ( presumably the space is small and a moderately wide angle lens is needed so depth of field will be good anyway )

Test Test test.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This makes sense for an enclosed booth. But the scenario I setup was actually an "open" booth with a black backdrop, so the box I was referring to quite literally was the enclosure for the camera, computer, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – StevoInco
    Jun 14, 2017 at 18:38

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