Our Recommended Hardware
We think the characteristics of great hardware are reliability over time, value for money, good support, broad compatibility, and speed.
In this article we'll list out what hardware we recommend for an ideal setup. We don't recommend a specific booth / shell because this is largely an aesthetic choice. However we do recommend that when purchasing a booth / shell you look carefully at the support & warranty being offered, and read reviews from other professional boothers. One place to find such reviews is the Photo Booth Community group on Facebook.
We do not (at the time of writing) receive any payment or consideration for these recommendations, and we do not use affiliate links when we link to Amazon.
We recommend any iPad that is at least 11 inches in size, with USB-C, and Face ID. It must be running iOS 15.2 or newer — see our requirements.
USB-C ensures you can use a USB-C hub to add on important connectivity options like ethernet (wired networking) for printing, while connecting a USB camera and keeping the iPad powered.
At the time of writing, Face ID is only available on the iPad Pro line. Face ID greatly improves the speed and quality of SceneSelect (AI backdrop removal).
Another consideration is the processor: the newer it is, the longer the iPad will stay compatible with future iOS updates. Over time all apps require newer versions of iOS, because apps want to use new technologies that are introduced in iOS — so you can't get away without iOS updates for long.
Storage space isn't as important as you think. If you're just using the iPad for Booth.Events, we recommend 128GB or more, but 64GB storage will work too.
We recommend the Dockteck 7-in-1 hub. It has ethernet (wired networking), HDMI (to connect the iPad's display to a huge TV), 2 USB ports (one for the camera, one for the printer), the ability to charge the iPad via USB-C power in, and a few other things you might use like an SD card reader.
iPads are picky about USB-C hubs. The Dockteck works well.
We've purchased several of these hubs and although they sometimes run warm while the iPad is charging, we've never had a problem with them. USB & ethernet connections stay connected without any hiccups.
We love the QW410 because of how lightweight and portable it is, and how fast its prints are. One drawback is that it cannot print two 2x6 strips from a 4x6 print, but that doesn't bother us.
Disclaimer: we haven't received our WCM Plus yet but we've heard great things about it. We currently recommend it over the AirCast Pro because of its lower price.
We recommend the Canon M50.
The M50 is extremely fast for tethered operations (which is what all photo booth apps use to control the camera), has fast & accurate auto-focus, has good image quality for a photo booth, has a hot-shoe for flash sync, and is good value for money.
Not all USB cameras support high framerate video while tethered, which apps like Booth.Events use for slow-mos and boomerangs. Even if a camera supports high framerate video, that does not imply that it can do so while tethered to an app. The M50 does support high framerate video while tethered.
There's also the M50 II ("mark two"), which is a better camera but not worth a higher price. The M50 II has minimal differences from the M50, the primary improvement being slightly better battery life. But you should be using an AC adapter with your camera so that doesn't really matter.