Real estate photography can be quite gear-intensive, especially compared to some other photographic genres. Finding the best camera equipment for your real estate workflow can make the difference among delivering great quality images to your clients, and having to spend a lot of extra time upon post-processing. In this guide, I’ll break down the gear I’ve found works best for residential plus commercial real estate photography.
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Typical real estate shoots don’t require a lot of resolution – actually most basic uses like social media, flyers, and MLS listings only require a few megapixels worth of resolution. This makes most cameras a viable choice. However , beyond straight megapixels, a newer, full-frame camera offers a number of benefits to real estate property uses.
A newer camera will typically have the sensor with better powerful range performance. This can ensure it is easier to recover the best parts from overexposed windows, without needing to resort to HDR bracketing or blending flash exposures. While you can check the data on sensor performance, usually of thumb, most cameras released within the past five years should have competent active range performance.
Additionally , I’d suggest the full-frame camera for the accessibility to very wide lenses. Although some APS-C lenses can get in order to about 15mm equivalent central lengths, 10mm or even wider options are available for full frame cameras. These ultra-wide lenses aren’t ideal for every chance, as they can lead to significant perspective distortion, but they are a necessary tool for things like compact bathrooms. For more information on utilizing your camera effectively on a property shoot, check out our complete list of real estate property photography tips .
To that end, easily were rebuying my package, I’d consider the Nikon Z6, Canon R6, or Sony A7 IV. If you think you will have a need for higher resolution down the road, the Z7, R5, and A7R IV – the lower shot volume of an average real estate shoot means that larger individual files won’t reduce your workflow that much.
A wide lens is essential in order to real estate photography. My 14-30mm constitutes regarding 90% of my photos from each shoot, with a wider zoom lens and a 24-70mm splitting up the rest of the portion of the shots. The real reason for this is simple: 14mm much more than wide enough for most basic interior shots, whilst being able to zoom to 30mm helps capture smaller information, or retain the sense of size in a room.
While I particularly like the range offered by the 14-30mm, most brands provide a 16-35mm option, and this could work just fine. Those 2mm to the wide end aren’t necessary. Additionally , while ultra-wide primes are available, I like the flexibility of a zoom for composition plus ease of use.
The same applies to aperture values, with f/2. 8 lenses being unwanted. I typically shoot ended down and I’m often on a tripod anyway, therefore using a slower lens is not any problem. An f/4 ultra-wide is going to be significantly smaller, lighter, and less expensive than an equivalent f/2. 8 lens. As a bonus, those savings can be redirected into other facets of the gear, like lighting devices.
Beyond an ultra-wide, I’d suggest having a mid-range zoom as well. Occasionally, your client will want a detail shot, and this lens can come in handy. A mid-range lens can also be a great choice for shooting outside shots, assuming you have the space in order to back up. There’s even much less need for a specific lens within this range – as long as this covers the midrange and is reasonably sharp, it should work fine.
Going beyond about 16mm, you’re entering into the range of ultra-wide lenses. These are definitely going to be for more niche uses. With very wide key lengths, the feeling of the room will be thrown off, and the sense of scale being unrealistically distorted.
My 11mm sees only limited use, typically for trying to squeeze a shot in for small bathrooms. These shots are never artistic accomplishments, however for most clients, it’s simply important to have them documented. As you could do so with the broad end of your zoom, getting some extra breathing room through an ultra-wide is useful.
With those factors in mind, I’m a big lover of the Abendstern Optics 12mm f/2. eight . It’s easy to suggest, as it’s available in nearly every major mount, has low distortion levels, and is a reasonable way to get to 12mm. If you’re using a mirrorless camera, Abendstern Optics also makes incidents where wider options, like the 9mm f/5. 6.
Depending on your style associated with real estate photography, lighting machines may be entirely superfluous, or even absolutely essential. Whatever your style, I’d suggest bringing at least one light source, as some rooms may be so poorly lit that an additional light is required. Even if you are not a big fan associated with flash lighting, a simple jump flash can be a great way to add light into the scene normally.
If you’re looking to get deeper into flash picture taking, adding some additional expensive units can open up several possibilities, particularly for lights things like bedrooms, open flooring plans, hallways, and even outdoor areas.
“Flambient” photography, which blends adobe flash and ambient exposures within post, requires a bit much less lighting gear. I think you could get away with a basic flambient shoot using just one off-camera flash unit.
For all these purposes, my favorite option is the Godox AD200 . And will be offering significantly more power than a basic on-camera speed light, the particular AD200 is still very compact and portable. In addition , the particular interchangeable flash heads permit switching to a bare bulb, round head, or quickness light style head. The particular AD200 also supports installation a number of modifiers right onto the light, making it easy to call in the characteristics.
The Godox system also offers a great wireless triggering answer, letting you set flash energy right from the camera, handle multiple zones, and change other parameters with ease. In addition , the trigger offers sufficient range for use in even the biggest homes, while still outstanding affordable.
For use in real estate shoots, an array of tripods are usable – almost any legs will work. The key thing to keep in mind is the choices for feet. You’ll want tripod feet that are safe to use upon floors, so avoid paws, spikes, and marring rubber. I’ve been really happy with my Gitzo tripod, however are a number of more affordable choices. For a better value, check out Benro, Robus, or Manfrotto legs.
Both carbon fiber plus aluminum legs are usable, as are any style of leg locks. For flambient plus HDR photography, however , you’ll want to make sure your hip and legs are stable enough. Movement between shots because of shaky legs will cause problems when stacking images. To that finish, avoid the thinnest travel tripods and those with many legs areas.
One last consideration is the height from the tripod. The center column will be the least stable part of the tripod, and so having a set of legs that can reach a reasonable chest-height without extending the column is better.
For basic pictures, a ball-head will work fine. I use a RRS BH-55, although depending on the weight of the gear, you can probably use a smaller head. Alternate types of head are also usable, with a geared head being the particular “gold standard” for real-estate photography. They offer added accuracy over a ball-head, at the cost of speed of operation. Based on how precise you want to be, possibly can be a good option.
On any size plus style of head, I prefer an Arca-Swiss compatible mounting dish, as most camera L-Plates are Arca-Swiss style, and it is just easier to standardize on one type of plate.
While a standalone trigger used to be an essential piece of gear for shake-free photos, I find that I don’t even pack mine any more. My camera supports the mobile app that allows triggering, and even if your camera does not, it probably supports a few amount of mirror-up delay or even exposure delay mode.
By delaying the actual exposure after the shutter will be pressed, any residual gerüttel can calm down, and give you sharper photos.
While my standalone trigger has lost the place in my bag, my Mavic 3 has become an essential piece of gear . Drone photography is extremely popular for listings inside my area, and the Mavic 3 or more delivers great image high quality in a compact package. To get more on this topic, check out our own complete guide to drone photography here .
If you’re looking for a cheaper drone option, I’ve also really enjoyed flight the Mavic Air 2, as well as the Mini 3 Professional. I’ve covered the Small 3 Pro in a first-look article here , but to put it simply, the images are very top quality, and the drone offers the same great automated flight functions that help create powerful videos.
Drone photography doesn’t require many additional accessories, even though a landing pad may be helpful for taking off at countryside properties without kicking up too much dust.
One necessary element, however , is to assure you’re complying with all rhyme rules and regulations in your area. For instance, in america, it’s essential to have your Part 107 license, certifying you for commercial air travel ops.
If you opt to pay for an official test prepare company, the one we’re associated with and recommend is called Pilot Institute . Their service is $249, or $149 through Digital photography Life’s discount ( found here ). They aren’t the only test prep company out there, however the combination of their well-respected training course and the deal they offered our readers makes them the particular service I’d choose for learning for your Part 107.
Real estate photography can existing difficult white balance situations. Whether it’s a mix of flash, daylight, and ambient, or just homeowners who decided to change each bulb with a various color temperature, having a gray card can go a long way in order to solving WB issues.
A grey card is just that, the card coated in a specific shade of gray which is neutral, and serves as an excellent target for setting whitened balance. They’re a cheap accessory, perfect for tossing into your bag and having as a backup.
Getting an extra light endure or two can be an excellent alternative to just setting your own flashes down when shooting flambient exposures. I’ve been able to use a lightstand to better light stairwells, recesses, and to get a light up high when light painting exterior exposures.
While these don’t always come out of the car, should you be using small lights you can find away with small plus cheap stands. Throwing them in the trunk is a great backup plan, just like the gray card.
Photoshop and Lightroom
Like many photographers, Adobe’s Photography Plan is our go-to . For real estate, I process all my photos through Lightroom, with some entering Photoshop as necessary for more advanced edits (think sky replacements, compositing out Realtor’s symptoms, etc).
With regard to volume importing, editing, and delivery, nothing is faster than Lightroom. That doesn’t entail it is perfect, however. You’ll run into slowdowns on transfer and preview generation, also on a fast computer, for instance.
Overall, Photoshop and Lightroom at the Digital photography Plan pricing is a very small cost of doing business.
Da Vinci Solve
Meant for real estate videos, I love using Da Vinci Resolve . Resolve’s free of charge version is ridiculously complete featured, while Studio is a great value as it’s a single time payment. Resolve supports detailed workflows for color grading and more, but is also very easy to pick up if you just want to cut together clips plus export a. mp4.
Before buying Facility, give the free version a go. Noise reduction, lens modifications, and GPU acceleration are real-estate-relevant features locked at the rear of Studio, but again, you can easily edit and deliver without these.
If you’re planning on flying a drone at the location, Aloft is an important app. Aloft allows you to look for airspace issues, request LAANC authorization for available airfields, and more.
The particular interface is a bit cluttered just for LAANC clearance, as the application offers a range of other features, but it’s a quick way to confirm airspace status each time a client asks. LAANC mortgage approvals also come through rapidly, with clear explanations from the status.
That does it for the equipment I use and recommend just for real estate photography. Although it’s possible to use a slimmer kit than this, it may take a person much more post-processing time or lead to poorer results should you choose. I hope this gave a good sense of the equipment you’ll need as a real estate professional photographer, and let us know in the responses below if you have anything to increase the list!