Best Camera for Real Estate Agents
As a real estate agent in 2018, you need a digital camera that is capable of producing high quality pictures to best sell the house or property that you are listing. Taking dozens or hundreds of pictures in a day is common. Why hire a photographer when you can abide by some simple do’s and don’ts, get the best camera for your budget and take them yourself? According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of buyers that searched for a home on the internet found photos to be among the most useful features. Having outstanding images is now a requisite to selling your real estate property in the fewest amount of days. Before we get into the best camera for real estate agent guide, check out our list of best practices below:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Real Estate Photography
Practice. When you’ve ordered a camera, get familiar with it. Take pictures of your house/property. If you purchase a camera with multiple lenses, try them all. Get used to the camera menu, and if you need to go manual or auto for most of your shooting.
Talk to your client. Your client will be looking at these pictures regularly, and needs to be bought into them. Therefore, making them a part of the process and asking them questions about what they feel is important to take pictures of is key. Also make sure that the house is appropriately staged if needed. Nobody wants to see pictures of a messy or unkept house.
Take too many pictures. You will be reviewing them anyway and can get rid of the pictures that are repetitive or quality wasn’t as high as you hoped. Not sure how the lighting in the room was affected by a light that was turned on? Turn the light off, and snap some more. Your client will be happy that you did.
Use a tripod. Cameras have gotten quite good with dealing with handshake, but when you want professional looking pictures-it needs to be done right, and for most shots that will mean utilizing a tripod to control camera shake and picture angle to maintain consistency. There are excellent tripods available on the market for under $30.
Use a flash when needed. Depending upon when and where you will be shooting, affixing an external flash can be greatly beneficial. Flashes can run from $29.99-$399.99 and up depending upon the brand, model, and the level of accuracy needed.
Be weather aware. Try to take pictures of the house or property as it looks normally. If it rained, and you were planning on taking pictures, reschedule for when it’s dry. If you’re in an area with snow and you can’t control that :), at least make sure that the property looks as inviting as possible. You’ve seen pictures on Zillow that make you cringe. Don’t make that mistake!
Edit your pictures. We recommend Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. It’s plan based, and it starts at $9.99 a month. Which house do you like better? It’s a simple edit and makes a world of difference. Some cameras have settings with HDR built in that will auto under/over expose to create these, otherwise it can be done in the post-picture taking editing process.
Just use your cell phone. It has become increasingly common for real estate agents to just use their cell phones for house and property photography. We don’t recommend this for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost is that using a DSLR or Mirrorless camera that we will recommend gives you the flexibility to take high quality and professional pictures no matter the environments. Camera phones have fixed zooms, and lackluster focusing capability.
Show people/pets. Did Barky the dog sneak into a picture? Retake it or crop him out. It’s hard for potential buyers to envision themselves owning the property if someone else or someone else’s pets are in the pictures.
Show Holiday decor. Taking pictures around the holidays or special events? Make sure that the holiday wreath/Christmas lights are out of the picture.
What we looked for in the best camera for Real Estate Agent Guide:
- Excellent picture quality
- Lens flexibility
- Ease of use
We really liked this combination because it gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of taking pictures. If you get both the T6i with 18-55mm AND the 10-18mm wide angle lenses, you’ll be able to shoot both indoors/outdoors with ease. The 10-18MM wide angle lens is critical, as it will allow you to take pictures in tight or cramped locations and make it “feel” larger in the space that you are shooting. It’s great for bathrooms, offices, and other areas where space is in short supply. The T6i also takes great video, so if you want to take high quality short videos to post on your site, you can do that too. This is a camera you can use for years and produce excellent online-worthy pictures to showcase your listings. And it’s combined current sale price at under $1,000, means it won’t break the bank. Think of it this way- having phenomenal pictures of the real estate property you’re selling could like to increased sale prices. Shoot, you may even make the money back on your first listing you use this Canon T6i dual lens setup because of increased interest. That’s why this bundle is our #1 pick for best camera for real estate agent and real estate photography.
The Sony A6300 dual lens kit is our top pick for a mirrorless best camera for real estate agent. It’s got a compact design, so is easy to handle and portable enough to easily take pictures of any property. The a6300 is also one of the fastest mirrorless cameras on the market and has autofocus capability at under a tenth of a second. The included 16-50mmm lens is a great all around option for shooting exteriors and interiors. The 20MM wide angle lens is an add on option and has fantastic glass which results in tack sharp pictures. It’s particularly relevant for situations where you want the potential buyer to get an idea of sizing of the space. The A6300 sports nex generation 4k video capability, so any video that you take looks stunning on 4k resolution tv’s. This is great to show off property during presentations.
This Panasonic DMC-FZ80 takes our pick for the best budget camera for real estate photography. With a list price of under $400, it’s more economical than a DSLR or Mirrorless camera setup. As a bridge camera between a small compact camera and a dslr camera, it offers some great features you wouldn’t get with a smaller camera. It’s 60X optical zoom is best in class, so if you’re taking pictures of land, buildings, or houses from a long distance, you can be sure to get excellent pictures even from far away. It has a large 3″ touchscreen, which is handy for quickly manuevering through the menu. Like the Sony A6300, the Panasonic DMC-FZ80 also has 4k video capability. It does not offer a true wide angle, but does have some macro settings that help out with picture taking in tight or cramped locations. We also were impressed with it’s low light capability. If you are taking pictures in the morning or at dusk, normally challenging for cameras, this camera does a stellar job of making it’s real estate subjects shine.
Real Estate Photography Accessories
Pretty soon you’ll be taking expert pictures with your chosen real estate photography camera setup. Here’s our recommend list of accessories:
This Rangers Aluminum Carbon Fiber Tripod is a great all around choice for real estate photography. It’s light so you can pack it where you need to without discomfort, and it breaks down quite small for easy portability. It’s also most importantly very sturdy, so it will remain solid wherever you set it up. With an MSRP of under $70, you can’t go wrong.
If you need a flexible tripod particularly suited for outdoor settings like garages, stairs, trees, or any other situation that demands it, our recommended pick is the Joby Gorillapod pictured above. It can hold a camera setup of up to 6.5 pounds, so any of the recommended real estate cameras above will work without an issue.