It’s the question I get asked most – what is the best camera for real-estate photography? The quick answer is, it doesn’t matter.
This is for two reasons. Firstly, real-estate photography doesn’t require any particular strengths from a camera body in terms of focus point coverage or shutter speed burst rate. Unlike with sports photography, for example. Therefore, choosing a camera from the Canon, Nikon or Sony DSLR range simply comes down to your budget. I even know a number of interior photographers who swear by their compact micro four-thirds cameras.
There is an argument in favour of using more recent models of camera, simply because of the increased dynamic range modern camera sensors have over their predecessors. This is also often said to be the case with using full-frame sensors over a cropped-frame or micro four-thirds sensors. However, because of the techniques used in real-estate and interior photography, namely the use of off-camera lighting and image bracketing, dynamic range isn’t such an issue.
I take the majority of my real-estate photos using my old Canon 60D with a Canon 10-22mm lens, choosing this body, with its articulating LCD screen, over my full frame Canon 5D mkIII. I use the 5D3 more for interior design and architectural photography.
The second reason why the camera body isn’t important is because there are many other factors which go in to creating a good real-estate photo. The camera body would be last on my list of priorities. Your lens, composition, lighting, flash control, white balance, the weather and your skills with image retouching are all key to real-estate and interior photography.
To me, asking what camera I use or which camera is best, is like asking a novelist what computer keyboard they use – implying that purchasing the same equipment will render the same results.
My advice would be to buy the body which fits your budget, invest in a good-quality wide-angle lens and then focus on mastering the photography.
Author – Oliver Pohlmann