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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.

Best Camera For Real Estate Photography by Oliver Pohlmann

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 Canon 5D mkIII. However, at times I still use my old Canon 60D with a Canon 10-22mm lens, choosing this body, with its articulating LCD screen, for certain scenarios.

Best Camera For Real Estate Photography by Oliver Pohlmann

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

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  1. Mike Taylor says:

    I’m just not sure why people are fascinated with using a wide angle lens to shoot interiors. It causes too many problems, and we don’t see that wide anyway.

    I would much rather shoot a smaller view with a stronger composition than attempt to get the entire space in one image. I find wide views to be less impactful and subsequently boring.

    If money wasn’t a concern, I would probably shoot every interior with one of 3 tilt-shift lenses. Everything would be straight, sharp and beautiful.

  2. Kelly Underwood says:

    I have been hung up on my gear too, but your videos have been an encouragement because I’m now confident my Nikon D3100 will preform the task at hand. My speed flash is ancient too and though it will fire off, the settings don’t always sync up with my camera. This hasn’t been a problem since I’ve paid attention to your tutorials on how to reduce/increase the flash power using ISO, etc. I also rent my lens until I can afford to purchase one. I’m using a Nikon 10mm-24mm. The way you have described everything has made more sense to me than anything else I’ve read and I’m not confused about what needs to happen during a shoot. I have a lot to learn, but you have simplified it for me in an expert way. I have a shoot today and I’m more excited than terrified because I feel more equipped. Thanks to you!

  3. Dave Bermann says:

    I am returning to real estate photography and in the past have used my Nikon D-810 camera with a 20 mm. ultra wide angle lens, among other lenses. I consider the camera extremely useful in low light on the tripod, but I agree that the body is not as important as the lens and knowing how to use it, along with a good knowledge of Photoshop and HDR software. Practice, practice, and more practice and whatever decent quality equipment you have will serve you well.

  4. Scott Allen says:

    Great advice. I just purchased the Canon 5D IV and 16-35 f4 L lens for $4500. And when I compared my interior shots against my 70D with the 10-18, they looked almost the same. Actually sometimes the 70D had nicer jpegs. So I realized the problem with my photography is me, and not my gear. So I returned the 5D. So now I’m focusing (haha) on improving my skills, both with lighting, HDR and post processing. Your videos have been very helpful. Thank you! I just removed yellow and orange saturation and now the walls are looking white!

    • Oliver Pohlmann says:

      Thanks Scott, glad to be of help and yes, the biggest influence in taking a great photo is indeed the photographer!

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