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Old Apr 14, 2010, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default buying a camera

I am a realtor looking for a camera that will provide the best results for int and ext pictures of homes. These pictures need to be suitable for posting on the web. My current pics are dark and appear blurry on the MLS site.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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These are indoor photos that are dark? Are you looking for a point and shoot solution or dslr? You will most likely want a camera that has a wide angle also.

Something like a canon S90 would be a good choice for a point and shoot, it has the best low light performance for a point and shoot. It has a bright lens and bigger sensor. It is pretty wide at 28mm on the short end of the zoom.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum. We're delighted that you dropped by.

Good photo results come from photographic knowledge, skill, and the camera's capabilities. Please understand that I am not being rude. But, years ago I had a wonderful, thriving, part time business taking real estate photos for MLS listings and web pages, because my clients had not mastered their cameras. So the "perfect" camera might not be the whole solution. You have to examine the whole set of variables.

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Old Apr 14, 2010, 12:05 PM   #4
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Interior shooting is tough, and the flashes on P&S digicams aren't very strong, and they also don't go very wide. If you can find a camera with a wide angle of view, and a flash to go with it, that might be your best bet. Another option might be a large aperture wide angle lens, so you can get the view you want with the available light, attached to a dSLR with good high ISO capability. The Pentax K-x with the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 might be a good idea. This is a shot I took with my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8:
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 2:39 PM   #5
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I also am a Realtor, and at the urging of others in my office, I am looking at starting a side business as real estate photographer. Currently, I am developing a seminar to present to the office at the end of this month.

I personally use a DSLR (Nikon D40 or D90) and while I have other lens, I use an ultra wide angle (10-20 Sigma), kit lens that came with the camera (18-55) and multiple flashs off camera. While that would be overkill, most people in my office don't even want to think about a DSLR and are more focused on a P&S - so that is where I will focus. It would help if we knew what your budet was...and remember, the equipment is a business tax deduction (assuming that you are in the US).

As others have said -wide angle of 28mm minimum. For reasons I woun't go into, you can't go by what is printed on the lens. Look in the camera specs for "35 mm equivalent" for the conversion. Also, what they didn't state, there is very little if any need for telephoto, so you don't need some super zoom bridge camera - unless other activities in your personal life would benefit - but then again, do we really have a personal life available 24/7? Good news, all the DSLR kit lens are the 28mm equivalent, but P&S you have to be careful and read the specs looking for those in the 24-28 range rather than the 35+ range. The Canon S90 mentioned in another post is a very nice high end P&S, likewise is the Panasonic LS3. They are both in the $375-400 range. While I dislike the short zoom range 24-60 on the Panasonic vs 28-110 on the Canon, I do like the hotshoe where you can attach an external flash on the Panasonic. Still possible with the Canon (or any other P&S) but would have to be off camera with a inexpensive optical slave to trigger using the camera's built in flash. Then again, I don't know if that would be an option with other P&S and their auto metering would not be anticipating that additional light - where the S90 does have a manual mode. That is very advanced though. As noted earlier, the built in flash on P&S cameras are weak. There are also some lower end cameras without all the features but have the basics you would need.

If your budget supported $500, then any of the entry level DSLR's would more than meet your need. Plus, it looks impressive when you pull that out in front of a client.

Middle part of my seminar is "Software". Not going to go into it here, but Best Buy has Paint Shop Pro X3 on sale this week $49.99 - basically half off. That's a steal! One of the most basic things I use it for is removing the "branded" sign that MLS prohibits. The other advantage it would have is the ability to adjust the brightness and contrast - perhaps lightening those that you noted in your initial post were "too dark." The other issue - "blurry" - could be a whole range of things better resolved without the shapening features of the software. Perhaps using a tripod, or at a minimum, be conscious of the tendancy to move/tilt the camera as pressing the shutter release and concentrate on holding steady.

Final part of the seminar is "You". Here I look at common sense composition issues. Ignoring those that make my day as I seek to list an expired listing, like their Realtor posting a fuzzy driveby photo taken with a cell phone, look at the story you are trying to tell about that house. Don't get me started on the toliet shot. Other thing, like why does the garage, driveway, mailbox and street take up 3/4 of the front view? What is a better angle to showcase the home? Would the sun provide better lighting a different time of day? A lot of that is what Mtclimber was referring to.

Good luck.

Last edited by tizeye; Apr 14, 2010 at 3:52 PM.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 4:05 PM   #6
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I think a Canon S90 would be a good choice as shoturtle suggested.
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