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Old Jan 13, 2013, 4:59 PM   #1
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Default Camera for real estate

Am a real estate agent. Need to take indoor pictures with every listing. What is best wide angle camera so that I can get as much of room in photo as possible? Thanks.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 6:52 PM   #2
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I'd say that a wide angle of view is certainly important, but with the wide angle of view comes some problems. One is that flashes don't generally provide enough light to cover a wide angle of view unless you bounce them, so a large aperture lens and a tripod (to accomodate a long exposure time), and/or a good bounce flash should be a part of your search. I also suggest that the lens have liitle distortion.

Canon's EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM ($739) has a wide angle of view and little distortion, but a lot of vignetting. Canon's EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM ($1059) has a wide angle of view, a large aperture, little distortion, and little vignetting when stopped down, plus it's stabilized, so you might be able to get away without a tripod.

Nikon's 14-24mm f/2.8G IF-ED AF-S ($1997) is excellent in all respects, except possibly price. Nikon's 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S ($1260) is also quite good and it's also stabilized.

Sigma's 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM ($949) is nice, but it's not quite as sharp as the others. Sigma's 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM ($619) doesn't have a lot of distortion, and is fairly sharp, plus it's stabilized and more reasonably priced than most of the others.

Tamron's unstabilized 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical IF SP AF ($424) is very good.

Naturally, Canon's lenses can only be used with Canon's bodies, and Nikon's lenses can only be used with Nikon's bodies. But Sigma's and Tamron's lenses are available for Canon and Nikon bodies as well as Pentax and Sony bodies, but note that the stabilization on Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 would be superfluous on Pentax and Sony bodies which put image stabilization in their camera bodies.

You should also be aware that Canon's bodies have a very slightly narrower angle of view than Nikon, Pentax and Sony.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 7:04 PM   #3
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As for bodies, the Sony image sensors in Nikon, Pentax and Sony cameras have slightly less noise and slightly more dynamic range than the sensors in Canon cameras.

If money is a consideration, I think your best bet would be a Pentax K-30 body ($625) with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens ($424), but you might want to check with a good local camera store to see which body you feel most comfortable with.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 7:12 PM   #4
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These are some 'Real Estate' type shots I took with that lens and a similar camera:









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Old Jan 13, 2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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I am also a Realtor, but after my fellow Realtors saw my photos, at their encouragement created a second company as a professional real estate photographer.
TCav made some excellent overview suggestions, all DSLR related, but my first question...what is your experience, and what is your budget?

Me personally, I started with a Nikon D40 when they initially saw my pics but currently use a D7000 with the primary lens a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 ($475), and to a limited extent my Tamron17-50 (TCav noted above). Very rarely, but occasionally, do I use a telephoto...primarilly for a rear view across a lake is easier than walking on water and using the 17-50... Of course, I am oriented to and comfortable with the size of a DSLR, having bought my first one in 1969. I will say that the Ultra-wide angle lens is one of the hardest to use, but you do learn over time.

The big issue is in lighting. I don't particurally like HDR inside as too cold, but may use it in baths where mirrors are involved that would reflect my flash. My preference is multiple off camera flashes electronically triggered and bounced off a wall/ceiling to soften and expand the light.

Let me know what you are thinking of. Even a basic point and shoot can be enhanced.

Here are a few of my examples:



(My jaw dropped when I walked in this room - above and below are front and rear)


(I used a pole with my camera 18' up)


The bottom 2 were actually 2 of my earlier photos with the D40 and I used available light (exclusively). I have since corrected the one immediately below as it violates "Rule #1" Verticals MUST be vertical. Notice how those walls slant. They should be straight. Unfortunately, you will see slanting walls, windows, doors and cabinets in MLS photos - even in photos where the Realtor paid the photographer. It takes about 3 seconds to correct. I have also later improved the second one's tonal balance, bringing out the whites. My point is - one is always improving - irrespective of the equipment they have.



Last edited by tizeye; Jan 14, 2013 at 6:42 AM.
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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This sequence I developed for a training program at a local photo club and demonstrates the outcome from various techniques.

HDR - pulled the outside view in great, but notice how muddy it is


Lightroom/Enfuse Plugin -better interior


Available light - no photoshop


Available light - photoshop. The advantage of shooting in RAW as I could pull a lot of the dark out.


Multi Off Camera Flash. Technique is to expose for the exterior view and use the flashes to raise the interior light. Get it right in camera and not have a lot (or any) photoshopping like the previous. 2 flashes used, 1 behind me and low level, the other in the other room and a higher level.


In reality, those were only 2 photos. The HDR was a 5 set, while photos 2,3, and 4 were the "0" exposure file from the 5 set. In retrospect, the one that is missing is direct, on camera flash as I didn't think of it at the time. Then you would have seen the flash reflection in the glass door, lack of shadow and even over-exposed chair in the foreground, and the other room slightly lightened but flash dropoff as beyond its range.

Last edited by tizeye; Jan 14, 2013 at 6:50 AM.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 6:37 PM   #7
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A lot of pocket cameras are 24mm so any will do.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 7:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krichton View Post
A lot of pocket cameras are 24mm so any will do.
That is the reason I was asking what was the OP's experience and budget. There are several with 24mm equivalent. The biggest disadvantage is the shallow flash coverage, but there may be some workarounds. Unfortunately, haven't heard back from the OP.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 4:48 AM   #9
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The photos are clear enough to cover the details and I guess You may go with anyone suggested here.

Last edited by rosinaburgss; May 15, 2013 at 3:16 AM.
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