The Ultimate Camera Buyers Guide For Property Photography
With over 200+ properties ranging from 1 bed flats, mansions, and commercial buildings under our belts we would like to say we know a thing or two about photographing property. Over the years of buying camera equipment we have made the mistakes, so you don’t have to. This guide is designed to help you save money and improve your property photography and is for every skill level.
Mobile Phone or DSLR?
No arguing here, DSLRs are the boss for property photography. Until very recently mobile phones were not able to capture a true wide angle and even now they are still so so. DSLRs are more complicated and require more steps to uploading the photo, but the image they take and their overall capability makes them the best choice.
Which DSLR do I need to take the best property photos?
There are many brands on the market and the two we would recommend are either Canon or our preference, Nikon. There is nothing wrong with any other brand (Sony’s are brilliant) when you are trying to keep cost down, there is ten-fold more used and third party products for these two brands.
When buying your DSLR look for:
Over 10 Megapixels
A high ISO sensitivity
Hot shoe mount
Auto functions including Aperture Mode
Nikon D3500 with lens £399 brand new from wex photo video
Canon 200D with lens £415 brand new from wex photo video
Prices as of September 2020
Which lens should I get to capture the room?
When it comes to property photography you really want to go for a wide-angle zoom lens. Anything from 10mm to 20mm. Be aware that most cheap cameras are crop sensors. This means what ever lens you put on is cropped by a factor between 1.3 to 1.6. If you have a 16mm lens which is perfect for most rooms then on a cropped sensor camera it will be the equivalent of 20mm, making it too narrow for most rooms. You will need a 10/11mm lens to achieve the same results.
Our preferred lens is the Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f2.8 CF Lens. Being an aperture of F2.8 means even on the darkest days you will have more than enough light!
What is the best way to light a room?
Most cameras will have an onboard flash, bar the exception of pro cameras. There is a reason why pro cameras don’t have onboard flashes and that is because pop-up flashes are rubbish! You are going to need a speedlite. Speedlites are a battery powered flash which connects to your camera via the hot shoe. This will sync with the settings and fire off in time.
When buying a flash, make sure you get one with TTL. TTL can adjust the light automatically and saves you from adjusting the dials. Super helpful if you are not confident with the settings. You can go for a branded model or third party. When looking for a speedlit keep in mind:
Speedlites are built for certain brands and even models. Check the specs!
Flash guides are a reference to power. The higher the number, the more power it has. 56 is golden.
TTL will make your life easier. Pay extra for it!
If the speedlite is AA powered, buy high MaH rechargeable batteries.
Shall I pay more for an expensive memory card?
For your needs, no. More expensive memory cards tend to deal with speed or space. You don’t need the speed and space so is up to you. We would always recommend a 16GB/32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro card.
Great value for money
Lots of space
Secret Weapon, a Tripod!
You can shoot handheld, for the best images we recommend a tripod. Keeps the image level and steady. It also has the added benefit of being a safe place to rest your camera whilst dressing the room. Tripods do not need to be all singing and dancing, just something simple!
Hama star 61 Tripod is currently £18.99 making it a great buy for adding a pro touch.
Do I need filters?
Simply put, no. Unless you have a specific reason for them, most effects can be done in Photoshop. From personal experience we would recommend a cheap UV filter. UV filters add no benefit to the image, but they are the first line of defense for protecting your lens. We have bounced our lenses off many door handles and exposed corners. Using a UV filter as a lens guard has been a very sensible choice.
For this ultimate camera kit for property photography will cost just over £1000 (based on September 2020 prices) this will include:
Wide angle lens
For more information on property photography including examples. Click Here