As a professional real estate photographer, one of the questions you get asked the most is “What’s the best camera for real estate photography?”.
Your camera and lenses are your main tools, just like a hammer is to a builder. Your talent and vision are what guide the camera and lenses.
A great camera will help, so here are the best 9 cameras for real estate photography.
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Full Frame vs. Cropped Frame
There are a few reasons that you’ll want to invest in a full frame camera versus a cropped sensor one. A larger sensor takes in more light, which is pivotal when capturing light in a space.
A full frame camera also has a different mount than cropped sensor cameras. Cameras that are full frame will open up a world of higher-end lenses that you can use.
The lenses that you use have even more of an impact on your real estate photos than the camera body itself. Even if you’re not yet ready to invest in high-end lenses, it’s better to invest in a camera that prepares you for future needs.
Also, real estate photography often leads to architectural and interior photography. This will also push you to invest in high quality lenses.
If you’re able to, it’s better to invest now for your long term success. It’ll keep you from having to constantly upgrade and incur expenses!
Pairing the Correct Lens With Your Camera
We just touched on the ability of full frame cameras to mount high-end lenses. One of the main requirements for a real estate photography camera is to be able to mount different lenses.
Even if you’re not able to invest in a full frame camera, choose a camera body that gives you the freedom to switch lenses.
This will be crucial in learning more about your needs while shooting real estate.
Do You Need Video Capabilities
Not every real estate photographer will shoot video. But it is something you may want to prepare for.
Real estate agents often look for someone who can deliver still photos as well as a video of the property. Having a camera that can capture both will serve you as you expand your services!
Again, it’s about considering your needs now and in the future. For real estate listing purposes, you don’t normally need very high-quality video.
This is a feature that I recommend seeking out but not breaking the bank for.
Top 9 Cameras in 2019 for Real Estate Photography
- Canon 5D Mark IV
- Canon EOS R
- Nikon D850
- Sony a7 III
- Nikon D750
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II
- Panasonic Lumix G9
- Fujifilm X-T20
- Panasonic Lumix GH5
This full frame sensor camera body has 30.4MP capacity and ISO of up to 32,000. It can also capture 4K video. This makes it possible to create videos that will impress your clients.
One of the more unique features is the capture of Dual Pixel Raw images. It allows for what Canon calls “microadjustments”.
Essentially, this means that you can make small adjustments to the point of focus after having taken the photo. This does depend on the lens that you’re using and the effect is minimal. But it’s a noteworthy feature nonetheless.
This Dual Pixel Raw capability also allows the correction of ghosting. It’s essential when sun flare is seen because of the light hitting the lens at a certain angle.
The Canon 5D Mark IV is also WiFi enabled. Syncing up to mobile devices or your computer for file transfers is a breeze.
The WiFi capability is actually fantastic for wireless tethering when on larger shoots!
One of the big advantages that this camera holds over previous Canon 5D models is its handling of low light situations.
This makes it great for increasing your dynamic range in-camera, and especially useful when shooting video in low light.
2. Canon EOS R
The EOS R is a newer model from Canon. It offers many of the features of the 5D Mark IV, but at a lower price point.
It’s important to note that it does introduce a new lens mount. This will affect the lenses that you’re able to easily use with this camera body.
Canon does offer a mount converter, but it’s something to consider if you want to keep your gear list to a minimum.
Canon also introduced a line of RF mount lenses (for the new mount), which seem to be of great quality! If you’re switching from one body to another, the mount is something to consider.
The raw file format for this camera is also different. It’s called C-Raw and it reduces the file size by 40% from traditional Raw images, with minimal quality loss.
The quality loss does become noticeable when you push your images a few stops. This may be something to take into account for interiors. We often push a stop or two to brighten shadows in a space.
The Canon EOS R also offers 4K video capabilities. It’s great for handling real estate video needs!
3. Nikon D850
This full frame camera offers higher resolution images with 46MP. But the most interesting appeal of this model is the sensor itself.
The sensor in the Nikon D850 uses a new technology that essentially makes the edges of the sensor better receive light. This raises the peripheral image quality.
This translates to better quality of image in low light conditions, which can be handy when dealing with dark home interiors!
It’s capable of 4K video for real estate video needs, and it does have WiFi. But the WiFi is only usable via Nikon’s bluetooth-led app.
An advantage of shooting on a tripod is that we’re not at the mercy of high ISOs to shoot in low light. The Nikon D850 has ISO capability that goes down to 64, and the dynamic range at ISO 64 is fantastic.
4. Sony a7 III
The Sony a7 III is a full frame mirrorless camera that competes will with traditional full frame DSLR models.
The Sony a7III is my recommendation in place of the a7 IIIR. It’s a significant difference in price without sacrificing quality.
The most notable difference is the resolution, with a7 III offering 24MP and the a7 IIIR offerings 42MP. It’s important to keep in mind that unless you’re enlarging your images to very large murals, the naked eye does not detect the difference in resolution.
For common real estate photography needs, anything 20MP or higher will serve your needs perfectly fine. One of my favorite features of the Sony a7 series is in-body stabilization.
This allows for stabilization regardless of the lens, whereas traditionally the stabilization happened in-lens. This is especially handy for handheld low light vignette photos in a property that doesn’t have much natural light.
The Sony a7III also has amazing dynamic range. It keeps noise to a minimum at high ISOs or when pushing the images a few stops.
5. Nikon D750
The Nikon D750 is an excellent option for those looking for a camera at a lower price point, while still fulfilling all your needs for real estate photography.
The Nikon D750 has a 24MP resolution, is full frame, and has built-in WiFi. It does also have video capabilities, although it doesn’t do 4K quality video. However, for most real estate needs, 4K resolution is not needed!
One other feature that may be of particular interest with this model is the highlight-weighted metering. This feature allows the camera to meter light differently based on the highlights in the frame.
Having this feature allows for better control over bright areas that often are part of an interior space, such as the windows.
Overall this is an excellent choice for real estate photography at a very reasonable price point.
The 6D Mark II is Canon’s entry level full frame DSLR. With a 26MP sensor, it’s not the highest in resolution, but it’s plenty for real estate photography needs.
It has built-in WiFi and can shoot video, although not at 4K. Like the resolution, though, the video capabilities are certainly enough to shoot for real estate needs.
This model is not known for having a great dynamic range. It’s ideal for shooting on a tripod and layering bracketed images in Photoshop.
Overall, though, this is Canon’s equivalent to Nikon’s D750.
It’s a great entry-level pro camera, but will most likely need to be updated in the not-too-distant future once your skill level and client expectations go up.
Panasonic’s Lumix G9 offers some impressive features at a lower price point. It has a 20MP resolution, which is sufficient but not very impressive these days.
However, it offers in-body stabilization and built-in WiFi. It can also shoot 4K video, and offers a high-resolution mode that essentially does focus stacking in-camera.
The high-resolution mode is excellent for real estate to help ensure that everything in the space looks crisp and sharp. The G9 offers a solid dynamic range. It allows you to push exposures a couple of stops in post processing without seeing a noticeable loss in quality.
Overall this is a fantastic camera to start with, especially when looking for a lightweight option that fits your professional needs.
The Fujifilm X-T20 is actually a cropped sensor camera, but it offers loads of features that work well for real estate photography and is the lowest priced camera on our list.
The X-T20 offers a resolution of 24MP, built-in WiFi, and 4K video capabilities. While it has good performance in high ISO settings, the dynamic range is impressive for its price point but not so impressive in comparison to other models on this list.
Also, this camera does shoot in Raw or JPEG format, but the JPEG format has exceptional color quality.
Overall the Fujifilm X-T20 is my recommendation if you’re testing the water with professional real estate photography. It gives you so much bang for your buck.
This is the top-of-the-line model for Canon and it definitely delivers. This camera is definitely a bigger investment.
It’s also a very solid camera that will serve you for many years as you improve your skill set. The 1D X Mark II is a full frame camera with 20MP resolution and 4K video capabilities.
One of the very impressive things about this camera is how it retains image quality when exposure is pushed. When working with real estate photography, being able to push the exposure, especially in the shadows, is important!
Between great overall performance on key features and a rock-solid build, this camera is one that you can commit to and count on for many years to come.
These days, you have excellent quality cameras easily accessible for a small investment. The key is to get a camera that suits your specific needs. If your budget allows, invest in a camera that will serve you long-term.
For real estate photography, features like dynamic range, video capabilities, and access to wide-angle lenses that can be mounted are all key features.
As with any camera, though, be sure to grow your skill set. At the end of the day it all comes down to how you use the tools you have!
The cameras listed above are all reliable tools and smart investments in your future as a professional real estate photographer.
Looking for more gear recommendations? Check out our new post about the best lens for real estate next!