The secret to stunning marketing photographs guaranteed to sell any house / property / bat cave in under 3 minutes* is a DSLR camera. Actually, it’s the lens… but we’ll get to that in a moment.
The marketing images that hit the eyeballs of your potential buyers tell a story They’re like the front cover of a book, and you know what everyone says about judging those, but we all do it anyway. Make your story a best-seller by using the right camera and lens. And I’m not talking the most expensive.
In a time where the camera market is overloaded with options, you have every right to feel bamboozled about the choice on offer. Fear not, we can save you the headache and advise you on exactly which camera and lens will do a damn fine job of giving your property photos the swagger of a unicorn amongst a herd of donkeys without breaking the bank.
*Total exaggeration. You’ll need at least a couple of hours.
What camera is best for property photography?
For the purposes of taking photos of property you should ignore mobile phones, compact cameras or system cameras. They’ll only drag you down. Whilst we do work with clients who do an okay(ish) job with these, if you want truly stunning property photos, so good that you may be able to command higher offers, a digital SLR (single lens reflex) is the one you need.
But what about modern smartphones with all the lenses on the back? Fair question. These can do an ok job as the modern ones have a wide-angle built in. But – we still feel the resulting image is not quite as good. And you have to consider the pro factor, many people perceive you to be less professional if you rock up to photograph their home with just a mobile phone. Whip out a DSLR with wide-angle lens and they know you mean business.
Use a digital SLR
First thing to say is – if you’ve never used one before, don’t be scared. They’re not hard to use. Besides, you only need to master around 10% of the cameras settings in order to take beautiful property photos.
A digital SLR camera body will give you the functionality required to capture outstanding property images. A Canon or Nikon in particular being finer than a French Bordeaux. Here’s why digital SLRs rule:
- You’ll have better control over the settings (aperture, shutter speed etc)
- A wide-angle lens can be attached
- You don’t need to remortgage your home to buy one
- An entry-level digital SLR is more than capable of capturing stunning pics
- Vendors love it when you show up meaning business with the proper gear
A small caveat; always buy a wide-angle lens to go with it… more on that coming up. That means when purchasing the camera you can save money by just getting the camera body only – without the standard 18-55mm lens.
Anyway, there are 13 million search engine results for ‘Digital SLR’. As none of us are getting any younger, here are our recommendations if you have around £300-£400 to invest. Note, other camera/lens manufacturers are available!
What lens is best for property photography?
Now when it comes to taking beautiful shots, it’s the lens that does the hard work (really the camera is just there to go click). That’s why it’s so important to splash out on a top-notch lens. In fact, it’s the biggest factor in our Pyramid of Importance that will determine how brilliant or average your shots will look.
While a top notch wide-angle lens also costs less than a house, it may double the cost of your camera set-up, but that’s ok, it’s worth it. Your shots will look like a pro took them and you’ll get your investment back in commissions in no time!
Use a wide-angle lens
The one we recommend – the one that will even make the cupboard under the stairs look light and airy – is a Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX DC HSM wide-angle lens with autofocus. It fits more of the room in the frame and it makes your job as a photographer easier because it does all the focusing for you.
A good quality wide-angle zoom lens isn’t cheap, you’re looking at parting with between £300 – £350 but trust me, it’ll be worth every penny! Comparing the standard 18-55mm lens (that normally comes with the camera) with the 10-20mm wide-angle lens bad boy is like comparing a Ford Focus with a Lamborghini Huracán Coupè. The Sigma is the lens for you, my friend.
What kind of shots can I capture?
Take a peek in our Gallery to see what kind of shots you can expect to capture — they were all shot with a Canon digital SLR (many with a much older model than the 4000D) and the Sigma wide-angle lens above.
Not that we like to brag but you can see how these high quality images jam packed with wide-angle wow factor will help you stand out on Rightmove, attract more enquiries, sell more property and get you closer to actually owning a Lamborghini!.
By the way, if you already have a digital SLR and wide-angle lens that are different makes/models to the ones in this article, no problem! In fact, hats off to you for already using the right equipment.
If you have any questions, concerns or have discovered the fountain of youth please do get in touch. You can also download our Ultimate Guide to Property Photography. It’s totally free and totally brilliant (okay maybe we do like to brag a touch).