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Best camera to use for an Estate Agent

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by estateagent, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. estateagent

    estateagent New Member

    Hello i have an estate agency business and was wondering what type of camera people would recommend? I am currently using a samsung WB500.
  2. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Other people will be along soon to ask you what your budget is and to confuse with various DxO ratings but my take is that you will need

    1. As small a sensor as possible (consistant with image quality) to give as much depth of field as possible

    2. As wide angle a lens as possible - to get you in front of the parked cars and to make the rooms look bigger than the actually are. From my limited experience of real estate photography I believe that a FF equivalent of 24mm or wider is good.

    3. Interchangeable lenses (with a wide choice) a nice bonus.

    Those points would seem to push you into a CSC and my preference would be a micro four thirds one but YMMD

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  3. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    An honest one ... ;)
  4. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

  5. Bawbee

    Bawbee Well-Known Member

    Yes, for an estate agent, I would recommend a Hasselblad H4D-25MS - reasonably priced with potential for extensions.
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    More seriously, I agree with Roger Mac and have just nipped off to check some prices & specs before suggesting the following:

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50mm lens £950 [At this price, you are getting the lens for £150 which is not bad as it sells for £280+ separately.]

    For a slightly wider view Olympus do a 9-18mm zoom for £500 approx, and Panasonic sell a 7-14mm zoom for £1100. These could be acquired as extras when you've proved the need ... or you could buy the camera body for £800 and the 9-18mm zoom at the outset for £490. If cash isn't a problem and you went for the 7-14mm + camera body from the start it might be possible that you would want another rather longer focal length lens, perhaps for exterior detail shots on bigger buildings, etc.

    The camera + 12-50 combo or camera + 9-18 combo seem the best compromise options to me.

    I would also acquire a light-ish, small-ish full-size tripod with a ball and socket head. Where space is really tight there are ways of jamming a camera into the corner between two walls and using the self-timer (or a remote) to trip the shutter. You can of course do this while hand-holding a camera but a human body tends to stick out a bit more than a couple of spindly tripod legs!
  7. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Have you ever thought that this may not be Bairstowe Eves in Windsor?
  8. AlanClifford

    AlanClifford Well-Known Member

    The nature of the estates you are an agent for will be important. A wide angle point and shoot may not be the most appropriate for deer park brochures.
  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    One final point - for archetictural shots level indicators in the viewfinder are a very great help in avoiding distorted verticals. I have used the Olympus ones which are truly excellent, much better than the one on my Canon. Afraid I have no experience of any other implementations.

    Otherwise I agree with Olybacker - if your budget will run to it, otherwise Oly do do several smaller bodies which are almost as good. Below those the Lumix looks a respectable choice

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  10. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    The problem with the Olympus CSC's is that wide angle lenses are very, very expensive unless you get the "add-on" attachments for the kit lens.
    Samsung seem to do some quite reasonable compact cameras with wider-than-usual lenses, and Canon also do a great range of compacts with the "HS" sensor that gives quite passable low-light shots.
    It's a question of checking specifications against your budget and then trying the shortlisted cameras out for real, if at all possible, rather than buying off the internet
  11. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    I suspect that you will not be needing to make large prints, rather smaller images for web use and for illustrating handouts. Maybe the maximum size print would be around A5? If this is the case the task is not overly demanding of lens or sensor. Of course, if you are photting mansions for rich clients this won't be the case, but then you might be hiring a pro!

    Back to where I was! This chap has an interesting suggestion. It's a relatively low cost light weight solution that may well be fit for purpose. i.e a Sony RX100 with cheapo screw on wide angle adapter.

    For less restricted outdoor shots in good light the base camera should be capable of producing a very usable A3 print.
  12. estateagent

    estateagent New Member

    I've been offered a lumix FZ45. Any good?
  13. Wheelu

    Wheelu Well-Known Member

    You haven't told us precisely what you want from the camera, but, within the assumptions that I made above, I think it would probably do the job.
  14. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    The wide angle end of the zoom lens goes to 25 mm equivalent so will cover interior shots. 28 mm of most compacts not wide enough. My first suggestion with the 24 mm single focus lens is much better though because it will distort verticals far less at the edge of the frame. This is vital to avoid bowed doorways and curved corners on chimney breasts and wall edges which will make your images look amateur.
  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Ahem ... ! £150 for a 12-50mm (24-100 35mm equiv) top level lens = expensive? I think not. ;):D

    But I concede it is most of the cost of the Panasonic refered to above. :eek:

    The choice appears to be:
    1. Cheap camera now to get established, buy better later on, or
    2. Invest in a CSC & lenses now and not have to worry about it again.
  16. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    I don't view 12mm as very wide on an MFT sensor; the 9-18mm lens is around £800 from memory, and even 9mm is not that wide compared to, say a Sigma 10-20mm lens on an APS-C sensor
  17. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Am sure I once came across either a flickr forum or a website exclusively for estate agents - long discourses on how to photograph kitchens etc. it isn't that easy even with good gear for interiors (like a 5x4 view camera)
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    True but the discussion/recommendations have also been compact centred. A 24mm {135 format equiv} is a notch better. As you go wider, a mm or two becomes quite important - gap between 28 & 24 for ex. The other problem as you go wider is that it becomes more difficult to keep everything lined up square plus distortion of apparent perspective.

    Might not be a problem for a keen photographer estate agent who has got his post-production down to a 'T' but the average one will want to get the pics done as easily as possible to get details out fast for clients & advertising.
  19. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Forgive me for correcting my betters (if not elders), but 12 mm on mFT IS exactly 24mm{135 equivalent}

  20. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    ..... and 10mm on APS-C is 15mm (135 equivalent)

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