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Hooked On The Idea Of Mirrorless For Real Estate Photography

November 11th, 2016


SonyA6000Logan asked:

I got hooked on the idea of a mirrorless camera after reading about the A6000. I also think the Fuji XT10 would be a great option. The problem is that I have a very small budget. I’ve done real estate photography in the past (with company equipment) but right now I’m doing more graphic design so it is hard to justify a big purchase. It will mostly be a hobby camera right now but want to have the option to use it for real estate in the future. I found a great deal on a used Fuji X100 and I was wondering if any of the wide angle adaptors would be a viable option? I would love to hear your thoughts or any other recommendations you might have.

On the subject of lens converters, see this recent post. Stay completely away from wide angle converters!

Fuji mirrorless cameras are great but you need to get one with interchangeable lenses so you can get a wide enough lens for real estate. For that, you have to go with something like the X-Pro 1 with a XF-10-24 lens.

In real estate photography, THE most important piece of gear is your wide angle glass. The Sony A6000 has become extremely popular because you get a lot for the price and you have many options for which glass to use:

  1. The Sony kit lens (16-50mm = 24mm effective) goes pretty wide, OK, but not the best #2 below is better.
  2. The 12 mm Rokinon is a great inexpensive alternative.
  3. You can get lens adapters for Canon and Nikon glass.

Just look at what readers say about the Sony A6000.

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11 Responses to “Hooked On The Idea Of Mirrorless For Real Estate Photography”

  • Regardless of quality, the WA converter for the X100 wont get you wide enough for RE work. However, you can score a Fuji X-E2 and 10-24mm lens for less than $1000 US on ebay. The X-E2 is the equivalent of the X100T sensor wise – same functional quality for a lot less money.

    I have shot Fuji for 4 years, and have about 500 homes under my belt with the gear. I was a 5D shooter for several years previously, and shot all L glass — the 16-35 was my go to lens. I am much happier with Fuji because —

    1) Image quality — Image quality is on par with the canon gear. Colors with fuji are better, but the canon had more resolution. (Though the new fujis are 24mp)
    2) Weight — I can carry 2 fuji bodies, 2 wide angles, two strobes and triggers in a Domke shoulder bag. Not so with Canon.
    3) Lens quality — the fuji wide zoom is better than my 16-35 was. They require far less correction, and the images respond well to processing in LR. Sharper, less CA, fringing. Just great glass (and 1/3 the cost)
    4) Flash bracketing — The fuji will fire the flash on all three shots in an AE bracket. The only Canon I ever owned that would do this was a Rebel. Other cameras may do it today, but its a great time saver if you gear has this feature.
    5) Kaizan – Fuji leads the industry in bringing new features to old gear. I currently shoot an XPro2 and XT-2. The XPro2 got the revised focusing system from the XT-2 via a free software upgrade. In fact, my XT-1 received 4 free software upgrades that did a variety of things — color profiling, faster AF, more AF points, new video features. They literally future proof their cameras. Contrast with my Canon experience, where I had to buy a new $3500 camera (5DII to 5DIII) to get better focusing. Fuji did it for free — but I still bought the new camera. #gassucks!
    6) Service – Cameras break. Ive had two suffer physical damage. Both were repaired quickly, completely, and loaner gear was offered. Very similar to my experience as a Canon Pro Shooter.

    Other gear is great — many manufacturers make stuff that you can use for RE work. Choice is good. Good luck with your decision!

  • I have been using the Olympus 4/3rd system for the past 4 years.
    Currently I’m using the OM-D E-M1 with the 7~14 f2.8 lens (14~28mm full frame equivalent) which I find perfect for my purpose.

    With the same format there is also the Lumix GH4 with the Lumix 7~14 f4 lens, also a good system and available on the previously owned market if you’re on a tight budget.

  • Get the Sony but add in the Case Relay by Tether Tools, day long battery life for those long assignments.

  • Just FYI…a Sony rumors site posted forthcoming Sony sale Nov 20- Dec 3. The a6000 with 16-50 lens drops $150 to $549 and the two lens kit with 55-210 drops $350 to $699. Other lens note up to $200 of but didn’t list specific lens. There are 3 lens to use without an adapter, the Sony 10-18 zoom and Ziess 12mm prime, both autofocus, and the manual focus Rokinon 12mm (and other house branding) mentioned earlier.

  • From another Fuji user – I’d recommend the XT10 and 10-24. Find them used and you’re good to go. The XE2 is a nice little camera, but the XT10 controls are better, I’ve owned both. You can control ISO with your front dial (HUGE deal – wish I could do that with the XPro2). Aside from having 2 dials, it also has a tilt screen which I find invaluable for real estate.
    The 10-24mm lens is fantastic with very little distortion – less than the Nikons and Tokinas I used on my Nikon system (sold all my Nikon gear for Fuji after 6 months). I shot Nikon for 9 years, 5 of those with real estate photography. I wouldn’t recommend another lens, this one is perfect for real estate. Although everyone raves about the Rokinon 12mm.

    I use two XT2 but have also used the XT1, XE2 and Xpro2. I have an XT10 as well.

    Having an EVF is wonderful. I could never go back to a dSLR. The weight difference is incredible. My wrists no longer ache. It’s color is so much better than what I got with my Nikon’s (last shot with the d750). I do less in post with WB was well as noise reduction.

    There are a couple of Fuji For Sale groups on Facebook and some great boards (Fujix-forum and fuji-x-forum) where you can learn more and find deals. Fujirumors is great for what’s going on in the Fuji world such as deals (they have several sales per year), firmware updates, new gear, etc.

    I agree with Matt on Fuji service, they are very good and fast. I had much better luck with them than with Nikon.

  • Sony A6300 and Rokinon 12mm f2
    Best combo for me, by far.
    Does everything I ask it to do.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Following Carolyn here. As an ex Nikon D810 user, I bought a Fuji X-pro2 with the 10-24 lens.
    The auto white balance is great and shooting with the EVF is a pleasure. No bulky DSLR’s for me neither.

  • Isn’t the best lens for the A6000 for real estate shots the Sony 10-18mm f/4???

  • I’ve been shooting a Panasonic G7 for the past nine months. It’s worked out so well the guy I work for gave up his Canon (for the most part) and picked up a G4 – also for its video. The swing out door of the Panny is a wonderful feature in that it lets you stand in a normal position and see the full camera view. This works especially well in corners or other tight places where you have to stand beside, or even in front of the camera. The Panasonic 7-14 lens corrects for barrel distortion very well and covers your interior focal length ranges well. Occasionally outdoors I do need to fit a longer lens. The Panasonic’s white balance is also very good. I use a Peter Gregg Better White Balance tool and set the balance manually. My employer requires this. I actually think auto white balance is just as good. One of the biggest advantages to mirrorless is that the viewfinder/viewing panel image is WYSIWYG. I can see when my exposure is off or when the white balance is not consistent across multiple shots in the same room. I trigger this with a Yongnuo RF605C wireless remote. My only complaint is that there is no good T/S equipment available for M43, but that is really only a requirement for high end architecture work.

    I picked up the G7 for $450 slightly used on eBay and grabbed the 7-14 lens used from Borrow Lens for $600. I was already committed to M34, but for about $1,000, if you are willing to shop around, you’d be all set.

  • I’ve been a Nikon shooter for many years. since I has so many hi- end Nikon film lenses that worked with the Nikon DSLRs, I was locked into the system. once I tried the Fuji X-Pro 1 and their 10-24mm lens, I was hooked. Their lenses blew away my Nikon lenses, and it was about half the weight. I also loved using the LCD screen especially on low angle shots.
    Last year, I had my X-Pro1 converted to inferred for fine art work and purchased the X-E2 which is even lighter. I have many Fuji zooms and primes, which are some of the sharpest lenses on the market.

    Now, since I don’t shoot any of my Nikon equipment (Full frame and cropped, which are still fine cameras and lenses) I am now going to sell all of my Nikon stuff, and only use Fuji.
    I tried to use my 14mm prime (extremely sharp, contrasty and sharper than my 10-24, which is also quite sharp) for most of my interior shots, but found that the 10-24 gave me more flexibility.

    For many years when I shot 35mm film, I used a Leica M-6 and two lenses when I didn’t want to carry my medium format cameras.
    I have to say, that the Fuji X system is the closest thing I have found to shooting with my Leica. And, the Fuji X system actually makes photography fun again.

  • You should check out Wayne Capili’s work, which is shot primarily with a sony a6000 and a 12mm Rokinon / Samyang.

    The a6000 has a nice wireless app for using your smartphone to “tether” with it.

    Last year around black friday, the a6000 body was on sale for $399, and if you check amazon during black friday, then the Rok / samyang might be on sale for around $250 or so (or you could probably find one used).

    It would be manual focus only though, but with focus peaking and focus magnification on the a6000, manual focus is pretty easy.

    I am sure the Panasonic and Fuji cameras mentioned above would be wonderful cameras, too.

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