The Most Popular DSLR For Real Estate Photography

August 5th, 2012

I was noticing according to the poll on the PFRE Camera Page that the 5DMKII is still the PFRE readers camera of choice. The only other DSLRs that are even half as popular as the 5DMKII are the D3 & D700 I probably should have made a separate line for each one.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a massive rush to upgrade to D800s and 5DMKIIIs.  This got me thinking about what the used 5DMKII market is like. Amazon shows:

  1. New 5DMKIIs are $2079 on Amazon
  2. There are plenty of used 5DMKIIs for between $1699 and $1995.
  3. Refurbished 5DMKIIs are available for  as low as $1900.

Given how popular  and versatile the 5DMKII is as a real estate DSLR it make make sense to go with a  new or used 5D.

While I’m on the subject, I’d like to encourage folks to take the poll on the Camera page if you haven’t already.

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11 Responses to “The Most Popular DSLR For Real Estate Photography”

  • I just added a D700 (my first full frame) to my collection this week. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get the 14-24mm before I can really say I’m using it for RE. I’m just so excited!

  • I notice that in other types of photography the Canon 5D mk III is becoming very popular, especially when combined with the new Canon 600-EX-RT Speedlite Flash that has a 100′ radio transmitter built in. I was wondering if anyone is using it for RE Photography.

  • I have finally gotten to the point where I can justify moving up to a full frame and I am currently trying to decided between the 5DMII and III. I would love to hear from anyone using both and from someone who has made the jump from one to the other.

  • I use both the 5DmkII and mkIII.
    I started with a 5D classic that was a huge step up in IQ and framing potential. I upgraded to the mkII for the jump in resolution, sensor cleaning and Live View. I work on a tripod nearly all the time with TS lenses and Live View is a must have feature. When the mkIII came out I was not convinced that it offered any quantifiable advantages over the mkII as the IQ improvement was invisible to my clients. Moreover, I saw the immediate drop in mkII prices and picked up another body witha RRS L-plate for $1700. From a business standpoint it was a great decision.
    What led me to pick up a mkIII was not my architecture business but rather my event work. I photograph dignitaries at regional conferences. They are world leaders, Fortune 100 CEOs etc. My job is to be the fly on the wall and record the proceedings. When I started this work my mkII was excellent in that it yielded excellent files at ISO4000 and above. However mirror slap was still a problem in nearly silent rooms. Using Live View handheld with a DSLR and a lens of any build quality is a fool’s game. Using a 70-200 2.8 L-IS got me a little distance but was not the optimal solution. I seriously considered the Sony NEX-7 and Olympus OMD E-5 for the promise of near silence and the availability of decent lenses though the offerings are still a bit thin.
    I saw a brief mention of silent mode shooting with the mkIII in an online review. This feature coupled with the AF improvements really piqued my interest. I tried one at my local camera store and bought it on the spot. The silent mode is very quiet and makes it practical to creep around virtually unnoticed. However I use it almost exclusively now as it feels so good in the hand. The AF is super accurate and the addition of a level in the VF is great for my tripod work.
    Overall, the mk III is a joy to use but unless you need the AF and the silent mode the better decision is the mkII in pure business terms.
    But we rarely make decisions that way do we?;)

  • I’m just getting started in the field, and I was wondering… for 99.99% of real estate photography, is there any real advantage of having a $2000 body over a $500 one? Yes, full-frame with 9 fps and 36-point AF is great to have, but I just don’t see how any of it comes into play when your final image will be smaller than a dog’s pawprint.

  • @David – we sold our 5Dmark2 with 24-105 lens, our pocket wizards, our 4 580’s. We purchased our new Canon 5Dmark3 with a new 24-105 lens (its been redesigned by Canon) and 3 600EX’s and a transmitter. We consider ourselves set and love our results. If you need to rely on the camera to do the HDR and the blending with minimal tone mapping, the 5Dmark3 does this in camera for you and the results are pretty awesome and require very minimal touch ups. The focus is better as is the ease of use of the features and menus on the new camera. If your business justifies it – ie. you shoot many homes in one day for less money per home or you shoot one home in one day in a more architectural style, this camera can be justified for both types of photographers. If you do any video – this camera is a huge improvement over the 5D and much easier to use and switch between modes. If you don’t have to sell your Mark2 – don’t, or if you have a rebel or other APC camera and want to upgrade, now is the best time to do it to either the Mark2 or Mark3. Also, if you can upgrade to the 600EX flashes and transmitter – they are super, but keep in mind at this point they don’t work with pocket wizards, and when speaking with the guys at pocket wizard tech – they won’t be upgrading pocket wizards to work with the 600’s any time soon. (This may change without notice as things are prone to do in the tech industry)

    I totally agree with @Mark- on his decision making process !

  • I have been a Nikon user since the Navy, and since I have a lot of investment in Nikon Glass, I had to stay with Nikon. I use mostly my D-300 and sometimes my D-700 full frame. I don’t know if I feel the price of the D-700 is worth the investment for the real-estate, but for fine art or any commercial jobs I use the D-700, but might trade in for a D-800e

    I tried shooting with a Canon, and it was awkward to me as the controls are very different than Nikon. But If I were starting out again in 35mm, I think I would be leaning towards the Canon.

    If Fuji built a great super wide mirror less camera with built-in HDR, I would invest in that system.

  • @jeff,

    I’ve been using a Canon 7D since I got into this. With the sigma 10-20 and excellent relationship building i’ve built a great book of business. I will upgrade to full frame at some point… i’m kind of waiting to see if rumors are true of Nikon releasing a less expensive full frame option.

    If you can afford the full frame then buy it, if not, perfect your skills with whatever body you end up with until you eventually buy a full frame.

  • What features of the Cannon 5D make it a desirable camera for real estate photography?
    Thanks so much

  • @Rohnn- It has a wonderful full frame CMOS sensor. When it came out in late 2008 it was the best there was… besides creating wonderful still images it shoots great video. To me you just can’t beat a full frame sensor with high quality glass! Now, 4 years after it was released although it isn’t the best sensor you can by anymore but it’s probably the cheapest full frame sensor you can buy… you still need to use really good quality glass on it like the Canon 17-40mm or Canon 16-35mm.

  • I recently upgraded from an inexpensive point and shoot to a Nikon D3100. I am still amazed by the difference in the quality of photos I can take on my own.

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