Real Estate Photography Question and Answers – #4

May 27th, 2014

QandAScott C’s Question: Do you have a favorite or suggestion other than TourFactory or Visual Tours (they’re being used in this market) Would like a company that is embracing ALL of the latest technology.

Answer: I use and recommend I used to build my own tours for years and even helped start a tour company but still believe tourbuzz is the best. They have great technology, and great support and all for $12 a tour.

Michael’s Question: Which affordable “pole” contraption and which “drone” you recommend buying for elevated photography?

Answer: Which pole to use depends on if you use your main DSLR to shoot elevated shots or a point and shoot. Here are two options:

  1. If you use your main DSLR use this one. This allows you to safely get your DSLR up to about 14 feet.
  2. If you have a point and shoot use this one. This approach is much less expensive but you need use a small point-and-shoot camera.
As for a UAV to use for real estate video I would recommend a DJI Phantom 2. This is currently the most popular UAV for real estate. Make sure you also get insurance if you use a UAV like this!

John’s Feedback: I don’t do video and am not interested in it. So, the Sat. email on video does not get viewed by me. Also, I am disappointed when I get an email whose only content is to announce a contest, which I’m not yet good enough to enter. However, I do enjoy the recent Q&A emails very much. I would be happy to get one of those every day, although I am not recommending that. I would be happy if a Q&A could be included in the contest announcements, and with the Sat. video email, so I have something interesting to me to read. I do enjoy the email announcing the winner of the contest.

Answer: John, good idea for balancing the blog content between the various interests of blog readers. I’ll work on keeping a backlog of reader questions so that I can do that. I can’t promise it, but I’ll work at doing that.

What recommendations do readers have on these questions? Feel free to jump in and give your favorite solution.

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11 Responses to “Real Estate Photography Question and Answers – #4”

  • I just purchased a Wooster Sherlock GT Convertible 12′ pole at Ace Hardware and Pole Pixie adapter. Less than $75 for both and work great with my 5D.

  • I support the Tour Buzz answer. Excellent to use, though introducing it to agents who have their own system is currently a challenge (heads and brick walls).
    I use a painters pole, just under 4 metres at full extension with my 5D…..I also use it horizontally where needed but at a maximum of 1.5 metres. They seem to last about 3 years, but then I a pretty hard on gear- I expect it to go places it was never interned for!

  • Scott,

    I recommend, a company that has recently launched a new website that embraces ALL the new technology: full-motion video, virtual tours, virtual videos, social media syndication, 3D floorplans, etc. Customers can use the site to upload their own videos, photos (that create virtual tours), etc. for free, or upgrade their membership to add other features, including branded web pages. The site also has its own social media and blogging features, and a business directory.

    I work with Reveeo as a local licensee (REVB) and videographer. I shoot full-motion, walk-through video and the company provides editing, voice over, script writing, listing web pages, and syndication to real estate and social media sites. Clients can hire me or sign up through my website,, via my affiliate link to do “self-service” work. No cost to sign up! Please use the Sign Up link on my site, if you do sign up. Thank you!

  • Scott C…
    I am curious on what you mean when you say …
    Would like a company that is embracing ALL of the latest technology.
    Which latest technologies are you referring too? Are they something the real estate community is wanting and are they cost effective for REALTORS?

    Just curious,

  • John – Join the Photography for Real Estate flickr group ( and you will have plenty of Q and A’s at your fingertips.

  • @Stacy – I’m sure what Scott C. meant was he was looking for was a tour company that does all the things like stills, 360s, videos, floorplans, syndication to, branded/unbranded etc. All the features that the big tour companies have so he could compete against the big guys. Some of these features are popular in some places and not in others depending where the big tour companies have been marketing.

  • I am buying the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. So I am interested in your comment about insurance. Would you care to enlarge on what kind of insurance specifically? What should it cover and any ideas on who to purchase it from? And just to keep you busy, what sort of prices can one expect to pay? Or is this a whole new topic since it could very well include what policy real estate photographers should have already to cover themselves and the properties they may destroy in the process of shooting. That valuable Stuben or ancient Chinese vase that does not work as a lighting stand.

  • @Peter – there are a lot of good ideas on this subject on this post:

    The main point is you need to verify with your insurance carrier what your coverage is. Don’t assume you are covered… get it in writing from your insurance carrier.

  • I sent my phantom V+ back to Amazon…..couldn’t get it insured by either of my two current insurance providers.

  • @folks-interested-in-elevation. I recently figured out a great way to go 15-30ft cheaply, very stable, and easy to fit into a car. Start with a sturdy tripod. Buy a couple of Manfrotto 038 Double Super Clamps. Attach one to the bottom of the tripod center column, and one to the top of the center column, then clamp a paint pole of whatever height (usually 16-30ft) in the other side of the Super Clamps, and then either use a pole adapter, or you can make one out of a paint roller (cut the roller frame 2inches above the handle, then use a thread cutter to get to 1/4 by 20, check the roller frames though… some are just slightly bigger then 1/4×20 and those are easier to thread then cutting down larger diameter frames. The Home Depot orange frames are the ones I’ve used). I tend to like the Kaycee pole adapter the best.

    I also use sandbags I bought on Amazon when needed. Tip: Don’t fill them with sand. Use a ziplock as a liner, then fill the ziplock with cat litter, because it has a nice wight and density to it, and it’s actually far easier then finding actual sand… Stays fresh forever!! LOL

    What this does is give you an elevation system capable of leveling the pole on uneven ground.

  • Lots of good choices. I repurposed the white poles that came with one of those car tent temporary garage thingys. Nice and light but also about 1.5 ” diameter which makes them strong and they slot into each other firmly but easily. Then drill 1/4″ hole and secure two sections with a bolt and butterfly nut. Each is about 3.5 feet long so allows for custom heights. I secure my tripod head to the top and with my DLSR with the viewing screen facing down and a remote release. I clamp all this to an 8′ step ladder and it makes a strong, firm platform – unless the wind is blowing in which case at at 25′ extension, there can be some sway. I leave one section without a bolt through it so I can swivel the camera and then also lift the whole thing down to see what I have ended up shooting. Works great.

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