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PFRE Blog Recommended Real Estate Photography Gear

Published: 15/07/2017
By: larry

Lisa in South Carolina asks:

I am a real estate agent with no professional photography training. I like to take my own listing photos, and have been using a Nikon D40 with the 18-35 lens that came with it. For a while now, my camera has been leaving spots on my pictures, which take a while to edit out. I live in a small town with no places to have the camera cleaned. So, I want to buy a newer camera and possibly a wide angle lens, hoping my photos will appear more professionally done. I have spent hours on sites such as this, trying to decide which camera to buy, and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

I would like to stay with Nikon since I also have a 200 mm lens. Since I do not work as a photographer, it seems unnecessary to pay for the highest professional quality equipment. Is there a suitable mid-range Nikon camera and wide-angle lens that will give me nice listing photos?

I have this page on the PFRE blog that is designed to help people like yourself who are acquiring equipment to do real estate photography. As you can see, it recommends the following:

It is important to understand that the 18-55mm kit lens is not a wide angle lens. It would be OK for exterior shots but not the best for interior shots.


7 comments on “PFRE Blog Recommended Real Estate Photography Gear”

  1. Ugh.... sensor spots are so annoying and it is really difficult to find a good professional to clean that element of the camera. I have had to take mine in at least 2x/year, but now the camera shop I used has closed and doing "online" business only. Good luck - looking forward to hearing other's solutions.

  2. I have a canon system and feel VERY Lucky in that the Canon World HQ is right over in the next town. I can manually bring my camera there, have it cleaned, and pick it up in three hours!

  3. For your spots you can always try to clean your sensor yourself. For that you can use a sensor gel stick Sensor Gel Stick

    And it wouldn't hurt to also use a loupe. LensPen SKLK-1 Camera Cleaning Kit
    (I wouldn't recommend the pen in this grouping)

    When using the gel stick remember not to drag it across your sensor but instead sort of tap it over the dirt and clean it in between picking up the dust/dirt so that you don't scratch the sensor. I'm not familiar with Nikon, but to get to the sensor to clean it, you should be able to lock up your mirror. Check your manual to see how that is done.

  4. Unless you're just wanting to spend the money on a new body, cleaning the sensor isn't that difficult and only takes a couple of minutes. Obviously you must be careful, but a drop of cleaning fluid, one maybe two swipes with the cleaning stick, your sensor will be clean and the spots gone. There are plenty of videos online that will walk you through each step. Your favorite online camera store will have everything you need, just be sure you're getting the correct cleaning pads for your sensor size and the correct solution for what you are wanting to do, in this case cleaning.

  5. I have been using the LensPen SensorKlear Loupe system for 6 years. It works very well. It saves time and money. I've used it on four different Nikon DSLRs without issue. I have around 375k actuations on my D750 and on the second shutter on a D7000 (totally wore the first one out) along with a D800 and a D300 with so much use the paint is worn off the shutter dial areas, so I don't believe it has ever done any harm to my cameras. It is a dry system, so no film on the sensor, either.

    Check it out here:

    Even if you do upgrade your camera system, you are going to have dust issues sooner or later. I have learned to lessen the chance by using care when changing lenses - never change them when it is windy or in dusty areas. I do it in my car or inside a house away from air conditioning vents.

  6. Lisa, if you think that a new camera is going to improve the quality of your images, save your money on gear purchases and invest in some photography classes. It sounds obvious that you need to get your sensor cleaned and you may need a wider angle lens, but there are some noted RE photographers that will use only a Sony a6000 with a Rokinon 12mm prime lens to shoot an entire house. While the a6000 is a good camera, it's really middle of the road. These photographers are able to use all of the capability of the camera and more importantly, they are good at finding compelling compositions.

    There is a nice drum set a friend of mine has for sale at $3k, but even if I could afford it, it won't make me a better drummer. My kit is more than sufficient for the playing I do. The same applies to photo gear or real estate offices could just invest $10k in a magic camera that any minimum wage office clerk could take out and produce stunning images with no training.

  7. I actually started several years ago with a D40, and at least 2 of my RE photos taken with that D40 are on my current day web site. Continue with the D40 until you gain a little experience. If you do upgrade, try to jump move the entry 3000 level to at least the 5000 level where will gain additional features. The lack of some were limiting in the D40. I progressed to the D90, d7000 before jumping to full frame with d610 and now dumped Nikon and switched to a Sony a7rII, although the d750 was tempting.

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