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What About Using Compact Cameras For Real Estate Photography

Published: 18/07/2008
By: larry

Sabrina Huang, a San Jose, CA Realtor that I met at the PFRE Seattle Workshop last April pointed out that I shouldn't excluding point-and-shoot from my review of real estate cameras. She's right, today's point-and-shoot cameras are pretty amazing. I haven't mentioned them because the majority of readers of this blog are professional photographers and DSLRs are more appropriate.

The primary selection criteria for point-and-shoot cameras to use for real estate has to be the ability to shoot wide-angle. Sabrina teaches photography classes for other Realtors in the San Jose area and has put together a list of point-and-shoot cameras that will work well for real estate photography.

I have the first camera on Sabrina's list, the Canon G9, although I don't have the wide-angle converter for it. The G9 is the most amazing camera I've ever owned! It never leaves my side. This is the camera I use on my PAP pole. What blew me a way when I first started using the G9 is that it's RAW files were slightly larger than RAW files from my 1Ds. There is certainly no quality problem with the images from these pocket sized cameras. The only real downside with using them for real estate is that you have to live with a fixed focal length in the area just above or below 24mm (35mm effective focal length). This is in now way  a show stopper, it just reduces flexibility.

Update 7/27: A reader pointed out that Sabrina's post indicates that the a wide-angle converter will get the Canon G9 to 24mm. To do that you need to use the Raynox HD-6600PRO58 58mm wide-angle adapter. The Canon WCDC58N does not go that wide, it only has a focal length multiplier of .75 where as the Raynox has a multiplier of .66 which makes the G9's 35mm lens get to  23.1mm.

17 comments on “What About Using Compact Cameras For Real Estate Photography”

  1. "you have to live with a fixed focal length"

    When you need a shot wider than 24mm, just shoot 2 pics vertically side by side and stitch them together with Hugin or photomerge in PS.

  2. I looked at the Canon G9 and thought it was great (RAW, etc.). However, it misses one requirement on my list for all around use: AEB (auto exposure bracketing). I use a Canon PowerShot SD430 for my PAP shots. The quality is amazing. It doesn't do AEB either. But it goes with me everywhere in my shirt pocket.

  3. @Mike- The G9 does AEB just like most Canon DSLR bodies. In fact it works almost identically to my AEB on my 1Ds. It will even cook coffee and scrabbled eggs:)

  4. Take a look at the Lumix dmc-fx35. Has a 25mm wide angle, will auto bracket and is 10mg (only need 3mg) It is a super point and shoot. At one time I thought it was apoint a shoot, but you can tweek the thing for almost any shot''

  5. Check out the Canon A650. Probably the best point and shooter around. Not quite the pocket camera, but not quite the DSLR,

  6. G'day!

    So now the Canon Powershot G10 is here, what would be good accessories to go with that i.e Lens, filter, tripod etc especially for Real Estate?

    I'm thinking later on, if I really get into photography will anything I get for this camera be useful, for say, an EOS 50D?

  7. G'day Richard, Thanks for reminding me about this subject. I've been looking at the reviews of the newest high-point and shoots and It appears that there is not a wide angle converter for the G10 and it's 28mm effective focal length is not wide enough for real estate work. So my recommendation for a real estate point and shoot is the lumix LX3 since it has a built-in 24 mm. I'll do my next post on this subject.

  8. Richard, Don't know for sure. I've read on several forums that the lens for the G10 is significantly different than the G9 even though it looks much the same. Because the lens on the G10 moves out over an inch when you turn it on it requires both a wide angle converter (lens) and an adapter that screws into the camera and the lens and holds the lens at the proper space from the camera. My sources tell me that that adapter is not yet available for the G10.

    Also the lens you refer to is really wide and only costs $60 USD. If it really comes with a proper adapter (which it doesn't show or refer to) it is really cheap and I would be suspicious of the quality. In my experience even low quality wide angle converters are typically twice the cost of the one you refer to.

  9. That's a real pity. I was 99% going to get one this weekend!
    Now that I've looked at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmclx3/ I can understand how the Lumix DMC-LX3 would be a better camera for real estate photography.

    Dan Achatz reckons 10MP is ideal anyhow: http://www.flickr.com/groups/photographyforrealestate/discuss/72157610959250487/#comment72157610961177423

    I was hoping that if I went with the canon that all accessories, like tripod, flash etc would be able to be used if I advanced to a better camera but I didn't really look into this yet.

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