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What's the Right Gear for Shooting Real Estate Video?

Published: 21/12/2017

Fer in Texas asks:

I've been trying to find a post to know what would be a good lens for Real Estate video. I was wondering if you have some information for a person who wants to get the right equipment for video without breaking the bank.

I currently use a Canon 80D and 10-18 mm Canon lens to shoot real estate still photos.

I think your Canon 80D with a 10-18 mm will work so very well shooting property video. When shooting video, the video features of the camera body are important. The Canon 80D uses current technology and is frequently rated in the top 10 DSLRs for video. So, I suggest that you use your current DSLR and lens and spend your money on a stabilizer or slider (depending on what type of video you plan to shoot).

Does anyone else have advice for Fer?

Larry Lohrman

6 comments on “What's the Right Gear for Shooting Real Estate Video?”

  1. I agree with Larry on the camera/lens combo. But I would recommend that you take Grant Johnson's "How to shoot real estate videos course" advertised right here on this blog, ad on the right on my monitor. He goes into not just how to shoot RE video but also what equipment he uses and has courses dealing with how you set up your 80D or 70D camera and how to use a slider and plan your shoot including the use of a drone. He even has some free tutorials on his YouTube channel.

  2. Anyone have any suggestions for a good/lightweight stabilizer (either for my Canon 6D or a system) for video? I had been leaning toward the Osmo Pro, but Grant Johnston burst that bubble when he talked about the Pro not being wide enough for interiors.

  3. Yes, video is great. I have shot video with a 5D mkII and used a crane, dolly and slider. Excellent results with a whole lot of work... I then went to GoPro 3's and stabilizers. They a pretty good job except for the light transitions. They take to long to adjust for the window transitions and don't have a manual over ride.

    I still use the 5D mk II's for the majority of still shots but wanted to add a light weight solution so I picked up a Sony A6000 and a Rokinon 12mm. It does great stills except it weighs the light from the windows to much. So I decided to see how it's video was and fell in love. I use it with a Crane stabilizer and shoot manual and let the windows get blown. If I need the window scene I will shoot twice (different exposures) and then edit in the window scene. Not cheap but small enough for one handed stabilizer and camera control. I use this for the Zillow walk throughs.

  4. Think of this as a foot note. The question was can you use the 80D and your existing lens for video. I would say again - yes.

    Are there alternatives? Of course. I find the Tokina 10-24mm works well for both stills and video. But I am also trying to capture the market for those realtors who are just testing the waters of video and want to keep costs down. So like Bill, I am using my GoPro 5 Black which because of its light weight and automation allows me to shoot each room in stills and video before I move to the next. I have two tripods and use a slider with the GoPro perched at the top of a Manfroto head which dwarfs the GoPro. And yes, there are issues with the exposure adjustment, but I shoot with a very slow pan and rotation on the slider then simply speed up the video in post. Not perfect but it works. Plus I find that the clips from the GoPro blend well with the video from my Phantom4Pro. And I do use a sharpening app in FinalCutProX to bump up the visual sharpness which also helps with saturation and shado areas.

    But my recommendation is to start with what you have, since it will do the job; see how your efforts pay off and add to your tool box as business and your expertise develops.

  5. Thank you all for your answers.

    My main concern is with the lens. I thinks at F4 is not fast enough for some dark rooms. How do you deal with this situation?

    Thank you

  6. If you are planning on making video your primary service, consider getting a dedicated video camera. While a DSLR will work with good results, a video camera will have the controls and options more suited. I always compare it to driving nails. If all you have is a monkey wrench and only need to drive a nail once a month, it will do the job but it's not the ideal tool for the job. If you only shoot the occasional video and stills the rest of the time, nearly every new DSLR will give you acceptable results for RE and you should choose the body that gives you the best all around features for stills. If you happen to be busy all of the time doing both, you may want a still set up and a video set up to allow you to bring in some help from time to time. That way one person can be shooting video and the other stills on the same house at the same time.

    Either way, Canon is a good choice as there are a few video camera makers that have an EF lens option such as RED and Black Magic Design or even Canon. I haven't seen if Sony has a dedicated video camera with an E mount. BTW, battery life is a big issue on some Sony cameras and using one for video will whittle down battery life even faster. Have lots of back up if you go that route.

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