The best camera for real estate photography will help your property look its best. Whether you're looking to sell your own home, you're an estate agent with a bulging portfolio, or you're dipping your toe into the world of AirBnb, one of the best real-estate cameras will allow you to capture your property in a way that's accurate but flattering.
Many real estate photographers will instinctively use their smartphone (opens in new tab), the camera they carry with them everywhere anyway, for capturing propwerty images. While it's true that many modern smartphones are equipped with absolutely fantastic camera arrays, having a dedicated camera can give you a lot ore to work with, whether it's an optical zoom lens or 360-degree stitching. If you are set on using a smartphone though, we have included a dedicated motorised mount that's designed to allow smartphones to capture imagery for 3D virtual tours. It allows a smartphone to act like a 360-degree camera (opens in new tab) for a fraction of the cost, though we've also included a few of these.
Throughout the guide, we've stuck to the cameras we reckon will give you the best value for money when it comes to capturing real-estate images – everything from DSLRs (opens in new tab) to action cameras (opens in new tab). Where relevant, we've also suggested some of the best wide-angle lenses (opens in new tab) to pair with the camera, as these will allow you to fill the frame with property interiors.
We've also got a specialist camera designed specifically for creating virtual tours, and finally, for capturing aerial exteriors, a suggestion of the best camera drone (opens in new tab). So, let’s get started with the best cameras for real estate photography…
Best camera for real estate photography in 2022(opens in new tab)
Ticking all the boxes at a pretty reasonable price, the Canon Rebel SL3 (known as the EOS 250D in Europe) is an excellent choice of DSLR for real estate photography. It’s not the absolute cheapest in Canon’s range, but arguably offers better value than models like the EOS 2000D or 4000D. Its handy vari-angle touchscreen is great for getting images from all sorts of different angles, and it’s a pleasingly light option, easy to carry around. The generous ISO range will cover you in all different lighting situations, and the APS-C sensor represents a serious step-up from a smartphone.
There are plenty of good lens choices for the EOS Rebel SL3/250D, including Canon’s own EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (opens in new tab), or the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM lens (opens in new tab), both of which are highly affordable. With one of these lenses, the Canon EOS 250D will provide a highly effective setup for real estate photography.(opens in new tab)
While the Canon EOS is designed for beginners, we’d say if you’re a total newbie to cameras, the Nikon D3500 might be a better choice. It’s designed specifically to help new users get to grips with its functions, boasting lots of helpful guide modes and simplified controls. It’s extremely light – a shade lighter than the EOS 250D – and thanks to Nikon’s wide F-mount lens selection, there’s plenty of glass to choose from. While the kit lens that comes with it will do the job in a pinch, something like the affordable Nikon 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 G AF-P DX VR (opens in new tab) Nikkor lens would be optimal for capturing real estate images.(opens in new tab)
If you’re looking to produce real estate photography at serious, professional quality, then a full-frame DSLR like the Nikon D850 will be just what you need. This workhorse camera is beloved by professionals around the world, and with its astonishing image quality thanks to its full-frame sensor, it’s not hard to see why. Low-light quality, focusing speed, megapixels – everything here is a serious step up, and as you’d imagine, that does come with a price tag.
The uncropped 4K video here is a gift too, allowing you to create sumptuous footage of your properties. It may all be more than you need, but if the utmost in quality is what you want, then this is a superb choice. In terms of wide-angle lenses, we recommend the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art (opens in new tab)or Nikon's ownNikkor AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR (opens in new tab).It is also a perfect partner for more specialist perspective-correcting tilt-shift lenses (opens in new tab), such as the Nikon PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED (opens in new tab).
While a camera is generally a better choice than a smartphone for most photographic applications, there are ways to turn your smartphone into a real estate camera. One of the best is the Matterport Axis, an all-in-one, hands-free rig that makes it incredibly simple to make 3D walkthroughs of a property. It's much cheaper than a 360-degree camera or one of the professional property cameras that Matterport also makes (you'll see one below), though there is one catch – you'll need a Matterport cloud account. Still, with starter plans as cheap as $9.99/£7.99, it's hardly a big outlay, especially if you're photographing a lot of properties every month.
The motorised mount and smartphone clamp can take pretty much any Android or iOS smartphone that's around right now, and the tripod folds up pretty well. It's all fairly easy to set up with the Matterport Capture app, and the impressive AI-powered Matterport 3D media platform handles the image-making. One thing to note though is that in our testing, we found that the battery lasted about halfway through a mapping of the ground floor, so bringing a spare battery back and/or charger would be a good idea.(opens in new tab)
The DJI Pocket 2 is something entirely different – a small gimbal camera that’s popular with vloggers. A gimbal is a 3-axis stabilization system that compensates for camera movement to produce smooth video footage; for a walk-through of a property, this is an ideal choice. It’s small enough to take every with you, and can capture a pleasing amount of detail. Its wide field of view also means it’s a natural choice for interior room shots.
The small sensor of the Pocket 2 is the only real drawback – it causes the camera to struggle in low-light and high-contrast situations. Basically anywhere other than a well-lit room, you might run into problems. It could be worth picking up a portable LED light (opens in new tab) to give yourself a burst of illumination where you need it.
This clever little 360º camera has clearly been designed with virtual tours in mind, offering a lot of similar functionality to the Matterport Axis in a more self-contained package. The Trisio Lite2 may have "8K" imprinted on the front, but don't be fooled – it doesn't shoot 8K video. This instead refers to its ability to stitch together photos to make an image that measures 8000x4000 pixels, equating to 32MP. These images are rich and full of detail, ideal for immersing potential customers in a new property.
When we reviewed the Trisio Lite2, we also praised its ability to shoot in HDR – high dynamic range, which blends multiple images to create a balanced exposure of the overall scene, and is ideal for moments when the light gets a bit challenging. We could have done with a microSD card slot though, as when you're creating these big immersive images, that 8GB of internal storage is going to fill up quickly.(opens in new tab)
Action cameras are great for real-estate photography as they’re very portable and have a naturally wide-angle perspective. They can be a little limited though, so for something with real versatility, we’d recommend the Insta360 One R Twin Edition. This is actually a modular system, allowing you to switch between a conventional 4K action camera perspective, and 360° video, simply by swapping the module. There’s also a 1-inch edition (opens in new tab) with a wide-angle lens and larger sensor, which can be swapped in too – it’s all designed to interact. It’s a little expensive, and the display is very small. But the amount of flexibility you have in this tiny shooter is not to be underestimated.(opens in new tab)
With the introduction of the Max, GoPro was determined to make 360° accessible to everyone, and arguably succeeded. The Max is extremely straightforward to use, and thanks to the sophisticated app integration, it’s very easy to shoot a 360° clip, edit it on your phone and share it. For quick real-estate clips with 360° immersiveness, it’s arguably the smartest choice. It’s not the cheapest around, and some of this cost comes from features that a real-estate shooter won’t particularly need – waterproofing being the most obvious. Also, be aware that there isn’t really an option to just shoot “normal” 4K footage, so you may want to pair it with another camera or smartphone to ensure all your bases are covered.(opens in new tab)
If you’re looking to create virtual tours of properties, it’s worth investing in a proper camera for the purpose. The Matterport Pro2 3D MC250 is designed for exactly this, with a powerful 3D sensor and extremely large field of view, with lots of megapixels for capturing every detail. It is expensive to buy, and requires a monthly subscription to make the most of its various connected features, like schematic floor-plan generation. This isn’t something you buy on a whim – it’s a highly technical tool. But if you want something that will tick basically every box for real-estate photography, here it is.(opens in new tab)
A fantastic way to make a difference to your real-estate photography can be to take to the skies. The DJI Air 2S is perfect for getting dynamic aerial images of a property – while many drones use quite small image sensors, the Air 2S manages to cram a 1-inch sensor inside its relatively small frame, which provides greater dynamic range and an all-around nicer image. It’s pretty small and light, too, and controlling it is nice and easy. The much-touted digital zoom is also useful, allowing you to get images closer up than the drone can safely fly. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, the DJI Mini 2 (opens in new tab) – another one we've reviewed – is also a great drone, at a much more reasonable price.
How we test cameras
We test cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use both real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides. Learn about about how we test and review on Digital Camera World (opens in new tab).
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