Best camera and lens for an Estate Agent

smotiram

Novice Member
Hi there,

I run a small independent estate agency and am looking for a camera to use in order to take photos for advertising purposes. I am completely and utterly out of my depth when it comes to anything to do with cameras so can anyone please help to find the best camera and lens for around £600? is that a reasonable price? If not I can increase.

The only thing that is essential is a wide angled lens.

I was previously using a Nikon J1 for a number of years with a wide angled lens but that has now packed up so looking for something to replace it.

Would very much appreciate all advice you can provide.
 

CanNik

Active Member
To be frank, you aren't using it for anything other than architectural so as long as the wide angle you chose is not fisheye any DSLR will do personally I would concentrate more on a flash and Stofen.

DO NOT use stofen light modifiers outdoors as many beginners and amateurs do, you even see so called Hahaha working photographers using them outside which makes people who DO know laugh

 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
Getting good architectural images is much more than just getting a good camera, there is a lot to learn in terms of technique using it and post processing. How much to invest in the camera, learning and software depends on how much the images are worth to your business. If OK images to give an impression of the property online are good enough then pretty much any camera will do. If you want high-end images for glossy brochures or large prints then your budget might need an extra zero so might be better to hire someone to take the pics for you.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Well as the OP isn't new to the house photography game we can probably assume that he and his company/customers have been relatively satisfied with the quality of his J1 output so in essence we really only need to concentrate on suggesting a suitable replacement camera - possibly even a compact - to replace his previous J1 + Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13mm f3.5-5.6 Lens combo - of course allowing for sensor size differences etc.
 

bluesilver

Active Member
Personally, I wouldn't use flash. I'd just use multiple exposures to balance the outdoor/indoor lighting. So I'd have a non fisheye lens around 12-17mm on a full frame, tripod and then process the multiple raw images as an HDRi in Lightroom or similar. That would be the way I'd go and what I use for my job in VFX.
 
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CanNik

Active Member
Getting good architectural images is much more than just getting a good camera, there is a lot to learn in terms of technique using it and post processing. How much to invest in the camera, learning and software depends on how much the images are worth to your business. If OK images to give an impression of the property online are good enough then pretty much any camera will do. If you want high-end images for glossy brochures or large prints then your budget might need an extra zero so might be better to hire someone to take the pics for you.

Absolute rubbish, give a pro a £500 camera and a beginner a £10000 camera and see who come out on top, you say add a 0 so unless they spend £5000 it will be crap, that is crap
 

CanNik

Active Member
Personally, I wouldn't use flash. I'd just use multiple exposures to balance the outdoor/indoor lighting. So I'd have a non fisheye lens around 12-17mm on a full frame, tripod and then process the multiple raw images as an HDRi in Lightroom or similar. That would be the way I'd go and what I use for my job in VFX.
Good fill flash for indoor is always a benefit !!!!

I use D810, Nikkor 14-24 and fill flash
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
A tripod and a camera with built in HDR mode to combine bracketed exposures will cover most circumstances where you want to correctly expose the garden through the patio doors and the lounge in one frame.
Houses don't generally move much - so slow shutter isn't an issue as long as the tripod is solid.
I'm guessing the OP probably doesn't want to spend hours on editing hence the suggestion of something that will do the job itself rather than doing it in post processing, though it's very simple to do in Lightroom with a couple of clicks.

I can't make a specific recommendation for a camera - I know my Olympus OM-D E-M10ii has it and it works pretty well. You can even use it handheld if you're reasonably careful.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Have
Absolute rubbish, give a pro a £500 camera and a beginner a £10000 camera and see who come out on top, you say add a 0 so unless they spend £5000 it will be crap, that is crap
Have You actually read the response that you quoted - doesn't look like it to me? :rolleyes:

Also a rather combative and antagonistic manner :nono:
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Tbh most photos I see on estate agent sites and sites such as right move etc aren’t particularly great, clearly just taken with a general camera by someone who just points and shoots. In this kind of scenario you could do worse than getting something like the new iphone with the ultra wide angle lens.

Now if you’re a more high end estate agent and want the photos that look more like a Hello magazine shoot or something there’s a lot more to it, and most of it will be technique, composition and lighting but to get the level of lighting I’m referring to is costly and a faff to set up.

As a compromise and to fit the budget you could get something like a used Olympus EM10 Mark II or III, a used 9-18mm and a decent flash (something like the Nissin i40 would do) and bounce the flash (assuming the ceilings or walls are white/light neutral). I prefer bounced flash over fill as it can be tricky to get fill to look natural, and it can be more difficult to ‘hide’ reflections
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
Well as the OP isn't new to the house photography game we can probably assume that he and his company/customers have been relatively satisfied with the quality of his J1 output so in essence we really only need to concentrate on suggesting a suitable replacement camera - possibly even a compact - to replace his previous J1 + Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13mm f3.5-5.6 Lens combo - of course allowing for sensor size differences etc.
So any actual suggestions for a replacement "comparable" camera? :hiya:
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
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Well as the OP isn't new to the house photography game we can probably assume that he and his company/customers have been relatively satisfied with the quality of his J1 output so in essence we really only need to concentrate on suggesting a suitable replacement camera - possibly even a compact - to replace his previous J1 + Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13mm f3.5-5.6 Lens combo - of course allowing for sensor size differences etc.
I was thinking the same although the Nikon lens is a bit wider than I was assuming as it's an 18-35mm ultrawide rather than what I guessed was probably a 24 or 28mm starting point, it's roughly a 2.7x crop. That makes it a bit trickier as it means you'd need a 9-18mm on micro 4/3 or a 10-18mm on Sony E-mount to get that wider field of view and I think something like the Sony A6000 with the 16-50mm which I find a good package for the money isn't going to be wide enough.

I can't think of much in the way with a 1in sensor or better that goes that wide either, Nikon did show a 1in camera with an ultrawide lens which looked intriguing but never released it.
 
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bluesilver

Active Member
Good fill flash for indoor is always a benefit !!!!

I use D810, Nikkor 14-24 and fill flash
It will also lead to specular highlights/reflections and unevenness, especially if you have nooks and crannies that the light doesn't reach very well. You will also get colouration if the walls and ceilings are not white. If you use HDRi you will get perfect exposures inside and outside. I can categorically say that this is how it is done for both high end estate agent house photography and for film..
 

smotiram

Novice Member
Well as the OP isn't new to the house photography game we can probably assume that he and his company/customers have been relatively satisfied with the quality of his J1 output so in essence we really only need to concentrate on suggesting a suitable replacement camera - possibly even a compact - to replace his previous J1 + Nikon 1 NIKKOR VR 6.7-13mm f3.5-5.6 Lens combo - of course allowing for sensor size differences etc.
Precisely that. The output from the J1 has been fine up until now and have really had no intentions of replacing it if it still worked. However as we are in need of a new bit of kit, might as well get something that is half decent? I would really appreciate some actual suggestions of cameras and lenses.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I would suggest a basic SLR - or better still mirrorless as they are smaller and 18mm - 55mm lens. Flash can make photos appear a little unnatural and it will take you longer to set up the shots, so maybe see how you get on without it. Use a relatively high ISO to keep shots sharp and all should be good. I did some shots for someone to promote their home business and took them on a Canon 60D with an 18-55 and 55-300mm lens - just to get some background blur and no flash. They looked really good, with natural colours and good levels of detail.

Quite honestly, an iPhone takes perfectly acceptable photos these days and has a nice wide lens - particularly on the latest models. I do appreciate however that some homeowners might feel short changed it you turned up and just took a few snaps on your phone!
 

smotiram

Novice Member
I would suggest a basic SLR - or better still mirrorless as they are smaller and 18mm - 55mm lens. Flash can make photos appear a little unnatural and it will take you longer to set up the shots, so maybe see how you get on without it. Use a relatively high ISO to keep shots sharp and all should be good. I did some shots for someone to promote their home business and took them on a Canon 60D with an 18-55 and 55-300mm lens - just to get some background blur and no flash. They looked really good, with natural colours and good levels of detail.

Quite honestly, an iPhone takes perfectly acceptable photos these days and has a nice wide lens - particularly on the latest models. I do appreciate however that some homeowners might feel short changed it you turned up and just took a few snaps on your phone!
Hi Noiseboy72,

You are absolutely right when it comes to phone cameras. Such is the quallity of phone cameras these days, they would most certainly do a adequate job. The issue is - as you mentioned - not looking like a complete fool trotting around millions of pounds worth of property and taking photos on my phone.

Would you be able to link some potential camera and lens options? Would very much appreciate it,
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Precisely that. The output from the J1 has been fine up until now and have really had no intentions of replacing it if it still worked. However as we are in need of a new bit of kit, might as well get something that is half decent? I would really appreciate some actual suggestions of cameras and lenses.
I mentioned it earlier, but in case you missed it an Olympus EM10-II or EM10-II and a 9-18mm lens. You could even get a used Olympus EM1.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
If you don’t need a viewfinder then Olympus E-PL8 would also be worth a look.
A used OMD E-M1 or M5 would also do a great job.

Your current lens has a field of view equivalent to 18-35mm on a “full frame” sensor (used to compare lenses on different size sensors).
On the micro 4/3rds sensor in the Olympus cameras you need a 9-18mm lens as @snerkler has suggested.

As your Nikon lens looks to have been quite expensive if it still works you could look to sell or trade it in even if the body is dead.
Online places like Wex, mpb and camera jungle will part ex against new purchases. You can often save a lot of money by buying used.
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member

AMc

Distinguished Member
The Canon 250D has a crop factor of 1.6 so that 18-55 lens has a 35mm frame equivalent field of view of 28.8mm-88mm.
I suspect that for room interiors you'd need a wider lens than the standard Canon kit lens - unless you were prepared to stitch together multiple images.

The OP currently has the equivalent of 18-35mm on their J1 (Nikon 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 VR & 18.5mm f/1.8 lens reviews: best performing lenses in the range - DXOMARK)
It's also a stabilised lens which will be helping with handheld interiors.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
Good suggestion and worth a look, also a tripod if you don’t already have one, for taking HDR images as suggested above.
As AMC says, the 18-55mm on a crop is not going to be very wide in comparison to his old camera :smashin:
 

newbie1

Distinguished Member
Fair point, if the very wide angle is needed I think there’s an efs 10-18 that’s reasonably priced.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I would actually try and use an iPhone 11 Pro Max. With the ultra-wide, standard and zoom lense and very clean night features, you've got everything there that can match what the OP has got. It truly is very good. The only thing limiting will be one's own skills.
 

doug56hl

Distinguished Member
You are absolutely right when it comes to phone cameras. Such is the quallity of phone cameras these days, they would most certainly do a adequate job. The issue is - as you mentioned - not looking like a complete fool trotting around millions of pounds worth of property and taking photos on my phone.

Would you be able to link some potential camera and lens options? Would very much appreciate it,
You have the choice between cameras with optical viewfinders or the ones with electronic viewfinders (EVF). With the latter try to get the highest resolution EVF you can. The EVFs in the Canon M50 and Olympus EM10 MKII are 2.36MP vs just half that res in the Sony A6000,

Canon 4000D with 18-55mm lens (28.2 to 88mm equivalent) £270 plus EF-S 10-18mm lens (16mm to 28.8mm equivalent £199 Total: £469. Absolute bottom of the range, no frills but is reviewed as taking decent photos. Poor low res rear LCD. The EF-S 10-18mm lens gets good reviews and has image stabilisation.

Canon EOS 4000D review: Is this the best budget DSLR yet?

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Review

Nikon D3500 with 18-55 VR lens £389 (27mm to 82mm equivalent) plus Nikon AF-P 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 G DX VR lens (15 to 30mm equivalent) £218 Total £607. Nikon D3500 review

Nikon D3500 Review | Photography Blog

Nikon 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G VR AF-P DX Nikkor Review

Canon 200D body £458 plus the EF-S 10-18mm lens £199. Total £657 or £508 with 18-55mm lens plus again the 10-18mm lens Total £707.
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D Review

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens Review

Sony A6000 (£395) with Samyang 12mm F2 (£299) Total £700. Equivalent to 18mm but manual focus and manual aperature. Although this may make it much more difficult to use if you are not used to older manual film cameras. However the A6000 has good focus peaking although its electronic viewfinder is not the best and is low resolution compared to the Canon M50.
Or A6000 with the kit 16-50mm lens (24 - 75mm equivalent) £459 plus the samyang 12mm Total: £758

Sony a6000 Review

Gear Review: Rokinon (Samyang) 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS Wide Angle Lens - Trail to Peak

Canon EOS M50 body £469 with EF-M 11-22mm lens (Equivalent to 17.6mm to 35.2mm) £283. Total £752
Again this Canon wide angle lens gets good reviews.
Canon EOS M50 Review

Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens Review

Olympus EM10 MkII body £379 with 9-18mm lens (equivalent to 18-36mm) £405. Total £784
Bang for the Buck: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Review

If you want to buy new the Nikon D3500 seems closest to your stated £600 budget or the Canon options using the same well reviewed (for the price) EF-S 10-18mm zoom lens. The M50 with it's wide angle zoom is another option at higher cost. From the reviews the two Canon wide angle lenses perform better than the Nikon one.

But you would get a lot more for your money buying a 2nd hand higher spec camera with low use.
One of the higher model Nikon or Canon cameras costing the same price used as the new lower spec ones would still let you use the cheap wide angle lenses available for them. Unfortunately the other makes lack these cheap wide angle zooms so unless you can pick up a 2nd hand wide angle lens for them you still have the extra cost element.

If you can wait until November there is the chance of getting much better prices in the Black Friday sales coupled with the cashback programs the manufacturers run at that time of year (often double cashback so a nice saving to be had). You can find the prices for cameras and lenses at www.camerapricebuster.co.uk

If you want to save a bit of money you could buy frrom the grey market at HDEW or Panamoz although at the lower price range they can sometimes be more expensive than buying from normal retailers. For the Canon 10-18mm HDEW is £189, Panamoz £260 vs the £199 most retailers are seling them at.
 
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AMc

Distinguished Member
Of course the most cost effective solution would be a user J series body.
They're pretty cheap!

J2 for £50, J4 for £130

(Assuming the OP hasn't given up by now ;) )
 

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