Real estate photography is more critical today than ever before especially with the increase in online real estate marketing. Real estate agents and listing prospects constantly ask me how I am able to capture such wide angle photos and I believe this is because the majority of real estate photos online and in our MLS only capture a small fraction of the room they are featuring. Years ago we used to shoot the interior of our homes with a dual lens Kodak V570 and later we upgraded to the Kodak V705 which had a very wide 23 mm lens. These two cameras were great for real estate and they were the two widest angle point and shoot cameras available at that time. These camera were sweet because they fit in your pocket and they did a good job.
If you are looking for the ultimate in ultra wide angle photos then upgrading into a quality full frame DSLR is the hottest setup going today. I won't venture into the Canon vs Nikon discussion because each has their strong points. I personally own and use Canon but that could be another blog dicussion by itself. Currently the widest angle lens available on a point and shoot is a 21.5 mm made by Samsung. I am NOT a fan of this camera line and I am not recommending you go out and buy their camera but I mention it so that you can understand the difference because you can only get a 21.5 mm wide photo on a point and shoot camera and you can capture all the way down to 14 mm on a full frame DSLR without buying an extreme fisheye lens.
The 4 photos are 100% untouched and they haven't been color corrected or adjusted. What you see is exactly how they came out of the camera. I shot these photos in our real estate office conference room which measures 20'11 x 12'8 and this room is similar in size to a typical living room.
14 mm photo example: Notice how far away the flat screen tv is on this photo, the room appears much longer and wider. You can see 3 rows of chairs on both sides of the conference table and notice the REMAX balloon photo on the right side of the photo. Also, pay special attention to the conference table because you can see 100% of the table in this photo.
16 mm photo example: The conference table appears closer, you can still see all 3 rows of chairs but pay close attention to the REMAX balloon photo on the right side of the table because it got almost completely cut off.
22 mm photo example: This photo is about as wide as you can get with a point and shoot camera and more than 1/3 of this room is missing and not viewable because of the narrower view of the which is very similar to a point and shoot camera lens. Shooting with a 22 mm lens is acceptable when you are shooting homes with very large rooms such as estates or mansions. As you can see this photo is less about capturing the entire room and more focued on the furniture and the room appears crowded and it doesn't look like there is any space behind the 3 rows of chairs...the walls look very closed in and crowded. When was the last time a buyer asked to view a home that felt small and crowded?
27 mm example: This photo looks like the 3 rows of chairs are touching the walls and windows and it looks like there is absolutely no space in this room to move. This photo is VERY much like most of the MLS and online photos that agents are using today. The problem with a photo like this is that the non wide angle camera / lens is creating a barrier between very capable online buyers and these buyers are adding most of these homes to their "Do NOT want to see list" and they are drawing big X's through listings with these types of photos because they believe these homes are just too small for them when in reality it might have been a perfect fit.
IMPORTANT: These 4 photos were shot on a tripod using different mm lens settings so that you could compare how wide angle you can really go and the viewable differences between 14 mm, 16 mm, 22 mm and 27 mm. The 14 mm and the 16 mm wide angle lenses tend to make the room photograph the way our eyes actually see a room and the 22 mm and the 27 mm that are more common on the point and shoot cameras tend to make the rooms much smaller with a more close up feeling. This can seriously hurt your chances of attracting buyers especially if the buyer who is viewing your online marketing decides that your home is too small because of your shot your interior photos that were taken with a non wide angle camera. Trust me when I say this happens every single day and this is eliminating homes showings and reducing home sales for many real estate agents. If you don't believe me just take a quick look at the MLS photos in your board of REALTORS and pay extra close attention to the kitchen, bedroom and bath photos. You will be shocked...the more photos you look at and compare the worse it will get I promise. Some of the photos you will wonder if the agent was trying to take a photo of the bed OR the bedroom because their camera had such a narrow view that they were only able to capture an image of the bed and head board instead of the entire bedroom. Take a few minutes and give this some thought.
You can view a previous blog I wrote on this topic titled Is An Ultra Wide Angle Lens Camera Worth The Investment For Real Estate
Previous blog titled Ultra Wide Angle Digital Camera Photo Comparison
The Sam Miller Team of REMAX Stars Realty specialized in selling residential real estate in Knox County Ohio. Sam can be reachhed at 740-397-7800 KnoxCountyOhio.com