As we tick things off the holiday wish-list and are looking at the items we most want as real estate photographers, I decided to put together this list of all of the gear that I can personally say is great and useful to real estate photographers, as well as a higher-end wishlist of sorts for those looking to invest in a bigger upgrade in 2022. I'll put it into a few categories, mostly catalogued by the gear that my team can't live without, and then a few things we think that are worth the expense if you can afford them. Also, please bear in mind we are Canon photographers, but are really agnostic when it comes to gear. We have our preferences, but if you are a Sony person and there's only mirrorless for you, then this list may not satisfy you! But, for years we have used Canon gear for our professional photography and have never been let down. These are workhorse cameras and we think you'll agree after trying them!
Still Photography: The basic essentials
These essentials will cover you for almost every kind of real estate photography that you'll be doing. The choice between the f/2.8 and the f/4.0 is really a question of how much other photography you'll want to use the lens for besides real estate. The bokeh produced by the 4.0 is essentially totally sufficient for 99% of our shoots, but if you want that extra bokeh go for the upgrade and the speed of that lens.
Still Photography: Upgrades!
If you can afford to upgrade to a mirrorless camera we recommend the EOS R6, it's basically the EOS 6D Mark II in mirrorless, but with a lot of other fancy settings. Also, it will be easier for you to monitor the clarity and focus on those manual lenses such as the TS-E 24mm or the TS-E 17mm. If you don't have a telephoto lens, then investing in the 70-200mm will help you get those really far away shots in crystal clear fidelity. We love the 70-200mm for the ability for us to capture key views with excellent results.
Always carry the accessories with you! Especially if you're going to be shooting twilights we recommend both the reflective collapsible cones, and the high visibility vest. You'll also be happy to have a full lens/sensor cleaning kit with you at all times in case the unexpected happens!
Virtual Tour Essentials
If you're just getting started, look no further than the Z1 for almost all major virtual tour software compatibility. We do not recommend the Ricoh Theta V, it's just not professional enough in terms of the image quality and so the Z1 is worth investing in. You can use the Z1 for Matterport, Zillow 3D Home Tours, and also it can be added to an iGuide System (must be purchased from iGuide). If you want to have a great little device for vlogging or for creating Pivo Tours, then the Pivo Pod Black (business) is a good device to keep in your set. Consider their tripod which is not expensive, and is very stable, it just needs additional weight to keep it from tipping over as an extra precaution so we recommend using at the very least, a pair of Ankle weights to wrap around the center column! And, many of you know us for our expertise in Matterport, so we have added the Matterport Pro2 here...which is available on their website and if you can login as a business account on Amazon sometimes you can get GREAT deals like a Pro2 with a case included for less than regular retail pricing, crazy!
Virtual Tour Upgrades (Experience in VR!)
We consider this essential, especially for Metaverse pioneers!
What do you think? Do you feel inspired by the list? What else would you like to see on it? Good luck with all of your photography in 2022 and let us know your thoughts below!!
In November Hopscotch Interactive CEO Emily Olman had the chance to speak at the PFRE Conference in Las Vegas, NV to over 300 members of the real estate photography community. In addition to the panel talk on the conference last day, she also worked on a new presentation that dives into 3D, 360° and Spatial or "Metaverse" marketing for Real Estate. This is the first video of the series, which will be continuing in 2022, more specifically for real estate photographers, but we will also be producing additional content in the New Year for realtors and brokers on Metaverse marketing for real estate.