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Listing Photos Your Smartphone Can't Take
Mobile phones today have fantastic built-in cameras. The advancement of camera technology in mobile phones overall has been astounding. They can automatically adjust for contrast, saturation, skin tone, and even background blur to add extra dimension. Moreover, when it comes to dynamic range, the advancement of digital camera technology now can see things we can't see with human eyes. Smartphone cameras and auto-editing software are so impressive that it can seem like their photos look as good, if not sometimes better, than those taken with a DSLR (digital single-lens reflect) camera. Because smartphone cameras are so powerful and deliver such beautiful pictures, some agents are forgoing hiring a professional photographer to shoot their listing photos. However, there are many listing photos your smartphone can't take. Still, despite all the significant advancements – including the use of Artificial Intelligence to enhance smartphone photography – mobile phones can't capture everything that cameras used by professional photographers can. As a result, DSLR – digital single-lens reflex – remains the image champion for real estate listing photos. Here are a few examples where professional cameras exceed the capabilities of even the most intelligent smartphone with the most advanced camera: Full-Frame sensors Smartphones have tiny sensors. With this technology, size matters. The leading standard for DSLR cameras is full frame (or 35mm). Additionally, the sensor is one of the most expensive technologies in a camera. The larger the sensor, the greater its cost. For example, one of the most popular DSLR cameras for real estate, the Canon 5D Mark IV, has a sensor measuring approximately 36mm x 24mm. The sensor on a smartphone is around 9mm x 6mm. The result: smaller sensors have a narrower field of view than larger sensors when using lenses of the same focal length. The disparity of crop sensors physically limits the ability to get the right listing photo shot both inside and outside. Auto HDR vs. Bracketing One of the techniques a professional photographer uses is called bracketing. Bracketing means shooting the same image with different camera settings. The result is multiple variations of the same photo to choose from – or even combine – get that perfect shot. One of the most common type of bracketing is exposure bracketing, taking the same shot with at least three different exposure settings. A DSLR camera offers manual bracketing, giving far more control over what the final results of what the image will look like. Cell phones are limited to auto HDR in camera, often exporting a JPG image. With bracketing, the photographer can set each exposure exactly for each specific situation, often crucial for real estate listing photos. Clarity Smartphones, because of their smaller sensors, can't achieve the exact definition and clarity that a DSLR camera can achieve. A great comparison is old school. Think of the difference between an 8 x 10 photo created from a smaller negative versus a larger one. The image would be blurry when enlarged from the smaller negative yet crystal clear when made with the larger negative. For the sharpest images, smartphones can't compete. That is the last thing you want when someone is surfing the web looking for homes on their high-resolution screens and seeing anything but crystal-clear images. Photos on a cloudy day You can't control the weather. So, when it comes to shooting photos on a cloudy day, smartphones struggle. However, because you can manually adjust DSLR cameras to the correct settings, the photographer can dial in the correct levels for sensitivity, exposure, and aperture. When you take that same shot with your smartphone, you trust its computer to do the work in terms of setting the shutter speed, white balance, and the right parts of the image to expose. That's why cloudy day photos, for example, that you take with your smartphone, are no match for those taken by a professional photographer with their DSLR camera. Distance Have you been on a walk, seen a deer in the distance or a fascinating bird, and whipped out your smartphone to take a shot? It looks crystal clear on your screen, right? So you take the picture, but it is significantly blurred when you look at it closely after the shot. Think of shooting a house in the same way, from the same distance. Again, when it comes to professionally shot photos, clarity is vital. While a picture may look good on your smartphone, how does it fair on a 32" 4K computer monitor that a prospective home buyer is using to view it? Even the best phones with long-range cameras use digital zoom versus "real" optical zoom. That's why DSLR cameras excel when it comes to distance shots. Lens selection Another massive advantage that DSLR cameras have over a smartphone is lens selection. Smartphones have a lens equivalent to 28mm on a DSLR camera. Some can even mimic a 50mm field of vision used for portrait photography. And some lenses can be attached to your smartphone to enhance its shooting capabilities. But lens selection for mobile phones is limited and pales compared to the hundreds of lenses available for DSLR cameras. Moreover, lenses give DSLR cameras advantages for almost every kind of photo: long distance shots, wide angle, perspective shots, and more are possible simply by switching out a lens. Post-production Smartphone editing software is super slick these days, built in for easy use and making pretty good photos look even better. But what a photographer can do with RAW files from a DSLR camera plus advanced photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop makes their excellent work exceptional. When it comes to post-production advantages, the images that a DSLR camera takes begin with an edge over those taken by a smartphone. Then, add the skills that a professional photographer brings to the post-production process. Once again, DSLR photos are far superior to listing photos taken with a mobile phone. The eye of a photographer Beyond the image capabilities and comparisons between what a DSLR camera and a camera on a smartphone can take, the X-factor is the photographer. Professional real estate photographers use DSLR cameras for a reason: it is what they need to get the best listing photos. How a professional real estate photographer "sees" how to line up a shot and find the right angle or perspective is often learned from years of taking hundreds of real estate photos. There's no contest when you add the value of having a professional with the right equipment shoot your listing photos. The right tool DSLR or mirrorless cameras are not software dependent for exceptional imagery. They use big sensors, big lenses, and big grips and tripods that hold these cameras steady to capture the best photos. The images shot with a DSLR camera still can't be matched by any smartphone. The bottom line: DIY with your smartphone is like using the wrong tool from your toolbox when it comes to listing photos. You hire a professional photographer for their exceptional skills and because they use the proper tool. Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros and architect of the real NFT Marketplace at real.art. HomeJab delivers over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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A Brief History of Real Estate Drone Videos
Before real estate drone videos took off, aerial photography wasn't for the faint-hearted. The most daring real estate photographers went to great lengths to capture the perfect exterior images of a property. They photographed Olympic-size swimming pools from rooftops that sloped dangerously towards the concrete below. And took sprawling images of 10-acre estates from doorless helicopters that soared 10,000 feet in the sky! Back in the day, the idea of real estate drone videos was more of a chimera or a pipe dream than an actual possibility. But with today's cutting-edge technologies, real estate drones haven't only exploded in popularity. They're also thriving in the real estate market! And it's easy to understand why: drone photography is literally "the bigger picture" of real estate. The Perks of Drone Photography Real estate drones take to the sky and capture breathtaking images of a property or an estate at large. They show you — the prospective homebuyer, homeowner, or real estate agent — compelling angles and features of the home that would otherwise remain unseen from the ground. Listings that feature real estate drone videos are 68% likelier to outsell listings that don't feature aerial photography whatsoever. What's more, real estate drones are relatively easy to operate, although experienced handlers are highly recommended. At HomeJab, our drone video services take the legwork out of high-quality aerials that you'll want to feature on your real estate listings. And our drone pilots are extremely efficient at producing real estate drone videos that will engage and delight your viewers. These aerials can show off that brand new roof or that serene boat dock with your beautiful home in the background. Not only that, our pilots even know which no-fly zones to avoid (i.e., near airports, congested urban areas, Washington D.C., etc.) so you won't have to! Of course, this is also great news for the former daredevil photographer whose days of climbing up ladders and riding on nauseating choppers are things of the past. A Brief History of Real Estate Drone Videos To celebrate the rise of real estate drone videos, HomeJab would like to take you on a brief stroll through drone-memory lane. As we learned from Time Magazine's thrilling article on the history of aerial photography, the evolution of the drone has been contiguous with advances in technology. That's to say, as computer software programs of the 1980s became more advanced, and hardware of the same era became more compact, so did the drone — evolving from a clunky reconnaissance tool in wartime to a lightweight gadget that was easy to fly. But before real estate drone videos were even thought to be possible, black and white cameras were tied to kites and rockets and sent up to the clouds! Some cameras were even strapped to prescription-delivering pigeons that captured amazing cityscapes in Germany! This was back in the mid-1800s to early-1900s when French photographers tethered hot air balloons to the ground and ascended over 200 feet in the sky for the sake of aerial photography. Photograph of San Francisco in ruins from Lawrence captive airship, 2000 feet above San Francisco Bay overlooking water front. Sunset over Golden Gate circa 1906. George Lawrence—Prints & Photographs Divison/Library of Congress It wasn't until World Wars I and II that aerial images of warzones became hot-selling images for the press and coveted by government agencies to drive military campaigns. Fast forward to the 1980s when Israeli engineers developed a sophisticated, unmanned drone with a short wingspan that could take high-quality surveillance images from high above. These historical events gave rise to today's modern real estate drone — a cute, four-legged device with propellers attached to each leg and an average weight of 2.6 pounds. How to Order Your Real Estate Drone Video Our seamless online ordering process means that your next real estate drone video is just a few clicks away. So, if you're ready to elevate your real estate business with high-quality aerials, schedule a shoot with one of our professional drone pilots today! To view the original article, visit the HomeJab blog.
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How Drones Can Help Drive Interest in Today's Real Estate World
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How to Shoot Real Estate So It Attracts More Buyers
Looking to up your real estate photography game? In this article, we are going to talk through all the crucial elements that go into effectively shooting a property from start to finish. Even if you're new to real estate photography and have never shot a property in your life, this blog will help get you started with some really simple and easy-to-understand tips and tricks. Not only will we go into how to take that perfect image, we will also give you some recommendations on the right gear to purchase along with camera settings, bracketing, property preparation, and the all-important image enhancement and editing. Step One: What Camera and Tripod to Buy Finding the perfect camera to get started is easier said than done. There are plenty of options on the market and it can get pretty overwhelming if you're new to property photography. For this tutorial, we have used the Nikon D7200. However, this model is discontinued with the D7500 now the next model up from Nikon. This fantastic camera will set you back about $1,100 (at the time of writing this blog) and is a great all-around option for real estate photographers. We recommend using this camera with the Nikon 10-24mm lens (approximately $900), which will allow you to take wide shots and capture the perfect amount of the space. For the majority of the time, you should aim to shoot at approximately a 12mm focal length, as we are using the APS-C camera, which is the equivalent of shooting at 18mm on a full-frame camera configuration. It's important to note that if you shoot too wide, the images may not display the property properly. We also use the Nikon SB-5000 flash to fill out dark shadows while still producing an accurate color in the finished product. To ensure the shots are steady and perfectly angled, we use the Manfrotto tripod and a Neewer Trigger Ball Head. If this set-up is a little out of budget, we recently wrote a blog on how to shoot real estate using an iPhone 11. Step Two: What Camera Settings Should You Use There are countless settings that we could go into and many of them may depend on the exact type of camera you are using. Instead, we will detail here the main camera settings we use and recommend. Set your ISO to 100, which will allow you to capture the highest quality of image. We also recommend shooting in Aperture priority with the aperture set at f8 or above to ensure a sharp image every time. Always be sure to shoot on auto-bracketing mode. This is where your camera will shoot five separate brackets at two exposure values of difference each time you hit the shutter button. Each of these images can then be blended together during the editing phase to produce a dynamic finished product that highlights every detail in the room. If you'd like to learn more about bracketing, you can take a look at one of our previous blogs here. Step Three: How to Prepare the Property Preparing the property is an essential step in effective real estate photography. While every property is different, there are some easy-to-remember tips and tricks when preparing a property. If you'd like a handy guide to help you remember, you can download our Pre-Photography Checklist. Always remove any unnecessary clutter like shampoo bottles and soaps in the bathrooms, bins in the kitchen, kid's toys and tissue boxes etc. It's also always a good idea to straighten the tapware, cushions, towels, bedspreads and furniture to ensure a neat-and-tidy appeal. By opening all the external doors, you can create a more spacious feel and flow to the shot, and the same goes for the window blinds and curtains. Switch on all the lights to add extra appeal to the space and don't forget about the range hood, kitchen pendant lights and bedside lamps. Step Four: How to Shoot the Property When it comes to real estate photography, the aim is to shoot quickly and efficiently. Remember, this is someone's home and tenants or homeowners aren't going to be too keen for you to spend all day walking around their house. Start at one end of the home, line up the shot, half-press the shutter so it auto-focuses and then press the shutter. Providing you have set up your bracketing settings, the camera will then take five shots automatically. Move through the property, making sure to capture all the key rooms, including the kitchen, bedrooms, living spaces and bathrooms. If the bathroom is tight, you may need to shoot slightly wider to capture the layout of the room. When it comes to the exteriors, try to include some foliage in your shoot wherever possible. This will give you a bit more pop in the final image. Step Five: How to Get Your Images Edited We offer editing via our Image Enhancement HDR bracketed function for as little as $1.60 per image. To get started, all you have to do is sign up at BoxBrownie.com and log in to your dashboard. Select Image Enhancement and then the HDR Bracketed Images option. Click to start a new job and then simply enter your new Job Title, your number of total outputs and then upload your images from the property shoot. That's it. It really is as simple as that. Within 24 hours, you will receive your professionally edited images, ready for marketing your listing. Conclusion Shooting a property may seem like a daunting task, especially if you're new to real estate photography—but it doesn't have to be that way. With these simple steps, some correct bracketing, and the help of our professional editors, you too can produce outstanding images that will take your property marketing to the next level. BoxBrownie.com is currently offering a free virtual staging edit (valued at $32) to every RE Technology member (new accounts only). This offer expires on September 18. Click here to claim your free virtual staging edit. To view the original article, visit the BoxBrownie.com blog.
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Real Estate Video Marketing 101
Real estate photography is something we've talked about often. From drones to VR, tech adds greater options. This week, we're going to simplify it down and cover traditional real estate property video marketing. Get the Right Video Equipment If you want to shoot video content on your own, you're going to need dedicated hardware. You don't want to use your phone to do a walkthrough. Even the best phones can't do video well and you're going to end up with something shaky with poor composition—which will scare off potential buyer leads and harm your brand!
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Real Estate Property Photos: Property Photography 101
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5 Keys to Choosing the Right Camera Equipment for Real Estate
As a real estate professional, you are a prodigious content producer responsible for a seemingly endless stream of pictures and videos. Though the cost of maintaining this production is significant, it is perceived as a necessary evil since the prospect of producing your own videos can be overwhelming. However, video production is not as daunting as it once was, especially considering the technology available today. DSLRs have ushered in a content revolution in which 'professional' quality images are attainable even for the untrained. And post-production programs are more user friendly and affordable than ever. There is also an over-abundance of graphics, plugins, and templates on the web that are a veritable bounty to the amateur video producer. And here's something more. You have already, unbeknownst to you, developed many of the skills that are fundamental to video production. This is because the fundamentals for video production are a) to know the basics, b) to pay attention to the details, and c) to own a few important tools. The same can be said for real estate: where would you be without your knowledge of the industry? Your attention to detail? Your phone, tablet or computer? In this way, the professional standards you have already established in your real estate career serve as a perfect foundation for video production. So let's get started. The first step to producing your own videos is getting your own equipment. As I stated here, you're better off in the long run to pay this initial cost than to continue paying overpriced production companies or underpriced, unreliable ones. Buying this equipment will cost you cash today, but will pay off tomorrow with every piece of content that you successfully produce by yourself, on your own schedule, for free.
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Best Real Estate Camera?
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A Guide to Mobile Photography for Real Estate
With the quality of mobile phone cameras on the rise, real estate agents may be wondering if they can or should use them in their real estate business. After all, "the best camera is the one that's with you," and cell phones offer the ultimate in on-the-go convenience. The Do's and Don'ts of Mobile Photos There's no doubt that smartphones are great for social media or for sending casual snapshots to clients, but are they appropriate for things like listing photos? That depends. As the first thing potential leads see when considering a property, it's imperative that the quality of your listing photos is top notch. While experienced photographers who understand proper lighting may be able to capture great images from a high-end mobile camera (see this example), the lower resolution of even the best phones makes mobile photos a poor choice for use in listings. Likewise, most phones are unable to take photos with a resolution that's high enough for print materials like postcards or flyers. Stick with your regular camera for important things like listings or marketing collateral--or, better yet, hire a professional. (If you have something like a Samsung Galaxy II or the new iPhone 5, you may get away with it.)
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5 Easy Ways to Integrate Video into Your Marketing Efforts
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How To Take Listing Photos in Wintertime
Wintertime photography can be an intimidating endeavor to say the least. As winter life is really more about getting cozy with a hot chocolate, some popped corn, and a movie or three, it’s hard to get motivated to go out into the icy cold and shoot photos – especially photos of houses. Can you imagine? Standing outside shivering, trying to take pictures, while people drive by laughing at you from their warm cars… terrible.
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How to Select a Good Point and Shoot Camera
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