A statistic that those of us in the real estate industry know very well is that 86% of all home buyers begin their home shopping adventure searching for homes on the internet.  Buyers often visit dozens of real estate websites viewing detailed information on listings including taking virtual tours and viewing real estate slideshows.  Websites, virtual tours and slide shows all have one thing in common and that is that buyers are looking at digital photos of these homes.  Wouldn't you think that it would be logical for a real estate professional to invest in the technology that produces the best quality photos considering that 4 out of 5 buyers will be making their decision of which homes they want to take an interior tour of based on what photos they see online? 

The biggest mistake I see agents make is that they are trying to photograph their listings with a small pocket digital camera.  The challege with these types of cameras is that they are truly not designed for taking interior photos of homes especially in lower light settings.  The biggest issue with these types of camera is that most are limited to a 25 mm to 35 mm camera lens.  This makes for some very awkward photos when you are trying to get some really good shots of a moderate to smaller sized room such as a bathroom, breakfast nook, media room, enclosed porch, breezeway, kitchen pantry or pretty much any other smaller room.   The type of camera, the camera sensor, the lens and the flash all contribute to the quality of interior photos of our homes.

The following four photos were taken using a very high quality Canon DSLR 40D camera.  I wanted to demonstrate the difference between a more standard 35 mm lens shot compared to a 24 mm, 17 mm and even the ultra wide 10 mm lens shots.  The reason is that to the average consumer a digital photo is a digital photo UNTIL they actually see how much more of the room we are able to feature using the wider angle lens that is simply not available on the small pocket sized digital cameras.  

Sam Miller 35 mm digital camera comparison35 mm Setting.  The above photo was taken using the 35 mm lens setting.  As you can see it only captures a small portion of this kitchen.  What is amazing is this kitchen is a huge room but because of the narrow focus of the 35 mm lens you only see a fraction of this home.  This is obviously NOT how to highlight your listing.

Sam Miller 24 mm Photo Comparison

24 mm Setting.  The above photo was taken from the exact same angle and the major difference is that with the 24 mm lens you can start to see more of the actual kitchen area.  This photo is a major improvement over the 35 mm because it makes the kitchen appear a little larger.  the problem is that 24 mm is a wider angle view than most poctet digital camera allow.  It would be extremely rare that most pocket digital cameras produce a photo that is this wide angle. 

Sam Miller 17 mm Photo Comparison

17 mm Setting.  The above photo view obviously shows a much larger kitchen view and you can now appreciate the amount of counter space and the actual size and feeling of the kitchen.  A 17 mm lens is not an available option on a popular pocket digital camera such as the Kodak, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus or the HP models.  This is where the Canon DSLR cameras really shine because they can take advantage of the availability of specialized lenses such as the 10-22 which is ideal for shooting the interiors of homes.  Yes, they are certainly more expensive but the results are well worth the investment and your clients will love you for it. 

Sam Miller 10 mm Photo Comparison

10mm Setting.  This is the widest angle setting I have on my Canon DLSR which is 10mm.  The room looks absolutely huge and you can really notice how much work area and you can see there there is plenty of room to walk around the center island.  Notice this is the only photo where you can see that this kitchen actually has a vaulted ceiling.  The 10 mm view highlights more than  3 times the shear space and volume as the more standard 35mm lens.

When you are interviewing a real estate professional to market your home it is a great idea to view and compare the quality of their photos and their website and virtual tour marketing.  With more than 80% of all home buyers making their home buying decision based on what they see online remember that a picture is worth a 1,000 words so consider what will your agents photos say about your home. 

Sam Miller

*All photo examples were used as they came out of the camera and no retouching or photo enhancements were utilized.