Which is Better? A Smart Phone or Professional Camera to Take Pic

10 Replies

I invested in a semi-professional camera with an ultra-wide angle lens and I don't regret it.

It cost me around $1,000 and I already got that money back by attracting more tenants quicker. I'd probably pay for a professional photographer anyways if I'm selling, but for renting, I think it's perfect. Plus, it's great to take nice travel photos as well.

I still prefer the smart phone & have always used the pics from it for marketing etc. So the added expense of a high end camera is not real worth it for us.

The phone is compact, always fully charged, always with me & it does take excellent hi res pics that I can enlarge on it & has great video. I can crop pics for closer details immediately & I can also quickly send the pics via email, text etc to various people involved. Great for use at the pro desk to show the sku etc for better pricing or price matching. Walking through a big box store taking pics of prices etc with a camera is frowned upon. 

During a rehab etc my wife will use the old Sony Camera we have to take work in progress pics. But then I have to pick through 4200 grandchild pics on the SD to extract a couple of our recent rehab!!!

Obviously you will never get professional quality pics out of a smart phone but I find it fine for renting in B and lower areas as long as you make sure you have good lighting and angles. For selling or for anything that rents for over $3000 a month go ahead and cough up the one time fee for a professional. it will cost you $250-$500 but you will have pics that show your unit in the absolute best way.

I think it boils down to the PHOTOGRAPHER, not the camera.  I almost think if you are renting to a younger audience, anyone who uses Facebook/Instagram, using your phone might be an advantage.  They might feel more connected with your property listing if you can make them feel like they were pictures they could see themselves taking (and then posting to Facebook or Instagram).

Even with the professional camera, I think an external flash goes a long way in making the space seem brighter and clearer.

I sometimes use a smartphone for tight spaces which are harder to capture with the lenses I have on my professional camera.

I use my phone, which works out fine in my price range, $700 range. I don't know how to use a professional camera anyway, so if I wasn't using my phone I would be using a simple digital camera anyway. If this was the old days of film, I would probably have a professional take pictures that I could keep reusing, but with digital amateurs can take a billion pictures to get a couple of good ones.

Even with a professional camera, the image doesn't always come 'picture perfect' straight from the lens. Real estate photography can be pretty tricky. The natural lighting from windows and the areas that are not well lit, pose issues. I always had some amount of photo editing to do when I did it. I used a canon 5D with full-frame and wide angle lens to capture the really big open rooms and it was awesome - no doubt about that. But I can't see using one now for my rentals. Too time consuming do to all the set-up and editing. 

Even with just using my iphone, I still do some editing. But rarely do I bring my photos into photoshop anymore because the iphone has some very basic editing tools built-in that will clean up most photos you take. It is just so much easier and less time consuming for me.

Keeping in mind my rentals only go for $600. If they were in a higher bracket I would spend a bit more time with it though.