Professional photography is essential to attract potential buyers and create attractive, eye-catching content. When it comes to real estate photography for agents, there are a lot of factors to consider including your chosen Austin real estate photographer or the cost of your setup if you're considering taking photos by yourself. 

We’ll look at all these things in this blog so you can capture high-quality photos to impress your clients and boost your listings.

Costs to Expect When Investing in a Real Estate Photography Setup

Camera Setup

It’s essential to be prepared as you embark on your journey to real estate photography. Be prepared for the costs that come with this type of setup if you’re planning to take photographs for property listings. Investing in state-of-the-art equipment can help elevate your work and make your real estate photos stand out.

Expect to shell out some cash for a high-quality camera, wide-angle lens, lighting, and photo editing tools. These are crucial for capturing stunning interior and exterior shots of your listings. It’s also ideal to purchase a tripod for the stabilization of the devices you’ll be using.

Here are some numbers of the average cost for a real estate photography setup:

  • DSLR/Mirrorless Camera: $800 to $3,000+
  • Drone Camera: $600 to $3,000 and above
  • Camera Lens: $100 to $2,000+ for wide-angle lenses
  • Lighting: $80 to $350
  • Tripod: $50 to $160
  • Photo Editing Software: $9.99–$19.99 per month (Adobe Photoshop), $9.99/mo (Lightroom) 

Investing in high-quality photography is one of the most important steps you can take to optimize your listings and stand out among your competitors.

Real Estate Photography Gear

To achieve professional results it's key to have quality gear when shooting, here are some of the best devices that are highly rated and recommended based on their reviews.


Canon EOS Rebel SL3

Canon EOS Rebel SL3
Image from Canon's Official Website

The Canon Rebel SL3 is user-friendly, with straightforward menus and intuitive controls, making it a great option for beginners in real estate photography. It has a Canon EF lens mount, which means that there are plenty of compatible lenses available for different shooting situations. The Canon Rebel SL3 is a highly capable camera that ticks all the boxes for real estate photography, delivering great image quality and usability at a reasonable price.


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Nikon D850

Nikon D850
Image from Nikon's Official Website

The Nikon D850 camera features a backside illuminated full-frame image sensor with 45.7 megapixels, exceptional dynamic range, and no risk of moiré. It offers up to 9 fps continuous shooting, 8k/4k time-lapse movies, a tilting touchscreen, and outstanding battery performance. With 4K Ultra HD video recording and slow-motion capabilities of up to 120 FPS, it's a versatile tool for professional photography and videography.

Nikon Z 7II Mirrorless

Image from Nikon's Official Website

The Nikon Z 7II is an excellent choice for real estate photography with its 45.7MP full-frame sensor, powerful AF performance, and NIKKOR Z lenses. The camera offers improved AF functionality and faster continuous shooting, making it easier to capture high-resolution images with speed and precision.

Sony Alpha 7 IV Mirrorless

Image from Sony's Official Website

The Sony Alpha 7 IV is a top-of-the-line camera for real estate photography with its 33MP full-frame and 8x more powerful image processing engine. With up to 4K 60p pixel readout in all recording formats and 7K oversampling full-frame, it delivers exceptional image quality. Whether capturing photos or videos, the Sony Alpha 7 IV is a reliable and powerful tool for real estate photography.

Matterport Pro2 3D Camera

matterport pro2 3d camera

In today's real estate industry, 3D tours have become increasingly popular, especially for out of state or country home buyers. Matterport, a popular provider for 3D tours, offers the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, which boasts a professional photo resolution of 134 megapixels, infrared 3D sensor, and up to 8 hours of scanning with one charge. 

The camera also allows for combining collections of 3D images into immersive virtual tours, making it ideal for residential and commercial properties and real estate.


DJI Mini 3 Pro


Image from DJI Store

If you’re considering taking aerial footage or photography of your property listings, it’s essential to have camera drones. Popular drone maker DJI offers the DJI Mini 3 Pro. A great option for those who want to capture aerial footage with ease. Its foldable and compact design makes it perfect for traveling. Users can enjoy almost an hour of flight time to capture breathtaking footage.

Bwine F7GB2 Drones with Camera

Bwine F7GB2 Drone

Image from Amazon

The Bwine F7GB2 drone is an excellent choice for capturing high-quality aerial images and videos. Its 4K camera is adjustable up to 90°, providing sharp and detailed footage from various angles. Additionally, the 3-axis mechanical gimbal ensures stable and smooth video even in windy conditions, eliminating the risk of shaky footage.

DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic 2 Drone Camera

Image from DJI's Official Website

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a powerful and portable camera drone that takes your aerial photography to the next level. With intelligent shooting modes and a powerful camera, you can capture stunning images and videos with ease. Enjoy a long flight time of up to 34 minutes and obstacle sensing in three directions, making it perfect for beginners and improving safety of your drone. 

EXO X7 Ranger Plus

EXO X7 Ranger PLUS

Image from EXO Drone's Official Website

The EXO X7 is a powerful and playful drone that delivers an exciting flying experience. It boasts a top speed of 26MPH, brushless motors, 3-speed levels, and level 5 wind resistance, providing maximum agility and control. The drone also features a crisp camera that captures stunning 4K photos and 2K videos and a full 110-camera-degree tilt to birdseye.


Canon EF-S 10–18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

CANON EF-S 10–18 MM F/4.5-5.6 IS STM LENS

Image from Canon's Official Website

The Canon EF-S 10-18mm STM lens is a great option for beginners in real estate photography. It is compatible with all Canon EOS cameras, features optical image stabilization and autofocus, and has a 22mm minimum focus distance for detailed shots. Although the zoom range is not as wide as Canon's 10-20mm lens, it is still an affordable and reliable option for capturing stunning wide-angle shots.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 12-24 mm f/4G IF-ED


Image from Nikon USA

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 12-24mm lens is a versatile and high-quality option for real estate photography. It features 2 Extra Low Dispersion (ED) glass elements and 3 aspherical lens elements for superior optics and image quality. The D type design provides precise distant information for flash and ambient light exposure, while the rounded diaphragm makes out-of-focus elements appear natural. 

Sony FE 12-24 mm f4 G

Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G

Image from Sony Electronics

The Sony FE 12-24mm F4 G Lens is a high-performance ultra-wide-angle zoom lens designed for corner-to-corner high resolution. It features premium optics with glass elements that reduce chromatic and spherical aberrations, resulting in sharp and clear images.

The lens also has a maximum magnification ratio of 0.14x, allowing you to get up close to your subject while maintaining a wide perspective. The lens is equipped with a Direct Drive Supersonic Wave motor for fast, quiet, and precise autofocus, making it perfect for capturing dynamic landscapes and architectural photography.

Rokinon 24 mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift

Rokinon 24mm F3.5 Full Frame Tilt Shift

Image from Rokinon's Official Website

The Rokinon 24 mm f/3.5 Tilt-Shift lens is a versatile and unique option for real estate photographers looking to experiment with perspective and control their depth of field. With a maximum aperture of f/3.5 and a 24mm focal length, this lens offers an 83.5-degree angle of view on full-frame cameras. The lens also offers a 90° right and left mount rotation with click stops for each 30° step and manual focus. 

How Much Does Drone Photography Cost for Real Estate?

Drone photography has quickly become a game changer for real estate professionals, providing those breathtaking bird's-eye views and showcasing properties like never before. The price tags can vary drastically depending on factors like location, project size, image quality, and even the experience of the drone pilot. 

On average, real estate drone photography services range from $150 to $500, and can even reach the $1000 mark for larger properties or more specialized services. 

How Much is Professional Photography Real Estate?

Staged Kitchen for a Property Listing

According to the website RubyHome, a professional real estate photography session can cost between $110 - $300 per session that will include 25 - 35 pictures. However, keep in mind that there are some factors that can affect the cost of professional photography for real estate including the driving distance, post-production, and the square footage of the property.

Can Agents Use Old Listing Photos Instead?

In a RealtyHack episode we had with Will Durham and Tyler Jackson, Don't Get SUED over Realty Photos! Here's What You Need to Know, reusing old listing photos is one of the common myths and misconceptions in real estate. You may have permission from your broker or the previous agent, but the permission you need should come from the owner who is the photographer.

If you are looking for an Austin real estate photographer, the ABoR MLS Verified Photography Partner Program offered by the Austin Board of Realtors is a valuable tool for photographers. This program consists of a team of local photographers who have made an agreement with the MLS, creating a two-party agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to streamline the process for agents and brokers regarding photo ownership and licensing rights.

Professional Photography in Real Estate

House with a green painted exteriod

Professional real estate photos can instantly bring a listing to life and supply prospective buyers with a clear sense of the home, making it appealing and memorable. Whether you choose to do the photography yourself or invest in a professional setup, it’s important to know the cost upfront. 

There are many cameras, lenses, and drones on the market, so finding the right option for you means understanding their benefits and drawbacks. We hope that this blog has given you some insights as you venture into the new world of real estate photography.

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Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on
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