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iPhone: The Pros and Cons for Real Estate Photography


It seems most agents these days are satisfied with having photos taken with an iPhone or any other smartphone to promote listings. I agree that it might be more convenient and cheaper to walk through the house and grab a few photos, but is it the best thing to show off the home? Here are a few things to think about before using your iPhone for photos:

1. Sometimes when shooting interiors, you have to use a flash. The flash on the iPhone provides no benefit for photographing rooms. It is too small and not powerful enough to fill the room with light because it is an on-camera flash and external/off-camera flash units are better at providing enough light (or something to that effect to explain why it’s best). You might be okay taking detail shots but anything other than that is hit or miss.

2. The focal length of the lens is not wide enough. To photograph most interiors and some exteriors you need a wide-angle lens. A work around for this would be to use the panorama tool built-in to the camera app but you would then have to crop down after taking all the photos, which is time consuming for a real estate agent.

3. The dynamic range of the iPhone is less than useless. An example of this would be photographing a room with large windows. When taking a photo with a smartphone or even some point-and-shoots, the inside will be well exposed but all you will see is white coming off of the windows. Using a professional DSLR will be able to capture more dynamic range and not only allow the potential buys see a well exposed interior but see more outside detail. Click here to read my article about HDR photography.

So with these issues, which are hard to get around, when would it be good to use an iPhone? You use it to get your initial listing photos on the MLS listing. This will get the house on the market quickly and that is what every seller wants. After getting the listing on the MLS, that is when it is vital that a real estate photographer is contacted to get the professional photos every listing needs.