Camera Settings and Photography

As a photographer, you have probably experienced a time in your life when you get back to the past and reminisce about how you started a career in photography.

Perhaps, as a veteran in the industry, you already have witnessed how fast technology changes over the years, and the difference it has made in photography.

From using films until the emergence of digital cameras, every photographer's journey is not an easy road. Everyone has a story to tell.

Whether it is the experience in the field or the type of camera you use, real estate photography is a niche that is not for everyone. One has to gain what it takes to become a master of this craft.

Each camera type has its settings to follow. Otherwise, without specific instructions, a camera will not be a viable photography tool.

There are reasons why camera settings matter, aside from the fact that it yields better shots if used properly. At the same time, photographers may choose to experiment with the settings at the first try, but if possible, it will be better to follow its manual and then create your presets.

The presets are features already available in a camera. However, it is possible to create a set out of these presets, which technically becomes the default settings of the said camera.

For example, you can set the presets like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, brightness, and contrast into certain levels and speeds that can be regarded as its fixed settings. It is a good technique to have a set of presets that work best for your shots. In this way, you can establish your style and signature shots. It becomes a part of your personal branding.

Always remember that a good setting is important to capture the best real estate images. Aside from your skills, it is the next key to success in the field of photography.


Now that you've prepped the house, it's time to set up your camera equipment and make sure your camera settings are dialed in. In no particular order, set your file of numbering settings to continuous so that when you dump your photos onto your computer the files are organized sequentially, and therefore easier to transfer to your real estate image editing company.

Set the photo quality to small raw files ideally at about 5 megapixels. On the Canon 5D Mark II for example, this is the S-Raw 2 quality. 5.2 megapixels 2784 by 1856 pixels. Go to live view/movie function settings and then live view function settings and make sure you are in stills only/exposure simulation live view. Camera color space should be Adobe RGB and white balance set to auto. You'll be shooting all photos in manual exposure mode so you can control both shutter speed and lens aperture independent. Your F-stop should be set between 7 and 10. I usually shoot at 8.0 and rarely change this setting.

It's a reasonable middle ground in provides a wide enough depth of field so that most objects or planes in frame are in focus. You also want your lens set to manual focus. Before every exposure set, it is prudent to set a focal point half the depth of the room. Use your live view zoom feature for precision focusing. Lastly, set your ISO as low as possible; usually at 160 or 100 for exterior shots. Refrain from shooting above 320 ISO. In the next section on the basics of HDR we will discuss shutter speed.

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