Ever since I started my YouTube channel and began creating video marketing content, the question I get asked the most is how to shoot real estate video.
In this post, I'll share all the current equipment I use for filming and explain why I've chosen it. I'll continue to constantly update this list over time with my latest setup and recommendations.
What We'll Cover
- How to Shoot Real Estate Video
How to Shoot Real Estate Video
When you're learning how to shoot real estate video, there are three main types of videos you can shoot:
Most real estate agents are familiar with listing videos as a means to showcase a home's interior and exterior for prospective buyers. Impress your clients and get professional quality footage with the right camera equipment. Below is an example of a listing video I've filmed using my equipment.
If you want to get more personal with your audience, vlogs are the perfect way to achieve a more intimate connection. Use vlogging as a form of content marketing to attract more organic traffic to your YouTube channel, create a closer relationship with your clients, and give them a glimpse into your daily life. You should make sure your vlogs have just as good video and audio quality as your other videos. Below is an example of a vlog I've filmed.
Talking Head Videos
Talking head videos are the perfect way to deliver information, whether your audience is buyers and sellers or other Realtors. Your audience comes to your video as a resource to learn something new or to answer a question they have. In talking head videos, you are sitting or standing directly in front of the camera, and the video is typically focused on your face as you speak. Below is an example of a talking head style video from my YouTube channel.
If you're wondering how to shoot real estate video, your laptop will be the workhorse of the entire process. Especially if you will be editing 4k video, or even 1080p, you're going to want a computer with a lot of power. And if you're always on the go, you'll want to be able to find something portable that you can take with you. This computer has a 16" MBP and an i9 processor that handles everything I throw at it with ease.
If you are shooting video, especially in 4K, you're going to need a large external drive. I don't store any video on my actual laptop hard drive. Instead, I keep everything either on this drive or backed up in the cloud.
The Apple Magic Trackpad 2 is an external trackpad for your MacBook. Since my laptop sits on a stand and connects to an external monitor, I need an external trackpad to control my computer. The Apple Wireless Magic Keyboard 2 is also an external trackpad, but with a keyboard.
I use an extra monitor so I can have dual screens. I use my MacBook screen for playback of the video and the LG monitor for the actual editing. An additional monitor will give you a much larger workspace for editing your videos.
If you're wondering how to shoot real estate video, you're probably wondering what camera you should get. The Sony Alpha 7C is the fourth digital camera that I've owned, and it is the perfect balance of features and portability. It's a full-frame, mirrorless camera, 4K quality video, and 120fps footage. Before this camera came out, I used a Sony A7III, which lacks a screen you can flip around for vlogging. The Sony A7C adds in this feature, and it's a bit smaller and cheaper than the A7III. If you're looking for a mid-range camera, the Sony Alpha 7C is a great option.
Be sure to get an extra battery for your camera. There's nothing worse than running out of battery in the middle of a day-long shoot. Sony Z-Series camera batteries are top-notch. One can usually last for a full day, depending on how many videos or images you're taking.
When shooting RAW images and 4k video, having a large memory card is extremely important. There is something called a buffer in your camera, which temporarily stores your videos and images before saving them to the memory card. If you are shooting multiple photos at once or plan to take 4k video, you'll want a UHS-II memory card so that you can fit all your files. This memory card is more expensive but works much faster than the previous UHS-I version.
Out of all the wide-angle lenses I've used for Sony e-mount cameras, this Tamron 17-28mm f2.8 lens has the best overall value when paired with a full-frame Sony camera. The Tamron 17-28mm gives you that perfect wide-angle shot, and the f2.8 aperture creates a blurry background that is perfect for vlogs or shooting home interiors for real estate listing videos. The Tamron 17-28mm lens is available for under $800, a bargain compared to other lenses. It's also compact and lightweight, making it easier to carry along with you on a full day of shooting.
Whether you're looking to shoot B-roll footage, portraits, or you need a bit more zoom than the 17-28mm, switching over to the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens is the perfect choice for you. The Tamron 28-75mm is an excellent second lens to carry around with you. It gives you a fantastic range so that you can quickly get the exact shot you're looking for in your video.
If the subject of your photo or video is further than 20 to 30 feet away from you, then you'll want to use the Tamron 70-180mm lens. The Tamron 70-180 mm is the type of lens that professional photographers use at sporting events. It has impressive zoom! At under $900, this telephoto lens is a steal compared to other comparable options on the market.
If you are learning how to shoot real estate video for any reason, it's essential to realize that audio quality is often more important than video quality. Many people will not watch your video if the audio is muffled and unclear. The Sony ECM-B1M microphone mounts on top of your DSLR and picks up better audio than the camera's internal microphone can. The Sony ECM-B1M connects directly to the Sony A7C camera body with no additional cords needed to charge the microphone or capture the audio. Plus, it captures digital audio, so you'll have more flexibility when editing.
When editing your video, you'll want accurate sound reproduction. To this end, picking a set of reference speakers can be a game-changer.
If you would rather edit with headphones instead of reference speakers, the Status Audio CB-1 is the best bang for your buck.
The Aputure AL-M9 is the best small, external LED light. Use it when you don't have enough light or when you want to create backlighting in your video or image background.
If you plan to shoot any video outside, you will need this filter. If you want to achieve that cinematic look in your outdoor videos, you'll need a neutral density filter on your lenses. All of the Tamron lenses linked above will work with this Tiffen 67mm filter.
Many YouTubers use the Neewer Camera Lighting Kit for talking head videos. This lighting makes even the least photogenic of us look better on camera. If you try it, you'll be amazed!
When you're learning how to shoot real estate video, editing is a crucial step of the process. Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premier are the two best editing programs. Since I use a MacBook, Final Cut Pro X was the logical choice for me. It's easier to learn, and it utilizes your Mac's hardware better than Adobe Premier.
LUTs are a photo editing tool that makes it look like you used an Instagram filter on your entire video. I use Cody Blue's Tahoe LUT, which works with both Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X. It's available for download online, and it makes your footage look cinematic.
To load the Cody Blue Tahoe LUT into your Final Cut Pro X software, you'll need to install a LUT loader. The FCPX LUT loader works excellent and is available for free.
The Switchpod is the DSLR version of a selfie stick. Use it on the go when you're vlogging or as a mini-tripod for a talking head style video. It extends the camera further from your body, which gives the viewer more context in your background. Also, it's easier to hold than holding the camera body itself. Pair it with the rotating ball head for even more flexibility in your shot.
The Lowepro ProTactic Camera Backpack stores just about everything you can imagine. Your DSLR, multiple lenses, JOBY, mics, cables, a drone, and even more. With adjustable compartments, the sky is the limit with this backpack! Plus, it looks tactical and badass.
Avoid tangled cables with this Think Tank Photo Cable Management tool. It stores massive amounts of cables to keep your bag organized.
Use the MindShift Gear Filter Pouch to store all your camera's filters and keep them organized.
The Think Tank Photo Red Whips can be used to bundle your cords together and keep them from getting tangled. You can also use these to strap items onto your backpack.
The Lavalier Microphone is perfect for capturing audio when you're more than five feet away from the camera or for cutting back on external noise in your filming environment.
If you need the absolute smoothest footage possible, you will not be disappointed by the DJI Ronin S Gimbal. It mounts to your DSLR camera and minimizes shakiness and choppiness. It has many other cool features, such as a hyperlapse mode and "infinite roll."
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has been one of the most significant additions to my current equipment list. The Mavic 2 Pro is my third drone, and it's by far the best "prosumer" drone out there for the price. With a 1" camera sensor, the image and video quality from this small drone are remarkable! Compared to the drone's original version, the DJI Mavic 2 has better HDR, hyper-lapse, shoot in lower light, and make use of a more accurate "follow me" mode. I prefer this drone over the Mavic 2 Zoom because of the better video quality. You can also imitate the zoom ability of the Mavic 2 Zoom with the Mavic 2 Pro when you're editing in post-production.
You aren't always going to have your big DSLR camera with you whenever you need to film video or capture an image. When this happens, you need to film with whatever you have on you, which is likely your smartphone. For this very reason, you should look for a smartphone with a good quality camera. I use the iPhone 12 Pro. The camera on this phone is the best on the market. You can shoot incredible 4k and 120fps videos with ease. It may not have the bokeh as a DSLR would, but it will do just fine in a pinch. I use the max version because it has a larger screen, but the regular version works just as well.
Final Thoughts on How to Shoot Real Estate Video
This equipment will help you as you learn how to shoot real estate videos. With these tools, you will be able to create beautiful, professional-quality photos and videos that will impress your friends, family, and clients.