Professional Real Estate Photography vs. Smartphone Photography: What's the difference?

In my Smartphone Photography Talk, I have an illustration where I basically show the limits of a smartphone for commercial photography. For example, look at the photo below:


This is a photo I took with my professional gear (a Nikon D850 with a 16-35mm f4 Nikkor lens on a carbon fiber Manfrotto Tripod). Notice the vibrant colors, the warm and cool light, defined details, and the warmth of it all.

Here’s the same photo (at the same time of day) that I took with my iPhone X with a Moment 18mm Wide Angle lens attached:

Obviously, you can tell the difference. It just doesn’t have the warmth of the first photo or the dynamic color and light range. Clearly, my iPhone X has limits compared to my 45 Megapixel Nikon behemoth.

This image on its own, however, would not be a bad photo to show off a house, however. Compared to the above photo, it’s weaker, but by itself, I’d say it works pretty well at doing what it’s supposed to do. The room still looks pleasant and comfortable, this image just doesn’t have quite the hi-res power of the first. Not only that, but the iPhone photo has an 18mm lens attached rather than the 16mm lens that the DSLR has, so you don’t get to see quite as much of the room.

But that’s okay.

After taking the second photo on my iPhone, I had a realtor use the same app I was using (HDR Pro X) and the same lens accessory, but on his iPhone 7. He was able to fully re-create the exact image I shot, just by doing a few small tweaks.

The luxury of a smartphone is that if you understand what makes a good image, you don’t have to stress over the technical stuff. It does a lot of the work for you, as long as you know what software and accessories to use. But of course, that’s all changing, and the technical stuff is getting even easier.

Want to learn more about how to become a better Smartphone Photographer for your listings? Fill out this contact form and let me know if you’re interested in attending my next Smartphone Photography Workshop for Realtors!