Many professional photographers would still cough at the idea that a phone camera could take professional photos.

But the tides are turning a bit, and even more and more photographers switch to phone cameras, at least as a backup.

As a real estate professional, you might ask yourself what the best phone camera for real estate photography to convert more clients into sales might be.

Based on statistics, the key is to take photographs of DSLR-like quality.

All the presented phones in this article can do that, which leaves us with the most affordable one as the best, which is the Samsung Galaxy A80.

If you want to know more about the statistics, conversion rates, quality photos in real estate, and which other cameras are providing over-the-top photography experiences, please keep on reading.


Starting with the End in Mind – Why Photos Are Important for Real Estate Conversion Rates

Let’s start with the end in mind before we go into finding the best phone camera for real estate photography that converts potential clients better.

  • When you use quality photographs, homes can sell 32% faster (source).
  • If you include high-quality photographs for houses in the price range of $200,000 to $1 million, you can expect to sell for $3,000 to $11,000 more, provided you used a DSLR camera (source).
  • Also, when you use more photos, you will be able to sell faster. Just one photo will take your listing 70 days to sell, and 20 photos will reduce this time on the market to an average of 32 days (source).

Based on the above statistics, there is no doubt that a large number of high-quality photos taken professionally with a DSLR camera will lead to fewer days on the market and higher selling prices for a particular property.

Fewer days on the market and higher selling prices indicate that properties with these types of quality photos also have higher conversion rates through the bench.

It includes traffic to lead conversion rates and ends with showing to-sales conversion rates.


What Quality Real Estate Photos Mean

Now, you just need the right camera and are ready to go, right?

Not so fast. Even with the best camera, you can still mess things up.

It’s also about how you take pictures.

Why would this be important to find the best phone camera for real estate photography?

We also need to know what criteria the camera will need to meet to help us in the way we have to photograph.

So, what needs to be done to get quality real estate photos?

I will give you a short list of ten ways to make quality real estate photos.

This will always help you to avoid making common amateur errors.

You can always hire a professional photographer if you think you are up to the task.

But since you are looking for the best phone camera, I assume you will first want to try to get the best out of your future phone before you do that.

So here is the shortlist:

  • Aim for 100% vertical lines in the photos you take.
  • Aim also for a 100% horizontal line.
  • Try to get an even white balance. This means that the real estate photos you take should approach the best as possible what you see in real life (so not too warm or not too cool colors in the picture).
  • Avoid taking photos of areas that have extreme brightness or shadows. The photo should be evenly lit.
  • You want to remove color fringing (which happens in high-contrast areas, e.g., close to the edges of bright windows). Some cameras have this removed automatically.
  • Avoid lens distortion and vignetting, which makes the wall curve, and vertical lines bent. Some cameras also remove this automatically.
  • Make use of a wide-angle field of view. This is usually possible with a wide-angle lens.
  • Select the best camera angles. You can’t go wrong if you try to take your shot from corner to corner.
  • Don’t forget to also think about what you shoot, not only how and that different photos tell a story.
  • Aim for photos that are in focus, so they don’t come out as blurry.

Three Criteria a Phone Camera Needs to Meet to Shoot Quality Real Estate Photos

With the above facts, we can use several clues to determine the criteria that a phone camera will need.

We then can find suitable phone cameras that fulfill these criteria.

So let’s summarize the criteria:

  • It should be a DSLR camera, but since it will be a phone camera, it should be able to shoot DSLR-like photos.
  • It should have automatic color fringing removal.
  • Also, automatic lens distortion and vignetting removal should be supported.

The most important must-have will be the DSLR-like photo quality.

Why are the other two not as important?

Because even if the phone doesn’t have this feature, the removal can still be done with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Here you can learn how to remove color fringing and here lens distortion and vignetting in Photoshop.


Phone Cameras That Meet the Conversion Relevant Criteria of DSLR-Like Photo Quality

So, which phone cameras or, let’s say, which phones have a camera that can provide you with DSLR-like photo quality?

You may doubt that there are such phones out there.

But even some professionals have started switching to smartphone cameras since the quality has increased significantly in the last years.

Without further ado, here is the list of phones that met this most crucial criterion.

For the description of the phones, I mainly focused on the camera specs and less on the phone’s other features.

For each, I left you a link to learn more about them should you need further specs.

1) Apple iPhone 12

The Apple iPhone 12 features a dual-pixel PDAF (autofocus) and zoom, two back-cameras, a 12 MP telephoto camera with ultra-wide, a 12 MP wide-angle camera, and a ToF Camera (3D).

The purchase price on Amazon is $699, and you can learn more about it here.

2) Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max features an ultra-wide (five-element lens), a wide (seven-element lens), and a telephoto camera (six-element lens) with automatic image stabilization.

Additionally, it has a 2.5x optical zoom, 2x optical zoom out, and a 5x optical zoom range. The digital zoom is up to 12x.

For spaces with poor lighting or dark places, you can use the night mode enabled by a LiDar Scanner. This feature is available for ultra-wide and wide lenses.

Also, automatic lens correction is enabled for the ultra-wide lens.

Optical image stabilization is also available for wide and telephoto lenses.

The “Max Wide” lens features sensor-shift optical image stabilization.

The purchase price on Amazon is $1099, and you can buy it here.


3) OnePlus 8 Pro

The unique features of the OnePlus 8 Pro are its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, fast performance, and long battery life.

It also has a 120 Hz Fluid display.

The main triple camera provides 48MP, 8MP, 48MP, and 5MP. The selfie camera has 16MP.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $799.
You can check it out here.


4) Huawei P40 Pro

As the main phone camera, the Huawei P40 Pro features three Leica cameras of 50MP, 12MP, and 40MP.

It also provides a 5x zoom and a single 32MP selfie camera.

The display is 6.58-inch.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $794.99.

You can check it out here.


5) Huawei Mate 40 Pro

This is the Huawei model with a higher price tag than the prior one.
The main problem with Huawei right now is that their use will be limited in the U.S. due to the existing trade ban.

Nevertheless, the camera is great, and you can make regular and ultra-wide angle shots, no matter if the space is poorly or well-lit. It also features a 5x optical zoom, and it focuses fast.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $1089.99.

You can check it out here.

6) TCL 10 Pro

This one includes 6GB RAM and a 10x zoom. It also features four rear cameras with 64MP, 16MP, 5MP, and 2MP.

The selfie camera supports XXMP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol).

The storage is 24GB and features a 6.47″ FHD + curved AMOLED display.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $449.99.

You can check it out here.

7) Samsung Galaxy A80

The Samsung Galaxy A80 is the one you get the most bang for your buck.

It features a triple rotating camera, including one 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 48MP primary camera, and a 3D Depth camera.

It also has 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.

The display is 6.7″ FDH and Super AMOLED with 2400 x 1080 pixels.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $378.

You can check it out here.


8) Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

This Samsung Galaxy features three front-rear cameras and one selfie camera lens.

On the front, you will find a 12MP ultra-wide, a 108MP wide-angle, a 12MP telephoto, and a laser AF sensor. The selfie camera has 10MP.

Furthermore, it features a 5x Hybrid Optical Zoom, and you can add in 30x to 50x “Super Resolution Zoom” with the help of an AI algorithm.

If you have to photograph in sub-optimal lighting conditions, you can switch to the “Night mode” to optimize the taken picture automatically.

Ideal for photographing rooms of a house is the 12MP Ultra Wide Camera.

Currently, the purchase price on Amazon is $1,186.12, and you can learn more about it here.


9) Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The last Galaxy phone to mention that can shoot photographs with DSLR quality is the S 21 Ultra.

Samsung claims that it has the highest resolution camera in a smartphone. The main camera has 108MP, and it works with a Sony image sensor.

Furthermore, it features a Dual Tele Zoom system which makes it zoom smoother and faster.

The “Zoom Lock” helps to shoot more stably.

It also has 3x and 10x telephoto optical lenses, a double folded lens, and an AI-enhanced Super Resolution.

For photography with bad lightning, the “Bright Night sensor” helps to capture colors in the dark.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $1,199, and you can learn more about it here.


10) Oppo Reno 5 Pro

The Opp Reno 5 Pro has three back-rear cameras with 64MP, 8MP, and 2MP.

The selfie camera has 2MP.

You can take pictures with up to 108 megapixels. Overall, the phone uses AI heavily in picture and video creation.

It features AI Scene Enhancement that recognizes the scene you photograph and then optimizes its color.

The Oppo Reno 5 Pro also performs well for photos taken at night by flaring background lights and auto-refining brightness and focus.

It has a 4350mAh battery that can be charged to 100% within 30 minutes.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $641.16

You can check it out here.


11) Oppo Find X2 Pro

This one is another Oppo device with a higher price tag than the prior one.

The three front-rear lenses consist of one 48MP wide-angle lens, a 48MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 13MP periscope telephoto lens.

They are all enhanced with a dual OIS and a 12-bit True Capture.

These are the specs for the 48MP Wide-Angle Camera:

  • Sony IMX689 sensor
  • 1/1.4″ sensor size
  • f/1.7 aperture
  • 12-bit True Capture
  • Optical image stabilization

The specs for the 48MP Ultra Wide-Angle Camera:

  • Sony IMX586 sensor
  • f/2.2 aperture
  • 120° field of view
  • 4.3x more scene
  • Ultra Macro mode

The specs for the 13MP Periscope Telephoto Camera:

  • f/3.0 aperture
  • second-generation 10x hybrid zoom
  • optical image stabilization
  • up to 60x digital zoom

If you need to photograph during nighttime or in darker places, the Sony IMX689 48MP wide-angle camera comes into play with the 1/1.4″ ultra-large sensors and the multi-frame noise reduction technology.

The night mode algorithms are applied to all three lenses. The “All-Pixel Omnidirectional PDAF” helps to focus the camera fast regardless of the lighting type.

Depending on the lighting situation, the wide-angle also can automatically switch between high ISO and low ISO.

Right now, the purchase price on Amazon is $906, and you can learn more about the device here.

PhoneDSLR Like QualityPrice
Samsung Galaxy A80 yes$378
TCL 10 Pro yes$449
Oppo Reno 5 Proyes$641
Apple iPhone 12yes$699
Huawei P40 Proyes$794
OnePlus 8 Proyes$799
Huawei Mate 40 Proyes$1,089
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Maxyes$1,099
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5Gyes$1,186
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultrayes$1,199


Concluding – What’s The Best Phone Camera for Real Estate Photography?

In terms of converting potential clients to sales, we know from the initial statistical information of this article that photos should have at least DSLR-like quality.

Since all of the presented phones can do that, what is left to determine the best one is the price point.

And judging only by price, the best one from my selection is the Samsung Galaxy A80.

If you want a “cherry on top”, even more camera features, and over-the-top photography experiences, ignoring the higher price, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro would be another winner in terms of quality.

But since there are some problems with Huawei devices in the U.S. the next best winner would be the Apple iPhone 12 Max Pro.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher