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  • Writer's pictureAnn Gilbert

Mastering Focus Settings for Stunning Real Estate Photography

Capturing stunning real estate photographs is a crucial aspect of marketing properties. It's essential to make the space inviting and showcase the best features to potential buyers. To achieve this, it's important to have a clear understanding of focus settings for your camera. In this article, we'll explore the best focus settings to make your real estate photography stand out from the competition.

Manual Focus for Ultimate Precision

Manual focus is ideal for real estate photography because it allows you to have complete control over the focus point in each scene. This is particularly useful when shooting in low-light conditions or when trying to highlight specific details in a room. To use manual focus effectively, follow these tips:

  • Use a tripod to ensure stability and prevent camera shake.

  • Zoom in on the camera's live view to accurately focus on your subject.

  • Consider using focus peaking or focus magnification features available on some cameras to assist in obtaining precise focus.

  • Autofocus Single (AF-S) for Still Subjects

  • Autofocus Single (AF-S) is suitable for real estate photography when your subject is stationary, and you need to focus on one specific area. With AF-S, the camera focuses once, and you can recompose the shot without losing focus. This setting is beneficial when shooting interiors or exteriors, as you can focus on key elements like furniture or architectural details.

Autofocus Continuous (AF-C) for Moving Subjects

Although most real estate photography deals with still subjects, there might be instances where you need to capture moving subjects such as people walking through the property or a flag waving in the wind. Autofocus Continuous (AF-C) enables the camera to track moving subjects, maintaining focus as they move through the frame.

Depth of Field for Captivating Images

Depth of field (DOF) plays a significant role in real estate photography. A deep depth of field, where most of the scene is in focus, is desirable to showcase the entire room or property. To achieve this, use a smaller aperture (larger f-number) such as f/8 or f/11. This will ensure that both the foreground and background are sharp and well-defined.

Hyperfocal Distance for Maximum Sharpness

Hyperfocal distance is a technique that allows you to maximize the depth of field in your images. By focusing at the hyperfocal distance, you ensure that everything from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity is acceptably sharp. This is particularly useful for wide-angle shots of exteriors or large interior spaces. To calculate the hyperfocal distance, you can use online calculators or smartphone apps.


In conclusion, understanding and mastering focus settings is essential for exceptional real estate photography. By utilizing manual focus, autofocus modes, and working with depth of field and hyperfocal distance, you can capture sharp, captivating images that showcase properties in the best light possible. With practice and patience, you'll be able to create stunning real estate photographs that will attract potential buyers and help you stand out in the market.

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