Equipment for HDR Real Estate Photography

HDR photography replaces the need for lighting equipment when you need to photograph real estate interiors with window views.

With HDR, you take several exposures -- short exposures for the highlights (windows), and long exposures for the shadows (interior).

You just need a camera (DSLR or compact) and probably a tripod.


The camera can be a DSLR, mirrorless or compact camera.

The most important feature to look at for HDR is AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing). With AEB, the camera takes three or more exposures when you press the shutter button.

Most DSLRs include an AEB option, and some compact cameras do also. However the AEB capabilities differ depending on the camera.

For interiors with bright windows, it is best if the AEB settings allow at least 5 shots spaced by 2 EV, or at least 9 shots spaced by 1 EV.

You can check and compare the AEB capabilities of many camera models on the AEB Settings List.

To summarize:

  • Any DSLR or compact camera works for HDR
  • It is better if the camera offers AEB
  • Ideally, the AEB settings should allow 5 or more shots in 2 EV steps (or 9 or more shots in 1 EV steps)


You will need a tripod if:

  • Your camera doesn't offer an AEB option


  • The camera's AEB capabilities are insufficient to take all exposures in one bracketed set


  • The room you are photographing is relatively dark

It is always best to use a tripod if possible. You will likely need to take long exposures for dark areas of the room, and these images will be blurry if you take them hand-held.

NEXT: HDR Tutorial