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3 Best Flashes for Real Estate Photography (2021 Reviews)

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Best Flashes for Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Bees’ editorial team asked a few industry leading real estate photographers to share their expertise on the best flashes for real estate photography to help our readers make a more educated purchase decision when shopping for a flash.

With the help of the experts, we ranked the most popular flash models used for real estate photography from best to worst and described their features, pros and cons. Visiting retailers of the listed products by clicking links within our content may earn us commissions from your purchases but we never receive any compensation for the inclusion of products and/or services in our consumer guides. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about our review and rating process.

— Kimberly Anderson, Senior Creative Editor at Real Estate Bees
Flash Model Reviews
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Experts' Choice Breakdown for Real Estate Photography Flashes

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#1 Godox V860II

GODOX V860II Photo Flash

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Flash Highlights

  • Powered by Lithium Ion Polymer battery
  • Provides improvements through firmware updates
  • Offers after-sales support when purchased from Adorama
  • Speedlight technology

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Daytime photography
  • Headshot photography
  • Twilight photography

 

Pros

  • Great power and recycle time
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Improvements/updates readily available
  • Offers master/slave options
  • Compatibility with other flash units in the range via speedlight technology
  • Part of a comprehensive system that uses the same triggers
  • Good after-sales support

The Godox V860II/Flashpoint Zoom Li-Ion R2 TTL flash brings to the table an impressive collection of features that make it stand out from any flash brands in the market today.

This flash has everything going for it: reasonable price, great power, excellent recycle time, and durability. I also like that it offers master/slave options and continuously provides improvements via firmware updates.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

Below are examples of photos taken with GODOX V860II by David Apeji.

Godox 860Flashpoint Li-ion - David Apeji 2

Another reason that makes this flash a must-have for real estate photographers is its speedlight power technology and the fact that it belongs under a comprehensive range of lights that utilize the same triggers.

It’s impressive that this flash is part of a comprehensive system, all of which use the same triggers. Speedlights can be used to trigger other flash units in the range.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

Cons

  • User interface not as user-friendly
  • Optical sensors not as sensitive for CLS (Creative Lighting System)

While it brings together a bunch of great features in one package, the Godox V860II/Flashpoint Zoom Li-Ion R2 TTL flash may not be as comfortable to use as any flash brands around. Its user interface and optical sensors need a few tweaks to make this flash a real estate photographer’s go-to.

Its user interface could be more user-friendly, although the later models have made some improvements. Moreover, the optical sensors are not as sensitive for CLS as Nikon-branded units.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer
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#2 Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight

NIKON SB-700 AF SPEEDLIGHT Photo Flash

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Flash Highlights

  • Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL) system
  • Compatible with other CLS products

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Daytime photography
  • Headshot photography
  • Twilight photography

 

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Affordable
  • Seamless exposure and program ability
  • AWL provides control over other Nikon Speedlights
  • Designed to work with other CLS products under the Nikon brand

The Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight flash offers value for the money despite its compact size. On top of this, it boasts of advanced features that only the Nikon brand can deliver.

Size and price tag were the main reasons why I chose the Nikon SB-700 Speedlight. But the other important reason is that these units are dedicated Nikon flashes, which means that the computer sensors and technology were designed to communicate with each other for a more seamless exposure and program ability.

With Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL) system, I am able to control my other Nikon Speedlights from the main flash on my camera, therefore I can set up multiple units around the room and control them wirelessly from my main flash unit. This feature comes in very handy.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

Below are examples of photos taken with Nikon SB-700 by Mark Skalny.

Nikon SB-700 AF - Mark Skalny 2

Nikon SB-700 AF - Mark Skalny 3

Nikon SB-700 AF - Mark Skalny

Cons

  • Lacks power
  • Short battery life

The Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight flash needs improvement in terms of providing good power and longer battery life.

My only issue with this flash is power, or lack thereof. If you need a greater depth of field, like f11 or f16, and you are using a low ISO like 100, then power becomes an issue using only “on camera” flash units.

There is also a slight concern on battery life, but using rechargeable batteries helps! If you truly need more power, you would want to move to an off-camera strobe unit like a White-Lightning, a Westcott FJ, or a Flashpoint.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer
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CHAPTER

#3 Godox AD200PRO TTL

GODOX AD200PRO TTL Photo Flash

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Flash Highlights

  • Speedlight technology
  • Lithium battery-powered

 

Works Best For

  • Architectural photography
  • Headshot photography
  • Twilight photography

 

Pros

  • Even flash output and color temperature
  • Provides great power

The Godox AD200Pro TTL pocket flash is the epitome of a powerful flash that delivers consistent results in every shot.

This flash has the power of 2-3 speedlights in one unit and consistently delivers an even flash output and color temperature.

— Bryant Payden, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, Owner/Photographer

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Problematic power switch

The only issue that I have with this flash is its cost and problematic power switch, which loses contact with the electrical contact requiring service.

— Bryant Payden, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, Owner/Photographer

Below are examples of photos taken with GODOX AD200PRO TTL by Bryant Payden.

Godox AD200 Pro - Bryant Payden 4

Godox AD200 Pro - Bryant Payden 5

Godox AD200 Pro - Bryant Payden

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CHAPTER

What Is the Best Flash for Real Estate Photography?

Best Overall: Godox

The Godox brand takes the cake as the most preferred flash model for real estate photography. Two of its models – the Godox V860II/Flashpoint Zoom Li-Ion R2 TTL and the Godox AD200Pro TTL pocket flash – don’t disappoint in terms of price and performance, making this brand a leader among real estate photography flashes.

I choose the Godox V860II/Flashpoint Zoom Li-Ion R2 TTL mainly because of four things: 1) Excellent bang for buck 2) Lets you transition easily from Nikon speedlights as it is CLS-compatible 3) Part of a comprehensive range of lights, and 4) Support available from Adorama.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

The Godox AD200Pro TTL pocket flash is the best flash for real estate photography because it provides consistency of light output and temperature and a better value compared to OEM flashes.

— Bryant Payden, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, Owner/Photographer

The Godox V860II/Flashpoint Zoom Li-Ion R2 TTL offers:

  • Great power and recycle time
  • Durability
  • Affordability
  • Good after-sales support
  • Readily available improvements/updates
  • Master/slave options
  • Compatibility with other flash units in the range via speedlight technology
  • Consistent performance as part of a comprehensive system that uses the same triggers

The Godox AD200Pro TTL pocket flash, on the other hand, follows closely behind for providing:

  • Even flash output and color temperature
  • Excellent power

Best for Newbies

Godox/Flashpoint Range

 I would stick with the Godox/Flashpoint range because it is convenient to grow into.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

Any ‘Cheap’ Flash Brand

The cheap one to start and to learn how to use them! When you can afford the ‘better’ ones, buy the flash unit that is ‘dedicated to your camera’.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer
Additional Resources
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4 Expert Tips on Choosing the Best Flash for Real Estate Photography

#1 Start Off Small

Ever wonder how those amazing real estate shots were taken with that kind of lighting and equipment? It definitely didn’t just pop out of thin air. Every shot requires careful planning, so it is important not to be too overbearing or ambitious when choosing your equipment and when using them.

Architectural and real estate photography are challenging. They both require lots of time, strong attention to detail, and creative knowledge of design, both when photographing a scene and in post-production Photoshop editing.

So, start off small, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your shots (time of day, props, lighting, etc.) If editing isn’t your thing yet, hire a true professional Photoshop retoucher – you get what you pay for.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

 

#2 There Is No Flash Brand to Avoid

When it comes to flash brands, there is no need to avoid a particular model. Any flash will do, just as long as it gets the job done.

Honestly, any flash, on-camera or external strobe/flash will create the pop of light needed to enhance the muddy dark shadow areas of an interior room while still maintaining the highlights of the windows and natural lighting.

Flashes work for a while and then break! Even the Nikon speedlights. The flash unit is really just another tool. And in the hands of a true professional, all the units can get the job done.
I like to say that I know a carpenter that can build a house with a hammer and a level as well as the one that uses a laser level and a nail gun. When you master your trade, you can get the job done with the tools before you.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

However, there are some brands that are more inferior than others.

I have never had any luck with Yongnuo flashes lasting longer than a year with heavy commercial usage. Several of my Godox flashes are in their 2nd and 3rd year and still going strong.

— Bryant Payden, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, Owner/Photographer

That is not to say, though, that more popular brands are better than third-party models.

With the abundance of third-party options, one wonders how the camera-brand speedlights can possibly compete.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer, Photographer

 

#3 Choose a Flash Unit that Lets You Do More

Some flash models are equipped with more features than others. Pick one that allows you to get more benefits.

When buying a flash, consider quantity over power. For versatility, keep in mind that multiple smaller lights beat just one powerful light. Also, select one that features ease of remote control.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer, Photographer

 

#4 Power Is Important

Flash brands that are superior over others are usually those that produce more power. To know this, familiarize yourself about GN or Guide Numbers.

The better flash units will usually produce more power per flash than some of the smaller units. It is important to look at the ‘Guide Number’ (GN) of the unit to better understand the power out of the flash.

I shoot with Nikon SB-700 Speedlights mainly for the size and the price, but I have to admit that the GN on this unit is 92 feet at 100 ISO at 35mm, whereas the Nikon SB-910 is only 95 feet at 100 ISO at 35mm.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer
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5 Expert Tips for Using a Flash for Real Estate Photography

#1 Understand How Your Flash Unit Works

Technology has made every device and equipment today more cutting edge and sophisticated than ever before. The same goes for flash units, which is why it is a must to read up and learn everything there is to learn about your unit.

The flash units that are on the market today are so advanced, so my best tip for any unit is: “read the manual!” There is so much technology in these units that you need to read how to use it all and then practice, practice practice before you use them on your first assignment.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

 

#2 Know-How About the Light Is Important

Having a camera with flash doesn’t equate to producing beautiful photos all the time. It is a must that you know about light and the role it plays when shooting real estate pictures.

Photography can be defined as painting with light. When we understand light and how it plays on our subject, we can then manipulate it and enhance it with an on or off camera flash unit and create an image that highlights the details and accents the mood of the scene.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

Sometimes natural light just looks better and you don’t need a flash.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

 

#3 Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Some tools are designed to complement others, so don’t be too cautious about using certain devices with your flash.

Pair your Godox AD200Pro TTL pocket flash with the round diffuser head attachment and you have a perfect, powerful flash for your main light in architectural and real estate photography.

— Bryant Payden, Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, Owner/Photographer

#4 Understand Your Flash Unit’s Power

The flash unit’s power sets the pace for creating breathtaking real estate shots, so it is important that you equip yourself with necessary knowledge about this feature.

The Guide Number is important. This is the power of your flash unit. This is key, as this is what will allow you to control your flash power and can blend or balance the available daylight with the strobe/flash or overpower the daylight if you need it to.

— Mark Skalny, Mark Skalny Photography, Corporate Photographer

Sometimes go with a higher ISO to amplify the power of your flash in the scene or just to get faster recycle time.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer

#5 Create Your Lighting Setup One Light at a Time

There is no need to rush when setting the right lighting for your shot. Don’t get too caught up with your ideas of how you want your scene to play out.

Build your lighting setup one light at a time. Start with the ambient and only add what is necessary.

— David Apeji, Pixyst Premium Imaging, Photographer
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Learn More About Real Estate Photography Equipment

To help newbie real estate photographers, realtors and homeowners select the best equipment to photograph and film real estate, we at Real Estate Bees, in conjunction with a number of leading industry experts, created comprehensive consumer guides for various real estate photography equipment and accessories:

For those who want to expand their knowledge of shooting real estate, we also have this article providing 30+ Real Estate Photography Tips from expert photographers.