If you haven't bought a camera yet, I recommend you go with either Nikon or Canon. I also recommend you go with a crop sensor for real estate photography, as opposed to full frame. This way you will be able to save money for things like lighting gear and you will not lose any quality whatsoever. As for the backup body, I find it VERY nice to have a low megapixel (12-16 mp) backup body for everyday real estate, while my main body has a much higher number of megapixels (24 mp) for higher end work.
Recommended Nikon Cameras:
Nikon D7000 (used as backup body)
Recommended Canon Camera:
I recommend you stay away from prime lenses for real estate photography, and there is certainly no need for very specialized and expensive tilt-shift lenses at this point.
Tokina 11-20 for Nikon
Tokina 11-20 for Canon
LIGHTS AND TRIGGERS
I highly recommend you go for exactly as I use below. The Flashpoint R2 system listed below are great however, but if you choose those I suggest you buy non-TTL (manual) flashes and turn off all of the extraneous functions of the trigger via "single pin mode".
What I use and recommend:
Yongnuo RF-603N II (one attached to camera and one to Rovelight 600B; for Nikon)
Yongnuo RF-603C II (one attached to camera and one to Rovelight 600B; for Canon)
Yongnuo YN 560 III (works with Nikon and Canon)
Another system I recommend, the R2 system by Flashpoint:
Flashpoint X1T-N Trigger for Nikon
Flashpoint X1T-C Trigger for Canon
Flashpoint Zoom R2 Manual Speedlight (for Canon or Nikon; needs AA batteries)
Flashpoint Zoom R2 Li-on Manual Speedlight (for Canon or Nikon; has its own lithium ion battery)
Flashpoint eVOLV 200 TTL (no manual version; I highly recommend these if a 600ws light is too heavy for you)
Flashpoint Streaklight SL-360 Manual (I recommend these lights if you are more comfortable with your light(s) on a lightstand)
Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Manual (Flashpoint's equivalent of the Rovelight 600B I use)
Indispensable gear for compositing interiors. I suppose it is possible to skimp your way around buying this for a while, but I highly recommend purchasing it right off.
TRIPOD AND TRIPOD HEAD
I can't stress enough how important a very good tripod and center column are for real estate work. This is the piece of gear you are actually manipulating and handling all day. Don't skimp here! Below are the two tripods that I highly recommend for real estate work.
Benro Mach3 Extra Long Carbon Fiber 4 Series
Recommended cheaper tripod:
Benro Mach3 Extra Long Aluminum 4 Series
This may be the most important purchase you make. I don't think it matters as much which drone you choose, but everything from portfolio development, to client acquisition are very dependent upon having a drone. My recommendations below are in order of preference.
CASE AND ORGANIZER
LIGHTSTANDS and Umbrella Brackets
You know how I recommend you to work, but if you must use lightstands I recommend these cheap ones, and I also recommend you try to wean yourself off any lightstands for real estate photography :)
Recommended cheap lightstands:
Cowboy Studios Set of Two 7 Feet Lightstands
Recommended cheap umbrella brackets:
ChromLives Pack of Two Umbrella Brackets
COMPUTER EDITING MONITOR
Monitor I use and recommend:
Asus MX259H 25 Inch IPS Monitor
GRAPHICS EDITING TABLET
We didn't talk much about editing tablets in the course, but as you start to improve your skills, you will really be craving more brush accuracy for your masking and other tasks. And for this, nothing can replace a good graphics tablet. I also recommend them to professional photographers because when used in conjunction with a mouse, you are counteracting the repetitive motions that can give you health problems.
Tablet that I use and recommend:
Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet
Shoot Through Umbrellas, Reflectors and other gear
Various gear that I use to help me on certain projects. Gels are used to color match your light with the ambient light. As you saw, I do not gel my flashes very often. Sometimes outside I will. I find 1/4 to 1/2 CTO gel often blends with ambient well, so I would buy a sheet of 1/4 and use two layers of it if you need a 1/2 CTO.
Westcott Shoot Through Umbrellas I Use
Sigma 18-35 1.8 Art Lens (Nikon) / Sigma 18-35 1.8 Art Lens (Canon)
Small Neewer 5 in 1 Reflector Diffuser
Large Neewer 5 in 1 Reflector Diffuser
Grids for Bowens Mount Rovelight 600B
Grid for speedlights
LED Lenser P7.2 Flashlight (The light is a little cool, I have to gel it sometimes)
1/4 CTO Gel (use two layers of this for 1/2 CTO)
B+W 77mm Circular Polarizer (helpful for reducing reflections and making skies more vibrant)
B+W Six Stop Neutral Density Filter
Step up ring 72 to 77mm (buy screw on filters for your largest lens, and use these rings to screw the filters on any smaller lenses)
Datacolor Spyder5Pro for Monitor Calibration
Datacolor SpyderCheckr 24 (I do NOT take this into the field for help with white balance, for that I use "white things" like my iPad case)
Powerex 8 Cell AA Battery Charger
AA Rechargeable Batteries for Speedlights
Rocket Blower for Cleaning Dust from Lenses
Manfrotto 24' Lightstand for Elevated Exterior Composites