Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Consumer Camcorders › Camera for realty videos › Ed is right. Lighting is a
Ed is right. Lighting is a huge aspect of any quality video production. He is also right in recommending quartz flood lights from a big box retail store. They are inexpensive, use the same bulbs as "professional" lighting, and with the right kind of diffusion can look just as good if not better than professional lights. You'll lose some flexibility and that "professional look" of your equipment but you just can't beat what you get for the price. In addition, Videomaker has published some great articles on their website showing how you can convert a quartz halogen light from a big box retailer into a more flexible unit with barn doors, baby pins, diffusers, and more: http://www.videomaker.com/article/14583-do-it-yourself-lighting-kit. They also have another article on making your own diffuser that could be of some use: http://www.videomaker.com/videonews/2010/09/8727-lighting-tip-diy-light-diffuser
The big thing to remember is that setting up lighting can often take time so you'll have to consider how often a home setting needs additional lighting to look good. If most locations look okay with the lights available in the home, you may just want to put a section into your contract that states what kind of lighting situations work best for homes so the realtor or seller know what lights to keep on or have in the house.
On the other hand you could just flip your LCD screen around on your camcorder (so you can instantly see what the light is doing to the scene) and slowly move your light and light stand around the room until the lighting looks good. I would reccommend going with a light that requires very little setup and that can be moved easily around the house. You don't want to waste a lot of time on the shoot setting up and tearing down lights. The LowePro Rifa softbox light "pops" open and breaks down to a very small shape if you want to go the more professional route: http://www.lowel.com/kits_rifa.html. Or a quartz halogen work light with a diffuser could work as well! It's up to you 🙂
Great suggestion Ed.
Lastly, I like both of the camcorder choices you're considering. That being said, I would recommend going with the Vixia M40 due to its more substantial HD video quality. That's just my two cents!