Drones have taken real estate photography to the next level of experiential marketing. Realtors, today, are able to treat home buyers to an array of views and scenery of a property up for sale, through digital listings and social media.
From creative close-ups, to dramatic walk throughs and clever bird’s eye view shots, drones provide real estate galleries with images from any position around commercial properties.
As a real estate professional looking to upgrade the look of your listings to industry-level photography, you require high-quality, safe, and intelligent drones.
But real estate drones come in all shapes and sizes, at different prices, and figuring out which drone is the right fit for your realty requirements can get a little complicated.
Therefore, in this article we shall, firstly, look at the best drones for real estate photography — depending on budget and skill level, that is; beginner vs expert. And later on, we shall share tips on how best to decide which one is for you depending on your needs.
Best Real Estate Photography Drones for Beginners
From first-time flyers, to pilots transitioning to real estate photography, these 3 drones are best beginner-friendly options to look at;
Best Value Drone for Beginners: DJI Mavic Mini – ($399)
Best Use: For realtors new to drone photography.
At under 250 grams, and with a 2.7K 12 MP camera, the Mavic Mini is wonderfully compact. Though a 2019 model, it is still the best portable choice for real estate agents new to drones that usually need to take quick shots of property often.
Its ‘mini’ form factor, and 3-axis gimbal camera, make it most ideal for maneuvering in smaller spaces and capturing indoor photography and video.
The Mavic Mini is extremely precise and also includes 4 cool cinematic features under the QuickShots category. It maintains a flight time of 30 minutes, and a range of 4km.
Top Picked Drone for Beginners: DJI Mini 2 – ($499)
Best Use: Realtors who want a simple, all-purpose entry-level drone.
Though an entry-level drone, the DJI Mini 2 nonetheless takes the most fantastic photos and videos of any drone in its price range. It is an exceptional choice for amateur drone photographers and those learners exploring real estate video footage.
The Mini 2 keeps all of the best features from the Mavic Mini, like lightness, travel-friendliness, flight time and ease of use. However, it advances significantly with a 10 KM video transmission range by OcuSync 2.0, and 4K video.
Realtors that choose the Mini 2 Fly More Combo, will get an hour and a half of battery life (three included intelligent batteries), for detailed shoots of entire properties of any sizes.
Best Commercial Drone for Beginners: DJI Air 2S – ( $999)
Best Use: Realty agencies looking for a professional edge and industry-leading optics.
The DJI Air 2S has a powerful 1″ CMOS Sensor and a 20MP module that consistently produce high image-color quality, ideal for full-scale commercial real estate photography.
It shoots 5.4K videos at 30fps, features significant upgrades to the camera, intelligent features, advanced four-way obstacle sensing compared to DJI Mavic Air 2.
Weighing less than 600g, the compact form of the Air 2S, has max flight time of 31-min (no wind), and a 12KM transmission range at 1080p. It is an incredibly accurate flight machine for anyone in dire need of a professional-grade real estate drone.
Best Real Estate Photography Drones for Experts
Here are 3 of the most coveted drones for expert real estate photographers;
Best Value Drone for Experts: DJI Mavic Air 2 – ($799)
Best Use: For real estate photographers who want a well-rounded, professional setup.
The Mavic Air 2 is made for real estate agents with professional photography in mind. It comes equipped with 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal, recording 4K HDR content, at 60 fp/s.
It also takes next level 48MP images, opening up the possibilities of touching up the photos in post. In other words, advanced drone photographers looking for the best photo quality in a portable, foldable drone need not look any further.
The Mavic Air 2 also packs an outstanding flight time of 34 minutes, an operating range of 10 kilometers, and an improved intelligent tracking feature, FocusTrack.
Top Picked Drone for Experts: DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 –($1,599)
Best For: Semi-professional drone operators looking for the highest video quality.
With the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, professionals have all they could ever need to showcase residential and commercial properties. It has a 1” CMOS sensor with a mechanical shutter which solves for rolling shutter distortion. Consistently resulting in high-quality 20MP photos.
The Phantom 4 Pro Plus comes rigged OcuSync 2.0 transmission system that supports 1080p live streaming up to 8 kilometers, and a maximum flight time of 30 minutes.
Armed with 5-direction obstacle sensing, and other intelligent flight and safety features, like TapFly, intelligent RTH, and more, the P4P V2.0 becomes a top choice for real estate creators.
Best Commercial Drone for Experts: DJI Mavic 3 – ($2,199)
Best For: Real Estate agencies looking for pro-photo in an easy-to-transport drone
Our all-new flagship prosumer-series camera drone, the DJI Mavic 3, sets the standard for what is possible with aerial imaging in real estate photography.
Thanks to its 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera and 24mm-equivalent lightweight lens, it pointedly offers the most superior imaging performance and is capable of shooting 4K at 60Frames Per Second and even 120frames per second slow-motion.
The flight experience has been broadly enhanced with the flight time extended to 46 minutes.
Furthermore, thanks to incredibly stable O3+ technology, live 1080p/60fps video transmission can reach up to 15 km, as well, the most of any DJI drone.
DJI Mavic 3 is facilitated with an omnidirectional obstacle sensing system and supports the upgraded APAS 5.0 and Advanced RTH, letting content creators enjoy safe flight.
The Mavic 3 is available in three variations; the standard Mavic 3; the Mavic 3 Fly More Combo; and the Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo.
How to choose a Real Estate Photography Drone
Even with a list as comprehensive as the one above, choosing the right drone for real estate photography still requires careful understanding of your specific requirements and how the drones’ capabilities meet or exceed those needs.
Here are some tips on what additional factors to consider before purchase;
#1 – Camera Performance
There are camera performance levels for all real estate photography needs. For smaller properties such as family homes, sensors like the 1/2.3” CMOS of Mavic Mini proficiently produce quality images. For larger properties and advertising projects, more powerful sensors like the 4/3 sensor of the Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo, allow for more cinematic results.
#2 – Flight Performance
In selecting a real estate photography drone, speed and battery life are key. Powerful drones like the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can reach up to 72 kph, while tracking boats or cars.
While the new Mavic 3 offers up to 46 minutes of battery life, thus plenty of time for wide-ranging shoots. Choose one that is suited to the project’s flight performance demands.
#3 – Flight Safety
DJI drones offer several flight-safety features, ideal for real estate photography. Ultralight drones like Mavic Mini offer GPS positioning and vision sensors.
However, generally the larger and more advanced a DJI drone is, the more innovative the sensors and built-in safety features are. Always look up the safety features available.
#4 – Transmission
To shoot exciting, dynamic perspectives of a property from various distances, pick a drone with a reliable and extensive transmission. Wi-Fi transmission works great for ordinary flying, and is best suited in open areas with low-signal interference.
OcuSync2.0, offers a longer transmission flight distance and better feed quality. Light bridge transmission is the most reliable drone transmission system for professional use.
Consider the locations you regularly photograph to base your transmission needs.
#5 – Intelligent Functions
Even new pilots, thanks to Intelligent flight modes can create real estate masterpieces smoothly. If the type of real estate film project at hand requires dramatic footage and intricate flight patterns, search for drones that offer intelligent flight modes.
#6 – Portability
Size and transportability are vital when selecting a real estate drone.
For frequently travelling pilots, light drones such as the Mavic Mini are perfect. The Mavic series drones offers a great lineup of powerful foldable drone options. However, for maximum capacity, consider the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0.
We recommend beginning with a portable drone and upgrading as your skills develop.
#7 – Ease of Use
Ultimately, the best real estate drone is the one that is easiest to use. That is, the aircraft, remote controller, software, and all necessary tools should be easy to use.
Ideally, you should seek a reliable setup that allows you to advance your skills as a pilot and photographer. Before purchase, be sure to investigate the features of the drone’s app.
Real estate photography drones must be safe, reliable, and produce high-quality photos and videos. DJI has numerous drone options for learners and expert photographers.
Be it a mini drone like Mavic Mini for a beginners daily quick shots, a transportable and powerful drone like Mavic Air 2 or the Air 2S, or even a expert setup like the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 or the DJI Mavic 3, there is an thrilling lineup of drones offered at the DJI Online Store.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.