Drones for Real Estate: A Complete Guide Australia

Real Estate photography is a growing lucrative market with many sellers and agents looking outside the box for a different perspective to help sell the property. With the introduction of drones, top shot shots of the land size and property has become a highly wanted shot as it allows the agent to demonstrate the size of the property from a helicopter perspective. 

Drones have changed the way photos are taken and agents/photographers require high-quality, sage and intelligent drones. In this article, we will be looking at which drones are recommended for Real Estate photography and the different price brackets. 

D1 Store Trio Set-up Real Estate Photography

Best Value Drone Top Choice Best Professional Drone 
DJI Air 2S

DJI Mavic 3

Inspire 2

20 MP 1" Sensor
5.4K/30 FPS Video
HDR Video and Panorama
20 MP 4/3" Sensor
Adjustable Aperture f/2.8-f/11
5.1K 50fps Video
10 Bit HDR Video
360 Degree Gimbal
Dual Battery System
Fits Zenmuse X5s, X7
CineCore 2.1

Specs Comparison 

Drone Camera Video Transmission Max Flight Time Portability Price (From)
DJI Mini 2 12 MP 1/2.3" 4K/30 fps OcuSync 2.0 31 Minutes 249 g $749
DJI Air 2S 20 MP 1" 5.4K/30 fps OcuSync 3.0 31 Minutes 595 g $1699
DJI Mavic 3 20 MP 4/3" 5.1K/50 fps OcuSync 3.0 46 Minutes 895 g $3099
DJI M3 Cine 20 MP 4/3" 5.1K/50 fps OcuSync 3.0 46 Minutes 899 g $7199
P4P V2.0 20 MP 1" 4K 60 fps OcySync 2.0 30 Minutes 1375 g $2499
Inspire 2

Zenmuse X5s

Zenmuse X7

6K CinemaDNG Dual-Band Lightbridge 27 Minutes 3440 g $4799

DJI Mini 2

D1 Store Mavic Mini BannerRecommended Use Case: Indoor Footage
Recommended Users: Beginners or those who need a quick shot 

The DJI Mini 2 allows you to easily capture stunning indoor images with its 4K 12 MP camera that is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. The results from the camera are fantastic (also shoots in RAW for photo editing) and allows you to capture a quick seamless indoor video. Coming in at under 250 grams, the Mini is super compact and portable, taking up little to no space in your carry bag. This also allows the Mini to be manoeuvrable in smaller spaces. To increase safety when flying, we recommend you to attach propeller guards to the drone. The new DJI Fly app simplifies your entire flying experience, which makes the Mavic Mini a truly special drone for interior real estate photography. 

DJI Air 2S

D1 Store Mavic Air 2 Real EstateRecommend Use Case: High Detail Photos, Outdoor Use. 
Recommended Users: Intermediate Users who plan to print photos and use the full 48 MP. 

The DJI Air 2S ups the game with incredible 20MP photos, 5.4K/30 fps video and state of the art drone features. The DJI Air 2S has a 1" CMOS sensor that is perfect for capturing low light photography as it allows more light into the sensor, thus reducing noise. One of the key features of the DJI Air 2S is the advanced obstacle avoidance (not found on the DJI Mini 2), which provides expert safety when flying near objects. The DJI Air 2S also has a long range of up to 12 km (FCC Mode) and a 31-minutes maximum flight time. All these features along with the compact size, make it an appealing choice for Real Estate Photography. Plus the Combo is very fairly priced at $2099, making is the most excellent value for money proposition. 

DJI Mavic 3

D1 Store Mavic 2 Pro Real EstateRecommended Use Case: Outdoor use requiring High Dynamic Range. 
Recommended Users: Professional photographers who like to colour grade and edit their photos. 

The DJI Mavic 3 is considered to be the best possible drone for Real Estate Photography. Not only does it provide the highest quality images, it can fold up neatly into a backpack and is easy to travel from site to site. When questioning a large group of real estate photographers, the majority of users will have a Mavic 3 in their bag. The Mavic 3 comes equipped with the impressive Hasselblad L2D-20c camera, a 4/3" CMOS sensor and a 10-bit Dlog-M colour profile that captures absolutely spectacular colours in low-light environments. With the 1 billion colours to play with, the Mavic 3 is the professionals perfect weapon of choice. It also comes with a 7x Zoom Camera that has a 1/2" sensor, perfect for close ups. This will allow you to put all your professional touches into your photos. 

DJI Mavic 3 Cine

D1 Store Mavic 2 Zoom Real EstateRecommended Use Case: Background Compression, Keeps the property as the highlight. 
Recommended Users: Those who want slighly more dynamic footage and fly at a safer distance. 

Much like the DJI Mavic 3, the Mavic 3 Cine carries the same cameras with the only difference of being apple to record in Apple ProRes 422HQ and had a built in 1TB SSD. This is perfect for those who plan to film real estate videos and edit their videos to match colour grading similar to their mirrorless or DSLR cameras. You will be getting the best possible camera long with a fantastic codec to edit your videos. The Cine also comes with the RC Pro controller, which is a controller with a built in screen, similar to the old DJI Smart Controller just with updated internals. 

Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

D1 Store Phantom 4 Pro Real EstateRecommended Use Case: Mechanical Shutter and 4K at 60 FPS
Recommended Users: 3D Mapping or 2 times 4K Slow Motion Video Pans 

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has been the staple DJI drone for a number of years with different revisions. This latest revision updates all the internals to the latest DJI transmission technologies. The 1" CMOS sensor, mechanical shutter, allows you to capture images without any motion blur or rolling shutter distortion. This means you can quickly fly over a location and capture beautiful shots without distortion. The 4K/60 fps videos allows for smooth 4K panning videos. The built-in flight modes and advanced flying features make the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 an incredible and flexible choice for your real estate photography. 

Inspire 2

D1 Store Inspire 2 Banner Real EstateRecommended Use Case: 6K Video, Prints and high contrast environments. 
Recommended Users: Complete film-making package that offers professional Hollywood-style footage.

If you are a license RePL holder, the Inspire 2 will be a perfect drone for you to take high level real estate photos. Filming majestic mansions or vast expanses of pristine land requires cinematic quality footage. Inspire 2 offers you safe manoeuvring around even the most challenging properties with FlightAutonomy, providing two directions of obstacle avoidance and sensor redundancy. 

Image quality, power and intelligence are available in a single platform with multiple payloads to suit your needs. Inspire 2 goes from 0  80 km/h in 5 seconds and features spotlight pro for professional shots and can film up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW. Combine this all with HD video transmission system, a 360 degree rotating gimbal and ActiveTrack, and Inspire 2 is simply one of the best real estate photography drones money can buy. 

Choosing a Real Estate Photography Drone
Selecting the right drone for real estate photography comes with understanding your individual needs and how the drones capabilities meet or exceed those needs. Let's take a look at all the factors you need to consider. 

D1 Store Real Estate Drone Photography

Camera Performance 
From the sensor found in the Mini 2 to the Super 35 sensor found in the Inspire 2, there are camera performance levels for all needs. For smaller properties and smaller areas, the 1/2.3" will be more than capable of producing quality images. You will also need to decide when you take the photos and the lighting conditions. During the day, the smaller sensors will perform well, however when the light decreases, the smaller sensors will not perform whereas the larger sensors will do much better. During sunsets and golden hour, the larger sensors will perform better and provide greater image quality. 

If you are not a RePL holder, the Mavic 3 or DJI Air 2S is a fantastic choice. 

Flight Performance 
When deciding on a real estate photography drone, speed and battery life are important features to consider. Depending on the location, you may need to consider the wind and whether you need a drone that has stronger resistance or not. For example, the DJI Mini 2 / DJI Air 2S will handle winds up to level 5 which is around 38 km/h and the Inspire 2 will go even higher. With wind resistance, you will also need to consider flight time, in stronger winds, the battery will be depleted faster, meaning the Mavic Mini will have a reduced flight time. Here the Mavic 3 shines with 46 minutes flight time, with longer flight time, you can take time to frame your shots to ensure you get the perfect one. 

Flight Safety
This is extremely important when on the job as it is important to keep yourself, others and the environment safe around you whilst you fly. The DJI drones offer several flight safety features that make them ideal for real estate photography. All DJI drones listed here have GPS positioning and vision sensors. The DJI Mini 2 does not have obstacle avoidance sensors whereas the DJI Air 2S, Mavic 3 Series and Inspire 2 does. This is important if you're shooting in complex environments, the more sensors the better where something like the Mavic 3 or Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 would perform the best.
Built-in safety features become more advanced as you move towards more advanced drones. 

Having strong reliable transmission is an important buying decision, less so onsite work. If you plan to shoot exciting dynamic perspective of a location from various distances, choose a drone with a reliable and extensive transmission. OcuSync 3.0 is the gold standard in drones currently and offers an extended transmission flight distance and significantly better transmission feed quality. Wi-Fi transmission is great for everyday flying, and it is better suited in open areas where there isn't much signal interference. Regardless, with Real Estate photography, you will be onsite therefore transmission range would not be a high priority. 

Real Estate Photography Tips
We've put together a list of tips that cover creativity, camera settings and safety. 

D1 Store Real Estate Photography Tips

Intelligent Flight Modes
Intelligent flight modes offer new pilots and seasoned professionals the ability to create sunning videos of the property and surrounding areas. You can use POI, point of interest, to create a unique circle around the property where you can set the height and gimbal tilt to create an immersive video of the property and its surrounding location. 

Aerial Reveal
Simply fly over the property and reveal the surrounding area to give a great introduction or conclusion to your video. You can adjust the gimbal pitch and smoothness whilst flying to add an additional dynamic element. 

Camera Angles
When shooting just above ground level, it is essential to show the property where it looks the best and with a drone, you have the greatest flexibility where you can spent time to frame the shot perfectly, tilt the gimbal down and get the shot. If you have extra space to fly around in, it will make your creative process easier. 

Lighting Conditions
The best time to film or take photos is during golden hour where you get beautiful shades of orange/pink/blue running through the sky and the property looks soft without any harsh shadows. However, you can still shoot during mid day sun or on cloudy days. You will need to make sure you have the appropriate sensor for your lighting conditions. 

Camera settings for Real Estate Photography 
Let's take a look at the best camera settings you can use to improve your real estate photography. 

D1 Store Camera Settings Tips

Manual Settings
Manual controls are a must when it comes to professional photography. All the drones listed above will allow you to change the shutter speed and ISO levels. Only the Mavic 2 Pro, Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 will allow for adjustable aperture. To get the full control of your equipment, the last three drones mentioned would be the way to go. 

Auto White Balance (AWB)
AWB is an excellent tool for shooting for general photography. If AWB is not up to your liking, you are able to adjust the white balance manually to dial in your colours. 

When shooting videos, the overexposure warning helps identify overexposed sections within the frame, making them appear as a "zebra-strip". This is an extremely useful feature when filming any landscape shots or general scenery shots. 

When you are choosing your resolution, you should take into account what type of shot you are planning. Sometimes you may fall into the trap of shooting everything at 4K 60fps where some shots can have better results at lower frame-rates. You should also be aware of your storage in-case you run out of storage.  

Colour Profile
You may have heard the terms "lut" or "presets", these are pre-determined values for altering the image/videos exposure settings, contrast, colour and more. These are easy to apply but do not work for every shot and will require tinkering. It is best to take photos in RAW to allow greater editing control. For videos, you may find the Cinelike-D, which will make the colours appear flat, giving greater flexibility in post-production. When you get to the Mavic 2 Pro or the Inspire 2, you will find even greater colour options. 

DJI have a wide range of drones on offer to ensure a safe, reliable flight with excellent image quality. The range of drones covers everyone in the field. One thing to note is to ensure you brief yourself with CASA rules and regulations before taking on a job. Ensure you have all the correct accreditation for flying your drone, you can learn more on CASA's website. 

If you are looking for a deal, please do not hesitate to contact the sales staff through live chat or email through sales@d1store.com.au.

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