5 Best Drones For Real Estate Photography: Ultimate Buying Guide in 2019

5 Best Drones For Real Estate Photography: Ultimate Buying Guide in 2019

Are you planning to get a drone for real estate? Do you need help in choosing one?

A drone has become a must for real estate agents. A study of drones in real estate shows that 83{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} of home sellers prefer an agent who uses drones. Properties over 2 acres also use aerials 53{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} of the time. Furthermore, high volume agents or those who are at the top 25{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} of sales volume use aerials 3.5x more often than low volume agents (below top 25{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} of sales volume).

If you are into real estate and you are looking for a drone for your business, then I tell you, you are making the right choice. I understand that for beginners or those who are looking for their first drone, the task of choosing the best drone can be daunting. Don’t worry because I’m here to help.

I’ll give tips on how to choose the best drone to achieve  great results with real estate drone photography. So, let’s get started!

Best Drone for Real Estate

If you are getting a drone for real estate photography, you should buy one that has an excellent camera. This will be costly compared to a simple drone, but think about the rewards that await you – more sales! So, do not just get a good one, get the best drone with camera.

Here’s a list of the best drones with camera for real estate photography.

1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 28 minutes
Max Speed: 45MPH
Notable Attributes: Battery Life, Obstacle Avoidance, Flight Modes

DJI Phantom 4 Pro is the upgrade of Phantom 4 in many ways. It has a better camera and longer flight time but costs more. If you are happy with DJI Phantom 4 but wish to find a better version, then this is definitely the answer!

Its camera has been redesigned to use a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor that is capable of shooting 4K/60FPS video and Burst Mode stills at 14FPS.

Phantom 4 Pro video processing supports H.264 4K videos at 60FPS or H.265 4K at 30FPS. It has advanced sensors and processors that automatically recognize subjects and follows and captures them as they move, making it easier to capture detailed images for advanced production.

Also, this camera drone comes with expanded FlightAutonomy that includes high-resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear, in addition to the pair placed at the front as well as infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides. This network creates a 5-directional obstacle sensing and 4-directional obstacle avoidance giving filmmakers the confidence to capture complex images without bumping into any obstacles.

If you think that drones with cameras are inferior to traditional cameras, you are wrong. Phantom 4 Pro is as good as the traditional ones. So, if you want the power of the traditional camera for your real estate photography, Phantom 4 Pro is best for you.

Accessories

  • Extra Battery
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Quick-Release Propellers
  • Lighting Kit

PROS

  • Very easy to fly
  • Smart Return Home
  • Propulsion System
  • Extended flight time
  • Vision Positioning System
  • Remote offers a better range
  • Avoids obstacles automatically
  • TapFly lets you fly with a tap of the finger
  • Tracks moving subjects automatically via ActiveTrack

CONS

  • Not crash-proof
  • Not for beginners
  • Software is not user-friendly

2. DJI Mavic Pro

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 27 minutes
Max Speed: 40MPH
Notable Attributes: Portability, Battery Life

Mavic Pro is a professional drone for aerial cinematography. This is a great starter camera drone for those new to aerial photography because it is more affordable compared to other DJI drones.

This drone is small but has a serious camera onboard. When you retract the propellers, this drone is practically the size of a water bottle, if not smaller. But don’t be fooled by its size because this is very powerful when it comes to capturing photos and videos. In fact, this is one of DJI’s most sophisticated flying cameras ever.

Mavic Pro’s 12MP camera with Adobe DNG RAW support is always ready to shoot, so you won’t miss any moment. It also supports 4K video at 30FPS. Its camera is stabilized with ultra-precise 3-axis gimbal for smooth video and sharp photos even during high-speed motion.

In addition, Mavic Pro comes with cool features that will surely please you. It has obstacle avoidance, sensor redundancy and OcuSync transmission technology. It is also equipped with Return to Home, mode, FlightAutonomy technology, Precision Hover, Active Track Gesture mode, Tripod mode and Tapfly that give you a fun flying experience.

DJI Mavic Pro is highly recommended if you want a professional camera drone for travel. This also works in the commercial side of the industry like real estate.

Accessories

  • Lens Filters (PolarPro)
  • Extra Battery
  • Extra Propellers
  • Travel Bag
  • Car Charger
  • Smatree Mavic Pro Waterproof Case

PROS

  • Portable
  • Crash-resistant
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Quieter than other drone models
  • Can be controlled via hand gestures
  • Has built-in Active track feature mode
  • Has excellent flight time compared to other DJI models

CONS

  • Camera doesn’t offer a wide view
  • Not for beginners due to its complex models
  • The bad light may have blue color interferences

3. DJI Inspire 2

Specs

Camera Resolution: 30MP in DNG RAW mode
Video Resolution: 5.2K at 30FPS / 4K at 60FPS
Max Flight Time: 27 minutes
Max Speed: 67MPH
Notable Attributes: Dual-Operator Mode, Two Cameras, Obstacle Avoidance, Micro Four Thirds System, FlightAutonomy, ActiveTrack, Forward and Downward Vision System, DJI Lightbridge Technology

Inspire 2 is a remarkable upgrade of Inspire 1. It takes all the good things that Inspire 1 has to offer and improves it.

Inspire 2 is the manifestation on how serious DJI is in upping their game in the drone market. This has two cameras –– one is the main camera for capturing footage slung underneath on a 3-axis gimbal. It has a 2-axis camera on the front that allows the pilot to always see where the drone is headed because the system is designed for dual operators a pilot and a director framing the action, and each will receive their own live video feed.

Inspire 2 boasts Inspire 1’s HD video transmission system, 360-degree rotating gimbal and a 4K camera with the simplicity of app control. It has the top-of-the-line cinematic camera, the X5S features micro 4/3 sensor and supports 10 different lenses, including zooms.

DJI also designed a new image processing system for the Inspire 2 to satisfy professional filmmakers; the CineCore 2.0 that can capture 5.2k video at a whopping 4.2Gbps bitrate and 4K video at 60FPS.

It can speed up to 58mph and has sports car-like acceleration that can go from 0 to 50mph in 5 seconds. For better quality outputs, it has built-in 3D noise reduction, 3DLUT color management technology, and advanced sensor correction too.

One more thing, Inspire 2 is incredibly stable indoor and outdoor. It can also withstand winds that no Phantom or Mavic can fly in. It uses GPS and a Vision Positioning System to stay stable, has flight modes and all the fail-safe mechanism that ensures that this drone will fly back to you whether the battery is low or the connection is lost.

If you want the best photos and videos with all the advanced features of a camera drone, Inspire 2 is highly recommended. However, this is not for everyone as it is way too expensive compared to Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic Pro, but it’s a great value for money.

PROS

  • Shoots in RAW
  • Interchangeable lens system
  • Solid build quality and backup systems
  • Capable of live 1080i
  • Two camera options
  • Offers PCIe SSD storage
  • Has intelligent flight modes
  • Has retractable landing gear
  • Supports 360-degree camera rotation
  • Dual operator control using FPV pilot camera
  • Obstacle avoidance and detection system

CONS

  • Expensive
  • The dual battery makes getting spares expensive
  • Props need to be locked into place
  • Requires high-performance CPU for post-processing (for videos with 5.2K resolution)
  • Micro Four Thirds camera unit is costly

4. 3DR Solo

Specs

Dimensions: 9.23 x 16.52 x 16.42 inches
Flight time: 20-25 minutes
Range: 5 miles
Weight: 3.3lbs
Payload capacity: 420g
Max speed: 55mph

If you already have a GoPro and want to use that for real estate photography, no problem, you can buy 3DR Solo, one of the best GoPro drones in the market. Since this does not include a camera, you will save tons of dollars if you buy this one.

3DR Solo is popular in real estate photography because the brand focuses on image capture. It has no camera, so you have to use your GoPro, but it comes with a camera gimbal that allows users to take amazing landscape shots. Thanks to its stability, this drone can consistently capture high-quality images.

This drone is available in multiple kits that include different accessories. The good thing with this is that you can use memory cards to accommodate all the photos you want to save. This is particularly handy for a realtor who wants to get as many photos on multiple locations.

3DR Solo is a “smart drone” due to its Cablecam mode that allows you to tune up and down the drone easily. You can pan and tilt your camera during flights and still capture great photos and videos.

3DR Solo is the cheap and high-quality solution to real estate drone photography. Although this doesn’t come with its own camera it is fully compatible with GoPro cameras making it great for interior photoshoots.

PROS

  • Affordable and high quality
  • Smart drone for GoPro
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Lots of pre-installed flight modes
  • Robust and has stable flight dynamics
  • Fully compatible with GoPro cameras
  • Stable videos and high-quality photos
  • You can replace the camera with a better one

CONS

  • Takes time to hit GPS on initial start
  • No collision detection

5. Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

Specs

Flight Time: 22 minutes
Dimensions: 20.5 x 17.9 x 11.6in
Diagonal Wheelbase: 18.9in
Frame Arm Length: 7.4in
Landing Gear Size: 10.4 x 7.3in
Motor Stator Size: 0.5in
Motor KV: 850kv
Max Power: 200W
Working Current: ≤15A
Working Voltage: 12-25V
Signal Frequency: 50-400Hz

Drive PWM Frequency: 16K
Takeoff Weight: 1965g
Battery: 5400mAh 4S/14.8V LiPo
Maximum Flying Height: 123m
Maximum Rotation Rate: 90°/s
Maximum Roll Angle: 45°
Maximum Climbing Speed: 11.2mph
Maximum Descending Speed: 6.7mph
Maximum Speed in Angle Mode (GPS): 30mph
Operating Temperature Range: -5°C to 80°C

Typhoon H Plus is the second generation of the ever popular Typhoon H. Yuneec gives you a better tool to capture breathtaking imagery with confidence in Typhoon H Plus.

This camera drone is capable of high resolution 20MP stills and 4K video at 60FPS. The C23 one-inch sensor camera allows the users to capture imagery in captivating detail which improves the low-light performance from the previous models.

Its upgraded camera also features a larger and improved signal-to-noise ratio. This is one of the quietest drones in its class with a 40{ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} reduction in noise compared to its predecessor.

Its camera is integrated with a 3-axis gimbal that’s capable of continuous rotation for 360-degree image capture. Among the biggest challenges in aerial photography and videography is stability.

Yuneec addresses this by equipping Typhoon H Plus with not just four but six rotors for unparalleled safety and stability. You can still capture ultra-stable footage in winds exceeding 30mph. Isn’t that what you want?

Typhoon H Plus is another smart drone, it can detect obstacles and intelligently navigate around. It has Intel RealSense technology too that gives you the freedom to explore new creative options. That’s not all, it has Follow Me/Watch Me feature that allows the drone to move along with you wherever you go.

For a more enjoyable flying experience, this is paired with a smart controller with a built-in screen that allows you to easily program autonomous flight and capture stunning videos and photos. You can also adjust manual camera settings, access flight telemetry and browse the internet from the smart controller.

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is a game changer! It has an impressive camera, is easy to control and is packed with powerful features for the best flight experience. If you want to enjoy all of these for your real estate photography, then you should get this drone.

PROS

  • Raw and JPG image capture
  • Smart remote control
  • Battery life indicator
  • Spotty automatic white balance
  • Solid operating range

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Bulky controller
  • Spotty automatic white balance

Real Estate Drone Photography Tips

You are getting a drone for real estate photography and of course, you want to get the best shot and the most stunning video possible. Here are some tips from Andrew Nixon to get awesome real estate photos.

1. Plan your shoot

Just like any other things, real estate photography needs planning. Consider which shots do you want to take, what time frame do you have, check the special features of the house that need to be highlighted and so on.

Prepare your drone camera and make sure to bring spare batteries and memory card. Also, test if your camera is working properly and if your remote controller is good to go.

2. Choose the right time of the day

Natural lighting is always best for capturing photos, especially if you want to feature the pool and lawn. Here are some tips when choosing the best time.

Top-down photos are best taken at noon to avoid shadows

Consider the aesthetic of the house. Some houses look magnificent in the morning due to the golden light, others are great with the sunset as the backdrop.

If you choose to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon, watch out for the drone’s shadow as it can ruin your shots.

3. Experiment with different angles

Getting the best angle of a property may take trial and error. However, there are generic angle formulas that work in most situations.

For example, do not take top-down shots because they don’t highlight the house well.

Also, do not fly your drone too high, just close enough to get a unique perspective of the estate. If the drone is too high, it will make the house appear too tiny, which is not appealing at all. However, far-off shots or wider views are great if the property boasts a beautiful landscape or neighborhood.

4. Study others’ work

If you are keen on improving your real estate photography skills, you have to learn from others who already do it well. Check out home listings and look for aerial photos.

If you find great shots, try to recreate them. Check out some videos on YouTube too that freely share great tips for real estate photography.

5. Enhance your shots in post-production

If you are not happy with the lighting or colors, do not worry, you can still work on it. Use editing programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Lightroom to enhance your photos. Take advantage of these programs that allow you to play with the white balance, highlights, shadows, and other factors to make your snaps livelier.

Here are some more tips that might help, check it out.

How to Choose the Best Drone For Real Estate Photography

There are certain factors that you have to consider when choosing the best drone for real estate photography. Here are the things that I would often check before I get a real estate drone.

Camera. Do not get just any drone, you have to consider the capacity of the camera. Make sure that the drone is capable of capturing high-resolution photos and videos. Otherwise, you will just waste your money because you won’t get stunning images using a cheap drone that only captures pixelated photos.

Size. There are drones for indoors and outdoors. Indoor drones tend to be smaller, but you don’t necessarily have to buy two drones as there are camera drones that can work both indoors and outdoors. Also, the size of the drone also contributes to its portability. If you often travel, a small but high-quality quality drone will be a great option.

Flight time. Drones have different flight time, some can last 10 minutes others can fly for 30 minutes. Aerial photography and videography can be tricky and it might consume more time than you expect, so a drone with a long flight time would be better. You can also take extra batteries to extend your drone’s flight time.

Budget. Drones for real estate photography come at different prices, if money is not an issue, then get the newest machine with the most advanced features and the best camera. But if your budget is tight, do not worry because you will always find a good one that suits your budget just ensure that the drone you are getting has an impressive camera.

Conclusion

Drones are a must for real estate photography today, so if you are in this business, you should get one. Those who use drone shave enjoyed increased business.

When choosing a drone for real estate photography make sure that your choice is equipped with a great camera as this is the number one factor that you should consider to accomplish stunning photos and videos. Also, familiarize your machine so you can maximize it to its full potential.

Do you have tips to share about real estate photography? What’s the best real estate drone for you? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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