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Drone Photography for Real Estate: Capturing Unique Perspectives

Drone businesses are soaring worldwide, initially popular for their ability to capture bird's-eye views, they have now found their place in various industries including real estate. Aerial images and videos provide a unique perspective of...

Drone Photography

Drone businesses are soaring worldwide, initially popular for their ability to capture bird's-eye views, they have now found their place in various industries including real estate. Aerial images and videos provide a unique perspective of properties, enhancing their chances of selling. In this article, we will explore the best drones for real estate photography, along with tips to become a pro real estate drone photographer.

What Makes a Good Drone for Real Estate?

Choosing the right drone for real estate photography requires careful consideration. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • RAW: Look for a drone that allows you to create RAW files. These uncompressed files offer the best quality for post-production editing.
  • AEB Mode: The Auto Exposure Bracketing mode is essential for creating high dynamic range (HDR) images. This mode captures multiple shots with different exposure settings, resulting in stunning visuals.
  • Megapixel Count: Higher megapixels provide better image quality, especially for enlargements or printing.
  • Field of View (FOV): A wide-angle lens allows you to capture more of the property in a single frame, showcasing its entirety.
  • Bitrate: The higher the bitrate, the better the quality of video footage. However, keep in mind that higher bitrates result in larger file sizes.
  • Weight: Depending on local regulations, using a lightweight drone can streamline your operations without the need for permits or waivers.
  • Price: Consider your budget and invest in a drone that offers the right features for your business needs.

Several drones in the market cater specifically to real estate photography. Let's explore some of the best options available.

Best Drones for Real Estate Photography

When it comes to real estate photography and video recording, these drones stand out:

  1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro: The Mavic 2 Pro is a top recommendation for starting your real estate photography business. It offers a quiet flight, long flight time, excellent quality, and easy portability.

  2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro: Known as the standard professional drone, the Phantom 4 Pro offers 4K video at 60 FPS and various pro features. Its affordability in second-hand markets makes it a fantastic choice.

  3. DJI Mavic Air 2S: The Mavic Air 2S is the best bang for your buck option. With a 1-inch sensor, 20 MP stills, and 5.4K video at 60FPS, it excels in real estate photography. The Fly More Combo package is highly desirable.

  4. DJI Mavic Air 2: Often overlooked, the Mavic Air 2 boasts a unique 48 MP camera and 4K/60FPS video capabilities. However, it has a smaller sensor size compared to other drones.

  5. Autel Evo II: As an alternative to DJI drones, the Autel Evo II offers a half-inch sensor, 48 MP camera, up to 4x lossless zoom, and 8K/25FPS video recording. It is a slightly more expensive option.

  6. DJI Mavic 3: The DJI Mavic 3 sets a new standard in video and picture quality. Its 4/3" sensor and Hasselblad technology produce outstanding results. However, the current market price poses a challenge.

For those on a budget, two options are worth considering:

  • Parrot Anafi: With a shorter flight time and smaller sensor size, the Parrot Anafi still offers 21 MP pictures and 4K/30FPS video capabilities. It excels in good lighting conditions.

  • DJI Mini 2: Known as the king of the market, the DJI Mini 2 is perfect for real estate photography and video recording in urban areas with drone weight restrictions. Despite its limitations, it captures stunning footage in the right lighting conditions.

Choose a drone that suits your needs and budget to capture amazing photographs for real estate agencies.

How to Capture Stunning Real Estate Photography and Video

Now that you have your drone or have a clear idea of which one to buy, let's explore some best practices for real estate photography and videography:

Tweak Your Settings

Setting up your drone to optimize your workflow is essential. Consider these tips:

  • Customize Buttons: Assign specific tasks to customizable buttons on your drone controller or app for quicker access.
  • Gimbal Speed/Smoothness: Adjust gimbal settings for smoother movements, resulting in cinematic video footage.
  • Pro Photo Mode: Switch to the pro mode on your camera for sharper backgrounds by setting a high aperture and ensuring low ISO for minimal noise.
  • AEB Mode: Use Auto Exposure Bracketing to capture multiple shots with different exposures, creating stunning HDR images.
  • RAW: Choose the RAW file format for the highest image quality and greater flexibility in post-processing.
  • Grid: Activate the rule of thirds grid for better image composition.
  • White Balance: Adjust the white balance settings for videos to ensure consistent lighting throughout the footage.

Use Tripod Mode

Tripod mode, available on most drones, allows for slow and smooth movements. Utilize this mode to capture stable and cinematic shots.

Shoot at Different Heights, Angles, and Distances

To showcase the property effectively, experiment with different heights, angles, and distances:

  • Shoot from low, medium, and high levels to capture unique perspectives of the property.
  • Take pictures and videos from various angles to provide a comprehensive view of the building.
  • Use distance to create captivating intro and outro shots by approaching or pulling away from the property.

Top 10 Real Estate Shots

Here are ten shots commonly used in real estate drone photography:

  1. Approach: Capture the property from different directions, highlighting its features.
  2. Approach and Orbit: Combine approaching shots with orbiting movements to showcase wide outdoor areas.
  3. Pull Away: Center the focus and gradually move the drone away to create an engaging shot.
  4. Orbit: Showcase the property from multiple angles by orbiting around it.
  5. Straight Up Rising: Start from a zenithal perspective and ascend as if the drone were a rocket.
  6. Flyover While Focusing: Fly over the property while shifting focus to neighboring areas for combined shots.
  7. Spin Around: Create captivating shots by spinning around the property from a zenithal perspective.
  8. Rising Reveal: Fly behind an object, such as trees, and reveal the property as it comes into view.
  9. Forward Reveal (Approach): Approach the property from a distance, gradually revealing its details.
  10. Sweeping: Shift the drone sideways while maintaining a centered focus for a dynamic shot.

Explore these shots and experiment with combinations to capture stunning real estate visuals.

Real Estate Photography Composition

Composition plays a crucial role in real estate photography. Consider the rule of thirds and align your images with grid lines for a balanced composition. Explore different angles and perspectives before selecting the best shots to present to clients.

Editing Real Estate Photographs

Editing your real estate photographs is essential to enhance their quality. Consider these editing tips:

  • Contrast: Adjust contrast to create visually appealing images without overdoing it.
  • Highlights: Correct overly bright areas by adjusting the highlight settings.
  • Texture: Enhance medium-size textures to make the details of the building pop.
  • Clarity: Increase clarity for a sharper and clearer overall image.
  • Dehaze: Use dehaze filters to elevate contrast and remove haze, especially in landscape shots.

Creating a template with preset settings can expedite your editing process.

Drone Video Editing: Key Aspects

Video editing is equally important for real estate drone footage. Consider the following key aspects when editing your videos:

  • Naming / Tagging: Organize your footage by renaming and tagging files for efficient editing.
  • Video Frame Rate: Shoot your videos at higher frame rates but export the final product at 24 FPS for a cinematic look.
  • Playback Resolution: Reduce playback resolution while editing to optimize performance, without sacrificing the final export quality.
  • Music: Choose appropriate music to set the mood and duration of your video.

Combine Drone and Ground Content

To provide a complete representation of the property, consider capturing both aerial and indoor shots. Along with your drone, invest in a DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens for capturing indoor spaces. Additionally, use a gimbal to stabilize your camera footage. Combining aerial and ground content will enhance the overall presentation of the property.

Real estate drone photography offers a creative and unique way to showcase properties. Utilize these tips and techniques to become a pro real estate drone photographer, impress clients, and take your business to new heights.

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