A Brisbane Real Estate Photographer’s Guide to Features to Look for in a Drone

Buying your first drone can be an overwhelming experience. Knowing what features to look out for can be confusing since there are so many features being advertised. Here are some of the most important features to look out for as a beginner.

Flight Time

Flight time will depend both on the weight of the drone and the size of the battery. Most drones use Lithium Polymer batteries. These type of batteries are rechargeable and can store a large amount of power for their size. Most drones have a flight time of between 5 minutes to 30 minutes. If you want to shoot a 10-minute video, then you will need a flight time of 30 minutes. As a professional real estate photographer, you will want a drone with a long flight time. Moreover, you will want to have extra batteries on you, about 3 to 4 batteries, during a shoot. You do not want to run out of juice and have to stop shooting when you are not done.


As a photographer,the camera may be the single most important feature to look out for. With low-end drones, the cameras are an add-on that can be removed and are not as quality as high-end aerial photography drone cameras. With aerial photography drones, the cameras may be attached to the drone or the drone can be GoPro ready or similar. With GoPro ready drones, you can attach anyGoPro camera. You can change the setting of most high-end cameras. Settings such as size/resolution of the photo or video, the shutter speed, the ISO and so on are important to photography. The camera can be 4K, Ultra High Definition and so on.

Drone Aerial Photography Raby Bay

Watch out for the camera’s resolution, the size of the camera’s sensor, the camera’s aperture, and the focal length of the lens in the camera. A high-resolution camera with a large sensor is a plus as a real estate photographer.

3-Axis Gimbal

A gimbal keeps the camera steady and level regardless of how the drone is moving. It allows you to create a smooth video and not a shaky out of focus video. A quality gimbal is a necessity if you are a Brisbane real estate photographer, no compromise.

Headless Mode

Drones have a front, a back, a left side and a right side. When controlling the drone, you use your controller to fly the drone where it should go. As the drone flies, the front can end up facing left, right, or back in relation to the direction in which the pilot is facing. The same can be said about the back, the left side and the right side. If the drone is not oriented in the same direction as the pilot, pressing right will send the drone a different direction. This can easily lead to a crash if you are an inexperienced pilot. The headless mode will ensure that the drone flies to the right when you press right and the left when you press left regardless of where the drone is facing.

As a professional, you need to get used to flying without the headless mode, but as an amateur,the headless mode is a plus. It is a good idea to get a drone with the headless mode.

Return Home Function

The return home allows the drone to return to a set home point. After you are done shooting the video, you just need to press the return home button and the drone returns to land at a set point. You can also use that button when you have lost sight of the drone or simply when the drone is low on juice.

A GPS enabled drone will return home precisely to the correct takeoff point, while a cheap drone with no GPS tracking will simply fly in the direction of where it took off. It may even fly in the opposite direction.


Depending on the transmitter or RC controller, a drone may have just a 50 to 100-meter control range to as much as a 5000-meter range. Upgrading your transmitter is a must if the range of the drone is short. For topnotch drones such as the DJI Phantom 4, the range is wide.

Spare Parts

Crashes will happen. Even a light crash can damage the propeller, the camera or the motors. Buying a drone with readily available spare parts will ensure that you can easily replace parts when you need to.

There are more to drones than the features discussed, but these features are a good starting point for a Brisbane real estate photographer.