Looking for some Guidance on Equipment

Happy Friday Everyone! I am wondering what would be a good SLR and Drone to have in my bag to complete the setup to do package tours, photos, video etc. For Real Estate Agents… I would image that the Planix Pro by itself is not enough correct?

Any Advice?

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Realtors will ask a lot of you, however do what you feel comfortable. Any midrange DSLR will do. I’ve used my iPhone 13 Pro Max with an Osmo which has done the trick for me.

In terms of the drone, I would recommend the DJI Mavic 3. If you’re on a budget then the Mavic Mini 2 will suffice. The thing is the Mavic 3 will be a lot more stable in the air if there are winds. The Mini is good for if you have an airspace restriction; since it’s under 250g you have slightly less restrictions. Additionally, you do not have to register it or get a license although I highly recommend it so you’re informed.


That’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions.
The Sony folks will tell you it has to be a Sony. The Canon folks are sure it should be a Canon.
I migrated to Nikon because there were so few Pentax dealers here in the Atlanta area. So I’m not married to any one brand.

My personal recommendation is, if you have a good camera store near you, or a big Best Buy, go pick up a few cameras and see what feels the most friendly to use.
I’m heavily invested in DSLR cameras and lenses, but in your position I would most likely be buying a Mirrorless camera.
I’ve been quite impressed with the Fuji range. Especially the XT-3 and XT-4. These cameras have very small controls and that will not suit everyone.
As a Nikon user, I’d most likely buy a Nikon Z body, but that’s just me.

Also, on the topic of drones, DJI are excellent drones (I have 2) I’d also consider the Autel drones, if you can find them. Another RE photo group that I belong to have folks that love this brand. It’s easier to get them to fly in certain areas, where DJI can be a challenge because of restrictions.

Final note. The last two full frame bodies and big (expensive) lenses I’ve bought were used from a company called KEH in Atlanta. Their ratings are very honest. I’ve been delighted with every I’ve got from KEH (just add a dot com to the name) When they say ‘very good’ what I receive is usually ‘excellent’ in my opinion.
It can save a ton of money.
We don’t need to latest and greatest equipment to take RE photography, unless you are closer to the architecture end of this photography discipline.
Best wishes,

Thanks for the advice… I have a Canon 60D DSLR which is older but it seems to do the job… Maybe I need a couple of good lenses to go with it. I want to try some video tours and was thinking of maybe the Canon M50 body. This way I can use the lenses for both Stills and Video.? But I have also seen people use GoPro’s on a gimbal and they turn out pretty good… Good plan?

The 60D is a crop sensor camera, so if you can find a nice 10mm-20mm kinda range, this would be perfect for the interior shots. You don’t need a super fast lens (so you don’t need to be buying an F2.8 lens) and learn how to set it up to shoot HRD.
(I personally usually shoot at f9 with a +/-2 bracket, but everyone is different in how they do HRD.)

Then adding a lens to do video when you are ready.
Don’t try to do too much all at once.

Video is a nice add on, but between getting your virtual tour work done, getting stills edited and getting drone shots, you’re not going to have a lot of time to add video.
Try to take it one bite at a time (the old ‘how do you eat an elephant’ concept)

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Hi there, happy to share.
Cameras & Lenses- Every photographer will manage the APS chip (1.6 mult factor sensor) vs the full frame decision on their own. Yes cost is one view. I have used both. Canon user since 2003. If watching pennies in the beginning go the APS route.

Get a lens that can match a 17mm (fullframe) viewpoint and the same goes for a 24mm (fullframe) viewpoint. See if you may get lenses that ‘could’ work on APS (your initial direction), yet may also be workable on the EOS fullframe mount. IE: consider an EOS Mount. My 2003 lenses are still sharp in the digital land. For used I go to Roberts or B&H.

Drone: DJI Mini2 is fine. The cinema mode control is very smooth. And the DJI Air2 provides that 1” sensor which does great when the morning or sunset lighting begins to drop. Reach out any time. Swafford Imaging

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If I were really, really starting out, I would get:
Stills: Sony a6300 with a wide lens, ~16mm-35mm equivalent (I think that’d be 10-16?? I use full frame…)
Godox lighting
Video: DJI Pocket 2 creator combo
Drone: DJI Mini 2
The trouble with that kit is realtors and home owners might not take you seriously, even though all that gear is seriously quite good…

A step up would be:
Sony A7iii for both stills & video, with Zeiss 16-35mm lens
Still use Godox for lighting
A gimbal. Something from Zhiyuntech.
DJI Air 2s

I have invested heavily and use:
Canon 5diii with a suite of tilt/shift lenses, plus 16-35mm f2.8, 50 mm 1.8 etc. (will eventually upgrade to a sony) for stills
Sony a7s for video (likely getting an a7siii soon), 16-35mm f2.8 gm with Ronin-S gimbal
Mavic 2 pro and zoom (always have a backup drone!)
Profoto B1 and B2 for lighting
Get out the pocket book!

If you want to go crazy nuts, Ronin 4d for video with lenses ~$10k; DJI Mavic 3.

Are you saying you can fly this drone for real estate without a part 107 ???

I would image that the Planix Pro by itself is not enough correct?

Right. It’s not enough if you want to be taken seriously. Use the Planix for virtual tour and measurements and a DSLR or mirrorless camera for stills.

what would be a good SLR and Drone to have in my bag to complete the setup to do package tours, photos, video etc.

You will receive as many different answers to your questions as there are responders. I’m primarily a Canon shooter, but there are no bad options. I wouldn’t agonize over what brand to buy since an experienced photographer should be able to produce roughly equivalent work regardless of the brand or age of the gear they use.

If you’re just getting into real estate photography, I’d suggest shooting for someone else first to learn and gain experience with the industry and gear options and watch paid or free REP training videos to get a sense of the range of ways to shoot RE and the range of opinions about gear.


One important point is to state what country you’re in, since regulations vary.

I’m using the a7c + 16-35gm,
Dji air 2s
Fx3 35mm, 50gm, 28-75mm, 70-180mm,
Dji rsc2
And lots of godox lights.
Tripod I’m using ifootage

I’m doing iGuide & cinematography if needed it.

I believe that will be way good for start up, however realtor and owner are treat you professional and respect to what you do.

Thanks Everyone for all the great advice… I am in Ontario Canada. I was a photographer for over 10 years hooting weddings, sports and nature photography so I know my way around a camera. It’s the iGuide and drone stuff that will be new to me.

Been watching a ton of YouTube videos on RE Photography techniques etc.

Planning around a $6000.00 budget to start out with and grow as I need to :slight_smile:

Hi Audrey,

Pt 107: sharing, Pt 107 has little to do with the weight of the unit. Part 107 and the key reason passing the test is important… this is not about the weight of the unit.

  1. If you or someone else is flying any size drone for a ‘commercial purpose’ in the US; you are required to have the license. (This is usually a subject within the test as FYI).
    1.A. If the FAA were to catch a non-licensed pilot doing a commercial purpose, they can fine that pilot … and usually it will not be a small amount.
    1.B. This is about safety…for you and the other drone & aircraft pilots.
  2. Having the license also assists you in getting ‘flight clearance’ where restrictions may exist.
  3. Having the license also provides you with ‘situational awareness’ and supports the idea that you understand how the FAA Air Traffic processes works… so hopefully you are a safe pilot.

Recommendation - go earn the License and set yourself a personal deadline. you can do it. - Matt


In Canada, drones are governed under the Canadian Aeronautical Regulations (CAR) Part IX - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs). In the CAR Part IX, drone operations are divided into Basic and Advanced operations, irrespective of the commercial or non-commercial intent of the flight. In the USA, the dichotomy is commercial vs. non-commercial. Big difference.

Advanced operations, such as flights in controlled or restricted airspace, or flights near or over people, require the operator to have an current Advanced RPAS Pilot License, and that the aircraft be of a type approved by Transport Canada for the advanced operation. In controlled or restricted airspace, approval for the flight is required from NavCanada, as well as from any special authority for any restricted airspace.

Even in uncontrolled airspace, a horizontal separation of 30m (100’) must be maintained between your aircraft and any third party on the ground, unless you have an advanced license, and an aircraft approved for use near people.

No mini-drones have been approved for advanced operations!

True, if your drone is under 250g you can fly it as an unlicensed operator, but you are restricted to basic operations. Stay away from controlled or restricted airspace, and stay away from people (including the neighbors in a subdivision, and that guy in a canoe in front of the cottage you are photographing).

Fines for offenses in Canadian airspace under CAR Part IX start at $1000 ($5000 for a corporation) and are stackable! Let’s look at the guy in the canoe, if he complains. Advanced operation without an advanced pilot certificate ($1000), aircraft not suitable for flying near people ($1000), endangering a person or aircraft ($3000), for a total of $5000 ($25000 for a corporation). If the enforcement officer is really pissed off, there are at least another half-dozen offenses he can lay charges for.

Now, think about the brokerage if this was a real estate shoot. The brokerage is ultimately responsible for your actions during the shoot. What do you think their reaction is going to be when they (a corporation!) get charged because you wanted a cheap drone to fly! I am sure they will think nothing of the extra $25000 you cost them for the shoot!

Don’t believe the idiots who claim that using a mini drone exempts you from CAR Part IX. Invest the time and energy to get your Advanced license, fly a real drone approved for advanced operations, and do it right!

One further word! There is a rumor going around (might be apocryphal) that Transport Canada is looking to a crackdown. Something about reviewing MLS listings, looking for aerials, checking the addresses against controlled airspace, then checking the NavCanada database looking for Flight Authorization Requests for the addresses. The fines would more that pay the salaries of the summer students they would employ to do this. Cross you fingers. Maybe the rumor isn’t true.

For those flying in the USA (FAA governed UAS Rules)

Matt is SPOT on in his comment above but I want to add one important note…

If you are flying a drone Commercially without Part 107 and you’ve been HIRED, if there is an incident or there is an investigation (someone reports you) yes you can get fined $1,100 or more per flight as an individual acting as an Airmen. The person/company who hired you could be liable for a much higher fine per flight for initiating the illegal operation of $11,000 per violation. So a Realtor who hires you to fly commercially without a Part 107 is on the hook for even more than you are. That should be enough to make each and every Realtor require Part 107 proof before allowing you to fly their job.

Also there is a slight misunderstanding about under 250gr UAS and Commercial Registration. In the USA, if flying purely for Hobby/Recreation (~44809) and the aircraft is under 250gr (all in) it does not have to be registered with the FAA. But, ANY aircraft flown Commercially is required to be registered with the FAA regardless of weight.

I hope this helps and didn’t take the topic too far off track.

I’m glad to help with Drone topics and FAA Regulations topics.

FAA Safety Team Representative, Charlotte NC Region
FAA Safety Team Drone Pro, Charlotte NC Region

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