DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Mavic Air 3 - 70mm for real estate photos/videos?

MNewman

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2023
Messages
21
Reactions
11
Age
37
Location
USA
Hi All,

I'm torn between purchasing the Mavic Air 3 and the Mini 4 Pro for real estate photography/videography. I like that the Air 3 has the 70mm lens, but the Mini 4 Pro is significantly cheaper. My question is -- for those of you who shoot aerial real estate, have you found the 70mm lens to be useful?

I figure shooting at 70mm has several advantages, namely that flying further away means you don't bother neighbors as much, and you avoid trees and power lines. But even more handy is the idea that you could shoot your wide angle shot, then switch lenses to 70mm and get your close-up without really having to move the drone closer. I would assume that saves considerable time.

Has anybody tried this? And if so, has it worked well, or have they encountered problems with this approach? Any feedback would be very welcome!
 
As this would be for business and business expense, just budget your business expenses accordingly and about which will be the best for your business. What business and profit advantage would you have with the more expensive drone? Will is really benefit your business for the future years? You are the only one who knows what is lacking in your current hardware for you professional photography. Will a more capable drone be a benefit? Will a better drone give you a competitive advantage over your competitive real estate photographers?
 
Your drone would be a tax write off. If you can't afford to get a Mav 3 Pro you should rethink your business plan. The 70mm would be super useful and keep you from irritating other people and homes as you could be off a bit further from the subject.
 
The Air 3 is the perfect drone for you, its has all the ablity , nice size , you can make it weather resistant with a Wet Suit and get great pictures as well as smooth video and not have to constantly worry about the wind.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly your Air 3 in the Rain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: itallica
Your drone would be a tax write off. If you can't afford to get a Mav 3 Pro you should rethink your business plan. The 70mm would be super useful and keep you from irritating other people and homes as you could be off a bit further from the subject.
The problem with "tax write-offs" is that they are expenses which take away from your business profit. They will reduce your business tax liability a little but still expenses. If a higher cost item will increase you revenue sufficiently, the go for the higher cost item, but still an expense.
 
I think we are getting off track here and the point is being missed. I'm not asking about business expenses or tax write-offs or budgets. I'm asking about whether or not any of you have personally used the Mavic Air 3's 70mm lens specifically to shoot real estate photos and videos, and (more importantly) if you found it to be more helpful and better than only shooting at 24mm. In theory it sounds like it would, but I want to know from those who have tried it how well it worked out in reality.
 
Rarely do we use the 24mm You caputre so much more detail with the 70mm even up close .
If you want to film yourself in front of the house your going to be using the 70mm as well and the video is excellent.

Those two separate cameras were a game changer.

I also have the Mavic 3 Pro and the extra zoom is never used its just not clean enough so that Air 3 hits the sweet spot for size and zoom.

iScreen Shoter - Finder - 231005135241.jpg

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain.
 
Rarely do we use the 24mm You caputre so much more detail with the 70mm even up close .
If you want to film yourself in front of the house your going to be using the 70mm as well and the video is excellent.

Those two separate cameras were a game changer.

I also have the Mavic 3 Pro and the extra zoom is never used its just not clean enough so that Air 3 hits the sweet spot for size and zoom.

View attachment 168933

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain.
Good to know. I assume then that you're probably never that close to the house itself if you're always shooting at 70mm, and just hovering about 250-400 feet away for the whole shoot?
 
The shoot would be much closer with the 70,, so your in full view about 50 ft .

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water.
 
Last edited:
I'm asking about whether or not any of you have personally used the Mavic Air 3's 70mm lens specifically to shoot real estate photos and videos, and (more importantly) if you found it to be more helpful and better than only shooting at 24mm. In theory it sounds like it would, but I want to know from those who have tried it how well it worked out in reality.
There are two things you would be concerned with.
The first is the way your subject is going to look and how this differs from using the wideangle lens.
The second point is how the different focal lengths affect your shooting on site.

The wideangle lens you are used to shooting with on other drones stretches perspective, making everything look further away than it actually is.
Because of this, you have to get quite close to your main subject and if you aren't careful, the wideangle perspective can create some distortion when parts of the subject are much closer to the camera than others.

The short tele camera gives a different perspective.
It compresses perspective slightly, making objects appear closer than they are.
This brings background elements closer, where with the wideangle, they disappear in the distance.

The short tele camera will require you to fly back significantly further to fit the the whole subject in the frame.
In some situations, this might be awkward or impossible because of obstacles, or impractical because the subject might be obscured by trees, other properties etc.
In other situations, the compressed perspective could be useful to exaggerate the distance to the beach etc, while the wide can make a property appear more spacious and neighbouring properties appear further away.

Here are a couple of example images, which although not real estate, demonstrate what I've said.
Both are of a similar subject and shot in the same location.
They were shot with the Mavic 3 pro, but show the same lens perspectives you are thinking about.

DJI_20230510115723_0076a-X3.jpg

Shot with the conventional wideangle, I had to get close to the subject.
The image has a lot of "punch" with the subject so prominent and the background insignificant in the distance.
You also see how the close part of the subject is visually much larger than the further away parts.

DJI_20230821130205_0065a-X3.jpg

Using the 70mm (equiv) short tele camera, the perspective gives a more natural appearance.
The background is much more a part of the picture and can be worked into the composition.
I've had to fly back away from the subject to fit it in.
This isn't a problem in a wide, open situation, but there may be situations where this is an issue in real estate shooting.

Both lenses are good and either can be used for what you want.
They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
 
With all due respect, @MNewman I think you're WAY overthinking this. Go to some dedicated REP groups and ask the big hitters which UAS they are using. You'll get everything from crappy $200 aircraft up to M30 and more. The MLS is so strict on File Size etc we are Downsizing images ridiculously to meet MLS standards even with older drones.

What's more important is what FEATURES etc you need for the way you shoot RE. Do you want Zoom? Do you need Waypoints? Do you want to make Maps?

IMHO you're splitting hairs here for nothing. If the Mini 4 Pro "is significantly cheaper" and that's where your wallet is most comfortable then by all means go that route. Just keep in mind when you're buying equipment, you'll need lots more than "just the aircraft". Extra batteries, hard case, spare aircraft and it just adds up. Whenever I help set up a new Dept with UAS I tell them to double the price of the kit so you are able to fully equip the Dept for Worse Case Scenario.
 
Meta4 had a great post above showing the great power of having BOTH lenses. If you have an iPhone 13 Pro or better the difference between the middle lens and the telephoto is a really good example of how the lenses differ. The 70 is an *excellent lens. It's sharper / more detailed and will give you a different look than the 24. Many times you need the 24 though (space, access, etc). Why not have both tools in the tool box?
 
  • Like
Reactions: itallica
The latest and greatest is always enticing, however, keep in mind, for the last 6-7 years, people have been doing great real estate work with all the previous models, Mavic Pro up to the Air 2s and the mini series. So if your budget is tight or your just starting out look at other options. The Air 2s for example is an excellent choice with a 1' sensor. They are selling in new conditions in the $700 range and even lower as everyone is dumping them for the new drones with zoom, etc. Pick up one of those and build your business first, then when you can afford it move up to a newer drone. And as mentioned above, each can be listed as a business expense reducing your tax liability at the end of the year speeding up the future purchase of something better. I am sure that the way DJI is flooding the market with new models this year that there may even be something better when your budget increases. JMHO
 
Just a word of caution to add to the excellent responses above. I have an Air2S which I occasionally use for reality shots and video. The video can be digitally zoomed in (albeit not near the quality of the 70mm on the Air3) but it’s MUCH easier to get tangled up in electric wires and trees if you’re not super careful.
Additionally, if you’re in a suburban area, the 70mm is more likely to put you above someone else’s home increasing the odds of a confrontation.
If you’re concerned about your wallet, I’ve never found my Air2S lacking for realtor aerials.
 
Last edited:
Just a word of caution to add to the excellent responses above. I have an Air2S which I occasionally use for reality shots and video. The video can be digitally zoomed in (albeit not near the quality of the 70mm on the Air3) but it’s MUCH easier to get tangled up in electric wires and trees if you’re not super careful.
Additionally, if you’re in a suburban area, the 70mm is more likely to put you above someone else’s home increasing the odds of a confrontation.
If you’re concerned about your wallet, I’ve never found my Air2S lacking for realtor aerials.
Yes, unless you are in a remote area, the 70mm will DEF put you over other property. Even the 24 will often times tho.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dbez1
The latest and greatest is always enticing, however, keep in mind, for the last 6-7 years, people have been doing great real estate work with all the previous models, Mavic Pro up to the Air 2s and the mini series. So if your budget is tight or your just starting out look at other options. The Air 2s for example is an excellent choice with a 1' sensor. They are selling in new conditions in the $700 range and even lower as everyone is dumping them for the new drones with zoom, etc. Pick up one of those and build your business first, then when you can afford it move up to a newer drone. And as mentioned above, each can be listed as a business expense reducing your tax liability at the end of the year speeding up the future purchase of something better. I am sure that the way DJI is flooding the market with new models this year that there may even be something better when your budget increases. JMHO
Agreed that the Air2s is still excellent value--especially for the prices you can get them now. IMO though, the 70mm is a game-changer. It can capture a building more "architecturally correct" with far less WA distortion. And as far as the wait for "something even better" goes, we are ALL forever on that treadmill with all forms of tech / electronics. LOL. I call it the Epson-Factor. There was a time when every 6 months to a year Epson would come out with a photo printer that was faster, larger-printing, more-archival and with overall superior print quality that you just "had to have". And it was somehow the same price or less! If you were waiting for the latest and greatest Epson printer, you'd never be able to purchase as there was always a better one in the pike before you even got the AMEX bill for the one you just bought. Epson knew of course that the actual profit was in the inks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RangerEd and Dbez1
The problem with "tax write-offs" is that they are expenses which take away from your business profit. They will reduce your business tax liability a little but still expenses. If a higher cost item will increase you revenue sufficiently, the go for the higher cost item, but still an expense.
Another problem is you rarely get to write off the full amount of a capital expense in the current tax year. Like furniture, fixtures and buildings you have acquired an asset with long term use and so you must amortize the depreciation over several tax periods in most cases.
 
Another problem is you rarely get to write off the full amount of a capital expense in the current tax year. Like furniture, fixtures and buildings you have acquired an asset with long term use and so you must amortize the depreciation over several tax periods in most cases.
Well you write the entire cost off when you crash it 😎
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
130,070
Messages
1,548,989
Members
159,127
Latest member
timvsouth