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DJI Mini 2 SE for Real Estate Photography (All You Need to Know) 

Working as a drone photographer can net you serious bank, especially if you do it full-time. Having a specialty or niche helps, such as real estate photography. 

Image: Dan Bayne

The search for a drone appropriate for your professional aspirations warrants a lot of careful consideration and research between brands, then individual drone models.

So far, one of the drones in contention is the DJI Mini 2 SE.

This is a smart, reliable drone for commercial and recreational flights, but is it the right one for your real estate projects? That’s the all-important question I’ll help you answer.

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DJI Mini 2 SE explained

The DJI Mini 2 SE came out in March 2023, making it one of the newest entry in the Mini line (as of the time of publication) and one of DJI’s newest drones, period. 

The DJI line of Mini drones has become famous for weighing under 250 grams, a trait the Mini 2 SE proudly carries on. 

This isn’t entirely a moot point just because you have to register your drone as a commercial real estate photographer. You still want a travel-friendly, portable drone, and the Mini 2 SE certainly fits the bill.

Its battery has 31 minutes of continuous advertised flight, and its wind resistance is better than you would imagine for a drone of this stature.

Its camera with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS lens takes video in 2.7K quality and images in 12 MP. 

The Mini 2 SE also has a wealth of Intelligent Flight Modes designed to facilitate a hands-off experience. 

It includes the RC-N1 controller, a remote that hooks up to your smartphone so you can navigate, toggle features, and livestream. The remote has a camera button, power button, RTH button, and a switch for adjusting between Sport, Normal, and Cine modes. 

The remote is quite easy to use, and while I wish it had a screen, I can understand why it doesn’t. This is a lower-cost entry in the Mini line, and a remote with a screen would bump up the cost. 

It retails for under $400 if you buy the base edition, and the Fly More Combo is available for under $500. 

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE Controller (All You Need to Know)

Why choose the DJI Mini 2 SE for real estate photography?

The Mini 2 SE can get many jobs done, and that includes real estate photography. Here are some ways it excels when you take it to work. 

Easy to use

If you’re an experienced drone pilot, the beginner features of the Mini 2 SE are easy enough to bypass.

You don’t have to touch the tutorials in the DJI Fly app, and you can manually start and stop your drone rather than use one-touch launching and landing.

However, if you’re new to drones, but you have your commercial license and are eager to start capitalizing on it by making money, you’ve chosen well if you buy the Mini 2 SE. 

This DJI drone has enough information and automated features that you can confidently take to the skies, get your work done, and be on to the next project while building confidence and familiarity in drone operation. 

» MORE: Is DJI Mini 2 SE Good for Beginners? (Hands-on Review)

Excellent wind resistance 

The Mini 2 SE also has a surprisingly good degree of wind resistance at Level 5. It’s built to withstand winds of almost 24 miles an hour.

Interestingly, the Mini 2 SE has better wind resistance than Avata, and its wind level is comparable to the Mini 2, Mini 3, and Mini 3 Pro

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE Wind Resistance (Explained)

Light and portable

I praised the portability of the Mini 2 SE in the last section, and you better believe I’m doing it again.

This drone is a great weight for taking on all your real estate adventures, whether you’re working in your own neighborhood or driving out of state. 

I recommend the carrying bag DJI sells for the Mini 2 SE. Even though it’s not included with the drone, it fits the Mini 2 SE perfectly and can stash a few extra accessories.

Of course, any comparable bag or backpack you already have is fine, too. 

» MORE:  Best Accessories for DJI Mini 2 SE

Good zoom

The Mini 2 SE is equipped with 4x zoom. DJI holds the candle when it comes to zoom because it’s higher quality than most zooms you see in competitors’ drones. 

Zoom is also a great safety feature. You don’t have to stand on the edge of a dangerous precipice to get your perfect shot.

Zooming will also come in handy when photographing properties for sale, as you can get in closer to the detail as your drone hovers over the home. 

» MORE: How to Dolly Zoom With a Drone (Step-by-Step Guide)

Stable hovering 

As a real estate photographer, your images don’t have the most creativity. They don’t have to. You only need photos of the property to make a sale.

The Mini 2 SE’s hovering capabilities make it awesome for taking as many overhead or side-angle photos as you need.

The drone is equipped with GNSS and vision positioning to keep it in one place.

The horizontal and vertical accuracy ranges are spot-on, so if you set the Mini 2 SE in a spot, you can reasonably expect it to stay there. 

» MORE: How Drones Can Hover (Explained for Beginners)

Pro-level Intelligent Flight Modes 

Despite the Mini 2 SE’s reasonable price, DJI does not skimp on Intelligent Flight Modes.

This drone has three times the Panoramas for taking encompassing shots of an entire property. You can set your panos to 180 Degrees or Wide Angle, which will come in handy in everyday work scenarios. 

The Sphere mode is cool, but since it takes creative liberties, you might not use it that often (unless you also fly this drone recreationally, which you should!).

QuickShots modes are all video-based, but you can always take stills from your videos and save them as images. The modes include Rocket, Helix, Dronie, Boomerang, and Circle.

Do I think some of the QuickShots modes are maybe a bit too extra for real estate photography jobs? Probably, but it’s always better to have the option than not! 

» MORE: DJI Intelligent Flight Modes (Including Quickshots & Mastershots)

Smart RTH 

Need to make a quick landing? The Mini 2 SE includes three RTH modes.

Failsafe RTH works if your drone loses signal, Low Battery RTH activates if your battery is nearing zero, and Smart RTH works in many other scenarios. 

You don’t have to be a beginner to appreciate RTH. It can save your hide in near-miss situations, allowing your Mini 2 SE to survive and fly another day. 

» MORE: Smart Features in Drones (Explained for Beginners)

Why the DJI Mini 2 SE may not be the best choice for real estate photography 

While I recommend the Mini 2 SE for real estate photography for the above reasons, it has a few shortcomings that might make you reconsider. Let’s talk about them for the sake of fairness. 

The image quality could be better

The 12 MP image quality and 4K video quality might seem surprising for a drone released in 2023, but the Mini 2 SE continues the Mini 2 line.

This is an area where it shows. The moderately more expensive yet older Mini 3 Pro has 48 MP image quality, a huge jump in quality. 

Do you need the best image quality ever if taking real estate photography? Yes and no. 

I mean, your job is to sell the property, and since that’s all about visuals, you can’t get away with crusty pixels and low-quality resolutions.

Maybe for some static overhead shots, but not for the interior and up-close images of the exterior. 

In this case, you’re better off saving up and buying the Mini 3 Pro instead

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE Camera Quality (With Pictures)

Zoom is limiting 

Do I love that the Mini 2 SE has zoom? Yes, certainly. However, 4x zoom is a bit low for a DJI drone.

No, I’m not expecting the same degree of zoom as what you’d find in the Mavic 3 Pro with its triple-camera system. That drone is oodles more expensive than the Mini 2 SE. 

However, a bit more zoom, or even adjustable zoom, would be better for real estate photography. 

Okay battery life 

The default battery life of the Mini 2 SE is 31 minutes. You can’t upgrade the battery here, so that’s all you get. 

Now, 30 minutes might be enough time to photograph a few properties, depending on how big they are and how extensive you get.

I can’t help but think the battery life will not get you through an entire day of work.

The Mini drones usually have short battery lives, but the Mini 2 SE got the especially short end of the stick. 

» MORE: Flight Time of All DJI Drones (Explained)

LightCut is for videos only 

I love DJI’s LightCut app. It uses AI and offers single-tap edits, which saves loads of time in post. I also appreciate how beginner-friendly it is.

The only problem? It edits videos, not images. In your role, it won’t come in handy much, so you will have no choice but to edit your photos after you’re finished with the job. 

» MORE: Autel EVO II PRO vs. DJI Mini 2 SE (Here’s My Favorite)

Do I need a license to use the DJI Mini 2 for real estate?

That depends on the kind of license we’re talking about.

If you mean a real estate license, no, you don’t. You’re not technically selling the property, only helping the real estate agents sell it with your top-notch photography.

Since you don’t deal directly with buyers or sellers, you don’t need a real estate license. 

Now, if you mean a commercial drone license, yes, you do.

The FAA requires all pilots to have a license, whether it’s the TRUST certificate for recreational flights or the Part 107 license for commercial pilots. 

It’s illegal to fly without a license, and using an expired license is just as bad! 

» MORE: Best Part 107 Online Test Prep Courses (With Best Pass Rate)

Tips for using the DJI Mini 2 SE for real estate photography 

Are you ready to kickstart your career and get more real estate clients with your Mini 2 SE? Here’s how to improve as a drone photographer. 

Shoot in RAW

The Mini 2 SE can take photos in RAW file format. Compared to JPGs and PNGs, RAW files retain so much more detail.

The only thing that’s missing is the noise, and trust me, you’re not going to miss that. 

RAW files may require less editing since they’re already so crisp and appealing. However, do be forewarned that RAW image files take up quite a lot more hard drive space, which brings me to my next point…

» MORE: Real Estate Drone Photography: A Comprehensive Guide (Insider Tips)

Bring spare SD cards

The more SD (microSD) cards you have handy, the better. Carry them in your drone bag, in your pocket, in your shoes if you have to. Just have them. 

The only thing worse than running out of battery mid-shoot is taking up all the space on your drone’s hard drive and not being able to continue photographing.

Don’t let it happen to you! 

» MORE: Best SD Cards for DJI Mini 2 SE

Take advantage of natural lighting

Shooting in natural lighting is a given when taking exterior photos, but I’m referring more to the interior shots. 

Rather than turn on every light in the house, open a window and let the natural sunlight in. Nothing creates a more appealing, desirable effect than natural lighting, which will interest potential buyers.  

» MORE: How to Improve Your Drone Photography

Stay abreast of the weather 

The FAA prohibits drone operation in stormy skies, so it’s more than just dangerous to fly in bad weather. It’s also illegal. 

If you don’t already have a drone app that tells you wind patterns and weather changes, download a weather app with forecasts in your area. Watch the forecast like a hawk on the days you’re supposed to work. 

» MORE: DJI Mini 2 SE and Weather (Explained for Beginners)

Take photos from a variety of angles 

You can’t have every photo you snap be overhead, overhead, overhead. Expand your horizons, trying different angles to showcase the entire neighborhood or whole rooms.

That will create a true sense of what living in the home is like. 

» MORE: Drone Photography: Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started