Best 360 Camera For VIRTUAL TOURS??? (Early 2018)

So you’ve decided you want to shoot virtual
tours and you’re looking for a 360 camera with that purpose in mind. When
shooting a virtual tour a lot of things don’t apply that I talk about in my
other videos, things like video things like stabilization things like a
low-light because most virtual tools are shot during the day so I have the 4
best contenders in front of me now I want to put them side-by-side to figure
out really which is the best camera you should buy if you want to make money
with virtual tours to be perfectly honest with you the best 360 camera
choice is using a DSLR. I know what you’re thinking.. DSLR? What? They don’t shoot 360. Well actually they do back in the day panoramic photographers would use a DSLR
with a nodal head and they’d point the camera in all directions capturing a
mega high-resolution 360 panorama which they then stitch together into an
awesome-looking 360 they still do this today and this is still the best option
but that takes way too long who’s got time to download all those
files stitch them together photo by photo by photo I want to be able to do
it in minutes which is why in this video we’re going to choose the best
point-and-shoot 360 camera so the two things you should look for in
a 360 camera for shooting virtual tours are 1: resolution and 2: dynamic range
these are crucial because all buildings you might be shooting in will have an
interior and an exterior that is significantly brighter than the interior
which is why dynamic range is so important you need a camera they can
capture both of them harmoniously in the same photo and not completely blow out
the background or underexpose the interior and this can be achieved in two
ways the first way is just shooting in HDR mode some cameras like this one have
HDR mode so you can do it right there in the camera which is really handy because
it means there’s less post work later on the second way is shooting in RAW a lot
of these cameras now can shoot in RAW which means you have a lot more control
over your highlights and your shadows in post so if you like editing in Lightroom
or Adobe Camera Raw you can really recover any detail that might have been
under or over exposed next is resolution and when you choose a 360 camera you
need to make sure you choose them with just a base level of resolution
resolution isn’t everything but it’s something I would prioritize exposure
over resolution but if you have about 15 megapixels or more you should be okay
don’t settle for some cheap crappy camera found on eBay it’s worth getting the
name brands that you might have seen on my youtube channel because they will
deliver so now I’m going to put these 4 cameras to the test in a high
contrast room that I’ve got here really strong lighting coming in through the
windows and we have shadows inside so this will be a good test of which of
these four cameras is the best for virtual tours now i will be shooting RAW
when I can which is with 2 of these cameras and i will be shooting in HDR
mode for the cameras that also allow HDR and you know what I’m gonna put the
samples from all of these photos that I’m taking today down in description if
you want download with them and pixel peep them yourself if you want to edit
them and see exactly what workflow works best for you
i’ll make them available for free check the description so here are the photos I took with each camera I used the settings that produce
the best overall look exposure dynamic range and so on so the photos in front
of you are as good as they possibly can look with each camera I color corrected
them in Adobe Camera Raw I will show you the original images a little later with
the Xiaomi Mi Sphere I shot in RAW and I found that looks slightly better than
auto exposure the Mi Sphere is always super contrasty so I found that helped
a bit again the Insta 360 One looked best in RAW I shot this in DNG RAW
stitch it in Insta 360 Studio and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised at how good
it turned out here’s the Theta V and I shot this in HDR rendering which is a
setting within the app and damn I’m happy with this I don’t know what else
to say finally here’s the Fusion and this photo
was taken with RAW on and ProTune on however this isn’t a RAW photo you can’t
yet stitch RAW within the GoPro app so this is just plain auto exposure so here are
the things that are important to me when shooting a virtual tour now I want to
address all of these things one by one to see how the cameras stack up against
each other I’ll give them ratings and see which one
wins overall taking a look at the sharpness and straight away the Fusion
draws my eye as the sharpest of the 4 followed by the Mi Sphere and this is
from a wider perspective when we punch in I think that all but confirms that
Fusion #1 Mi Sphere #2 believe it or not the Theta V comes in 3rd and Insta
360 One 4th and this is really interesting because the 2 cameras on
the left have a higher resolution and the 2 cameras on the right yet the
Theta V and Fusion are beating the Mi Sphere and One respectively
so why is that well the answer is lens quality because the 2 cameras on the right are the most expensive they are designed the best and the lenses are
engineered in a way that despite having a lower resolution they’re able to
capture details in a way that makes the resolution look higher than it actually
is moving on to dynamic range and looking
at these 4 images here I think they’re all totally acceptable and I’d
be happy shooting a virtual tour with any of these if I had
mixed lighting I know they’d all do a pretty good job first I want to look at the
highlights and when i zoom in super close on all 4 images they’re all
looking extremely different the Theta V is no question handling at the best hey
the Insta 360 One is doing a really good job normally it’s not that great
mixed lighting but with highlights it does an excellent job Fusion comes next
and the Mi Sphere is looking pretty average taking a look at the shadows and
it’s a completely different story the Theta V comes 1st
again shadows are looking excellent I would put Fusion in 2nd while the Mi Sphere puts up a strong case for 2nd the texture of the Fusion is a lot
better I can see quite a bit of visible noise with the Mi Sphere whereas I can’t
with the Fusion finally with the Insta 360 One it’s just not a camera that’s good
at low-light or shadows so this especially applies to mixed lighting
it’s not going to be great in the shadow areas although it will be good in the
highlights so here’s how I see it overall for dynamic range
good old Theta V it’s always been excellent dynamic range and this is
something I’ve said video after video this is the best camera for dynamic
range period end of story next is color and if you haven’t entered full screen
mode yet then now is the time to do it so you can really pixel peep these
colors and straight away again the 2 cameras on the right to stand out more
than the cameras on the left the Fusion and Theta V are almost inseparable they
both really really good for color my skin tone definitely looks best on
the Theta V however this video isn’t about that that’s about photographing
buildings I’m finding it really hard to separate the 2 but I would probably
just give it to the Fusion because the colors are the most accurate to what I
was seeing then in there with my eye the Theta looks great no question and it’s
only 2nd by a hair Mi Sphere 3rd One 4th for those of you who
choose not to color correct your photo you’re going to need a camera that has
an awesome look straight out of the camera with very minimal post-production
needed this is tech instruction the SD cards and this is more or less the look
you will get in most situations due to the awesome dynamic range again the
Theta V is going to take 1st place for straight out of the camera look because
it’s just really well balanced there’s no overblown highlights no crushed
blacks everything is looking a-ok I’d put the Fusion in 2nd place
followed by the Mi Sphere one thing you will need to be careful about with the
me sphere is sometimes the 2 lenses create 2 different color temperatures
and you might end up with a significant blue streak around the seam line
ultimately this can be fixed by the method in which you stitch so you will
want to be careful about this stitching in the app is going to create the
strongest seam line as you can see here it won’t always be there but it will
sometimes so Mi Sphere goes into 3rd place and bringing up the rear again is
the Insta 360 One and while I do like the images overall that it produces
consistently I found it just looks washed out especially where the
highlights meet the shadows and there always seems to be a lack of contrast
and contrast is really important to accentuate the architecture when you’re
shooting a virtual tour next is workflow and this is something that will be
vastly different for everyone but I’ll try to give you an idea of my workflow
for each camera to get the best result possible and how long it took for each
here are my workflows broken up into the general steps you don’t need to read
them all but this will hopefully give you an idea of how many steps there is
for each and even though they all have a similar amount of steps with some
cameras the steps away faster done than others overall I found this Theta V has
the shortest amount of time per step normally it’s about 30 to 60 seconds for
most of them some of the bigger things take a bit longer but overall in my
experience the Theta V has the fastest workflow followed by the Fusion, Mi Sphere
and Insta 360 One look your workflows probably completely different to mine
and that might change but this is just my personal experience and something to
consider when choosing a 360 camera for virtual tours now I’m going to add a
category because there’s something that’s more important than everything
I’ve discussed that will influence your buying decision and that is price you
need the money to begin with to be able to buy a 360 camera so I’m just gonna
mention it here right now real quick here they are here’s the order and I
will put links in the description to where you can find them all for the best
price possible so here’s the final tally what do you guys think do your numbers
look the same as mine leave a comment box below and let me know but otherwise
according to my calculations we have ourselves a winner here are the rankings
excellent job to all 4 contestants but the Theta V has this
battle 1 if you’re thinking about buying a 360 camera specifically for
virtual tours you should pick the Theta V over all other cameras this doesn’t
take away from the fact that the other three are all excellent
and they also excel and many other things outside of virtual tours but if
you’re looking at shooting interiors of buildings the Theta V is going to have
your back it has a great look a great workflow and an affordable-ish price
there’s no doubt that new amazing cameras will be coming out in the future
so if you’re watching months or even years after this video was released use
this video as a guide for what you should look for from a virtual to a 360
camera don’t forget to hit that subscribe button down there for more
awesome 360 photo and video content coming really soon hey there’s gonna be some more Cupix
videos coming really soon so you won’t want to miss those hit that like button
if you liked this video hit the dislike button if you didn’t also I’m on instagram
and facebook so check us out there for more awesome daily 360 content until
next time keep capturing your world in 360 this has been Ben and I will see you
in the next video

100 Replies to “Best 360 Camera For VIRTUAL TOURS??? (Early 2018)

  1. Hi, I'm super interested in the Theta V. How do you edit the 360 photos? Can you also use Lightroom or Photoshop to change white balance and such? Thank you for your awesome work!

  2. i still use the nodal head and the gigapixel 😀 😀

  3. So the v is best for pics but how does it compare to the mi sphere for video? I bet you've already got a comparison video don't you? Lol.. goes to check

  4. Good video, Ben. I like the idea of adding B-roll to your videos – it definitely makes them more interesting. However, I would have to disagree with your video about many of the segments. First of all, many of the photos produces a strong blue color on the highlights which is something that should be reduced at all times in post production as it hurts the eyes. Secondly, the Theta V, given or not the best 360 in low-light is acceptable for fast HDR results but in JPEG Only. The inability to shoot Raw (which you can with Mi Sphere and Insta360 one) is a major flaw given the high price tag. And if somebody wants to buy GoPro Fusion for real estate photography – do not bother. The fusion is sloppy. If used for 360 video of real estate campaigns or some personal/other projects that include underwater footage or high-class 360 video – then yes! Otherwise I would just spend them on a DSLR. I would position the fusion maybe 3rd or last if it is only for VT experience. But thank you for the effort of the video – it has given some really good comparison – now it is for every real estate photographer to decide which is most appealing 🙂

  5. 360 is on the rise there is so much potential for different business opportunities. Ben you are an inspiration thank you for your content!!!

  6. I am leaning heavily on your videos to help me decide on which 360 camera is best for me, and I really appreciate all the work that you put into your videos. One more question about the Theta V. Does it have over capture software, or do you have to use Premiere to add key frames?

  7. can you tell me why you don´t compare the garmin virb 360 , I will appreciate the info thank you alot and congratulations with your channel.

  8. Hi Ben, greetings from Ireland. Great video and great channel – I've subscribed.
    For this review, I was surprised you afforded the GoPro Fusion a score of 2 in the workflow category. From what others are saying on YouTube, the Fusion software is a bit of a nightmare to work with. Is this still the case?
    I was also surprised to see the Mi-Sphere disappoint in this field, considering how much you otherwise rate it. Would the Advantage fair any better?
    Best of luck buddy.

  9. Great review … I bought the Insta360 One for my VR real estate and 3DVista for the tours …

  10. Thanks for the comparison, very detailed and shows the important aspects. Would the Theta V comments apply to the Theta S as well as I understand it's mostly (only ?) the video that was improved ? I switched from the Theta S to the Mijia and find the pictures to be a lot sharper and less noisy thanks to the 50 ISO setting. I must admit I hadn't used it's HDR mode though.

    Highlights are always blows out on the Mijia though so bracketing is pretty much compulsory and that adds to the workflow…I haven't found that shooting in raw works as bracketing to get the best possible dynamic range ?

  11. Great review, Ben! That's was what i've been thinking about last weeks. Your help in that is amazing!

  12. I've tested quite a few and I'm not happy with the quality from any of the point and shoot 360 cameras yet… I'm using a Canon 5DS for the virtual tours I produce, each 360 image ends up over 20,000 x 10,000 🙂

  13. Having to do color corrections on calibrated monitor as part of my daily workflow, I seem to have a different opinion of the Theta V. In your example, it seems to have purplish blacks, over saturated colors and over reddish skin tones. Still trying to figure out the best way to deal with MiSphere raw files (edit and then stitch) on Mac. The raw files are dual circular 360 when bringing them in directly from camera. PTGui 11 beta is about the only semi-affordable option ($124US) that I have found to do the stitching. How and what do you use to stitch the RAW images from MiSphere AFTER editing the raw images in Adobe Camera Raw? I don't have Android, so the MiSphere Converter app is out of the question.

  14. This is the vid I have been waiting for! I asked you about doing this in the comments of some other vids. THANKS!

  15. I'm not sure if that horrible noise on the black chair comes from the Mi Sphere. I shoot a lot with it and haven't experienced anything similar. The bad in camera line stitching is very real, though. My experience with Theta S is way better than Mi Sphere in this aspect.

  16. Best under low light ?
    I'm looking for the best quality video under low-light conditions, which of these do you recommend ? I heard from various reviews that the insta 360, although a great camera, it's not so great in low light, as it supposedly has a lot of noise. What's the best under low light ?

  17. 😱 I'm in love with 360 since I discovered your channel couple of weeks ago, still exploring. I bought Xiaomi. You are awesome. But..may I question your choices this time? Looking at competitors in your clip I see a lot of defects: purple fringing, stitching flaws, colour accuracy (oversaturation/overcontrast), softness/blurryness (look at the leaves on insta!). Fusion performs a little better, but costs twice (&more) much…. Switzerland is worth a 360 trip if ever 😉👍👋

  18. Hi Ben, thank you for this great comparison!

    I am using the theta SC and I only use it for virtual tours. Is there any reason why I should buy a theta V? I couldn't find a difference for my purpose in the company's comparison:

    Thanks again for all your great videos. Super helpful!

  19. Ben I have seen your videos from when you started and this one is different, might it be the music? The editing? Just wanted to let you know, keep up the good work in 360!

  20. Great videos. New follower here. Question: which consumer camera is best for hyper lapses?
    Keep up the good work!

  21. HI. Thanks for the information, I find your videos educating and entertaining. How do you edit tinyplanet videos? Do you upload HEVC formats or H.264? What software do you use to convert? Thanks

  22. Nice video well explained! Could you please do a similar video for – Best 360 Camera for Live Streaming?? Thanks.

  23. Hello Ben, I've been checking out several of your videos (many thanks) but I still cannot make my decision on which 360 camera to pick. Actually, I've narrowed my selection (with your help) to 2: the Theta V & the Xiaomi Mi Sphere.
    I come from the old world; the one where you needed a DSLR to make virtual tours.
    I know how to create virtual panorama (…/asie/hong…/le-temple-aux-10000-buddhas/) or use a drone (…/visite-virtue…/france-angers/capmartin/) but wanna discover new frontiers with 360 camera such as video & time lapses.
    I will obviously stick this new camera onto my drone. I want to have access to the pano (that's why I'm not considering the GoPro fusion since from what I've understood, you cannot import the pano into a third party software such as AutoPano).
    That being said, which camera between the Ricoh & the Xiaomi would you consider?
    Many thanks & excellente journée!

  24. I am getting my drone company into the 360 tour market with Immoviewer, maybe. I have not made my final purchase yet but am continuing on with my investigations into what is out there. Immoviewer is pushing the Madventure camera. I heard that the Madventure is just like the Mi Shere but better. What is your feeling? Please let me know ASAP. 😉

  25. Ben Have you tried do the3dvista software? If so what do you think of it?

  26. Morning… watched quite a few of your vid's (thanks)and it seems as if the GoPro Fusion is the camera to get if $$ isnt a factor. The other thing I noticed is as a system and for versatility it also seems as if the GoPro is the better option.. Excellent virtual tours but also excellent for instagram etc if you have the patience to handle the worlflow. Has anything changed with GoPro's workflow since making this video or with the companies viability?
    Thanks – Kelly

  27. Nice Review, What is your opinion about kodak sp360 4k dual pack, would you recommend for external 360 shots in sunny day ?

  28. You mentioned DSLR, how about the Sphere lense. It looks pretty promising for someone if they already have a DSLR or are doing it professionally? thoughts?

  29. Hey Ben, I took your advise and got a theta v mainly for virtual tours. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but the images have a lot of noise and anr not really clear. I tried shooting in Hdr and in manual but can't really figure it out. Can you please tell me the settings you use when shooting photos and a little about you post production. Many thanks, love your work and your channel 👍🏻

  30. thx for showing us side by side. Because I don't agree with the mark, and then can make my own ranking 🙂

  31. Looking for a 360 for out door motorsports –

    1 – Motocross
    2 – Auto-racing

    I want great 360 videos – good mounting options – high speed video

  32. Hi. For professional work done for a client which 360 camera would you suggest me to buy considering out door and indoor 360 virtual tour Photography.
    Which 360 camera gives a mega high resolution as compared to a DSLR? And what would that resolution be?

  33. Wooo al that nice information, and what about the battery time on each one…?
    The other veri importan is….
    How much memory card each suport…?

  34. Ok peaple,
    Amazon Q& A help me…on. “Theta v”
    And the answer is not aceptable for that camera
    a camera & video that no supor SD micro card and just has 19 mb. of internal memory..?
    And a vidio record that not accept external mic…?
    And for finish the frustation… a very short live on video tha not suport life interface..🤔

  35. I am soon to do a virtual tour of an old home (early 1800's) for the National Park Service which is about to undergo a renovation. They just want to have a baseline prior to the work being done. I currently have a Theta S. I was thinking of upgrading to the Gopro Fusion prior to viewing this video that is. Would it be worth me upgrading from the Theta S to the Theta V? Have there been any changes since this video which would warrent the Gopro Fusion? I am not really concerned about the price difference or whether I even upgrade or not. I am interested in outputting the best quality between the three possible 360 cameras. Thanks!

    p.s. the shoot is somewhat of a low light situation as the windows are limited as is the interior lighting.

    Update: After doing further research it appears that at a minimum I should at least upgrade to the Theta V. I would prefer to spend the extra money updating to the Fusion but as of your comparison it appears that the Theta V would be better for my purposes. (ok, so I really want a Fusion but I have to go with the one that will work better for a virtual tour. Any chance things have changed with the Fusion to warrant moving to it?)

  36. Love your work. I chose Insta360 ONE, as I use iPhone, iPad and iMac. I can plug the Insta360 ONE straight into my iPhone and have very quick reviews and to show people. Quality is good enough and I can use plug in storage. (Bought 32GB Sandisk Extreme). The s/w is very stable and usable. The gimmicky "bullet" mode is fun (never heard of a bullet that flies in a circle! Should be called Vulture mode! LOL).

  37. Madv360 in DNG mode shoot braketing and you can stitch on android with MiConverter and do HDR on android and patch tripod on android and make tour on android

  38. Great Channel! The Insta one is no option for me, as long as there is no full compatibility with android. The sphere is to slim to hide normal sticks/mounts. Can you recommend an alternative for android?

  39. Great video man! Very informative. Can I ask you if for example the Theta V camera can be used for record video in motion? I mean for example I flew in first class on Emirates Boeing 777, was an amazing experience. I took many pictures, but maybe have a good 360 video will be better the next time. The same when I visit a museum for example, or outdoors architecture in different countries. Do you think that the Theta V is the best price/performance for travelers? Thank you in advance. Juan

  40. Great comparison, thanks! To increase de dynamic range on my photos i take multiple raw exposures and combine in one final picture in lightroom, is possible to do that with the raw from these cameras?

  41. say, since the theta cameras are so cool – is the theta V really the best contender for 360° tours – or is the older Theta SE that has pretty much the same photo features (not video though!) but costs far less? 🙂

  42. Hey ben idl if you will see this but i have been watching your videos and idk what to do i want a 360 camera because i plan on going to cuba but cuba only has 3 spots with wifi and i plan to do a bunch of recording because i want to be able to re live the moments so what camera do you recommend

  43. Is it just me or Cupix lowers the resolution/quality of pictures ? (even tho it says its 100% quality when upload) Coz when compare orig pics with tour it seems obvious. Is here anything I can do about it?

  44. I love your videos, they are serving me a lot right now and I will basically buy your suggestion, I was worried about my budget because I looked your other video about the best 360 and was thinking in the fusion, but now… relief!! lets go for the theta!!

  45. if you had an budget of about 1500 dollars and to film 360 videos inside but also on hikking trails or beaches but also inside of churches or restaurants…what would you use? thanks for your help

  46. hi, thx for the great video …. tried to download the ""…… even after attempting to download multiple times it kept failing … order no is 747511005
    …… can u send me a separate file for theta v and fusion …. so that I can check them before I decide to purchase…..

  47. Nice video, after watching this vid and your more recent review of the Insta360 ONE X, which camera would you recommend for virtual tours? Insta360 ONE X or the Theta V?

  48. Ben, Thank you for the well explained video. What camera would YOU recommend for Low-Light situations? We use 360degree LED Lights to provide workspace lighting and will this "contaminate" the pics rendering them useless for a 360 video? Would love to see a video addressing this! Thanks

  49. A great comparison of 360 cameras! I'd love to see the same cameras tested against low light virtual tours e.g. spaces with no, or minimal lighting including restaurants, bars etc. Thanks for the upload and keep up the good work! 👏👏

  50. Спасибо!
    Очень информативное видео, все твои обзоры смотрю с удовольствием!

  51. hello Ben, what is your solution to the low light issue? what is your lighting solution for taking indoor/night videos with a 360 camera? do you have any suggestion for lighting gadgets for 360 camera? thanks!

  52. Thanks for sharing wonderful information. It will help me to take calculated decision to purchase my first 360० camera

  53. Please, please please!!! I purchased my home 4 years ago. The old real estate pictures are still up… they are not flattering. How can I get the old video taken down

  54. Thank you for the video. Please recommend suitable accessories for GoPro Fusion such as stands, lenses, etc. Thank you.

  55. Thanks for you great video. I make Virtual tours with a SLR full frame camera and a fish eye. Quality is grate but I´m looking for a faster, easy, and les expensive virtual tour. So the question is at this moment what camera do you recommend for virtual tours basic for
    real estate. Thanks again.

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