The Best Design Is Always in the Details
In the ever-evolving world of 360° photography, there are many options for creating this virtual space. They range from apps on your phone with Google Street View to the dedicated point and shoot 360° cameras like the Theta, GoPro, Insta360, and even include high-end DSLR/Mirrorless. Each option has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, you need to choose the correct tool for the job. Let’s take a look into these options, and once we have an understanding of the differences, we can then decide which device is the best tool for the project.
First up is the app-based photos from an iPhone or Android. This method can produce an amazingly detailed image. Still, it is also extremely easy to end up with imperfect stitching errors that could make the photos unusable in a professional setting. Next up is the dedicated 360° point and shoot cameras. These are the consumer and prosumer devices like GoPro’s Fusion and Max, Theta’s Z1 and V, as well as Insta 360’s One X and R. The major advantage with these cameras is that they offer a 360° image with near-perfect stitching with a simple click. The downside is that for ease of use, you sacrifice resolution and quality, more on this later. Lastly, we have the DSLR/Mirrorless cameras with Fisheye Lenses. These setups are definitely the king of the mountain when it comes to image quality and resolution. Still, these cameras are a pretty penny and require a decent amount of time with the post-production to produce a quality photo. So which option is best for you? Well, that depends on how you plan to use the images and where.
The 360° Point and Shoot cameras are great for fun images, non-professional or semi-professional Google Street View photos. They are also great for budget Real Estate Tours. The reason for this is that while they look great at first glance on a mobile device or smaller screen when you start to zoom in, you will quickly see the lack of resolution and quality. Also, due to their small sensor, they lack the dynamic range like you find with the DSLR/Mirrorless. Yes, you can take HDR or Bracketed shots, but you still have a limited resolution. The DSLR/Mirrorless cameras offer the best possible image quality and resolution. Depending on the body and lens you use, you can end up with images anywhere from 40 megapixels (MP) into gigapixels (GP).
In contrast, the 360° point and shoot cameras only offer up to a 24 or so megapixel. Most DSLR/Mirrorless images are 70 megapixels and exported to 50 megapixels. You would want to use the DSLR/Mirrorless camera for your professional Google Street View, high-end Real Estate, and documentation projects. Finally, we have the App based photos from the iPhone or Android. These images quality falls between the 360° point and shoot and the DSLR/Mirrorless systems. But due to the difficulty in producing errorless images, you would only want to use this method as a last resort or if you have some type of gimbal/panohead that will ensure a proper stitch.
We hope you found this helpful! Stay tuned for more in-depth information on 360 gadgets, cameras, and devices from the Creatives at Creative Quick Fix.
ABOUT CREATIVE QUICK FIX: We save our Clients time, money, and make their job easier – through quick, creative solutions and polished quality of the delivered service(s). We understand the best design is always in the details. Learn more about our 360 Photography, Virtual Tours, Digital Marketing, and Creative Services at https://creativequickfix.com
Content contributed by Bill Lunger.