360 cameras are the ideal devices for portraying real estate in the most realistic way possible. Since 360 cameras can capture all angles from one spot, they provide the most visually profound and vivid depiction of any sort of area.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
In the present milieu, where covid-19 has marred just about everything, real estate has also faced disruption since buyers no longer want to tour properties in person. Thankfully, there is an easy solution for this – the 360 camera.
The 3 Best 360 Cameras for Real Estate
With the following cameras for real estate, you can flaunt the full visual details of your property so that visitors can make a confident and informed choice.
1. Ricoh Theta SC2
- Compact design
- Easy to use
- Manual exposure control
- Shoots images and videos in 360
- Tripod socket
- No support for live streaming
The Rico Theta now stands out as a leading 360 camera brand for virtual tours of real estate. The good news is that the Ricoh Theta is far more affordable than other competing models like the Matterport camera that can cost about 10 times as much. Although you can use the Matterport app for Ricoh Theta 360 cameras, you will have to accept one big compromise. The 4K res Rico Theta SC2 picture quality is not quite as vibrant as the Matterport. However, 4K resolution is pretty much acceptable for most purposes.
If extra sharp and crisp image quality is your top priority then you will have to go for the more expensive Theta V. This high end 360 cam has a DSLR quality sensor that can compare with the Matterport cam.
But if you want a budget 360 camera, then the Theta SC2 is a decent entry level model whose picture quality is good enough.
The Ricoh Theta is more suited for stills rather than videos. Although the 14 MP camera may not be the sharpest around, the lens quality is nevertheless top notch. Thus, you get very decent dynamic range.
If you want a 360 camera on a budget, then you can think of buying the Ricoh SC2. You wont get the highest resolution, but with fair enough depth, the SC2 makes for a decent virtual tour 360 camera.
2. QooCam 8K
- Very high resolution
- OLED touchscreen
- Video previews
- Impressive image stabilization
- 4K slow motion
- No waterproofing
QooCam was the first 360 camera for the consumer market that could shoot 8K videos. With such a high resolution, you can display your property in the most vivid visual detail which will win the trust and confidence of would-be buyers.
Besides very high res videos, the QooCam is equally as good with stills.
The QooCam gives great results when you shoot DNG 8 photos with it. In this mode, you can blend 8 DNG photos to create detailed images that look stunning under all sorts of lighting. You can capture immense depth of detail in this mode while avoiding overexposure.
You will need a bit of flair though to work with these sophisticated file types. You have to download a desktop app to combine all of these high res pictures seamlessly. You also need to use Photoshop to add finishing touches. Power users can prepare 360 images in mere minutes using these apps and files. Thus, you can create the most vivid 360 tour of real estate using the QooCam.
Although the QooCam is a veritable 360 powerhouse it weighs only 19 grams more than the GoPro Fusion. It may not be the lightest camera around but that is unsurprising since it is a true heavyweight in the world of 360 cams with its overwhelming specs.
The camera sounds great on paper but how does this model stack up in real life?
While resolution is no doubt great at 8K, there are a few caveats. The 360 camera can have trouble balancing images between 2 lenses. The trouble is that color and exposure details between 2 such images may not fully match. Hence, the stitch line figures conspicuously in the final image at times. The brand has made several firmware updates to remediate this issue. Although quality has improved, this problem can still strike under certain lighting conditions.
The focal distance can also tricky. Close objects appear pretty sharp but distant objects can be somewhat soft. Likewise, if you look closely at final images, the images are quite sharp around the edges but a little soft in the center. Recent firmware updates have improved overall picture quality.
3. Insta360 ONE X
- Easy to use
- Impressive stabilization
- Splash proof
- High resolution
- Short battery life
The Insta360 One X stands out as one of the leading 360 cameras on the market. You can control it with an Android phone or an iPhone.
The 5.7K resolution is not the highest but it is better than most. At its highest resolution, you can manage just 30 frames per second which is not super smooth.
For smoother action, you can compromise on the image res for higher frame rates. So if you want 50 fps then image quality will drop to 4K. And for ultra smooth 100 fps, you will have to make do with 3K.
The Insta360 One X can capture still photos at 18 MP.
The One X boasts an enhanced version of the FlowState stabilization. The TimeShift feature is equally noteworthy as it allows videographers to focus on key moments of the footage via hyperlapse effects or slow motion. Also known as the Bullet-Time special effect, this feature was also available in the older version, the Insta360 One.
There are 2 buttons on the One X. Thus standalone operations are a cinch with this unit. The smaller button at the bottom acts as the power switch and you can press it to cycle through settings and shooting modes. The bigger button above the power button is the shutter. You can also press this button to confirm your current selection. You can browse the menu on the circular OLED display.
Our Final Thoughts
One drawback is that the display is not easily visible outdoors in bright light. You can initiate the QuickCapture mode to power up the camera. Press the shutter for a few seconds to begin recording. You can use this feature for shooting while performing any activity that requires your undivided attention.