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360 cameras for virtual visits? What you need to check…

Good visual quality of your 360 panoramas is certainly the very first thing your prospects will notice. Make your visits look better than reality. How ?

Resolution of the panorama

While a consumer market two-lens 360 camera gives you 5k-6k resolution, a 6 or 8 lenses professional camera will give you 8K resolution, almost the double. See here why resolution really matters in 360 panoramas.

Nodalview gives you 10K resolution, by taking 8 pictures (every 45 degrees, similar to an 8 lenses 360 camera) per panorama.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

In 360 panoramas, you will almost always be shooting against sunlight or a direct light source, overexposing exterior vues through the windows, … You don’t want to blowout the outdoor background scene, or underexpose the interior. The only way to solve this is by taking successive pictures of the same scene at different exposure levels. While native HDR in these devices is a good start to a better dynamic range, only bracketing gives you perfect results in any circumstances.

Nodalview takes 3 or 5 brackets of the same picture, depending on the actual light conditions in this particular direction.

No parallax errors

When photographing panoramas, rule number one is to shoot all images from exactly the same viewpoint. More specifically the camera rotate around the “no parallax point” (the optical center of the camera/lens) or “nodal point”.

Because of the arrangement of the different lenses on 360 cameras, they are prone to what we call stitching or parallax errors with close objects in indoor scenes : The relative positions on the image plane of a close object and a distant object will be different between two photographs, and thus impossible to seamlessly stitch and blend together. The bigger the distance between the lenses, the bigger the problems : you get assembly errors like broken lines, artifacts, …

Nodalview rotates exactly on the axis of the nodal point, eliminating parallax errors.

Shooting session – Workflow

How long does it take to shoot a single panorama ? Multiply that by the total number of panoramas requested ? Do you need to scan the whole property, for example one panorama every 2 or 3 meters, resulting in laborious shooting sessions with dozens of useless panoramas, or only one shoot per room or per interesting viewpoints ? Automatic assembly or manual assembly of the panoramas (navigation hotspots) ? …

Nodalview, with it’s motorized head, shoots a panorama in about 30 seconds. Nodalview then automatically assembles the panoramas, with no limitation imposed on the distance between them – a great time saver, and you only capture the important parts !