Which Is The Best 360 Camera for Photography & Virtual Tours? EARLY 2020


Which is the best 360
camera for photography and virtual tours? In this video, I’m going to compare four of the top cameras in 2020 side by side to see which one shoots
the best 360 photos in tricky lighting situations. The contenders are the Insta360 One X, Kandao Qoocam 8K, the Theta Z1, and XPhase Pro S. The One R wasn’t fully ready
when we made this video, however, I do have a sample
in a very similar situation from the One R that I’m going to show you, as well as my thoughts about
how it does for virtual tours. And even better, I have a
special guest to help me. Welcome, Mic from 360Rumors. – Hey guys. These are the best cameras for 360 photos, so yeah, I wonder which one’s gonna win. – We’re in LA right now and i’ve
hired a studio in downtown LA, it looks a little bit dodgy, but it’s got the perfect lighting
conditions for what we need. Which is high contrast, we have bright light
shining through the windows. And the other side of
the room is quite dark with strong shadows. And to be able to expose these properly in the same image is
going to be a challenge. So we’re going to try a few
different shooting techniques with each camera to see
which one does the best job. We’re going to be using the firmware, software, and apps from early 2020. They are definitely going to
get better as time passes, but this is what we have now and we’re going to do our best to get some awesome-looking photos. – [Mic] All right, Ben, which
cameras do you wanna use? – I’m gonna be using the Insta360 One X and the Theta Z1. – [Mic] Nice, which one
do you think is gonna win? – Well, my gut says it’s
going to be Theta Z1 ’cause I’ve shot a lot of
amazing 360 content on this. However, I think the
Kandao Qoocam could really give it a run for its money because I’ve seen some
incredible photos taken with it. – Yeah, I think the XPhase
might have a chance too, like with the detail. – It could, it’s super high resolution, but is it gonna have the dynamic range? We shall see. All right, the first
contender is the One X, and what I’ve done is taken the diffuser off of my soft box here to
create an extreme hotspot. And this is essentially
simulating lights on the ceiling or a really bright lamp. If you were shooting a virtual tour, you gotta deal with extreme
hotspots like this one. So my first test with the One X is going to be inbuilt HDR with two stops, then four stops, then
I’m going to choose Raw and see if I can get a
better result that way. Okay, so this is the bit where you have to get
out of my shot, please. – Okay. – Out with you!
(laughing) (camera clicks) – All right, so this is the XPhase, one of my favorite 360 cameras. It’s really unusual because
it’s got like 35 lenses and none of them are fisheyes. And another issue for the
XPhase is with so many lenses, what about the stitching? Will it be good enough for virtual tours? Especially in a tight spot like this? So, the app lets you choose
either three-shot HDR or six-shot HDR. What’s cool with the XPhase is
that the HDR has no ghosting. Like, literally, you
can take a handheld shot and it will still have no ghosting. Now, the only thing is
with no six-shot HDR, there’s a chance of failing. But with three-shot, it’s totally cool. Now, one challenge with the XPhase is that you don’t get to preview your shot. Like, here’s the app. There’s no preview. It doesn’t show you like what
the shot’s gonna look like, so you kind of have to
trust the exposure algorithm and here’s the thing, its exposure algorithm is
a little bit aggressive. Given the conditions here, I’m
gonna go with minus two EV, particularly only because of that. So, here’s the three-shot and
there’s a self-timer option, but we don’t need to do that. So we’re gonna press okay and then we’re gonna press the shutter. (camera clicks) So it actually stitches the photos and fuses them with the
HDR on your smartphone in 135 megapixels, full resolution. Now, it’s in jpeg, but
if you use your desktop, you can actually export
it in Adobe DNG Raw. Now, it’s not exactly real Adobe DNG Raw, but you know, you can use
it for the DNG8 workflow if you’re so inclined. – Camera number three, the Theta Z1. I have no question at all, it’s going to do an excellent job. But how good of a job will
it do compared to the others? All right, here we are,
here’s the preview. You can see around the
space, it already looks good. And I’m gonna start with HDR rendering. I found the Theta cameras
to have the best inbuilt HDR of all 360 cameras so, so I
know it’s gonna do a good job. (camera clicks) Let’s have a quick look
and see what we’ve got. Oh, look at that, that’s beautiful! Look at that, that’s such
a strong light source and it’s really muted it very nicely. Let’s look outside, I can see everything. Oh, I love this camera, it’s
so good at dynamic range, and to think that this is a
jpeg, that’s just incredible. Now I’m going to try
something a little bit fancy. I found the best method of exposing a high-contrast environment
is using bracketing, which essentially means you’re
capturing multiple exposures that each cover a specific
part of your image. So, when you’ve got a
really bright highlight, you’re exposing just for the highlights, when you have dark shadows, you
expose just for the shadows, then you combine all the
images together later into one perfect image. So I’m going to set it to five stops each, about one or two EV away. I’m going to say two. So I’ll do one-four under,
one-two under, one on zero, one two above, and one four above. Then later on, I’ll combine them together into one perfect image. (diabolical laughing) (camera clicks) – This is the Kandao Qoocam 8K, and it can shoot not just in jpeg, but also in Adobe DNG Raw. And not only that, but
there’s a unique mode called the DNG 8 Burst Mode. So, what that does is it takes a series of eight Raw DNG photos, like, all in quick succession. And then you use the Kandao Raw+ free image stacking software. Now, of course, image stacking
is nothing new, right? But here’s the cool thing. With Kandao Raw+, there
will be no ghosting. No ghosting whatsoever, even
if you shoot it handheld. – Wow, yeah. I’ve seen some incredible DNG 8 Raw shots from the Qoocam 8K, so I think it’s a really
cool thing that they’ve added because what it does is
it takes those photos in quick succession, so
it can basically eliminate all the flaws, things like
noise and other imperfections, from the colors, from the
shadows, from the highlights, and get a really balanced image. – It almost makes it like as if you were shooting with a larger sensor. And so, you’ll have like
better shadow recovery and we, we’ll test it out. Now, in the future, there’s
gonna be an additional mode called Express DNG 8, which means that you don’t even need to use
the Kandao Raw+ software, it’s going to stack the Raw
DNG photos in the camera. So one of the cool things
about the Qoocam 8K is that it has this touchscreen, it’s a 360 touchscreen,
and it gives you a preview of not just the composition,
but also the exposure. So, we’re gonna shoot with, you know what? Let’s shoot with DNG8. Because when you shoot in DNG8, you’re gonna have access to all
the individual shots anyway. So you can choose whether
to use a DNG8 workflow or just use a simpler one-shot DNG. Here, I’m choosing a
shutter speed that will just expose enough of the highlight. Here, it’s just a matter
of a choice of like how aggressively do you
wanna recover thee highlights because if you have to do a
lot of shadow recovery in post, then there’s gonna be more noise, so it’s kind of like a balance. I’ve just like moved it
to a shutter speed that, I think, you know, it preserves
enough of the highlights. Five, four, three, two, one. (camera clicks) – [Ben] Are you going to try
any other exposure methods? Or are you confident enough in DNG8? – And you know what? Here’s another tip, to
get even better quality with the Kandao Qoocam 8K, do it twice, because the Raw+ software,
four, three, two, one– The Raw+ software can stack
up to 16 Adobe DNG Raw images. – All right, we are done shooting. It’s time to edit. – [Narrator] One eternity later– – Okay, we’ve taken our sample photos, we’ve edited them, stitched them, and now let’s take a look
at the results we got. Opening up my first Insta 360 One X photo and this was taken with
two stops in-built HDR. I’ve gotta say, I’m
surprised at this image, this looks halfway decent,
I was expecting much worse. – [Mic] Yeah, I, you know, for me, I don’t really see the
One X as a photo camera, I see it mostly as a video
camera, but this looks great. The colors are fantastic. The only thing I would say is that that building in the background
is totally blown out. – So what I did next was shot the HDR with four-stop intervals, and it’s already looking better outside, we can see more detail,
but it’s not perfect. It is a bit hazy and washed out. I mean, look, this is a good image, I don’t mind this at all. And when I look to the
other side of the room, it’s looking okay, the
colors are a bit blotchy. Whenever you zoom in, I’ve
found with One X images, you really start seeing those
imperfections pretty quickly, especially softness. I’m not really seeing anything
sharp at all in this room and that’s fair enough because it’s not the highest megapixel camera in the world, but it is noticeable,
especially if you’re shooting for virtual tours. I just don’t feel
comfortable charging money for photos where there’s
noticeable softness there ’cause people like to zoom in. They’re not gonna zoom
in a thousand percent, but they want to 200%. And you can notice that with
any kind of One X photos, that there is going to be a
noticeable softness there. – [Mic] I also notice that here, the colors are not totally consistent. For example, this is slightly reddish, here, slightly greenish, instead of like being all white. – [Ben] Yeah, bit of inconsistent colors. Look, I gotta say, the
soft walks actually looks quite good in terms of the exposure. Overall, the exposure is very decent, but it’s lacking a bit of
contrast, it’s a bit washed out, and the colors are a bit blotchy. – [Mic] I think for entry
level virtual tours, I think this is passable. – Yeah, very entry level. Beginner virtual tours
for small businesses, yes, but look at those highlights,
it’s completely white. I still think we’re gonna get better from the other three cameras. First, though, I’m just
gonna show you what I got with my Raw shot with the One X, and look at this, this is worse. This is single shot raw and
I just wouldn’t use this. So I think overall, we’ll
give the One X a pass, but I think we’ll probably find some better results
with the other cameras. I found the One R to be
almost identical to the One X in terms of image quality
being its second priority. The One R and One X shoot
great videos, no question, but in terms of 360 photo quality, it’s compromised in a lot of ways. Again, we’ve got the
detail issue and basically, this shot, even though it’s
in a different circumstance, looks basically identical to the One X in terms of color contrast and clarity. Where I’d say the One R has
a slight edge over the One X is it shoots nine-stop HDR, and it’s also got Nightview Mode, which doesn’t strictly have
to be used in nighttime, but you can also use it during the day to minimize noise in your shots. So yes, I would say the One
R is like 10 to 20% better for photos than the One X, however, it still has the
same flaws of the One X that we just talked about. All right, so here we have the XPhase and what happened here? – (laughs) Well, to put it quite frankly, the results were not quite as expected. I’ve had, you know, very
high regard for the XPhase, but with the extreme
lighting conditions here, I had a lot of problems. Several issues here, first of all, let’s talk about the good parts. The good parts, the
stitching is kind of okay. I see just a few stitching
errors in the floor with the cable, like
there’s a slight, you know, bend there, here, and but
it’s, generally it’s smooth. Another thing that’s good here, well, outside, the exposure is great. – [Ben] That actually looks fantastic. – [Mic] Yeah, the window,
you can see so much detail. You can see even that air conditioner, I wanna see like, see that on the Z1. – I’m pretty sure you couldn’t see that with any of these other cameras. – Yeah, because the XPhase resolution’s up to 135 megapixels. Now, that’s the good part. – Okay, and now for the bad part. – Now the bad part, well,
there’s several issues here. First of all, the colors
in the shadow areas that I had to push to recover, like I pushed it around four EV, and you see that the
accuracy of the colors is, it’s gone, color noise all over, it’s just not really usable. And beyond that, there’s like
a severe problem with flare. – [Ben] And especially in this area here, it’s come up with these
blue and green types. – [Mic] Yeah, and see, that’s
the part makes me wonder, I haven’t seen that before
and I think it might be flare. Because one of the issues with the XPhase is flare resistance is somewhat weak, and so when we look at
this soft box, for example, then you see the magenta flare artifacts and they’re even on the floor. – [Ben] Yeah, and this
doesn’t mean that all photos you take with this
camera will produce this. It’s because firstly, we
deliberately underexposed the image because those highlights
were really bright, and they would’ve been
completely blown out if we haven’t had have done that, and then trying to recover the shadows, they didn’t quite recover
as nicely as possible, so there’s a good chance that, you know, doing that has brought up these colors maybe just a little bit. – Yeah, but, and then the other thing is because the soft box was like shining on some of the lenses, not others, it’s just absolute kind of like worst case scenario for the XPhase. Now, in better conditions, let’s say if the soft
box were turned away, I would expect this to
turn out much, much better. – Yeah, and I’d always
add that it’s still early in the XPhase’s life life and they are going to
improve it significantly, including the workflow, the stitching, the colors, the dynamic range. It’s probably gonna take time, though. – [Mic] Yeah, I guess
if you love the detail, which is not available
on the other 360 cameras and this is like, the
detail here is unsurpassed. If you really love that,
I would highly recommend taking many different
exposures as possible. Hopefully at least one or
two them will turn out okay and you can work with it. – Yeah, so I have seen some
really impressive results with the XPhase, better
than what we’ve got here. Firstly, most of them have been outside, but also, they’ve probably gone through quite a bit more editing
and post-production work. This was only a really quick
edit that we’ve done here and if we were to reshoot this again, the only reason we didn’t is
’cause the lighting conditions have changed quite a bit. So, with a bit more editing, I’m sure we could salvage
this image a bit more. But for now, it does
require a bit of work, especially in high-contrast interiors. Oh, the exteriors are fine,
you won’t have any issues, but unfortunately, virtual tours and a lot of 360
photography is done inside. – And you have to be
forewarned that with flare, it is extremely difficult
to correct in post. – So, at this point, I
wouldn’t have confidence using the XPhase Pro S professionally, but I know I will in a few months’ time once they find out all
the bugs in the workflow and everything’s working nicely, I would definitely consider using this. But for now, it’s too experimental, it’s too in the alpha or beta stages, and it’s just not really ready to use it as a camera you charge for. – [Mic] I guess it’s great as a hobbyist, it’s a good choice and
because of the detail. But when the situation is such that you cannot afford to make mistakes, the XPhase would not be my first choice. – No.
– Or my second. – But yeah, watch this space because yeah, it is gonna get better. – Or third.
– Or third, or fourth. Yeah, it is gonna get better, but for now I would say just
wait a bit on the XPhase. Now, if you wanna see the XPhase shots in other lighting conditions,
but that are arguably more representative of typical conditions, go check out the link in
the description below. – All right, the next
camera is the Theta Z1. And here is my inbuilt HDR
image I shot with the Z1. – [Mic] This is used
entirely in the camera. – [Ben] All in the camera, I haven’t done a single piece of color
correction on this image. Take a look at those highlights. I can see every window of that building. – [Mic] No bloom highlights at all. – [Ben] No, other than
the soft box a little bit. – [Mic] It’s got particular highlights– – [Ben] Yeah, that’s
a really strong light, but it’s still done a good
job for an inbuilt jpeg image. To produce that, that’s really good. Exposure looks good. When I zoom in, it’s sharp-ish. It’s not noticeably soft and it’s not noticeably sharp either. It’s kind of in that middle ground. But it’s good enough. Something I’ve noticed with the Theta Z1 is it does have chromatic aberration, but not where you think. You would assume chromatic aberration would come in the window areas. But what I found with the Z1 is I see it in other places of the image. Like on this light here. You are seeing chromatic aberration, but also on other objects, even maybe a little bit
on these light stands. Let’s take a look around. I’m seeing a bit of it,
and on this soft box here, and I’ve just found it
spill into other areas, not necessarily the windows. It does spill around a bit. Look, this can be fixed very easily, and you do have to zoom in,
like I just did, to find it. But it a noticeable imperfection to keep in mind with the Z1. Little bit of chromatic aberration. But otherwise, for an inbuilt
HDR shot, this is incredible. – Yeah, considering that, did you have to edit this? Or just as–
– No, no, this is straight out of the camera. – That’s amazing.
– Yeah. – Yeah. I mean, if you don’t
plan to do any editing, you can’t get better than that. – Yeah, this is much better
than the Insta 360 One X inbuilt HDR with both two and four stops. It blows it away and it’s sharper, the colors are better, it’s just a better image in every way. But it doesn’t stop there
because we have another image from the Theta Z1, and this
is my bracketed Raw shot, so, as you can see here, I shot five images, all jpeg and DNG, I combined the five DNGs, and this is what I got. So we have a very similar image to before. So we can still see
our highlights outside, but let’s have a look at the soft box now. We can actually see a clear circle there that we couldn’t before. So it’s even better
with this dynamic range. And you’ll find there’s
noticeably less noise in the darker areas, look,
there is a little bit of noise. I could’ve reduced the
noise like quite a bit, but I did use a bit, but not that much. And look, this is acceptable, for a dark area of the
image, it’s not that noisy. – And which software did you
use to fuse the exposures? – Yeah, so I combined the five
exposures in Adobe Photoshop. So yeah, it’s very easy to do that, and I’ve got a tutorial on my channel, it’s called something like, how to take better interior 360 shots. I’ve gotta say, I’m really
impressed with this image. Look, it’s not as sharp as a DSLR, and it’s not as sharp–
– Or the XPhase. – [Ben] It’s not as sharp as the XPhase, I can’t see, well, there’s
that air conditioner, but I can’t, yeah, you
can’t really see it. – It’s just like a little block. Yeah, not withstanding the lack of detail, this is the, so, out of the
three we’ve seen so far, this is by far. – Yeah, this is by far the winner, especially for dynamic range. And I find in a lot of situations, good dynamic range is more important than flat-out resolution. And look, I could’ve bumped it
up even more to like 10 shots if I wanted to really go that extra mile, if I wanted to get more detail from here and maybe bring up those
shadows a little bit more. I could’ve done that, it’s just overkill, like, this is good enough
of an image already. But overall, I’m extremely
impressed with the Theta Z1. And at this point, I’m gonna say, it’s between the Theta
Z1 and the Qoocam 8K. – Yeah, next is the Kandao Qoocam 8K. – [Ben] Wow. – [Mic] What do you think, Ben? – [Ben] Wow, that’s really good. – [Mic] This has shot,
this is a 16-DNG shot, and so, as I explained
earlier, there’s a DNG8 mode, but you can do two
DNG8s and stack them all in the Kandao Raw+, and
there will be zero ghosting. The benefit of that, you get
so much better color depth, better dynamic range,
especially in the shadows. And so, what do you think, Ben? – [Ben] Yeah, you’re right,
I’m noticing how nice the contrast is here in a
really light area of the image, it still maintained that really
good contrast, that depth. – [Mic] It’s really rich, right? – [Ben] I’m seeing so many
different shades of color, of light and dark, it’s not
just either light or dark, it’s like, light, a little bit lighter, a little bit lighter, and so on. – [Mic] And that’s the
effect of depth right there. And it’s not just the luminosity, but it’s also the saturation and the hue. – [Ben] Yeah, I’m seeing
it all around the image, and this is by far the cleanest
the soft box has looked in any of these camareas so far. That’s a clean circle. We haven’t seen that with
other three cameras yet. This is extremely impressive, I’m finding very few
flaws with this image. I’m seeing a little bit of noise. – Oh, there’s quite a bit of noise, yeah. See, the thing is with the DNG16 mode, you are not shooting
at different exposures. You’re only using one exposure. Now, it is technically possible
to take two different sets at two different exposures,
like manually bracketed, in other words, and then
combine them later on, the way you did with the Theta Z1. But it’s not, doesn’t have like
a built-in feature for that. – Still though, I think that
this has a lot of potential with the Qoocam 8K, with this DNG8, you could take three of those, which would be eight, nine, 10, 11– – 24.
– Are you sure? I’ll have to get out of a calculator. – Yeah.
– 24 images, combined together at
three different exposures, to me, that seems like the
recipe for a perfect image. – Yes, if you have the time to do it and you have the client who’s
willing to pay for that time, then yes, this looks like it has like one of the highest potentials. – Yeah, and I’m sure you could to that with the Theta Z1 too, it just
might require a bit more work because they don’t yet have
DNG8 as an inbuilt feature. – [Mic] All right, when
you look at the soft box, there’s a little bit of flare there. That’s partly because of my mistake in wiping the lens not very carefully. I mean, other than that, there’s also a little bit
of flare artifacts there. And you’d just have to make a judgment and like, you know, whether
that is possible or not. – [Ben] Mm, oh, you’re right. I didn’t notice that, I mean– – [Mic] Yeah, it’s not as good as the flare resistance of the Theta Z1. – [Ben] Yeah, I mean, in all fairness, it’s unlikely you’re gonna have soft boxes like these in your–
– Without a diffuser– – [Ben] Yeah, without a diffuser
on your virtual tour shoot, but you might have another
extreme light source, so it’s good to know these
things if you come across it. Yeah, I mean, it is noticeable now that you’ve pointed it out. I probably wouldn’t have
noticed it, actually, if you hadn’t have pointed it out. But now that I see it, I can’t not see it. (laughing)
And so on. So yeah, but otherwise, I’m
so impressed with this image. The only other thing I would add is I noticed this area
is a little bit darker. Part of it was because we shot this as the very final shot of these cameras, and it was a tiny little
bit darker naturally. But maybe it also could’ve
just used a little bit more color correction
to bring up the shadows in the back of the room. I’ve gotta say, I’m extremely
impressed with this image. – [Mic] Yeah, so am I. – And I would say this
probably looks better than the Theta Z1. I mean, I love the Theta Z1, how I would differentiate them a bit more is that the Theta Z1 is an
already established camera at this point, it’s
been out for long enough that they’ve fixed the problems with it and you can use it straightaway, you’re not having to beta test
their apps and their software and you’re not getting
some of these issues, which are conducive of cameras
when they first come out, whereas the Theta Z1, it’s
been there, it’s done that, it’s good to go right now. So, with the Qoocam 8K, it
might be a bit of a waiting game before you consistently can
get shots like this and better. So overall, if we had to pick a winner, what would yours be? – My top choice right now, if
I had to shoot a virtual tour would be the Theta Z1.
– Okay. My top choice right now, if I
were to shoot a virtual tour would be the Theta Z1. If I were to shoot a virtual tour in two, three, four, five, six months’ time? It’s going to be the Qoocam 8K. – Yes, I think it’s very
likely that they’ll be able to perfect the software,
especially the flare resistance, using software correction. – Yeah, they’re both incredible cameras, so really, it’s up to you, like, no matter which one you
choose of these four, you’re probably gonna get a good result, other than the XPhase,
which may or may not work, but they’re all good. So it’s just a matter of your budget and what workflow you like best. As well as your platforms, because some of these cameras
are more friendly for Macs, some are more friendly for PC. So, the most ready one is the Theta Z1, that will give you a professional result for 360 photography. But it’s also the most expensive, so that’s another factor to weigh out. The Qoocam 8K is cheaper,
so you may want to– – Yeah, almost half the price. – Yeah, so you may wanna
wait a month or two, or you can buy it now, I’ll
put a link in the description as well as to all the cameras
you see in this video. All right, guys, there’s our comparison, hope you enjoyed it, I’m curious to know which one of these four
was your winner and why. Let me know down in the comments. If you’ve ever thought about shooting virtual tours professionally, but don’t know where to get started with one or all of these cameras, then I put together a video
course called Virtual Tour Pro that will show you the entire
process from beginning to end. Nothing is left out. You can start as a complete beginner and it will upskill you to the point that you can shoot professionally and start earning money with your work. I’ll put a link to Virtual
Tour Pro down there. Something else I think you
guys will find super useful is a tool that Michael put together, and that’s called the 360
camera comparison tool. – The comparison that we made, you can do it yourself, so that you can judge for yourself which camera is better. So all you need to do is go
to 360cameracomparison.com. Now, with this tool,
you’ll be able to compare two cameras side by side. We’re gonna upload these shots there, and you’ll be able to zoom
in, take a look at them, you can see the level
of detail, the noise, everything that you might not
notice from a quick video. By the way, it costs nothing. – Yay! (clapping) Also, a quick heads up, I
do have a new 360 camera sitting on my table right now, and it’s the LabPano Pilot One, which was made specifically
with virtual tours in mind. The firmware isn’t totally ready yet, but I will get a dedicated
review out as soon as it is. Now Mic, where can they find you? – You can check me out
at YouTube.com/360Rumors. – Yes, and also, 360Rumors.com, I’ll put a link to his channel
and his website down there. You know where you can find me, right here in front of your very eyes, so you probably already know that. That’s it from us. Hope you’re all doing excellent. If you have any questions,
leave them down there. – And we’ll see you in 360. – Whoosh!

85 thoughts on “Which Is The Best 360 Camera for Photography & Virtual Tours? EARLY 2020

  1. These last two videos were great!

    I found Mic first and then Ben a month later. It's great to see you both working together and helping to spread the word on 360.

    All you need now is a Special Guest appearance from "your boy Hugh" and all would right in the world. Cheers guys!

  2. Im in the middle of Ben's Virtual Tour Pro and finding the course invaluable. Im seriously looking into getting into real estate photography in both still photography and 360 virtual tour. My budget at this stage is very limited and with the weak Australian dollar i'm finding things very expensive in the exchange including the course. However I have ordered and now waiting for the Insta360 One X which I managed to purchase for $480 allowing to afford accessories including the bushman v2 monopod, spare batteries, microSD card. Im a little concerned now watching this video with the quality. However I do have advanced photoshop skills and have been practicing bracketing photography using luminosity masks with my older DSLR and new wide angle lens with very good results. Im hoping ill achieve this with my new Insta360 One X. There will be more post work, but I should get quicker at this. Anyway I have learnt a lot from both Ben Claremont and Michael Ty. Cheers. Looking forward to my new toy (sorry professional equipment) arriving and continuing Ben's Virtual Tour Pro.

  3. I am debating on which camera to get. I have been doing Real Estate photography. I am leaning to the Theta Z1 but have been considering the 360Rone because of price. Would it be better to get the Z1 over the 360 for real estate? Thanks.

  4. The problems with the Insta 360 One X HDR:
    It will only automatically bracket JPGs. It will not Auto bracket RAW as far as I know.
    When doing high contrast images, the final HDR image is always overexposed. You cannot set the base exposure.
    The HDR images are very flat and need to be de-hazed in Photoshop.
    When stitching and exporting all the bracketed images using Insta 360 Studio 2019, ALL the images have the same exposure data. If you use a different HDR mixer (I use Photomatix Pro), you need to manually enter the changes in stops.
    Also when using Photomatix Pro to mix your exposures, there will always be a noticeable stitch line where the exposure does not quite match up. So there is the added step of making a copy of the flat images (after exporting from Insta 360 studio), and batch shifting them in Photoshop a couple thousand pixels. (keep the copies in a seperate folder from the originals.) Then do the batch Photomatix HDR mixing on both folders. Then stack the origional and shifted HDR images in Photoshop, re-shift the shifted image back to the original, and mask out the stitch line on the top image. Using a large, soft brush will balance out the differences in exposure.
    The problem is that the images coming out of the One X are really not good enough to go through all that effort. (Unless you have a good client.
    You can see a tour using the techniques described above here:
    http://peacefulvillas.com/index.php/virtual-tours/217-palm-view-villa-virtual-tour

  5. Great video thanks for this comparaison, wish to see more video like this to save time, usually i have to watch 2 videos , Michel one and Ben's vidéo, but working toghether is great. I tryed to visit the https://www.360cameracomparison.com site but impossible, is there a restriction by country?

  6. great video you guys. I watch both your videos and find them very informative. I had to say I was shocked with the results. I thought for sure the QooCam was the clear winner??? The image looked better with more dynamic range than the Z1… or was it?? Also which has the larger sensor? Z1 or Qoocam?

  7. Thanks Guys, I only need one more for the full set (theta), looking forward to getting more images out of Xphase and Qoocam – loving Xphase images in natural light. Keep up the great work, good to see the comparison.

  8. Since a week or two I'm having the Theta Z1. What a fantastic camera this is, when you use it for photography only. Because this camera isn't good enough for video. But you should know that before buying it. I'm in swedisch Lapland right now and even managed to take 360 degrees pictures of the northern light with is. Even right out of the camera the pictures are already very good.
    However, there's one problem… after the shoot at night the camera went to sleep and never woke up again… Charging it doesn't help, so I'm affraid this will be a repair or replacement when I'm back in Belgium. It wasn't that cold when I took the pictures (-7 degrees celcius) and I gave the camera all the time to warm up again after bringing it back inside. There's a still chance that the internal battery uncharges completely and I can start charging again before the end of the week….

  9. Ben, two questions:
    1. How do I shoot DNG8 X 2? Do I use rhe same settings or change settings.
    2. Is it possible to shoot DNG8 in different exposures and combine them all together. Basically 24 DNG8 images, combine to 3 DNG images and then combine those 3 into 1 single image?

  10. OMG! My two favourite 360 YouTubers in the same video. AWESOME
    We have used Theta S, Gear 360 (1st edition), GoPro Fusion, Insta360 OneX and recently we got our hand on the Theta Z1 which hands down is superior to all the others. Not only when it comes to image quality, but the easy workflow. Where most of the other companies have propriety solutions (You need to use their charger or cables), Ricoh just works. We also use Kuula as our 360 CMS and couldn't be happier. Cheers!

  11. Nice work Ben and Michael. I'd be interested how close the the Ricoh Theta SC2 would be to the Theta Z1. Anything sub $1000 (Australian) would be a bonus. I have my reservations about the Kandao because of how badly received it's been with people using it and reviewing it. The software seems badly unsupported from what I've heard about, but I understand it's super early days. I love that it has a bigger screen on it though and was on my list of "Possible purchases" until I watched a few YouTube reviews.

  12. Is it possible that the weather is cloudy. When the one X shot the sun is coming out. While the other cameras shot the sun is hidden in the cloud so the hightlight is not that obviously looking.

  13. Great video. 360rumours, Mic, the Qoocam firmware you use seems to be different from mine and your images seem sharper than mine. Do you have a beta version or on earlier version of the firmware, current being the 62.

  14. Thanks for this nice comparison and your efforts! Just one question to Michael: Is there are reason why you shot in "Handheld" mode on the XPhase as the camera was mounted on a tripod?

  15. Z1 wins again 🙂 Are there any cameras above $1000 cameras that you think are contenders?

    Look forward to your Pilot One review.

  16. I am Using Xpahse from 7/8 month for my virtual tours. Yes its need edits but even jpeg with camera raw give lot freedom for all edit like shadow, white balance and color correction so for my Xpahse is far better then other toy camera caz its compare with DSLR 360

  17. Nice video guys! I agree. I own all these cameras and have quite some experience with them already. For outdoor shots i prefer the xphase. For indoor shots i use the Z1 and qoocam 8K. I slightly prefer the Z1 over the qoocam if DNG-8 and HDR-bracketing is used. But mostly i combine multiple Z1 exposure shots with luminosity masking in Photoshop. I love this workflow. Looks more natural than HDR to me.

  18. With the xphase. You have pushed to low with -2ev and handheld setting on a tripod and not 6hdr????
    What where you thinking?
    On this I would use manual mode with a light meter. 6shot HDR stitch to dng. Bring your highlights down and your shadow up. You will achieve a much better result

  19. Hi Ben. My Mi sphere 360 camera fell and broke one lense but it still works it does take pictures just that on the broken lense side the pictures are white, where do you recommend I take it or do you know any repair guy who can fix it for me

  20. I wonder that all camera showed splotchy colors at the walls. I don't understand why the XPhase wasn't tested in HDR6 mode and without underexposuring, which caused extra color issues.

  21. Great job guys as usual 👍 Just bought the Z1 few days ago, I'm lucky 😉 But I'm still using my 5dmkiii for premium tours. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  22. I just recently bought the Qoocam 8k from the recommendation of Ben. Hes not wrong in saying its early but not the wrong choice. It is in Beta at the moment which they don't highlight when you purchase. (I'm sure we could potentially get some kind of refund from that as it's not what they advertise).

    The shots I took are filled with noise however I just heard the guys say take 3 shots in the same place, that makes sense. I have Affinity not ps so will have to learn and quick.

    I have also bought Virtual tour pro, and I cant say enough good things about it so far, it will save you months if you are new to it all. I'd love it if you could do a video on the qoocam with Affinity workflow 😉.

    Great video guys, and thank you both for your time and channels

  23. Thanks for that video. Love to see you collaborate. That said, I can see that all photos have terrible color blotches on the walls. Seen that a lot on many 360 tour guide videos. That’s a no go for me. This can be corrected but adds a ton of post-pro… Kins defeats the point of using a 360 camera. Never see that on shots I take with a dslr and a pano head. Also the most noticeable chroma aberration on the Z1 shot is on the window frame… A general question. Why did you point one lens of the camera to the window and one to the dark side of the room? Would rotating it 90 degrees, so each lens picks up both sides of the room help?

  24. Really liking the collaborations between the two of you. Question, on the two lens cameras, were the cameras set up with the lenses facing the same direction each time?

  25. Great work, guys! I wonder if you could combine images from 2 or more different cameras? Take the great overall image quality from the Qoocam or Z1 and combine with the sharp details of the XPhase? Would that work in Photoshop?

  26. I have to agree that for going out and shooting right now, the Theta Z1 is the best choice in regards to workflow and knowing what you are going to get with every shot. But still very excited to see the Qoocam get worked more this year. I hope to have my Z1 as a backup camera and use the Qoocam as the workhorse by the end of the year. Also great colab video guys! Side by side comparisons with the same set up are the best.

  27. Thank you both for a great video. Everything that you said about the insta360 One X is true. I had a Theta which had issues with the chromatic aberration as well

  28. Great vid guys! Some really useful detailed comparisons in it. Question: how would the Misphere fair in this comparison if you had to use it?

  29. Very interesting video. I'm wondering why you don't talk about the following: Those three chains on the right side of the windows: One X: you can clearly distinguish the red, yellow, and blue. With the XPhase, it's OK but too dark (maybe because of the more dark bracketing). Z1: Amazing colors, even (if not especially) with inbuild HDR. Qoocam: It's red, yellow and … BLACK. This is not even dark blue, it's black. For me, this is a no-go for the Qoocam. My winner in this szenario: Z1. Ben, Mic, what do you think about those colors?

  30. Now I want to see the exact same scenario, same cameras, but video this time. Would the pecking order remain the same? Would the results be closer, or even larger differences?

    I must say, I was surprised that the Insta360 R didn’t do better than the ONE X.

  31. Hi Guys, thanks for Your interesting comparison video.
    What do you advise me as a frequent traveler who does not often take the time to set manual settings for video, photo and also recordinternational night / bad weather? And also want to have an easy workflow with as little desktop editing as possible. My selectiion is between Insta360 One R, Kandao Qocam 8k and Ricoh Theta Z1. Currently I am a ONE X user, satisfied with the video but slightly less with the HDR Photos. Thnkx

  32. Hey, i am trying to pick a camera to get 360 video of my Drag races. I want to mount it on top of my car so that i can look at the car that is either behind me or pulling away from me. I will be exceeding speeds of 100mph. Which 360 camera would you recommend? I would like to stay under 500$ for my entire set up. Thoughts and opinions would be much appreciated. THANKS!

  33. Thanks Ben and Michael for putting this video together. I've been debating for months as to which camera to upgrade too. I already own the One X and was leaning towards the XPhase but after seeing video comparison, It now a toss up between Z1 and Qoocam. You both definitely definitely hit the nail on the head when you said the Z1 is a "Established camera" and ready to go while others are somewhat beta mode with all the ongoing updates. While this video helped me ruled out the XPhase, its now a toss up between the Z1 and Qoocam for me. No decision yet but I'm leaning towards the Qoocam only because it can do Video as well. Having the ability to shoot a 360 video and Photo is a plus where as the Z1 can only take photos… Unless Z1 has a big brother coming out?!?.

    Michael, do you know anything? Any Rumors from Ricoh?

    Thanks guys! looking forward in seeing more videos from you both!

  34. Great to see you guys working together again and stoked to hear the word on the best three 360 cameras for virtual tours. I bought the Z1 for the same reasons you concluded in the video and watch and wait for new updates to the Qcam, as it has much better video potential. The XPhase has hardware as well as software issues, so maybe we will need to wait for a 3rd iteration until it has the reliability for working virtual tours? Thanks for the super video👍

  35. Sadly, no camera knows the really white color of the walls. All have a rainbow instead of white. Just some less than others. You didn't see it, boys?

  36. Hey Ben, what plan do you have for Cupix software and do you have optional package? I would like to make 360 tours for my clients for google maps. What is you recommendation? Thank you

  37. As a skier who uses his insta360 one x, I wish the one r was available last year however for the time being I'm stuck with what I have. With that said, is there a BT remote or other device that can remote control the One X? Turning it on and off with on my helmet is a major pain…lol

  38. WHY WHY WHY do you so badly neglect 180 3D VR? I keep watching your videos thinking– oh it's 360, it's gonna have a flip-out 180 option. . . and they never do. Will someone please tell me what 3D VR camera I can get excited about this year?

  39. This is an excellent video thank you very much! I'm currently building myself a new home and resolution of the Xphase looks wonderful for photographing with measurements the placement of everything in the framing before we put up drywall! Are there any software packages to host the generated 360 photos locally without paying an endless monthly fee to a company? As a hobbyist I don't need or want 3rd party hosting. Benaco/cubix look amazing but that monthly fee kills them for me 🙁

  40. Thanks for doing this.. I was leaning towards a Q8K however you guys still think it needs work, but seems like that photo as mentioned was taken later and potentially forgot to wipe the lenses. Any chance you could point us to the raw images? Also have you guys used Topaz DeNoise AI in your workflow? Does some amazing work on noise! Keep up the good work!

  41. Thanks Ben and Mic
    Both of you have been my guides, on the cameras available "today", and happy to see you including the XPhase and Labpano in the future.
    Certainly the camera(s) purchased will be an investment.
    THANK YOU BOTH

  42. Quick question, what is best camera for 180 video and pictures, but is not 3d. Thanks again for another great video.

  43. Hey Ben I want to start my own business for virtual tour which 360 I shoul buy my bughet is $400-500. I like Theta Z1 But it's beyond my budget. Can You give some best option with my bughet and also I am beginner in this things. Please give some suggestion. I Watch Your and 360 Rumor (mic) Channel constantly.

  44. Let me ask why you do not talk about the tons of problems that Qoocam 8K is providing since it's launch on December! …there are some colleagues that they are pointing out that not only colors neither stitching but workflow is not even decent nor easy… I do not know why we are still pushing forward ourselves to be used as BETA TESTERS ( when at least we are not paid for that neither it's professional to go out to the markets saying they are companies that launch products not mature)

    Thanks as usual for your videos… Congrats

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