360° Virtual Tour Quality Comparison

When choosing to do a 360° Virtual Tour, how it is captured is an important factor in the quality of the end product.

Levels of Quality are dependent on Capture Equipment and Techniques.

Below are some quality comparisons of 360° Virtual Tour, they were taken using a standard 360° camera, and a mirrorless camera.

The first photo was taken with a Insta 360 One R using a 3 shot exposure bracket. The raw files were blended in Affinity Photo. No color correction was applied.The photo has acceptable quality, however color casting is apparent. Additional color correction would be time intensive and somewhat futile as one could never get rid of the color casts.

Insta 360 One R 360° photo – 3 shot AEB blended in Affinity Photo.

The second photo was taken with a mirrorless Fuji XT3. Four separate photos where taken and stitched in PTGui, the 360°photo was then exported as a jpeg. No Color Correction was applied. One can see that the walls do not have as much of a color cast compared to the Insta360 One R. Additionally the photo is much sharper than the previous photo.

It takes a bit more time to take the photos using this method, since you have to take 4 photos plus a zenith photo. It also takes more time in post processing.

In the below photo, no post processing has been done other than stitching. I wanted to show what the raw photo quality is like with the Fuji XT3 compared to a standard 360° camera. In a Normal situation one would process each photo using Capture 1 and Affinity photo for proper white balance and apply color correction prior to stitching. However the color casts could still be a problem though it is not as pronounced as the standard 360° camera. Additionally, we could have shot an exposure bracket to achieve even better results. However, nothing compares to the Flash/Ambient Blend.

Captured with Fuji XT3 using 4 ambient images stitched in PTGui

The final photo was taken with the Fuji XT3 using the Flambient Method. The Flambient Method blends the ambient/ flash exposures. This allows us to eliminate most if not all of the color casts. It normally requires 4 Ambient/ 4 Flash exposures, plus the zenith. It requires much more post processing. Normally we process the photos in Capture 1 and then send them into Affinity Photo where we blend the Ambient exposures with the Flash exposures. Additionally we add in the window pull exposures and a window pull repair shot. (The same process is used in standard Flambient photos). Once the photos are ready they are stitched in PTGui. Once that step is completed, additional processing can be done in Affinity Photo or Capture 1.

You can see that the walls and colors now look normal. Since we flashed we can control the colors and eliminate color cast from ambient and artificial light.

In the below photo, additional processing has not been done. Also the Zenith shot was not flashed.

Taken with Fuji XT3 using 4 Ambient and 4 Flash Exposures, with 1 window pull exposure. Processed in Affinity Photo and stitched in PTGui

I’ll be posting the completed comparison tours on Kuula soon and will post another blog post once they are up.