If you’re a real estate professional in 2023, you’ve likely seen how popular virtual tours have become. To make one, you’ll need a real estate 360 camera.
People can look at a photo but don’t get a sense of a property and its floor plan. For this reason, a virtual real estate tour is a great way to get them to feel like they are in the space. They can become attached to a property even before they’ve seen it.
But creating a virtual tour requires more than a DSLR and a photo-stitching app. While you can create a panorama with nearly any camera, a 3D image requires a particular type of camera and sensor. Let’s look at some of the most popular 360 video and photography options.
- Insta360 Virtual Tour Kit
- Includes everything you'll need
- HDR Photo & Video
- Excellent Warranty and Support
- More Expensive Than Some Other Options
- Ricoh Theta SC2 Blue 360° Camera, Blue
- Good Image Quality
- Great Value
- Design Feels Excellent
- Limited Memory (Non-expandable)
- Battery Is Built-In
- Issues Occur Sometimes With Stitching 360 Photos/Video
- Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition – Waterproof 4K 60fps Action Camera
- Great Value
- Modular Design Allows 360 and Action Cam
- Excellent App Experience
- Can't Shoot 4K 120FPS Slow Motion
- Small Preview Screen
- GoPro MAX — Waterproof 360° Camera
- Excellent Stability
- Great App Experience
- Audio Quality Above Average
- High Price
- Not As Many Frame Rate and Resolution Options
- Low-Light Video Not Superb
- Insta360 ONE X2 360° Degree Waterproof Action Camera
- Build Quality
- Camera Quality
- One X Companion App
- USB-C Port Design
- Small Display
- App Requires New Phone
- RICOH THETA Z1 51GB Black 360° camera
- 1-inch Sensors
- Variable Aperture
- Shoots RAW Photos
- Low Video Resolution
- Limited Storage
- Very Pricey
- KODAK PIXPRO ORBIT360 4K 360° VR Camera Adventure Pack
- Full 360 Video Capture
- Audio Quality
- Multiple Capture Options
- Older Technology
- Buggy App
- Visible Stitching Seams
This is my go-to 360 camera for all of my real estate listings. Insta360's virtual tour kit provides everything you need to create high-quality VR tours for your next listing.
The kit includes the new Insta360 X3, Invisible Selfie Stick, Tripod, microSD Card, and Lens Cap. Using my affiliate link, you'll also get a free set of lens guards!
This is far and away the highest quality and easy-to-use setup out there.
Ricoh Theta SC2 is a 360-degree camera that records 4K movies, high-quality images, and high-resolution videos. It can be used in various scenes to capture the world around you.
You can also enjoy an immersive viewing experience of your recorded media on the smartphone application "Theta+". High image quality: Records natural 360° still images and videos with high resolution and highly precise image stitching.
4K movie High-quality 4K 360-degree videos using the latest image stabilization technology. Night View Mode: The new preset mode allows for excellent night scenes with low noise.
Insta360 ONE RS Twin Edition is two action cameras in one. The 4K Boost Lens delivers stunningly detailed wide-angle videos, while the 360 Lens offers endless creative possibilities. With FlowState Stabilization, you'll get buttery smooth image stabilization, no matter what lens you use.
Plus, the new sensor captures crisp 48MP photos, ultra-detailed 6K widescreen videos, and vibrant HDR action videos. The Invisible Selfie Stick makes the 360 Lens disappear from your shots for impossible drone-like footage and third-person perspective video.
With its three cameras, the GoPro MAX lets you capture traditional video and photos or immersive 360 footage. The Vlog mode with shotgun-mic performance and front-facing screen give you great audio and video quality for your social media posts.
The Max HyperSmooth stabilization keeps your shots steady, while the live streaming in 1080p option lets you share your experiences as they happen. And with Horizon Leveling, you get that silky-smooth cinematic look whether you're getting sideways, flipping through the air, or chasing your kids.
Insta360 ONE X2 is a professional 360-degree waterproof 4K action camera. It can shoot first in every direction with super 5.7K 360 capture and then choose your favorite angle later.
Or pick just one lens with Steady Cam mode for ultra-stable wide-angle footage. The Insta360 ONE X2 also supports live streaming, slow-motion video recording, time-lapse shooting, and more.
The RICOH Theta Z1 is a 360-degree camera that can capture photographs and videos at up to 8K resolution. The camera features dual lenses on each side of the body, allowing seamless panoramic images without any stitching required.
It also has a tripod mount and an auto-calibration function to ensure your photos are straightened out before you begin shooting. This makes it easy to share your images on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
The KODAK PIXPRO Orbit360 4K 360° VR Camera Adventure Pack is designed for adventurers and explorers. The rugged body of the camera comes with two fixed focus lenses, which are curved to capture full 360 Degree 4K video and easily upload 360 Degree video and photos to social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
The dual 20MP CMOS sensors allow you to shoot in three different multi-view angles 360 Degree Spherical VR Mode, 235-degree Dome Mode, or 197-degree 4K Ultra Wide Mode.
Choosing the Right 360-Degree Camera
360-degree cameras are relatively new. Because of this, they have very different specifications. When choosing 360-degree cameras, you may get confused because they’re all very different. Here are a few aspects you might want to look for.
Software. Some 360 cameras come with software solutions, while others rely on professional software like Lightroom, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, etc… If you’ve never done video or photo editing before, you may want a camera with its software solution.
- Resolution. Capturing 3D imagery is hard. To compensate, some cameras don’t have very high resolution. But if you’re capturing real estate photos, you know that quality is everything. Look for a camera that has at least 14 megapixels and HDR.
- Video features. Not only may you want a 360-degree tour, but you might want the ability to port it into a virtual reality headset or share it online through social media. Some cameras have live streaming functionality, making building a social media following easier.
- Battery life. Depending on how many listings you usually work with, battery life may or may not be important. 360 cameras have relatively limited battery life, lasting less than an hour. But some, such as the Samsung Gear, have a battery life of up to a few hours.
A basic 360-degree camera should be good enough to produce photographs and videos for professional, polished real estate listings. Many 360-degree cameras are built around snowboarding, skiing, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities — which means they’re very good at capturing high-quality 360-degree imagery quickly.
FAQs On Real Estate 360 Camera
What accessories do you need to capture a 3D tour?
For real estate photography, you should usually have a tripod and a remote “clicker” to take photos while out of the room. When you purchase the kit, a 360-degree camera usually comes with at least these peripherals.
How is a 3D virtual tour made?
A 360 camera captures multiple images. From there, those images must be composed into a 3D virtual tour using a software platform. A virtual tour camera will come with basic software, but you may need to learn a solution like Lightroom to perform more advanced editing.
Are 3D virtual reality tours necessary?
3D tours and virtual reality tours are imminently shareable on social media. They are an excellent way for real estate professionals to build a following and interest — and they’re also a good way to sell properties when people can’t otherwise view them in real life. Want a tool that can make virtual reality tours for you? Check out my post on the virtual tour software EyeSpy360.
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