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360º Photography and Videography

Geminai

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I've recently been researching terrestrial 360° cameras for myself. Which make and model of 360° camera are you using, and which cell phone app do you use it with?

As to aerial 360° panos from the drone, GO 4 already has a terrific fully automated Spherical Pano function under the camera settings (available under the single shot selection, as one of many alternatives), which even fills in ceiling of the sky for you, saves the stitched 360° pano to the microSD card, and even saves the originals, too, if you choose that option, in either jpg or DNG (can't do both, unfortunately). It's available on the Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom, and the P4P, and probably others as well. Takes 60 seconds per pano, leaving plenty of flying time in between panos to move around to different locations. I've managed as many as 8 panos and 13 minutes of video in a single flight! I then use PanoramaStudio 3 Pro to create the interactive web output, from either the lower resolution microSD card stitch, or the original 25 .jpg images, for the best quality. It also supports visually chaining panoramas together, like yours above, and even plotting them all together on an interactive Google Map, along with an optional thumbnail gallery of panoramas along the bottom, and an optional compass for the changing view heading, while scrolling around within the image. Way cool, and highly recommended!

Tobias is also very responsive and helpful with any and all questions.
Before I answer the former, let me sincerely THANK YOU for the latter! I have shot a few 360º panos with the Mavic (we have the original, not the 2nd round) and I'll be darned if I could figure out how to put them together. I tried a few options and ended up with frankensteined rejects so I just gave up. Thankfully BEFORE I threw the computer through a window. ha. I will for sure check out the link you shared, especially because we have round 2 of a resort shoot in a few weeks, and I would love to be able to shoot a few 360º panos for them from the air! We will be shooting their cabins with the 360º cam we have, so this would work perfectly. I think he might pass out at "Interactive Google Map" if I could figure THAT out! Plus, it sounds like the software might do a lot more for us - I've not been happy with the "all or nothing" manner of "you can either view these in one window and use the hot spots OR have a gallery." I really like the idea of having both as an option for the viewer. Thank you so much! I hope Tobias gives you a kickback! haha.

Ok, so on to our 360º cam. We have the Insta360 OneX, and it has a proprietary app. So, so, so ridiculously easy to use! With the exception of setting up the hot spots to jump from one place to the next, I did next to nothing for these photos. Shot them, let the software figure out the HDR processing, and that was it. It's almost embarrassing how easy it is (coming from the "old school" process of bracketing photos and combining in Photoshop with custom layer masks, etc.) We spent almost as much on the special monopod from Europe, but boy is it NICE! It requires very little PS-ing out of anything in the photo. Just a tiny bit of 3 legs, which is usually just taken care of with 30 seconds using the clone tool. You get smarter about where you place it, when you know the work involved in removing it. ;)
 
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Geminai

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It also supports visually chaining panoramas together, like yours above, and even plotting them all together on an interactive Google Map, along with an optional thumbnail gallery of panoramas along the bottom, and an optional compass for the changing view heading, while scrolling around within the image. Way cool, and highly recommended!
I'm pretty sure this is something our Alpine Resort client was asking for last year, and I didn't understand what he meant. I'm going to buy the software this weekend and start messing around with it. They've got a series of cabins and campsites on their property, and he talked about a virtual mapping system. I really like the idea of a thumbnail gallery below, to show our non-flying-camera photos, too.

I need to figure out what I'm doing with it by June 26, as that's when our next shoot is. If I run into problems, would you mind if I gave you a shout privately, to try to get past any road blocks?
 

GadgetGuy

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I'm pretty sure this is something our Alpine Resort client was asking for last year, and I didn't understand what he meant. I'm going to buy the software this weekend and start messing around with it. They've got a series of cabins and campsites on their property, and he talked about a virtual mapping system. I really like the idea of a thumbnail gallery below, to show our non-flying-camera photos, too.

I need to figure out what I'm doing with it by June 26, as that's when our next shoot is. If I run into problems, would you mind if I gave you a shout privately, to try to get past any road blocks?
Happy to help in any way I can. The toggle-able thumbnail gallery of other panos is alphabetized based upon the file name you assign to each individual pano, with the most recently added pano independently at the front. So, if you want to order them otherwise, consider adding a leading two digits in front of the descriptive file name in the order you want them to appear.
 
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GadgetGuy

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Before I answer the former, let me sincerely THANK YOU for the latter! I have shot a few 360º panos with the Mavic (we have the original, not the 2nd round) and I'll be darned if I could figure out how to put them together. I tried a few options and ended up with frankensteined rejects so I just gave up. Thankfully BEFORE I threw the computer through a window. ha. I will for sure check out the link you shared, especially because we have round 2 of a resort shoot in a few weeks, and I would love to be able to shoot a few 360º panos for them from the air! We will be shooting their cabins with the 360º cam we have, so this would work perfectly. I think he might pass out at "Interactive Google Map" if I could figure THAT out! Plus, it sounds like the software might do a lot more for us - I've not been happy with the "all or nothing" manner of "you can either view these in one window and use the hot spots OR have a gallery." I really like the idea of having both as an option for the viewer. Thank you so much! I hope Tobias gives you a kickback! haha.

Ok, so on to our 360º cam. We have the Insta360 OneX, and it has a proprietary app. So, so, so ridiculously easy to use! With the exception of setting up the hot spots to jump from one place to the next, I did next to nothing for these photos. Shot them, let the software figure out the HDR processing, and that was it. It's almost embarrassing how easy it is (coming from the "old school" process of bracketing photos and combining in Photoshop with custom layer masks, etc.) We spent almost as much on the special monopod from Europe, but boy is it NICE! It requires very little PS-ing out of anything in the photo. Just a tiny bit of 3 legs, which is usually just taken care of with 30 seconds using the clone tool. You get smarter about where you place it, when you know the work involved in removing it. ;)
You are welcome. The Go 4 built-in pano function might also be available on the original Mavic, unless the original Mavic can't handle the necessary stitching on board. Litchi also can shoot the pano images, but not the stitching, unlike the GO 4 version, on supported drones, which even includes the P4P (same generation as the original Mavic) on newer FW. Everything in PanoramaStudio 3 Pro is toggle-able, so you can hide everything, or select what you want to see on the fly. Even the embedded hyperlinks connecting the panos can be optionally toggled on and off. Tobias' wonderful customer support to me is payment enough to share his great program with anyone seeking more in depth pano capability.

The Insta360 One X camera was at the top of the contenders I was looking at. What is the special European monopod you use, instead of the disappearing Insta360 monopod? Does the Insta360 one not work as represented?
 

Geminai

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The Insta360 One X camera was at the top of the contenders I was looking at. What is the special European monopod you use, instead of the disappearing Insta360 monopod? Does the Insta360 one not work as represented?
Well, I don't remember there being an actual standalone monopod for the Insta360, but I may have just missed that. I know they have the selfie stick (which works great), but that obviously won't work for real estate interior type photography. And as you've been researching these cameras, you likely know that even the flip-tab type monopods can be problematic, in that if you have the monopod not extended all the way, some of those flip-tabs end up being HUGE at the bottom of your stitched image, and make it difficult to remove. This one is very heavy, very sleek, with three fold-out legs at the veeeery bottom. it extends using a screw-type system (I'm sure there are technical names for this stuff - my hubby is the technical wizard) so there's nothing extra sticking out on the body of it. Similar to a selfie-stick, only freestanding. :)

Coincidentally, it also works great for a low-profile stand for our GoPro when we want to record something from a stationary spot. I use the GoPro to record video of photography symposiums I moderate, and I can put it right up front and not have to worry about people tripping over tripod legs, etc.

Trying to find the link to it (I can't remember the brand name and don't have it with me right now) - will come back with that when I have it.

Main advice for the Insta360 is to buy extra batteries. They deplete fairly quickly. Almost on par with a drone battery, actually. :) But I honestly can't imagine an easier camera to use.
 

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I'm pretty sure this is something our Alpine Resort client was asking for last year, and I didn't understand what he meant. I'm going to buy the software this weekend and start messing around with it. They've got a series of cabins and campsites on their property, and he talked about a virtual mapping system. I really like the idea of a thumbnail gallery below, to show our non-flying-camera photos, too.

I need to figure out what I'm doing with it by June 26, as that's when our next shoot is. If I run into problems, would you mind if I gave you a shout privately, to try to get past any road blocks?

I have one "Favor/Question" to ask of you both... would you mind keeping the conversation about this in the open forum? I would even like to see a thread dedicated to this one topic so we can all learn and hopefully grow together from it. I know I'm VERY interested in this and trying to take notes and research it as each of you post more info.
 

Geminai

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I have one "Favor/Question" to ask of you both... would you mind keeping the conversation about this in the open forum? I would even like to see a thread dedicated to this one topic so we can all learn and hopefully grow together from it. I know I'm VERY interested in this and trying to take notes and research it as each of you post more info.
Oh, absolutely! I sure don't mind, so long as others don't mind my bumbling through this process. ha. I didn't want anyone to be annoyed by any of my stupid questions. I'll start a new thread once I get the software and start my learning process this weekend, ok? That way it'll be easier to find in the future.
 
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BigAl07

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Oh, absolutely! I sure don't mind, so long as others don't mind my bumbling through this process. ha. I didn't want anyone to be annoyed by any of my stupid questions. I'll start a new thread once I get the software and start my learning process this weekend, ok? That way it'll be easier to find in the future.

Outstanding and thank you.
 
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GadgetGuy

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Ah, here we go: BUSHMAN MONOPOD

Spending "almost as much" was a bit of an exaggeration, but it was a fair amount more than any other monopods we were looking at here in the States.
Here is the $16 invisible selfie stick/monopod that Insta360 designed for the One X.
It appears to be included in the bundle kit that includes a handle, tripod and extra battery for only $50 more than the camera by itself from Apple.
 

GadgetGuy

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I have one "Favor/Question" to ask of you both... would you mind keeping the conversation about this in the open forum? I would even like to see a thread dedicated to this one topic so we can all learn and hopefully grow together from it. I know I'm VERY interested in this and trying to take notes and research it as each of you post more info.
Certainly!
 

Geminai

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Here is the $16 invisible selfie stick/monopod that Insta360 designed for the One X.
It appears to be included in the bundle kit that includes a handle, tripod and extra battery for only $50 more than the camera by itself from Apple.
Yes, we have the selfie stick, and the Apple kit offers, from what I understand, a threadable "tripod" type thing that can go on the bottom. But the height of that would only come to about mid-body (the selfie stick doesn't go out as far as the Bushman). So the image you'd be giving people is from the perspective of, say, a 10-year-old walking through a building. Plus it's not as stable as the Bushman, which is bottom-weighted. I don't know if those threadable tripod feet are independent-moving, but that's another nice thing about the Bushman - if you're on uneven ground, each of the 3 legs that stick out are independent and can help level the monopod.

All that said, I think that package deal looks pretty decent. :) Just depends what you plan to shoot, and what you're ok with giving up (as with soooo many photography-related things). haha.
 
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GadgetGuy

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Yes, we have the selfie stick, and the Apple kit offers, from what I understand, a threadable "tripod" type thing that can go on the bottom. But the height of that would only come to about mid-body (the selfie stick doesn't go out as far as the Bushman). So the image you'd be giving people is from the perspective of, say, a 10-year-old walking through a building. Plus it's not as stable as the Bushman, which is bottom-weighted. I don't know if those threadable tripod feet are independent-moving, but that's another nice thing about the Bushman - if you're on uneven ground, each of the 3 legs that stick out are independent and can help level the monopod.

All that said, I think that package deal looks pretty decent. :) Just depends what you plan to shoot, and what you're ok with giving up (as with soooo many photography-related things). haha.
Bushman Monopod is currently $160 on Amazon, and $150 direct from Bushman, delivered to the U.S., even with an applied coupon code, that only knocks off 5%. Hmmm. Almost as much as the Insta360 One X is not that much of an exaggeration. Better be good for 10x the price! Don't most people usually walk around with it in their hand? However, in your case, for RE coverage, are you usually just positioning it on the Bushman monopod stick on the tripod, and hiding? Can you then remotely control the camera from the app from outside the room?
This guy loves it, too!
 
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Geminai

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Bushman Monopod is currently $160 on Amazon, and $150 direct from Bushman, delivered to the U.S., even with an applied coupon code, that only knocks off 5%. Hmmm. Almost as much as the Insta360 One X is not that much of an exaggeration. Better be good for 10x the price! Don't most people usually walk around with it in their hand? However, in your case, for RE coverage, are you usually just positioning it on the Bushman monopod stick on the tripod, and hiding? Can you then remotely control the camera from the app from outside the room?
This guy loves it, too!
Hahaha. Ben's love affair is a little deeper than mine, but I do really like it a lot.

And yes, you got my workflow exactly right. And yup, I can control the app from outside the room.

He did make a good point about bumping it and it not falling, because the Insta360 has those big fisheye lenses, one on either side, and they are 100% unprotected when it's on your monopod. If it falls, unless you're shooting on a floor of pillows, I can't imagine your lenses coming away unscathed.
 
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GadgetGuy

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Hahaha. Ben's love affair is a little deeper than mine, but I do really like it a lot.

And yes, you got my workflow exactly right. And yup, I can control the app from outside the room.

He did make a good point about bumping it and it not falling, because the Insta360 has those big fisheye lenses, one on either side, and they are 100% unprotected when it's on your monopod. If it falls, unless you're shooting on a floor of pillows, I can't imagine your lenses coming away unscathed.
Makes sense. The $16 selfie stick is specifically designed to include the photographer in the images/video for the egotists, but make the stick itself disappear. For real estate interiors, you don't want to be in the image, and therefore can't be there to hold the disappearing selfie stick, so it needs to be mounted on a completely self-supporting, stable, and sturdy lightweight tripod, that also disappears! I get it now!

The two Insta360 OneX fisheye lenses are, indeed, very exposed and scratchable in any fall, or anytime the camera is not vertically mounted. The original Insta360 One had a hard plastic tube that the camera could be inserted into for transport and protection, but that was too bulky for the newest, much thinner OneX. Now they just have a soft, protective sleeve cover, which still keeps it flat enough to easily slip into a pocket in between uses.

If the GO 4 app supports your Mavic Pro for the native aerial spherical panoramas, I suspect that will be better for you than using the fragile Insta360 suspended below the drone. At least one guy found that mounting the Insta360 OneX on top of the Mavic 2 blocked all the satellites. Oddly, the older Insta360 One did not have that problem.
 

Geminai

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If the GO 4 app supports your Mavic Pro for the native aerial spherical panoramas, I suspect that will be better for you than using the fragile Insta360 suspended below the drone. At least one guy found that mounting the Insta360 OneX on top of the Mavic 2 blocked all the satellites. Oddly, the older Insta360 One did not have that problem.
So, a question for you on that GO 4 App (have it installed, but haven't ever used it). Do we need to use that to shoot the 360º images? We did some test 360º shots at sunset in the mtns the other night. I shot regular, 180º pano and 360º pano. So I have all the native files and was hoping to use that software we discussed, to stitch the 360s. Will that work, or do I need to be shooting these with GO 4? This was the scenery (I haven't processed any of the panos yet):

Sunset.jpg

Jeremy's design for the 360 actually connects below the drone, to hang down a long thin tube. The reason for it is to capture 360º video, but from the air. But again, we haven't tested it yet. He's one of those inventor types. Built himself a 3D printer, and once we started flying over bodies of water, designed, printed, and constructed a float system (with finger loops for safe hand-catching) so if the drone goes down over water, it won't sink and pollute whatever body of water we're flying over. He's the genius in our relationship, and I'm the artist. ha.
 

Geminai

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Oh geez. Ignore my question on GO 4 up there. I was getting myself confused. One of our cell phones that we use with our controllers, we also have Litchi installed, and I was confusing myself between dji's app and that. We always use GO 4 (we should just delete Litchi).
 

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Oh geez. Ignore my question on GO 4 up there. I was getting myself confused. One of our cell phones that we use with our controllers, we also have Litchi installed, and I was confusing myself between dji's app and that. We always use GO 4 (we should just delete Litchi).
Check to see if your GO 4 version used for your Mavic, under the Photo submenu, has the Pano/Spherical option as an alternative to the Single Shot option, at the very bottom of the list of alternatives.
1442

If it does, you are home free, and GO 4 will shoot the 25 photos for you and stitch them together into a large .jpg while still saving the .jpg or DNG originals, if you have that setting selected, under the camera settings submenu.

Don't delete Litchi! If the GO 4 option isn't available, Litchi will certainly be able to shoot the aerial pano images for you, but can't do the stitching.
 
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GadgetGuy

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We did some test 360º shots at sunset in the mtns the other night. I shot regular, 180º pano and 360º pano. So I have all the native files and was hoping to use that software we discussed, to stitch the 360s. Will that work, or do I need to be shooting these with GO 4? This was the scenery (I haven't processed any of the panos yet):
PanoramaStudio 3 Pro can certainly do the stitching for you for both panos you shot manually, or however you shot them, as long as they were shot correctly, with enough overlap, and full coverage with no holes. So can PTGui, which is similarly priced with a web output option, too. I have both. Both LightRoom and PhotoShop should also be able to do the 360° panorama stitching, too, but neither can create the interactive web output files that allow the spherical panorama to be shared properly. That's where PanoramaStudio 3 Pro and PTGui shine!
 

Geminai

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PanoramaStudio 3 Pro can certainly do the stitching for you for both panos you shot manually, or however you shot them, as long as they were shot correctly, with enough overlap, and full coverage with no holes. So can PTGui, which is similarly priced with a web output option, too. I have both. Both LightRoom and PhotoShop should also be able to do the 360° panorama stitching, too, but neither can create the interactive web output files that allow the spherical panorama to be shared properly. That's where PanoramaStudio 3 Pro and PTGui shine!
You are a wealth of knowledge - thank you so much! I shot them using the Mavic's auto-pano deal, so it does all the shooting, adjusting, etc. But I end up with raw files (which I love). So I think I won't even bother with the auto-stitching you mentioned above, because the control freak in me can process all the raw files for optimal exposure and color, and then use PanoramaStudio to stitch it!

Photoshop STINKS at the 360º stitching. I use Photoshop to work on my Insta images (to remove the tiny bit of tripod at the bottom) so I am relatively comfy working in the 3D space, but I have not ever been able to get it to give me an acceptable 360º stitch, from my Mavic's shooting. But then again, maybe that is user error. Ha. I have very firmly established, I'm not the techno-wizard in our house. :)

Let me just tell you how exciting it is to walk into a customer's business and hand them a pair of goggles (we have the Oculus Go) and watch their reaction as they go through a virtual tour of another business. The idea of being able to bring that into a realtor's office, to show them what the future of virtual tours could bring (I fully expect the VR goggle technology to explode in the next 10 years, so that they are in more and more households) - I get SO excited about this stuff! And then to add 360º drone? So people could "float" above a property and look all around? Crazy! I love it. Thanks so much for chatting with me about this - it's so fun to find others who have that passion. :)
 

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