Big Ben’s Camera Corner

Choosing a Digital SLR Camera for your 360 Tours

There are several great options out there when it comes to digital SLR’s. They all take great pictures and the biggest difference comes down to you feeling comfortable with operating the camera. If you have never used a digital SLR before then I would steer you towards either the Olympus E410 or E510. Both of these cameras have live preview capability which means that you can turn the camera on, look at the LCD and see what the camera is about to take a photo of just like a regular point and shoot digital camera.

Most of the other digital SLR cameras require you to look through the eye piece otherwise called the viewfinder on a traditional camera to see the picture you are about to take. One of the best SLR cameras I have seen is the Canon 5D but it is very expensive and definitely “over kill” for shooting tours in my opinion. Whether you choose an Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony or Fuji film make sure that you test the camera in the store to get an idea of how it works as each camera is setup differently. Many stores or smaller local shops will let you take the camera outside of the store for a bit of time while you test it as long as you leave behind your drivers license. Just like test driving a car, test driving your camera is equally important in your decision making.

The next important thing to consider is how the camera feels when it is in your hands. Let’s face it, we all have different shapes of hands and some cameras cater to a smaller hand while other fit nicely in a larger hand. If you order your camera online without holding it first this is just the risk that you take.

Finally I go by the looks of the camera. When you show up to do that $3000.00 resort virtual tour, you want to look your very best and you want your camera to command respect. I HIGHLY recommend that you see how your camera looks when it is mounted fully on the Real Tour Vision panohead (Scroll to bottom of page). The more official that you and your team look the better. It is said that Real Tour Vision not only has the worlds largest virtual tour provider network but also the classiest so let’s keep it that way!

Feel free to contact me at the information listed below for more information about these cameras.

Ben Knorr
Real Tour Vision Lens Engineer and Setup Admin
Real Tour Vision
Grand Traverse Virtual Tour Company