Virtual Tour Lens Pitfalls

Have you given any thought to using a Virtual Tour Camera Lens? If you have you should do a bit more research!! Having shot both single-shot panoramas with the voyager 360 lens and stitched panoramas, it amazes me that any professional virtual tour business would offer a single-shot panorama to their clients. The quality produced from a virtual tour camera / single shot lens is far inferior – even at best – to a stitched panorama that was created from multiple images.

With a single-shot panorama, you have no light control since you have only one exposure setting for the entire 0-360 sweep – no flash is possible. Before you shoot a single-shot panorama, you have to set the camera’s timer and duck behind a couch or get out of the room before the timer goes off – this makes outside panoramas almost impossible unless you can crouch down below the lens’ field of vision. The resulting photo generated from a single-shot panorama lens requires special un-warping software that never completely removes the inherent distortion from this set-up and the end result panoramic images are NOT PRINTABLE!!!

Shooting through a normal quality lens, using several shots stitched to produce a panorama is the optimal set-up to provide a quality panorama. If you use a higher megapixel setting for your camera, your stitched panorama will allow maximum enlargement before pixelation is noticeable.

Single-shot panoramas are a novelty to play with, not a professional product to offer to clients. Your clients deserve the best you can give them.

Paul Deines
A Virtual Tour Provider