Say No to Fish-Eye

Sometimes local real estate agents ask us why we here at BlueLavaMedia use still image photography for our traverse city virtual tours.

Many real estate professionals haven’t done virtual tours in a long time and only remember the old ‘fish-eye’ technology from years back. Just the thought of virtual tours turn them off on the whole idea of using virtual tours! I thought it would be great to share why ‘fish-eye’ is not a preferred way of capturing virtual home tours.

  1. You can’t use the camera’s flash. – This is the biggest reason by far. No flash makes dark halls look like caves and windows are almost always blown out whiteness. Why would you utilize a technology that prohibits your ability to utilize a primary feature of a camera?
  2. You can’t print the images. Virtual tour images should be able to be used with print as well as in the 360 virtual tour. That is impossible with fish-eye technology as two images that are taken during the process each represent one hemisphere of the scene and don’t print without distortion.
  3. You’re locked into full 360’s only. – With fish-eye technology you are required to do a full 360 image. As you know in real estate this is not always desirable. Our 12 shot system gives the photographer the freedom to do partial pans of any size to maximize the attractiveness of the location.
  4. Heavy on distortion. – Just before IPIX filed bankruptcy there was a very large group of people that thought all virtual tours were the fish bowl looking tours and did not use them for that reason. Some people still think all virtual tours look like that and it is up to the virtual tour photographer to educate the agent or homeowner on the advantages and benefits of cylindrical technology.
  5. Poor white balance and focus. – Because you’re taking less images for an entire room when using fish-eye it is very difficult to achieve great shots. As you stand in a living room it is most likely that you will pass by a window with sunlight shining through, pass across some form of other light that is down a hall, and often pass across areas that are darker than the rest. Typically in any given home as you turn around in a complete 360 you are certain to see a minimum of several exposure settings and a couple of white balance settings that you would need camera adjustments in order to achieve a perfect photo. Remember, when using a fish-eye lens you cannot use the cameras on board flash system. Taking only two fisheye shots per scene means you cannot get the proper balance that you need to get a vibrant photo. More often than not this leaves you with things out of focus, improper white balance in areas of the shot and areas of improper exposure throughout the pano.

We want our clients to have the best virtual tour possible. Using a fish-eye lens would not give them that, so we choose to use RTV technology with their 12 photo system.

Team BlueLaVa
Home of the Exposure Engine
Traverse City Virtual Tours
Order a virtual tour- 877-941-TOUR