7 Amazing & Affordable 3D Cameras For Real Estate
In today’s modern world of real estate photography, virtual tours are a goldmine to tap into. Everyone is going digital today, and that does not stop at still photos on a nice looking website anymore.
Nowadays, potential buyers want to be able to tour your listing from the comforts of their current homes – wherever that may be. But in order to provide them with high-quality, smooth tours, you will first need to invest in a 360 degree camera.
With a 360 degree camera, you can offer real estate virtual tours so that potential buyers get a better sense of the property at hand and what the floor plan is really like. They can feel as if they were actually there, without the fuss of setting up a meeting or making the drive. That’s a convenient deal for both of you!
To get you started off on the right foot, we have compiled a list of what we deem to be our top 7 most amazing and affordable 3D cameras, and what types of factors you should keep in mind when choosing one for your real estate business.
Choosing the Right 360 Degree Camera
While there have been multiple virtual tour videos uploaded on the internet, 360 degree cameras are still considered relatively new in the photography game. Because of that, each of the sought after options in the market have very differing specifications, which may get a little overwhelming when you are trying to narrow down your needs.
However, we have broken down the list to the 4 most essential aspects to prioritize, namely:
Some 360 camera options come with their own software, while others rely on 3rd party applications such as the crowd favorite Adobe Lightroom. If video editing, or even photo editing, is something entirely new to you, then you might consider investing in a 360 camera that comes with its own software solution. This way, you will have an easier time importing, stitching, editing, exporting, and basically maximizing all the content you have captured with the device.
Being able to capture a 3D image in its entirety can pose a challenge mainly because it requires too much data to process and transfer at a given moment. To compensate for this, some 360 cameras are not able to pack on too high of a resolution, which yields less than impressive results.
However, we all know by now that especially when it comes to real estate images and videos, image quality and details are everything. So while it may be tempting to settle for more affordable 360 cameras that do the bare minimum, do not be afraid to look for better options in the market and secure yourself with high resolution images.
One that preferably offers at least 14 megapixels and HDR capabilities can benefit you in more ways than one. Even if they may seem a little pricier up front, the return on investment and opportunities that a superior camera can offer you will be well worth the initial cash out.
If you decided to do more than taking still photos, why stop at 360 degree tours? Go above and beyond by providing a means to port it into a virtual reality headset, or live stream it on social media. This way, your audience can really feel like they are walking through the rooms and experience the space in full.
Not all 360 cameras have the capabilities to do live stream videos and seamlessly connect to the Internet. By investing in one with built-in WiFi, headphone jack, microphone jack, and live streaming options, you can take your marketing efforts to the next left and easily share all your content on the channels that matter most.
Most, if not all, modern 360 cameras can now directly live stream on Facebook, making it easier to reach your audience real time and show them all that your property has to offer. Another advantage to this is having more personalized connections as your viewers can interact with you right on the spot, ask you questions, and you can address these on the video or comment section. Making these relations can greatly impact your real estate business for the better.
A lot of the 360 cameras in the market have fairly limited battery life, which may last you just an hour. This may not be much of a problem if you have your walk through planned out and are only planning to work on one or two listings that day. Otherwise, try to find one with a longer battery life to keep your work hours more flexible.
On the list, we have three notable cameras that have a longer than average battery life. These are:
The GoPro Max Action 360 Camera, which gives you up to 85 minutes of recording time.
The Xiami Mijia MiSphere, which gives you up to 90 minutes of recording time.
The Samsung Gear 360 4K VR Camera, which impressively gives you up to 130 minutes of recording time.
7 Real Estate 360 Camera Options
Now that you know what to prioritize from a real estate agent and photographer point of view, check our top 7 picks and see if any match your needs:
Matterport Pro2 3D Camera
Unlike most 360 cameras that were designed with extreme sports in mind, the Matterport Camera was built specifically for real estate professionals. Its entire system and the details of its features center around the real estate industry, which go far beyond providing the camera. In fact, in order to purchase one, you also have to sign up for Matterport’s services.
Their numbers show that over 74% of real estate agents who signed up with Matterport win more listings, while 95% of clients are more likely to call about the listing once they have viewed the 3D virtual tour.
The Matterport camera is excellent at scanning spaces of just about any size, whether they are homes, apartments, hotels, or commercial buildings. It features high quality images captured in 3D with a 99% accuracy.
Its professional photo resolution is at an impressive 134.2 megapixels.
Matterport guarantees a better opportunity to increase commissions, reach a wider audience, and close deals at a faster pace. They have 4 price plans and packages to choose from namely:
Free plan: $0/ forever, with limited features and 1 active 360 space
Starter plan: $9.99/ month, with ample features and 5 active 360 spaces
Pro & Business plan: $69/ month, with top notch features and 25 active 360 spaces
Enterprise: Which are tailored solutions and require you to contact them for a quote
Insta360 ONE X Camera
The Insta360 ONE X is the perfect entry-level system for creating 360 photographs and videos. It is a waterproof action camera that features an excellent 6-axis FlowState stabilization for ultra smooth videos, dual lenses on either side, cinematic slo-mo, stabilized hyperlapse, invisible selfie stick, timeshift, deeptrack, and can shoot in super 5.7k resolution.
Furthermore, the Insta360 ONE X gives you the ability to live stream your videos and even add GPS stats. The One X app allows you to edit all your content through your phone, and is available on both iOS and Android devices.
This camera may have all that a real estate professional needs and more, which makes it great for those starting out. Never would you need to limit your creativity or settle for the basic virtual tours with this camera.
GoPro Max Action 360 Camera
By now, you must have heard of the GoPro brand and its action packed capabilities. Apart from its quality output, GoPro rose to popularity because of how user friendly their system is, and this 360 camera is no different.
With the GoPro Max Action 360, you can easily convert 360 video clips into one solid footage, stabilize your output, and seamlessly create real estate videos from that. It also houses a 16 megapixel camera for high-quality still images.
While this GoPro variant does not come with its own video editing software, you can easily import your files into Adobe Lightroom and work from there.
One advantage that the GoPro Max Action 360 has over the rest is its long battery life, which can go up to a total of 85 minutes. This gives you more time per recording session to continuously shoot the content you need.
Vuze XR 3D Vr & 360 Camera
The Vuze XR gives you the choice to shoot with either a 360 camera or a VR 180 degree, helping you unleash your creativity in all the right ways, and in one compact device.
It is an entry-level product that boasts an 18 megapixel sensor resolution and produces high-definition dual 3D and 2D 360 video. It allows you to capture highly detailed images in DNG RAW format, and through using its many built-in features, such as:
- Fly Out transition, which lets you seamlessly zoom in and out of scenarios
- Look Here feature, which lets your videos focus on areas of interest
- Track This feature, which locks in on your subject and follows it throughout the recording
- Adjustment sliders that can manipulate the brightness, contrast, temperature, tint, and saturation of your media before exporting it as the final file.
- Cropping feature, which is perfect for customizing your media before uploading to your chosen social media platforms. This way, you can guarantee all your details are displayed in the shot.
The VR camera feature can be used to conceptualize virtual reality tours, including the ones viewable via the VR headset. The camera has its own smartphone app that can help you navigate its system and maximize all the features built into the product.
However, it does not have a great battery life, which could mean a few charging breaks in between shoots.
The Kandao QooCam features a powerful 1/1.7 inch sensor and the ability to record 8k footage at 120 frames per second. It also offers a manual shooting mode that makes shooting photographs highly customizable.
The Qoocam can record high quality videos in 8k and supports live streaming for live events, online gaming tournaments, vlogging, and also connects with webcams for conferences on Skype, Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting.
One great advantage of the Qoocam is its ability to be manipulated at just about any angle as it supports
all-around image capturing and depth sensing technology. It is an innovative 2 in 1 action device that has 3 wide angle lenses paired with a Sony CMOS sensor built into it, this sensor assists in capturing HD stereoscopic VR photos and videos.
The lens can capture both 4K video with 2D 350 degree, and stereoscopic 3D 180 degree field of view, letting you explore more dimensions and unleash your creativity. Is it the very first VR camera that allows you to create lifelike 3D photos that you can share directly on your social media platforms.
The Kandao QooCam’s editing software and smartphone app assists you in taking high quality 2D 360 videos and turning them into regular sized video footage so you can easily share through other means.
The camera’s battery life is estimated to be an average of 45 minutes, which would have been better longer but could suffice for one shoot.
RICOH Theta Z1 Black 360 Camera
The Ricoh Theta Z1 is one of the most popular virtual tour cameras on the market today. It can capture both photographs and videos in an impressive 8k resolution. It also features dual lenses on each side of the camera body, which makes for a virtually seamless panoramic image – no stitching required!
Each purchase comes with its own tripod mount and auto-calibration function to guarantee you capture straight and well angled photos each time.
The camera comes with two 1 inch sensors that allow it to obtain more light, color, and detail than most 360 cameras. It also features auto HDR, the ability to shoot in DNG RAW format, and a Lightroom plug-in to make post processing an absolute breeze.
The Theta Z1 produces images that are noticeably of higher quality than many 360 cameras of the same caliber. The only downsides we have observed are its limited memory storage, and its unreliable WiFi connectivity.
Samsung Gear 360 4K VR Camera
The Samsung Gear 360 is the company’s flagship 360 camera and is regarded for its exceptional battery life. Unlike most cameras that last 45 minutes to an hour, the Samsung Gear gives you 130 full minutes of smooth recording, which is more than enough time to capture most medium sized properties.
It is by far the most intuitive, and advanced camera in its range. It offers 4k video and 15 megapixel still images, with a wide variety of features such as:
- Live streaming capabilities
- Auto uploads to Facebook
- Auto uploads to YouTube
- Built-in speaker and microphone for two-way audio
It also gives you full control over the type of view you want for your videos. You can choose between:
- 360 degree
It is regarded to be one of the best 3D cameras on the market today and can greatly capture your real estate listing in the best possible light. It is fully compatible with an array of Samsung devices, including the Samsung Gear VR headset. It also works seamlessly with Windows and Mac computers.
Best Budget Option – Xiaomi Mijia MiSphere
If you are looking for a quality 360 camera but are a little tight on budget, then the Xiami Mijia MiSphere is the perfect choice. It retails for only $200 and yet produces quality images that are up to standard with other 360 cameras twice its price range.
Because of its unique square shaped design, it is highly portable and fairly easy to pack into any bag. It features a MicroUSB port for charging, an SD card slot, and a tripod thread on the bottom – so its size does not compromise any fundamental features.
It boasts a 23.9 megapixel sensor for shooting still images. You also do not need to adjust the color or white balance settings since it analyzes the environment and automatically adapts to your scene. Of course, if you prefer having full control, you can switch to manual mode in order to set your shutter speed and ISO. This handy gadget can also shoot in RAW format, which allows you to edit to the tiniest of detail. Other notable features are:
- Six axis stabilization
- Integrated GPS
- Interval meter to create full-quality time-lapse videos
- Bullet time capabilities
- Videos shot at 120 frames per second
While the Mi Sphere camera does not have a built-in stitching system, Xiaomi’s stitching software is available on both Mac and Windows computers.
Another downside to the camera is that it does not have a removable battery. For issues related to the battery, you will need to purchase another camera. In terms of battery life, it runs a good 90 minutes per charge. It is important to note, however, that the camera has been reported to overheat with prolonged usage so allowing breaks in between can help prolong its lifespan.
Best Value Option – Aleta S2C
The Aleta S2C creates top-notch photos that are highly rich in detail and vivid in colors. The camera is photo-centric and gives you loads of features to adjust your images any way you want and have them seamlessly stitched together in-camera for a smooth and fast output.
The gadget sports a comfortably stout handle that makes your grip easier to hold and manipulate. On top of the handle is a shutter button with four lenses at equal distances from one another, along with just one lens that points to the crown. All together, they create 66 megapixel photos and 4k video. You may opt to have the camera stitch your content together or save it as five separate files through the SD card port.
One of the biggest advantages to the Aleta S2C is that it carries an extensive amount of photo adjustment options. For one, it has a built-in High Dynamic Range photography system that allows you to capture layer upon layer of photographs to combine it into one excellent image. This preserves all the details within the given shot and makes even the most poorly lit picture stand out from the crowd – in a good way.
This is a photo-centric camera so videos are not exactly its forte, but it does a decent job in 4k, most especially if you switch to the time-lapse mode, which improves its resolution.
Last but not the least, the Aleta S2C has the ability to manipulate photos in such a way that removes unwanted people and objects from your image – talk about convenience!
Apart from its lack of better video capabilities, the S2C is always known to heat up if used for a long period of time, so it is best to let it rest in between shots. It has its own cooling fans to combat this, which is a great solution so long as you do not mind the noise.