So you have decided that you want to create your own virtual tours, but you have no idea where to start! You have come across the PERFECT article for you. Here we will explain everything you need to create your own virtual tours!
We have made a checklist so you can just follow the list and you’re ready to start shooting by the weekend!
Here’s a quick checklist:
Here’s a little more explanation on why you need the above and which options are best:
1. Buy a 360º camera
There is a plethora of cameras out there, and we tried and tested pretty much all of them. It’s the most important thing you need when you want to create your own virtual tours. The best cameras that are currently on the market are:
For those that really have a very low budget or just want to try it out to see if virtual tours is for them. These budget cameras are great!
Ricoh Theta S
In the US: Buy from $283 here
In the UK: Buy from £249,99 here
This camera, although looking to be discontinued in Europe, is still available to buy in the US and at a very competitive price. The camera funciones really well, though if you are looking for great HDR (not so much white glare from your windows) you need to look further down for a better version.
Samsung Gear 360 –
US: buy from $129 here
UK: Buy from 62 GBP here
The samsung gear works well, though the workflow is a little tedious. (here’s how to process your images with this camera) Having said that – for this price, you can’t expect miracles!
MADV Mini 360 camera –
US: buy from $98 here
Not available in the UK store at the time of writing, but many of the My360 users do use this camera to start off with. It’s not a huge investment and the images produced were pretty good considering the camera price is under $100
For those that have decided they want good quality images, not too fussed about the “zooming in and keeping high quality” and you’re not selling tours for 1000’s of dollars.
Ricoh Theta SC2
US: Buy from $296 here
UK: Buy from 224 GBP here
This camera is the improved version of the old Ricoh Theta SC which is discontinued. The camera has a great HDR (less white in the windows) and its bluetooth range is also improved. Furthermore, the camera is quicker in taking the pictures than the S, and it has longer battery life. Moreover, this camera shoots very good 4K 360º video as well, which is a nice gimmick (not sure if you would even use it but it’s there when you want it!)
Insta360 ONE X
US: Buy from $469 here
UK: Buy from 374 GBP here
The Insta Camera can be compared to the Ricoh Theta V in terms of quality of images. However it is better in quality for shooting 360º video. So if you are thinking of shooting many videos, you should buy the Insta, it stands above the Ricoh Theta V when it comes to Video. When it comes to images however, the V wins. The quality is slightly better, but what makes the V better than the Insta is the workflow. It is quicker to shoot a virtual tour with the Ricoh Theta range than it is with the Insta. Click here to see our in-dept comparison
Those of you that want great quality, not too much work and no issues… ever! This is where you’ll find the best options for you!
Ricoh Theta Z1
Buy here from $999
Buy from 732 GBP here
The Ricoh Theta Z1 is a definite winner when it comes to 360º camera. It has a perfect image quality, you will never have to edit your images again. It is often compared to the same image quality as when using a DSLR camera and the machine is quick, has a good connection, works on both WIFI and Bluetooth and makes incredible images and video. This camera really is the top of the range when you are talking quality. The workflow is great too, it is so quick, you can finish a shoot within 20 minutes (2 bed apartment) and the battery life is also excellent. 10/10 from us!
There is really no other 360º camera that compared to the ricoh theta Z1 when it comes to virtual tour images. If you talk about videos however, the Insta360 ONE R ($431) or the GOPRO Fusion ($289) and GOPRO fusion MAX ($499) are are much better.
But since we are only talking about virtual tours with images, I will not touch on those cameras right now.
2. Buy a tripod
The kind of tripod you buy depends a lot on your camera, but below we show a range that worked well for us:
Smatree Bluetooth Selfie Stick
US: Buy from $27
UK: Buy from 19 GBP
This tripod is lightweight, has the perfect height (we don’t recommend shooting any higher than 1,20 m) and is easy to put in your bag. The downside of this tripod is that is is very light indeed, so in the wind this tripod will fall over (see further down for our solution to that!). The tripod is slim,which is perfect as it is hardly seen in any of your images.
This tripod will fit the Theta as well as the insta cameras
Ricoh Theta Stick
US: Buy from $47
UK: Buy from 37 GBP
By the makers of the Ricoh Theta Camera, this tripod fits all the Ricoh Theta Cameras and fits seamlessly so you get very little or no tripod in your images which is important!
Insta 360 Bullet Time Tripod
US: Buy from $58
UK: Buy from 45 GBP
From the makers of the Insta360 – this tripod is compatible with the Insta ONE and the ONE X – it is a great selfie stick and if you make a lot of videos you can do some pretty amazing stuff with it, you can use the stick to twirl around above your head – pretend to have a drone by manipulating the tripod in a certain way, the options are incredible and this tripod is a must-have if you have the Insta camera.
3. Buy Ankle Weights
What now? – yes that is right – if you don’t want your tripod to fall over in the wind, you need to weigh it down with something that stays invisible in the images. (You didn’t get that “invisible selfie stick for nothing!!) The reason why you are not using a traditional 3-leg tripod is because it is ugly in your images, but the downside is, with these tripods being on just 1 leg – they are prone to fall over in the wind. So the solution is Ankle weights 🙂
There’s plenty to choose from and all are pretty good – choose one that is not too bulky so you won’t see it in your images.
US: Click here to view ankle weights from $15
UK: Click here to view ankle weights from 15 GBP
4. Choose a virtual tour software
Now this one is simple… just look at the reviews of other users, and you will find that the My360 virtual tour software is in fact the best option for you! It’s easy to use, can be used with ANY 360º camera, the support is second to none, and the staff really wants to help you make the best virtual tours. Furthermore, the pricing is flexible, you can switch the account off at any time switching to only hosting when you want saving you big bucks.
Moreover, the software has all the features you need to create amazing high quality virtual tours that SELL!
So without further ado… here’s your final link for today: Sign up for My360 by clicking here
I hope this article helped you getting your gear together so you can start to create your own virtual tours this week! If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to start a live chat with one of our support staff – we’re happy to help you make the best decision!