If you don’t want to invest 4 lakhs on a professional camera yet, there are definitely other options if you’d like to try Matterport. Let’s get a few things out of the way here:
- Image quality is compromised with non-professional cameras (Pro2 or BLK), so the expectations have to be set.
- The free subscription plan allows one active space. You may shoot as many as you’d like, but only one would be active (shareable).
- If you don’t want to buy a 360-degree camera just to test out Matterport, you can use an iPhone. There is no option for Android yet.
- Real estate professionals in the U.S. expect professional quality. If not a Pro2, at least a Ricoh Theta Z1.
- Cameras aside, you’re still going to need an iPhone or iPad. With a larger screen, controlling the spaces would be easier.
- Without a Pro2, you may get 360-degree images but not 3D. Again, set your expectations.
iPhone and iPad
The LiDAR Scanner on the iPhone 12 Pro works seamlessly with Cortex to scan spaces. Cortex is Matterport’s image processing technology that’s powered by AI. At the very least, you will need an iPhone to get started with Matterport; however, it doesn’t have to be the latest models.
Unlike previously, you can now buy Apple devices directly from the company’s online store in India. They are shipped from Mumbai via Blue Dart – the online store is very user-friendly and gives excellent customization options, including engraving and compatible accessories.
Learn more about the Apple India online store in this news article or check it out right away – https://www.apple.com/in/shop.
If for some reason you want to use Amazon, our recommendations are here – https://www.amazon.in/shop/adostrophe?listId=OWGGMWE45FSW
360 Degree Cameras
Another great development is that Matterport is now compatible with the Insta360 ONE R. Previously, it was just the ONE X (not the X2). The ONE R is modular, which means replacing parts need not be an expensive affair.
A typical 360-degree camera contains dual fisheye lenses that capture images on opposite sides. These two images are then stitched together to produce a single panoramic image. These are the kind of cool 360-degree media you might have seen on Facebook or Google Street View. Certain locations are best captured using a 360-degree camera.
For Matterport, the current compatible devices from Insta360 are the ONE X and ONE R. For Ricoh, it’s Theta Z1 and Theta V. Bear in mind that those familiar with Matterport expect quality from a Z1, if not a Pro2 – unfortunately, Insta360 cameras have not been well received. Having sold hundreds of Insta360 cameras, we have to be transparent about the fact that the output is not really 5.7K resolution – it gets noisy in low light as well.
Shop Ricoh cameras from Amazon India – https://www.amazon.in/shop/adostrophe?listId=3VMNSG7TFE9PT
Have a look at the above virtual tour which was shot with a Pro2. Now, this restaurant is designed in such a way that the photographer could not hide behind a wall while still being connected to the camera via WiFi. So, the technique is to walk behind the camera as it spins 360 degrees. Ideal virtual tours have no people visible in them.
When it comes to Matterport shoots with 360-degree cameras, there’s nowhere to hide – both lenses fire at the same time. You may be able to edit yourself out later or duck under the tripod so it’s blurred. It’s complicated, but possible.
The intent of this article is to encourage those without professional cameras to still go ahead with Matterport, using a 360-degree camera or just an iPhone. If you’re using an iPhone, try shooting with a tripod to maintain consistency as you spin around.
The “limitations” mentioned are just for your awareness. Still, if you’re taking up paid shoots, do set reasonable expectations with the clients. We suggest doing a shoot for free (as a sample) so they understand what a virtual tour is. If they are happy, they will surely call you back. Another great thing is that they might refer more clients to you. Good luck!