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Matterport Pros: Also Buy a Ricoh Theta S1917

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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user


The Wall Street Journal reviews 360º spherical cameras.

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My take-away for you from attending IVRPA – the annual international conference for 360º spherical photographers – this week (23-27 May 2016) in Quebec City?

Also buy a Ricoh Theta S 3rd generation 360º photo/video/VR camera and start publishing to Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook and Round.Me.

For clarification, if you are thinking about buying a Matterport Pro 3D Camera – or already have a Matterport Camera – I am suggesting that you also buy the Ricoh Theta S.

One of the telling signs that point-and-shoot 360º cameras are a thing – at two sightseeing field trips at IVRPA this week, dozens of 360º professional photographers were either using a Ricoh Theta S in addition to their Pro gear or instead of their Pro gear (“The best camera is the one with you.”)

That's the next wave to catch that is about to turn into a Tsunami.

Ricoh Theta S 360º Spherical Camera + Sharing

Today, Facebook supports 360º spherical video. Soon, Facebook will support 360º spherical photos. That's is a seismic moment in time.

Potentially an even bigger moment was announced at IVRPA. Google Street View announced:

✓ Easy, fast and seamless publishing to Google Maps from 360º spherical cameras such as Theta

✓ Any space that is legal to shoot is okay to publish to Google Maps (including inside homes)

✓ All images will post instantly (and only after-the-fact may be removed); no 3-weeks for approval

✓ All 360ºs shot within a a couple of feet will automatically linked together

✓ You will be able to link the 360ºs to a business (without being a Google Trusted Photographer)

Now that it is easy, fast and seamless to shoot 360ºs with a $350 point and shoot 360º camera, play with this 360º photo and video capture solution to explore how you might offer 360º spherical photography/videography social sharing and publishing to Google Maps, Facebook and Round.Me.

Virtual Reality

And, run – don’t walk – to convert at least one of your Matterport Spaces 3D Tours to Virtual Reality. As even more Matterport Service Providers get started, you will will need to offer virtual reality services to help differentiate your business and to service even larger markets than residential real estate.

It’s obvious that virtual reality will explode – in a big way – and VR will likely arrive sooner than you think. It’s not enough to know that you can have Matterport convert your Spaces to 3D Tours, you need to experience the workflow and end-result first-hand to consider how you might offer Matterport VR Spaces to your existing and potential clients. And, to actually be ready to take an order.

GoPro, Google, Yahoo! and other companies presented virtual reality at IVRPA. And, other companies showed off amazing demos. GoPro (Kolor) announced free, open-source web-based virtual reality tools.

I am old enough to have experienced the internet even before America Online (AOL). Once the internet became a commercial thing, every industry – every company – was building bridges to the internet. The same thing is about to happen with virtual reality. The waiting is over. Get started.

VR is likely to open a new world of potential B2B clients for you such as event spaces, meeting and incentive travel and any sales people that want to bring a showroom with them on their sales calls.

Ricoh Theta S + Sharing + Matterport VR

While I was asked by a MUG Member to summarize the gear that I saw at IVRPA, the real takeaway this week is: experiment with the Ricoh Theta and Virtual Reality as soon as possible. Run don't walk.

While you could buy a $5,000 turn-key GoPro rig, you can play with 360º photos and videos with a $350 360º spherical camera and publish free to Facebook, Google Street View and Round.Me.

And, while I recommend the Ricoh Theta S – 3rd generation with an API – there are other choices and many of them were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday (25 May 2016).

When we – all of us – bought our Matterport Cameras, we embraced the future – today. If you are going to continue to offer your clients a competitive advantage to differentiate their marketing plan, you will will need to continue to embrace even more of the future – today.

What are your thoughts about under $500 360-degree spherical photo/video/VR cameras such as Ricoh Theta S?

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PostScript

Earlier today (27 May 2016) MUG Forum Member - @VR_Vision - shared this inspiring post about experimenting with 360-degree video published to YouTube. It's exactly what we all should be doing.

360 Video for Virtual Tour (Kinda)
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GarySnyder private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Dan

I just read your article below, great job by the way but I’ve got a couple of questions as I also have a Theta s which is the easiest camera to use and takes great snaps and videos.

Are you saying that Google and Ricoh made an announcement that I can now walk through a location and take some snap with my S and Google will stitch them together to deliver a Business View experience?

If that is the case then this is truly a revolutionary new service which will open up a vast number of opportunities for any location to promote themselves in truly immersive way.

Having been a Google Trusted Photographer in the early years of having to link each pano together it was a pain in the ass.

Did Ricoh or Google provide you with any links to view examples of a BV shot with the S and automatically stitched.

Thanks again
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ArchimedStudio private msg quote post Address this user
It's very funny how this event took place in Quebec... the place where almost noone ever heard of Matterport, and where "virtual tour" means a youtube video showing scrolling photos...
VR is still pretty far away here, unfortunately.

But I remain hopeful, and we're working hard to let people know that HDR photos are not the future anymore

Matt
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@GarySnyder

About your comment:

"Are you saying that Google and Ricoh made an announcement that I can now walk through a location and take some snap with my S and Google will stitch them together to deliver a Business View experience?"

Yes. Google Street View made the announcement. Connecting the spheres automatically is in Beta, at the moment. Once it comes out of Beta, it's simply a huge leap forward in easy, fast and simple though not with the quality of either a DSLR or a Matterport experience.

Dan
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Matt @ArchimedStudio

Quebec City is so beautiful (and the weather has been perfect).

I was thrilled to be able to experience Quebec City for the first time and to do some with other Matterpeeps, including at dinner earlier in the week ...

360º Spherical Photo from Dinner
https://round.me/tour/48223/view/120822/



Dan
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@GarySnyder

Since you are also a Google Street View (Trusted) Photographer - in addition to Matterport - what are your thoughts on the Google announcements at IVRPA?

Dan
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Nfinitevr private msg quote post Address this user
@danSmigrod,

I was just talking to my business partner about the Ricoh Theta S. We are looking at several very high end rigs including the Nokia Ozo.

The Ricoh is a cool camera, but it is not GREAT. What are your thoughts?

What is the value people will provide in their service with a "cheaper" solution?

Gylon
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Gylon @Nfinitevr

My birthday is coming up soon. A $60,000 Nokia Ozo would make a great present

My recommendation to buy a Ricoh Theta S is for the test and learn for others to gain experience with 360º photo/video/VR with a point and shoot 360º spherical camera.

You already dove into the deep end with the Nokia Ozo. The Theta S enables every Matterport Pro to play/test/learn in the shallow end. Everything learned with a $350 camera applies to all price points of 360º spherical cameras (that will produce a better image, faster.)

Crawl. Walk. Run.

Dan
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TuanDinh private msg quote post Address this user
With $350-400 we can buy Samsung Gear 360 higher quality. It is the camera in the photo at top of this thread.

I tested yesterday:



Post 9 • IP   flag post
360Verbeelding private msg quote post Address this user
Hi TuanDihn, nice videos. Did you use the Ricoh or the Samsung. How did it stabelize on the car.

Grtz Rene
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@TuanDinh

Thank you for sharing your tests of the Samsung Gear 360. Unfortunately, the Samsung Gear 360 is not presently for sale in the United States.

While the quality is better, the Samsung Gear 360 requires a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone to use, so that may not be an option for many of us that are either use iPhones or are not ready to upgrade to the S7.

I would love to see more examples, including shot in daylight.

Dan
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GarySnyder private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod

If in deed the reports are true and the auto linking of pano's with the likes of the Theta S, Samsung 360 and others will be an amazing change. Any Google TBP will be in a world of hurt with their expensive DSLR and 8mm lens or those who bought the iStar. This is a manor game changer for Google as they move forward in not only mapping the globe but capturing every location in 360 VT's.

Soon you will be able to go anywhere in VR. The expression "lost in VR" will become a reality as wives, husbands, lovers, parents and anyone else your can think will be pleading to the wearer to take off that dam headset and spend some time with me.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user


Quote:
Originally Posted by @GarySnyder

... Soon you will be able to go anywhere in VR. The expression "lost in VR" will become a reality as wives, husbands, lovers, parents and anyone else your can think will be pleading to the wearer to take off that dam headset and spend some time with me.


@Tosolini

This t-shirt is now available in the store ...

"Take off that dam VR headset and spend some time with me."

Basic, Standard and Premium We Get Around Referral Network Members receive 25 percent off on orders now through Memorial Day 2016. Use code: MEMORIALDAY

Dan

P.S. Others see challenges. I see opportunities.
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GarySnyder private msg quote post Address this user
Wow, I didn't know I'll have to check if they sell the t-shirt in the UK

I agree that the opportunities for us who are the leaders in this space are tremendous that's why it's important to stay on the cutting edge as well as to invest in that technology like we all did with MP
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ArchimedStudio private msg quote post Address this user
@DanSmigrod If you are the one making this t-shirt, I would suggest correcting the word "dam" (barrier that holds water) with "damn". or darn (if you want to stay polite)... but dam just feels weird to me here.
English is my second language, so I might be wrong... :P

Matt
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@ArchimedStudio @tosolini

Coming soon 26 languages: with various spellings and polite-ness ... 😎

Dan
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TuanDinh private msg quote post Address this user
@360Verbeelding: the sample above is shot by Samsung gear 360. We test ThetaS but quality not good enough follow our requirement.

@DanSmigrod: gear 360 need S7 for remote control and can stiching/ play on Gear Vr right after shoting. I think it is advantage of Samsung device ecosystem. And matterport Vr support android only for now
This Gear360 we buy from Korea, it is not presently for sale in Vietnam too

Tomorrow we will test in daylight for check quality more
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JonJ private msg quote post Address this user
360 video is incredible as it captures a continuous path of information, in contrast to a diacrete sampling with Matterport, but has anyone figured out away to video the interior of a property without being in the video?
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360Verbeelding private msg quote post Address this user
@Jonj, thar is not so hard. You can use a mic stand. just one pole and a small round plate. Its a very small footprint so i don't think you will see it in the video.

Happy scanning,
Grtz Rene.
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@360verbeelding, that will work if you are taking a photo or a stationary video, but how do you move the camera through a house while it is recording and not be seen? The idea is to walk around the house, not just jump from point to point.
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@DanSmigrod

I've reviewed the samples from the Ricoh Theta S that Google shows on their street view publishing page and ... I'm not that impressed:

https://www.google.com/maps/streetview/publish/

I've been shooting HDR DSL panoramas for years -- one of the main reasons I bought a Matterport was to streamline the process and have a more affordable product that wasn't a pain to process and offered unique technology.

Now I've taken this thread quite seriously as another reason to consider the Theta. I've been curious about the device for a while. If Theta stores GPS and the software streamlines the process of uploading and having street view tours that are already linked ... that's cool... but isn't the quality kinda bad?

Here's a tour that I shot -- originally as a panoramic tour with hotspots etc. I uploaded it to Google via the trusted photographer program after being accepted. Because of this -- it lacks the ability to smoothly walk between rooms -- you kinda jump around instead. However, note the quality.

It took all of 10 minute to link all these rooms ... as Google's tour builder is pretty easy after you get used to it.

Unless Ricoh Theta S can get comparable results, I'm wondering what the big draw is for professionals? Is it just an easy cost-effective entry point for amateur photographers? Can't those of us who us DSLR market ourselves as being a better choice than amateur hacks with Ricoh Theta S devices?

@30.4772006,-97.7900242,0a,97.3y,176.15h,87.76t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s7CVsoqGDs_MAAAQvO1g-1Q!2e0?source=apiv3" target="_blank">Google Streetview Tour

Truly hoping to hear your insight.
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@Metroplex360

I apologize for not being clear ...

For clarification, the Ricoh Theta is not a replacement for the Matterport Camera. I am suggesting that those thinking about buying a Matterport Camera - and those that own a Matterport Camera - buy a Ricoh Theta to "explore how you might offer 360º spherical photography/videography social sharing and publishing to Google Maps, Facebook and Round.Me."

For example, using the Ricoh Theta, you can easily, quickly and affordably create 360º spherical video.

I could imagine Matterport Pros adding 360º spaces to Google Maps and linking it to the business.

I could imagine a real estate agent:

1. doing a walking a tour of the house in real time and narrating the experience.
2. standing outside the house doing a "stand-up report" about the house.
3. the Pro doing an interview with the agent about the house

Given that YouTube and Facebook now supports 360º video. And, Google Street View has made it easy to use this camera to publish to their maps, we should experiment ...

When MTV first started, a music video was simply watching the band play. Today, music videos are mini movies.

While the quality is not what Pros with DSLRs would expect, it is "good enough" for visual storytelling and good enough to help you - and your clients - to have a competitive advantage with yet another visual storytelling solution.

I intentionally left the original post vague allow for creativity in how this $350 camera could add value for all of us.

Dan
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TrustedPhotoDC private msg quote post Address this user
@metroplex360 @DanSmigrod


"I've reviewed the samples from the Ricoh Theta S that Google shows on their street view publishing page and ... I'm not that impressed:"

https://www.google.com/maps/streetview/publish/

The photosphere link on this page is to a tour created in 2014, so it's not from the Theta S. The Theta does not acquire a GPS signals. The smartphone running the Theta app can add this metadata for publishing. These are links of photos taken on a cloudy day a top a 9m pole https://goo.gl/maps/HnG1C5zxGYo There is too much noise for my taste, but I needed still needed a fast shutter with this pole.

"Here's a tour that I shot -- originally as a panoramic tour with hotspots etc. I uploaded it to Google via the trusted photographer program after being accepted. Because of this -- it lacks the ability to smoothly walk between rooms -- you kinda jump around instead. However, note the quality."

This tour should eventually fail QC as you do not have direct pathways between photospheres. While Google will state 3m between connected photospheres, it is not a rigid rule and you can get away with very long stretches in straight-a-ways. But, you cannot walk through closed doors or through furniture/walls. Dynamic range is fine.

I have three levels of cameras in our workflow with the following dimensions

Level 1 Theta S(the one clicks ,etc) These are the 1/3.2 sensors. Best results with strong outdoor light. 5376 × 2688

Level 2 Cropped Frame ASP-C Canon 70D & 80 D w/ Canon 8-15 f/4L (8mm)Challenges in low light, but otherwise the daily workhorse. 11176 x 5588 https://goo.gl/maps/BwcBPkbqS8k

Level 3 Full Frame Sony A7RII w/Canon 8-15 f/4L (12mm) - When a client wants the best. 14792 x 7396
https://goo.gl/maps/4saDKuJUYWA2

Like examples. See which one you can zoom in and read the bottle labels.

The Matterport will give you a resolution of 3216 x 1608 so you really cannot even consider it for anything other than building tours by cloud point.

With the Theta S announced today at the Street View Summit as an approved camera for SVT(now 14MP), we have plenty of outdoor projects that we can now more easily accommodate(yes Google here comes 2000 photosphere tours.)
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@TrustedPhotoDC

Thank you for the detailed explanation. Most helpful.

There is a huge difference in quality among the first three Ricoh Thetas. I have two earlier generation Thetas in my draw. The Ricoh Theta S takes amazingly great 360º photo spheres.

In a previous life, I stitched 360ºs like this and like this. And, while the Theta does not compare in quality to using my Canon 5D Mark III with an 8mm lens, it is good enough to catch moments in time easily, quickly and affordably.

It's good enough to explore how one might use it to generate ancillary revenue.

Again, I am not suggesting to use a Ricoh Theta to do what Matterport does. No comparison.

And, I am not suggesting that you and other Pros stop using their Pro gear to create 360ºs.

I am suggesting, that for the majority of the MUG Forum community that have not stitched images, to skip that step (it's like learning how to develop film when the world has moved to digital) and get a Ricoh Theta (or other under $500 1-click 360º photo sphere camera.

And, one more thing about quality. I am willing to accept "good enough" for two reasons: 1) test and learn (whatever we learn will apply to the next generation 360º cameras that will continue to get better; and 2) offer solutions today.

I could imagine in the days, weeks and months ahead, we will see posts in this thread from MUG Forum Members whom bought a Ricoh Theta. Played with it. And, figured out how to make money with it.

Thank you for again for posting. Discussions like these are helpful for all whom are deciding if they should buy this camera - or not.

Best,

Dan
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@TrustedPhotoDC

Thank you so much for your response. Very helpful.

Thank you for pointing out that Google's samples were NOT from the Theta S and that the GPS would be from the smartphone app -- that was something I was trying to understand and now it makes perfect sense. Thank you also about the QC information -- those tours were never intended for Google Street View when shot -- but when accepted into the program I figured I'd see how they would work.

I would think that the Theta S is a sustainable device for street view as a DSLR with 3ft spaces between shots is just too much work imho

I'm very seriously considering the Theta as many of my clients want exterior shots... although when clients start asking about streetview for interiors, I tend to want to sell them ONE panorama for streetview and just sell them a Matterport tour
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For $350 it should just be in your kit.

For best results, especially when using a spherical camera, space photo spheres 3 feet / 1 meter apart. Don't space them further apart than 10 feet / 3 meters.

I am usually 8-10 feet, except for corners and turns. Outdoors 10-30 feet works.
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I've been trying to find information on a depth sensor in Theta or Samsung gear 360 but did not find any. I suppose for someone drawing floor plans Matterport is the only solution providing dimensions?
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
The best 360-degree cameras (that you can afford) http://flip.it/14rPO
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DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user



Some MUG Forum Pros have reached out to me about tripod options. While there are many selfie poles that will work fine with the Ricoh Theta S, at least one selfie pole has been designed specifically for the Ricoh Theta S.

Busman Panoramic Carbon Selfie Pole Features include:

✓ Can charge while on the pole
✓ Can thread the charging wire inside the pole
✓ Can be attached to a professional tripod (3/8" female thread)
✓ 4 sections; can extend 47" (119cm) with 1/4" male thread

While I did this interview with the Founder/CEO of Bushman Panoramic, Gerald Blondy, at IVRPA 2016 in Quebec City, we did not discuss this selfie pole.

Dan

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Here is the video from Samsung gear 360 in daytime for you can see. The camera overheat and auto shutdown after about 5minutes even indoor with air conditional
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