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shim
4/14
Shim
Updated on December 17, 2016

What camera to shoot a virtual tour?

Matériel phot pour réaliser une visite virtuelleYours! Nowadays, there's no bad camera anymore. It's even really unbelievable to have such quality. Here is my selection however, and why...

In the previous page, we identified things to control if you decide to buy a new camera dedicated to shooting virtual tours. In this page, I'll give you my recommendations and my selection through four price categories from less than $1,000 to more than $3,000, camera + lens...


The key points if you're a beginner...

Here are the key points to remember about the choice of your camera to make a virtual tour. The rest of this page is aimed at those who want to learn more.

First important point: enjoy yourself, because it's possible to make virtual tours with almost any camera with interchangeable lenses.

The ideal would be to be able to mount on it a fisheye lens because it's noticeably quicker to shoot.

We're living at a wonderful time when there's a lot of diversity at a high quality level. Make the most of it!

I invite you to read my purchasing advice below in this page...

Next key points: Photo accessories suivre

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A few interesting cameras...


A few cameras...

 
Model
Manufacturer Sensor
dynamic
fisheye brand
/ Other
Weight
Kg
Price $
Canon Rebel/700D
****
No/Yes
0.580
$600
 
Canon 70D
****
No/Yes
0.755
$1,000
 
Canon 7D Mark II
****
No/Yes
0.820
$1,800
 
Canon 6D
*****
Yes/Yes
0.770
$1,700
 
Canon 5D Mark III
****
Yes/Yes
0.950
$3,200
 
Nikon D5300
******
Yes/Yes
0.510
$600
 
Nikon D7200
******
Yes/Yes
0.690
$1,100
 
Nikon D610
******
Yes/Yes
0.850
$1,700
 
Nikon D750
******
Yes/Yes
0.840
$2,300
  Nikon D810 Nikon.com ****** Yes/Yes 1.000 $3,300


From
***** (five starts) on, you own a body very convenient to make virtual tours indoors in a minimum number of photos (not including fixing the windows where you'll obviously need to shoot at least two photos - and not three anymore - with the HDR technique described later).
As for other brands, with very good qualities nowadays, of course, I just note that thanks to compatible lenses, it is possible to use them as well. The virtual tour photographer lives at a great era!

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And my purchasing advice... I'll commit myself!

  • Under $900 : Canon Rebel T5i/700D + Samyang 8 mm fisheye;
  • Under $1,800 : Nikon D7200 + Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye; The best value for money
  • Over $3,000 : Canon 6D + Canon 15 mm FE (sh) or Nikon D610 + 16mm fisheye.
  • Over $4,000 : Canon 5D Mark III + 8-15 mm FE or Nikon D810 + Nikkor 16mm.

Under $1,000...

Pointilles

Canon 700D

4 étoiles

Canon Rebel T5i/700D (+ lens 8 mm fisheye Samyang)

In my opinion, hard to do better for less than $1,000 with the fisheye lens Samyang 8 mm:

  • 18 Mo pixels;
  • Good dynamic (11,2 diaph - DXO test) without brutal posterization of high lights;
  • fisheye lens Samyang 8 mm of incredible value for money!
  • Price!

For less than $1,000 for a camera and an amazing 8 mm Samyang lens, it is my favorite pair to make a virtual tour easy to stitch and of high quality. Unbelievable at such a price!

Note about the 8mm Samyang!

Even if the lens makes a very good impression thanks to its manufacturing quality (smooth focusing clip, firm enough, quality material), it shows a big drawback if you don't want to shoot virtual tours only with it: the diaphragm is chosen directly on the body but above all, when you shut it, it really shuts so the image darkens in the viewfinder. It isn't equipped with an automatic diaphragm. Really inconvenient in everyday life but let me repeat that it has no importance here. Finally, even if the image quality is a bit feeble by default, the Samyang lens gets a very good level of sharpness - almost surprising - if you over-accentuate the image a little in Photoshop from a RAW file.

 
$391.00
|
Buy from Amazon.com

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Nb of pixels Format Weight Kg Price S
Canon T5i
18 Mo
APS
0.580
$400

Buy the Canon Rebel T5i / 700D

   
Retailers
Price Buy from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$391.00
Buy it now!
   
£409.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $649.00 Buy from Amazon.ca
         

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the Samyang 8 mm Fisheye (Canon version)

   
Retailers
Price
   
Logo Amazon.com
$219.00
Buy from Amazon.com
   
£213.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $249.00 Buy from Amazon.ca
         



Pointilles

 

Under $1,800... The best quality/price ratio !

Nikon D7200

5 étoiles

Nikon D7200 (+ Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye)

Best value for money on the market according to me and my equipment to make virtual tours:

  • 24 Mo pixels; (big-size panorama)
  • Good dynamic (at least 13,7 diaphs - DXO test) and very few posterization in high lights with Camera Raw 9;
  • Incredibly neat shadows even if you under-exposed your photo a bit.
  • Nikkor 10.5mm fish eye lens which earned its spurs; stitching with (almost) no artefacts! The best on that criteria. Still very good with this D7200.
  • Perceived quality of the body improved.

Around $1,800 camera/lens, it's my favorite pair for the realization of a virtual tour, even professional, of course!

$996.95
|
Buy from amazon.com

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Nb of pixels Format Weight Kg Price $
Nikon D7200
24 Mo
APS
0.690
$1,000

Buy the Nikon D7200

   
Retailers
Price Nikon D7100
   
Logo Amazon.com
$996.95
Buy from Amazon.com
   
£579.00 Buy froma Amazon.co.uk
    $996.95 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the Nikkor 10.5 mm Fisheye DX

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$774.95
Buy from Amazon.com
   
£549.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $774.95 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

Pointilles


Over $3,000.00...

Pointilles

Canon 6D

5 étoiles

Canon 6D (+ 8-15 mm fisheye lens)

According to me, an interesting solution nowadays when you want to make a virtual tour in eight photos of professional quality (even better than with the solution above - Note: the Canon 5D Mark III hasn't been improved a lot on criteria of definition and dynamic unlike the new Canon 5D Mark IV).

  • 20 Mo pixels;
  • Good dynamic, but not exceptional (12 diaphs - DXO test) but no posterization in high lights; really beautiful RAW files;
  • Very good FE lens 15 mm and not too distorted; Easy stitching without edits; second-hand only;
  • Versatility for a professional or an experienced amateur...

Over $3,000, it is really a great solution to make a virtual tour but you need to find the Canon fisheye lens second-hand because the Sigma really doesn't stitch so well!

 
$1,499.00
|
Buy from Amazon.com

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Nb of pixels Format Weight Kg Price
Canon 6D
21 Mo
24 x 36
0.870
$1,500

Buy the Canon 6D

   
Retailers
Price Canon 6D
   
Logo Amazon.com
$1,499.00
Buy from Amazon.com
   
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
£1,149.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $1,499.00 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

 

 

 

 

 

Buy the Canon 8-15 mm fisheye

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$1,249.00
Buy from Amazon.com
   
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
£914.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $1,249.00 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

Pointilles


Over $4,000...

Pointilles

Nikon D810

5 étoiles

Nikon D810 (+ 16 mm fisheye lens)

According to me, a new very professional solution when you want to make a virtual tour with very recent equipment and even more defined:

  • 36 Mo pixels; Almost a middle-size format!
  • Very good dynamic (at least 13,8 diaphs - DXO test); really beautiful RAW files;
  • Fish eye lens 16 mm sharp enough and not too distorted; Easy stitching with few edits to make;
  • Beautiful professional body...

Over $4,000, it really is a superb solution to make a virtual tour and more because the new D810 offers a very good dynamic, precious during the shooting, in addition to the 36 Mpx! The biggest virtual tours in eight photos only!

 
$2,796.95
|
Buy from amazon.com

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Nb of pixels Format Weight Kg Price $
Nikon D810
36 Mo
24 x 36
1.000
$2,800

Buy the Nikon D810

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$2,796.95
Buy from Amazon.com
   
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
£2,155.00 Buy from Amazon.co.ik
    $2,796.95 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

 

 

Buy the Nikkor 16mm fisheye

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$996.95
Buy from Amazon.com
   
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
£625.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $996.95 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

 

 



Pointilles

Canon 5D Mark III

5 étoiles

Canon 5D Mark III (+ 8-15 mm fisheye lens)

And finally, another major solution nowadays when you cant to make a virtual tour in eight photos of professional quality - Note: the Canon 5D Mark III doesn't improve much on criteria of definition and dynamic but it changes everything with a high ISO and can be very useful sometimes.

  • 22 Mo pixels;
  • Good dynamic (11.7 diaphs - DXO test) with still little posterization, but not as good as the Nikon D610 or new 5D Mark IV;
  • Canon FE 8-15 mm zoom lens, excellent and versatile.
  • Versatility for a professional or an experienced amateur...

Over $4,000, it is really a great solution to make virtual tours and more...

 
$2,499.00
|
Buy from Amazon.com

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Nb of pixels Format Weight Kg Price $
Canon 5D Mark III
22 Mo
24 x 36
0.950
$2,500

Buy the Canon 5D Mark III

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$2,499.00
Buy from Amazon.com
   
£1,898.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $2,499.00 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         

 

 

 

 


Buy the Canon 8-15 mm FE

   
Retailers
Price Buy it from Amazon.com
   
Logo Amazon.com
$1,249.00
Buy from Amazon.com
   
£914.00 Buy from Amazon.co.uk
    $1,249.00 Buy it from Amazon.ca
         


Pointilles

In the next page, we'll talk about photo accessories Suivre


Next page 4bis/14 : photo accessories suivre






     
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Shim
shim

 

   
 

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