Top 10 devices and equipment for shooting spherical panoramas and creating virtual 3D 360 tours. Comparison of characteristics and parameters.

Mobile phone camera or ordinary camera

Фотоаппарат мыльница для съемки сферических 3Д панорам 360х180

You can start taking panoramic photos without significant costs using a conventional camera and a computer with which you need to stitch photos into one file - a spherical panorama in an equidistant projection. As for the camera, even a simple mobile phone camera with a resolution of 1-2 megapixels will do.

The quality of the resulting panorama, of course, will not be high, but you can try your hand at panoramic photography.

Smartphone or tablet with a special program for shooting 360 spherical panoramas

Смартфон Nexus 5 c с возможностью съемки сферических панорам 360х180

I did not use it myself, but I heard that there are programs for Android and iPhone that allow you to automatically take and sew the resulting photos in the 360x180 panorama in an equidistant projection. Personally, I used Nexus 5 with the default program.

User Dasiz claims that he used Oneplus One smartphone for his panoramas. Stitches made this way are not always of high quality. But the quality of such panoramas is much higher than when using the simplest phone with a camera.

Automatic panoramic head, panorobot, Canon camera, tripod

Panorobot - автомат по съемки сферических панорам

Although there are solutions similar to Roundshot VR Drive that cost more than $ 3,500 for shooting high-resolution panoramas, we will not consider them in this article.

Panorobot - is a more budget solution, you can say the budget equivalent of Roundshot VR Drive. Panorobot also allows you to shoot spherical panoramas, working with cameras Canon. This solution allows you to get a panorama, it seems almost professional level.  

According to the supplier of the device, it is possible to stitch the photo in free programs for stitching panoramas, such as PtGui in automatic mode.

Theta Ricoh - a device for quickly shooting spherical panoramas

Theta ricoh - устройство для съемки сферических 360х180 панорам

With this small device, which in size and weight, probably less than a mobile phone, you can get a spherical panorama stitched into one JPG file in almost one second. Such a device can be used in the case when you need to quickly capture a virtual tour, but you can ignore the quality and high resolution of 360x180 panoramas.

The resolution of the panorama obtained with the Theta Ricoh device is only 3584x1792 pixels. Panoramas and virtual tours received by Theta can be viewed on the smartphone screen or in a small window... 

A DSLR camera, Tripod with Panoramic Head


You will need professional equipment, such as a DSLR camera, a panoramic head and a suitable tripod for professional virtual tours and spherical panoramas indoors and in high resolution. With this equipment, you can shoot panoramas in HDR format, which is especially important when shooting rooms, which allows you to avoid heavily exposed or dark areas in the panorama.

Air Panorama with DJI Phantom 2 Vision +

DJI Phantom II Vision + как устройство для съемки сферических 360х180 3D панорам с воздуха

Here are some examples of panoramas taken from the air over Kaliningrad.. Drone Phantom 2 Vision + camera cannot be called professional. For panoramas from the air, it is better to use GoPro. DJI Phantom 2 Vision using the remote control allows you to control the tilt of the camera, and the DJI app associated with the camera allows you to watch and take pictures.

The only thing that the construction of this drone model does not allow is to remove the zenith.

Any camera Smartphone Panorobot Theta DJI Phantom 2 Vision + Professional equipment
Need to stitch panorama in Autopano, PtGui Yes No Yes No Yes No
Resolution of stitched panorama 5000x2500* 7168х3584 30000х15000 3584x1792 25000x12500 15000x7500
Shooting time, minutes 3-7 2-5 2-5 1 second 1 second 1-2 minutes
HDR shooting panoramas No No No No No Yes
Set of equipment Any camera

Nexus 5


Oneplus One


Canon A2500



DJI Phantom 2 Vision +

Camera with a wide-angle lens for shooting the sky

Nikon D5100 Body

Samyang 8mm CII

NP Orbita


Panorama examples




Southern Boulevard


Mountain camel



Over Kaliningrad

Above the Curonian Spit

Highway E77

Russian amber


* Indicated values are approximate

Summarizing, I can say that the best option for shooting spherical panoramas with the highest quality/price indicator will be a solution from Having spent on equipment only about 10,000 -15,000 RUB, you can receive panoramic images of high quality, almost professional level. Shooting panoramic photos indoors is also high.

Also, I would like to mention other devices for shooting spherical 3D 360x180 panorama that I could not use.

  • today
    John Smith
  • 02/11 2019

    Good information. Thank!

  • 02/11 2019
    Roman Grinev

    Aleks, thank you. I am glad that the information was useful))

  • 02/11 2019
    Ajdar Safin

    Great review!

  • 02/11 2019


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spherical panorama: articles

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