Matterport HDR Images
DSLR - Flash
I have never questioned the functionality of the 3D virtual tour - it serves a purpose and the technology has advanced way beyond their initial technological shortcomings. The camera's have been designed to perform a certain purpose and many of them do it well. It is for that reason that I have always questioned the quality of the 360 camera's when it comes to the quality of their still images. The first Matterport camera is a case in point, the stills were in my opinion not of a sufficient quality to use for marketing purposes. I take a lot of photographs for realtors who make use of that camera and the fact that I do take images for them is perhaps a reflection that its capabilities are not yet up to the standard that they expect. I would surmise that a number of the small 360 camera's fall into the same category as I take photographs for a number of realtors who make use of the iGuide as well (to be fair to iGuide they make no claim about the quality of photographs taken using the fisheye - and they note that images can be extracted but that the resolution is limited to 1-2 megapixels.
I have been trying out the Matterport Pro 2 camera and I must admit that the image results are pretty good, good enough I would think for MLS purposes. I have added some stills taken from a Matterport 3D tour that I did in May 2020, in addition I took some flash/ambient blends with my DSLR. The images from the Matterport are directly from the 3D Model, whatever processing has been done was done during the building of the 3D model.
My observations: People are drawn to the saturated colours of HDR photographs which is what the Matterport takes, on the other hand flash washes out colour and creates unnatural shadows which is why we blend it with an ambient image.
The Matterport does not seem to suffer from distortion - its vertical and horizontal lines appear to be straight an affliction that needs to be corrected in post processing with a lot of wide angle lenses. The colour is good, the whites are white although it does suffer from a lack of sharpness and muddy colours in the darker areas which is to be expected as it does not have light (flash) to help it.
The Matterport image stills can be pulled from any number of areas and you have the luxury of looking for the best composition which is an enormous luxury, however the model still stitches a number of scans together so there are sometimes incompatibilities where it has battled to render a complex object.
The one area that I am not fond of when it comes to the Matterport images is not the Matterports fault. The operator needs to keep the camera at a consistent height for the scans, we set it at about 1.5m from the ground as you need to see over tables and counters which means that you get a lot of ceiling in shots. In small rooms this is at the expense of the floor area. If you want to see the floor you need to look down which means you lose your verticals, to be fair that probably just bugs me.
Image ratios - Matterport is around 2:1 where as the typical DSLR is 3:2. Personally I find the 2.1 ratio visually appealing but not all web realtor websites cater for that ratio.
Overall I though that the Matterport 2 images were good enough for most MLS purposes, I do not think this extends to all 360 camera's but certainly the image quality produced by this camera would be sufficient for most realtor needs.
In the following examples the Matterport image is first and the DSLR image second, on bigger screens the Matterport image on the left and the DSLR image is on the right.