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5 Best 360 Degree and 3D Cameras for Real Estate Virtual Tour Photography

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Real Estate Bees’ editorial team asked a number of industry-leading real estate photographers to share their expertise on the best virtual tour cameras for real estate photography to help our readers make a more educated purchase decision when shopping.

With the help of the experts, we ranked the most popular 360 degree and 3D walkthrough cameras used for home virtual tours from best to worst and described their features, pros, and cons. Visiting retailers of the listed products by clicking links within our content may earn us commissions from your purchases but we never receive any compensation for the inclusion of products and/or services in our consumer guides. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about our review and rating process.

— Kimberly Anderson, Senior Creative Editor at Real Estate Bees

Read on to learn about the best professional 360 degree and 3D cameras for real estate virtual tour photography.

360 Degree and 3D Camera Model Reviews
1
CHAPTER

Experts’ Choice Breakdown for 360 Degree and 3D Cameras for Real Estate

2
CHAPTER

#1 Matterport Pro2

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Camera Highlights

  • 134 megapixels resolution
  • Infrared 3D sensor
  • 15 feet (4.5m) maximum range
  • 3D scanner measurements with 99% accuracy
  • 3D images can be converted to virtual tours
  • 4K photography
  • 8 hours of scanning with one charge
  • WiFi-capable
  • Comes with premium features for Professional or Business subscription

 

Works Best For

  • Residential and commercial properties
  • Insurance claims and documentation
  • Retail
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • Architecture
  • Engineering

 

Pros

  • Provides virtual reality real estate tours and schematic floor plans
  • Best outdoor image quality
  • Long battery life
  • Top-notch stitching and auto adjustments
  • Intuitive app interface
  • Immersive end user experience
  • Easy to set up and simple to use
  • Comes with add-ons, such as Google Street View

Matterport is the industry standard in 360-degree and 3D cameras, and it’s easy to understand why.

The Pro2 model is a reflection of the brand’s superiority in image quality, while delivering the ultimate virtual tour experience.

The Matterport Pro2 delivers higher quality imagery and more immersive end user experience. The higher quality end user experience is so much better than the other options.

— Jon Jeffress, Deep South Focus Photography, Founder

Matterport was one of the first on the scene to offer 3D virtual tours. They have continually improved both the hardware and software.

— Harry Lim, Harry Lim Photography, Owner

The Matterport camera is the most used 3D camera in real estate. This is due to its features and simplicity to use.

It includes virtual reality and detailed floor plans. Additionally, they have the best outdoor image quality.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder

The Pro2 offers much higher quality HDR photography.

— Charles Taylor, Snap2Close Real Estate Photography, Managing Partner/Photographer

The long battery life is also considered an important advantage among experts.

It has a long battery life, allowing the agent to use it on a number of showings throughout the day.

The quality of the image and the long lasting battery are tremendously convenient for the real estate agent.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder

It offers long battery life and better image quality.

— Harry Lim, Harry Lim Photography, Owner

Additional features also make this Matterport model a standout among any other brands.

Matthew Wilson Photographer Small

The Pro2 is a good fleshed-out product that is now the industry standard. Easy sharing of tours. Easy setup and intuitive app interface.

The Google Street View add-on, as well as the other various industry-specific add-ons, make it a valuable addition to our business model.

— Matthew Wilson, Austin 360 Photography, Owner/Co-Founder

Also, the Pro2’s stitching and auto adjustment features are top notch.

— Charles Taylor, Snap2Close Real Estate Photography, Managing Partner/Photographer

Overall, Matterport Pro2 is the perfect example of how the brand expertly combines price and user accessibility and familiarity.

Matthew Wilson Photographer Small

There is an intersection between your pricing, user adaptation, and realtor familiarity. The Matterport ecosystem easily checks all of those boxes.

— Matthew Wilson, Austin 360 Photography, Owner/Co-Founder

Cons

  • Virtual tours cannot be viewed offline
  • Bulky
  • Pricey
  • Poor customer support

While the Matterport Pro2 model comes heavy with great features, experts don’t appreciate the fact that the device itself is heavy, literally.

Matthew Wilson Photographer Small

The con for me is its cumbersome hardware.

— Matthew Wilson, Austin 360 Photography, Owner/Co-Founder

The camera is bulky and might be perceived as difficult to carry around.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder

It’s quite heavy and large.

— Charles Taylor, Snap2Close Real Estate Photography, Managing Partner/Photographer

Users can only access their virtual tours via the Matterport platform.

It is difficult to find cons with the Matterport Pro. However, if I were to choose one, it would be that the virtual tours can only be accessed through the Matterport platform and cannot be viewed offline.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder

Customer support has been reported to be an issue.

Matthew Wilson Photographer Small

Expect poor support from Matterport corporate.

— Matthew Wilson, Austin 360 Photography, Owner/Co-Founder

All of its great features also come with a hefty price tag, but it’s worth it for some experts.

The cost can be prohibitive when you add on the monthly subscription costs.

— Harry Lim, Harry Lim Photography, Owner

Its benefits outweigh any cost.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder
3
CHAPTER

#2 Ricoh THETA Z1

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Camera Highlights

  • 23 megapixels resolution
  • 4K 360-degree video capture resolution
  • 30 fps image capture speed
  • Latest image stabilization technology
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Large sensor
  • Features a new type of lens unit
  • Supports RAW file format
  • Google Street View

 

Works Best For

  • Real estate
  • Travel photos

 

Pros

  • Good image quality
  • High resolution
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to carry
  • Comes with more features than some other brands
  • Works well with Matterport, Zillow, Ricoh app, and other platforms
  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Gets the job done quickly

The Ricoh THETA Z1 easily rivals the more popular Matterport brand with its outstanding features, particularly the image quality it provides and how easy it can be used and carried anywhere.

The image quality provided by the THETA Z1 is really incredible. It has the highest image quality without getting into a Matterport-specific camera.

— Eric Hill, Harmon Property Solutions, Director of Photography

The THETA Z1 offers high resolution to support zooming in.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner

It’s super easy to use. It’s been through several models and they have improved it greatly.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

It’s quick, easy, and good quality.

— Glenna Richards, PbG Virtual, Principal & Lead Photographer

The THETA Z1 also stands out for being compatible with other platforms, additionally to the Ricoh app itself.

I like that Zillow’s 3D Tour supports it, and so does the Zillow app. It works with Zillow, so I didn’t have to purchase additional software.

This makes it super easy to use, while creating a valuable upsale for my clients.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

It’s versatile. It works with Matterport and can be used for other platforms as well.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner

The Ricoh app is also very easy to use with the THETA Z1.

— Eric Hill, Harmon Property Solutions, Director of Photography

Another thing that sets the THETA Z1 apart are the additional features that it offers and how it gets the job done quickly, making it a true value for the money.

I have tried the Matterport device, but I choose the THETA Z1 because it’s less investment and provides faster work at the jobsite.

Compared to Matterport Pro2, it costs a lot less but has more features and can be a lot quicker to get the job done.

— Pouria Safa, RealEstatePhoto.com, Owner

This model was new at the time I needed a 3D option. It got great reviews and it was affordable.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

Cons

  • Low battery life
  • A bit heavy to carry
  • Device can topple over easily, which can scratch the lens
  • Expensive

The major disadvantage to using the THETA Z1 is its poor battery life. However, it can be charged in a snap using a portable battery.

The major con is the battery life. However, there are some easy, inexpensive work-arounds. I do hope their updates will improve the issue.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

The battery can drain quickly. At the same time, it’s not hard to attach a portable battery to the camera’s stand to charge it in a pinch.

— Eric Hill, Harmon Property Solutions, Director of Photography

The device should be maneuvered manually to get the desired shot.

Moreover, it isn’t stable enough, and the lens can sometimes be scratched easily.

It can be challenging to make sure the photographer is not in the picture, especially if you are capturing outdoors. You have to be close enough to trigger the camera but not in the shot.

— Glenna Richards, PbG Virtual, Principal & Lead Photographer

It’s easy to knock over and scratch the lens.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner

For some experts, the THETA Z1 is quite pricey and isn’t lightweight enough to carry anywhere.

It’s expensive, but it delivers.

— Eric Hill, Harmon Property Solutions, Director of Photography

A major con for me is its price and weight.

— Pouria Safa, RealEstatePhoto.com, Owner
4
CHAPTER

#3 Ricoh THETA X

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Camera Highlights

  • 2.25-inch touch screen display
  • 48 megapixels resolution for still images
  • 5.7K resolution for videos
  • Enhanced image stabilization
  • 30 fps continuous shooting speed
  • High speed image transfer
  • Bluetooth-capable
  • USB Type-C port
  • Magnesium alloy body

 

Works Best For

  • Real estate
  • Construction sites

 

Pros

  • Quick image capture
  • Captures larger image sphere

Even with its budget-friendly price tag, the Ricoh THETA X doesn’t sell short on the features. A noticeable feature is its ability to capture images quickly on a larger scale.

I have tried other Ricoh theater cameras and have used Matterport Pro, too, but I thought this is gonna be the next greatest thing for real estate photography.

I like that it’s quicker to capture and covers a larger sphere.

— Chris Zimmer, Chris Zimmer Photography, Owner

Users can also quickly switch batteries without any hassle, while enjoying its large storage capacity.

You can swap out batteries easily. It also comes with memory expansion.

— Chris Zimmer, Chris Zimmer Photography, Owner

Cons

  • No LiDAR
  • Doesn’t come with infrared depth perception

It doesn’t have LiDAR or infrared depth perception. It also relies completely on Matterport’s AI software for three-dimensional effect.

— Chris Zimmer, Chris Zimmer Photography, Owner
5
CHAPTER

#4 Kandao QooCam 8K Enterprise

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Camera Highlights

  • 8K video capture resolution
  • In-dual lens
  • 2.4 inch LCD screen
  • Anti-shake feature
  • Image stabilization
  • WiFi connectivity
  • 5G support
  • USB Type-C port
  • Works well with Skype, WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, and other platforms

 

Works Best For

  • Professional live streaming
  • Live event vlogging
  • Conference/meeting
  • Travel
  • Parties/celebrations

 

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Seamless image stitching

I like it for its image clarity and flawless stitching.

— Adrian Wilcox, Immersive Spaces, LLC, Owner

Cons

  • Bulky
  • No software support

It’s heavy and lacks outside software support.

— Adrian Wilcox, Immersive Spaces, LLC, Owner
6
CHAPTER

#5 Insta360 ONE X2

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Camera Highlights

  • Image stabilization
  • Wide angle video capture
  • 5.7K resolution for videos
  • 30 fps image capture speed
  • Invisible Selfie Stick
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof up to 10 meters (33ft)

 

Works Best For

  • Live streaming
  • 3D tours

 

Pros

  • Small and lightweight
  • Quick to capture
  • Batteries are rechargeable
  • Affordable

The Insta360 ONE X2 brings together all the best features a user wants in a 360-degree camera at a reasonable price point.

3D tours are not my main business, so it did not make sense to invest $2,000-$3,000 in a Matterport camera for side work. Especially since that camera only works with Matterport.

I feel the Insta360 ONE camera gives you the best bang for your buck. It’s one of the least expensive 360 cameras.

It’s small and lightweight. It only takes 3-4 seconds to snap a pic (as opposed to the Matterport camera which has to slowly rotate to scan the whole room).

The batteries are also relatively cheap and are rechargeable. I always have 4-5 batteries with me.

All in all you can get started doing 3D tours for under $400 with this camera.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Cons

  • Low resolution
  • Low battery life

There are really only two issues I can think of with this camera.

1. The resolution is not the highest. In most use cases, though, this is not a problem since people are usually not zooming in on 360 tours to see fine details.

They are just using them to look around and get a feel of the space. But if you do need highly detailed photos, this camera might not be for you.

2. The batteries do not last very long. If you are creating a 3D tour of anything larger than a 3-4 bedroom house, you will probably need multiple batteries.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner
Additional Resources
7
CHAPTER

3 Expert Tips for Real Estate 360 Degree Camera Selection

There is no straightforward answer when asking the question “what is the best professional 360 degree camera for real estate photography?”

You have to take into consideration a number of factors when choosing the best equipment for your real estate photography business.

Here, our experts share a few tips when selecting virtual reality cameras for real estate use.

Make sure to also read our article on 30+ real estate photography tips featuring the best practices for photographing real estate properties from industry experts.

 

#1 Know Your Market

Before investing in 360 degree cameras, know if there’s a demand for 360 tours in areas where you operate.

Take into consideration as well the type of property you will be photographing.

If you think 360 tours will be a big part of your business, then it might make sense to invest in a higher quality camera.

But if 360 tours will only be a small segment of your work, then it doesn’t really make sense to invest a lot of money into something that is only going to generate a small portion of your income.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

Choose a camera based on what you will film. Pick the highest quality outdoor camera if the property has large outdoor space vs highest quality indoor camera if the property is an apartment.

— Dan Edmonson, Dronegenuity, Founder

Know what platforms you are going to offer then go camera shopping.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner

 

#2 Avoid Low Image Quality

It’s easy to get something that won’t put a dent in your wallet, but if it doesn’t perform as expected, you might find yourself coughing up more dollars than you originally intended.

It would be best to check out reviews to see which brands offer the best image quality despite the hefty price tag.

Look for quality first. That is what we need to deliver to our clients.

— Charles Taylor, Snap2Close Real Estate Photography, Managing Partner/Photographer

Avoid low resolution. You get what you pay for.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner

Like any camera purchase, you have to take into account the quality, price, and industry trends.

— Glenna Richards, PbG Virtual, Principal & Lead Photographer

Go for the sharpest image quality with minimal artifacts.

— Adrian Wilcox, Immersive Spaces, LLC, Owner

Find one that gets great reviews; one people are using.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

 

#3 Pick a Camera that Integrates with other Platforms

Avoid brands that can’t be used with other apps or platforms. You want one that is also compatible with other software you use.

The only one I would suggest avoiding is the Matterport camera. I don’t think it’s a smart move to invest that much money into a camera that can only be used with one specific company.

— Ian Lipsky, Ian Lipsky Photography, Owner

The biggest consideration is software. Will the software correct for distortion? What is the final image quality like?

— Harry Lim, Harry Lim Photography, Owner

Make sure you check to see what software you will need because that makes a huge difference in the profit margin.

— Kristi Foster, Kristi Foster Photography, Inc., Owner

I would avoid the Matterport camera as it locks you into their program.

— Bill Jones, PDX Photography, Owner
8
CHAPTER

Learn More About Real Estate Photography Equipment