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How to take 360° photos – practical guidelines

In this article, you will find out how making photospheres looks like in practice. We will guide you step by step through the following stages of taking 360° photos – from pairing devices to downloading your photos. What is more, we will tell you why it is so important to use an HDR rendering mode instead of auto mode and how to get the best out of your photo. Next, you will be presented with a breakdown of two 360° cameras – Theta Z1 and Theta V. This comparison should facilitate making a purchase decision most suitable to your needs. Additionally, we will raise 360° videos and the possibilities they present for a real estate market. So read along and enjoy 😊

robienie zdjęć 360 z aparatem theta V

Taking photos with a Theta camera

Knowledge on how to show a client around the property is one thing. However, it is also important to know which camera you should choose and how to take good quality photos for your virtual tour.

Jak robić zdjęcia 360 - aparat Theta V w mieszkaniu rynek nieruchomości

Taking 360° photos – how is it done?

At this stage, you know everything you need about measures needed taking before a 360° session. According to previous hints and tips, you are already equipped with a Theta camera paired with your mobile application. The apartment is well prepared, and every trace of your presence is hidden from the view. Let’s move on to the photo-taking process.

By choosing a RICOH THETA camera for creating virtual tours from 360° photos, we chose a solution of the highest reliability based on five years’ experience on the market and the one that is supported by many applications.

360° photos – step by step

  1. Turn on the Ricoh Theta camera and wait for about 2 – 3 seconds until a camera icon appears.
  2. Activate a WiFi connection by clicking on the button () placed on the side of the camera.
  3. In the RICOH THETA application, connect to a camera by choosing “last connected device” from the list.
  4. Place the camera mounted on a tripod in a place that will ensure great capture of the space.
  5. Leave the room in which the camera is.
  6. In your application, press the Theta icon to take a photo. The camera will confirm the action by a short sound signal.

What to bear in mind while taking 360° photos?

Hiding behind a corner does not always work. It would be better if you leave the room entirely.

Pay attention to possible camera reflections in mirrors – if you see the camera in the mirror, you will be visible in the photo.

You don’t want to cast a shadow over the room where the camera is nor over the objects that will appear in the photo. Beware of that in every room you photograph.

Be careful when leaving your personal belongings lying in the apartment. Keys on the table, suitcase on the chair or a backpack in the corner – they all should be out of an eye range, safely hidden in the wardrobe. It will help you to prevent objects from alternatively appearing and disappearing from the photos in different shots.

HDR Rendering mode – what is it, and how to take photos in this mode.

The most optimal mode to take 360° photos of the properties is an HDR Rendering mode, in which a camera itself corrects lighting imperfections. As a result, we receive evenly exposed photos. Furthermore, by adjusting the lighting scale corrector, we can increase or decrease the lighting level dependent on how brightly the room is lit.

THETA Tip 1 – HDR Rendering

If we desire to take photos of the most outstanding quality, we should switch on the camera’s HDR Rendering mode. It suffices to set an “HDR Rendering” after clicking on “option settings”. Regarding the extended exposure time in “HDR Rendering” mode, we should use it uniquely on a camera/lamp stand.

THETA Tip 2 – Exposure Value (EV)

For photos taken outdoors or in very sunny rooms, we recommend the EV parameter at the level of -2. In artificial light or underexposed rooms, we recommend setting the EV parameter to +1.

THETA Tip 3 – Look at the picture after taking it

Especially at the beginning of your adventure with THETA cameras, we recommend that you turn on the immediate display mode of photos after taking them. This way, we will be able to check whether we have selected the optimal light parameters and whether the photos should not be repeated. To activate “Display image after shooting”, activate the camera settings () in the image preview screen and enable the “Display after shooting” setting.

wyświetlacz telefonu interface parowanie telefonu z aparatem 360

THETA Z1 or THETA V? Which camera to choose?

The leading sales of spherical cameras are two RICOH cameras – the affordable THETA V and the more professional, younger THETA Z1. The big price difference between both cameras – THETA V PLN 1699 vs THETA Z1 PLN 4399 – does not make a choice easier. We will try to present both cameras briefly.

THETA V This is an affordable camera that has been a great basic tool for 360° photos of real estate for several years. Its simple operation and low price mean that today many offices can afford to introduce 360° tours to their offer. The camera is ideal for photos of apartments; it performs a bit worse on large surfaces in difficult lighting conditions.

THETA Z1 This is a camera of the next generation of spherical cameras with modernised technology. It differs from its “little sister” by a much higher quality of photos and the possibility of recording high-quality 360° video. This camera is aimed at realtors looking for high-quality photos without drastically increasing costs. THETA Z1 cameras guarantee sharp photos and clear details even for objects distant from the point from which the broker took the photo. A substantial advantage of THETA Z1 cameras is taking photos in the RAW mode as it allows for professional image processing in such programs as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.

We took pictures of the property. What next?

Pictures from THETA cameras can be downloaded like those from a traditional 2D camera. All you need to do is connect the camera to your computer with the USB cable after the photo session. An alternative method of downloading photos is uploading photos to the editor using the EVRYPLACE application. You need only to download the EVRYPLACE application on the phone connected to the THETA camera and use the “Import from THETA” option.

Is it worth creating a virtual tour with 360 ° video?

360° video can be a very attractive form of displaying a property if used correctly. However, we must remember that the large size of 360° scenes, in which every minute is data heavy, will increase each scene’s loading time. Moreover, virtual tours give viewers the freedom to explore the apartment on their own and choose where to go and what to look at. A good 360° video, however, is a well-played scenario for showing the entire property. Nonetheless, realtors from across the Atlantic use a “360° video intro” for prestigious real estate offers – an invitation to visit a virtual walk. An opening scene in the form of a video, in which the broker, entering the apartment, greets the viewer, talks about the property in a few words and encourages them to explore the property on their own in a virtual tour. The short film presents the real estate agency as a professional one and allows the realtor to introduce himself as the person who will accompany the buyer in the purchase. This greeting is much more memorable than a typical chat window in which we are never sure who we are dealing with.

We hope this article will prove useful and will help you take great 360° photos. Are there questions you would like to ask? Let us know! 😊

How to prepare for a professional 360° session of the property?

In this article you will find everything you need to know about mesures needed taking before a 360° session. We will tell you what you should remember to do before setting out to take 360° photos of the apartment for your virtual tour for the first time and what you should pay attention to when in the apartment with a 360° camera.

preparation for a 360 session

Before a 360° session in the apartment

While planning on to visit an apartment for a photographic 360° session, you should bear in mind that some knowledge will be needed as well as patience, especially when it is your first time.

Does time of day matter when taking 360° photos?

Similarly to 2D photography, lighting is one of the most important factors influencing the quality of a 360° photo. Usually, when we want to take a perfect shot of the living room, whose windows and balcony doors are facing south, the best time to capture it is in the early afternoon hours. For 360° photography, however, direct light in the afternoon hours is not desirable. In morning hours, east facing rooms will be overexposed. It applies as well to the situation in which rooms with south facing windows are photographed in afternoon hours.

The perfect time of day to plan a photographic session for virtual tour is around noon. Between 11 am and 1 pm we have two hours of even light, which will enable us to take even, in terms of temperature of colours, photos.

lighting in the room and 360 photos

How to plan out photos for a virtual tour?

In traditional 2D photography, photo of an apartment should present the main virtue of the place and capture its atmosphere. In 360° photography, however, photo of an apartment should allow to walk around the presented space and get familiar with each room and their layout. The virtual tour should reflect a real-life presentation of the property.

We present a few tips on how to plan out each “stop” and where to put a camera in different spaces in a virtual tour so it would resemble a real-life tour of the property as closely as possible and facilitate a natural flow of the presentation.

It is not advisable to always place a 360° camera in the centre of the room. The bedroom, for instance, would be better presented when captured from the entrance. Furthermore, as to a kitchenette in the living room, it would be more effective to present functional areas instead of the centre of the room linking those two spaces.

Try to place a camera in the place where it will ensure smooth passage from one room to another. The viewer should understand how did he get into a room and how to go back.

Divide larger rooms into several viewing points. If the corridor is too long, the living room is too spacious, it is more natural to be able to look around the apartment from several points.

mirrors in 360 photography

Watch out for large mirror / glass surfaces – you will have to hide from them, because you won’t be able to hide the camera’s reflection.

Turn on all the lights in the apartment. The more light the better. At the same time, pay attention to the strong light points above the camera – strong halogens near the camera disturb the exposure balance of the two lenses.

photos of the outside in the real estate offer

Don’t forget about the photos of the outside. The view from the balcony will show the neighbourhood and adjacent streets. Underground parking is also important, and the photos of corridor or staircase will help to reflect the standard of the property.

“For prestigious properties there isn’t more attractive form of presentation than a 360° intro. The opening scene of a virtual tour, with a realtor inviting to visit a property.”

Before you set out to property, remember about preparations!

Tip 01 – Charge battery in your 360° camera

 With full battery, Theta cameras will work for approximately 2 -3 hours. When it comes to 360° videos, however, it will suffice only for 1 hours so better take a power bank with you.

Tip 02 – Download useful applications beforehand

You shall need two apps – Ricoh Theta for taking photos and Evryplace for creating virtual tours. Make sure you have those apps on your mobile phone.

Tip 03 – Pair your mobile phone with the camera

Indispensable step to creating professional 360 photos of the property in which there aren’t visible realtors’ fingers tightened around the camera.

Tip 04 – Don’t forget a tripod

Great quality photos of the property require a tripod. You can use a camera or a lamp stand. Theta cameras can be mounted as well on a lamp stand (around 60 PLN).

kitchen staging

Beware of…

While doing your first 360° real estate session you can easily make mistakes that are not noticeable during shooting, but they can eventually reveal themselves when creating a virtual tour. Here are some tips worth remembering while taking 360° photos.

While taking traditional photos of the properties we pick up habits that we should wean off while taking 360° photos. Like taking photos from a corner of the room for instance.

Grzegorz Jabłoński Evryplace


  • Photos taken near walls or in the corners of the apartment. Nobody from your clients would like to find himself facing a corner of a room.
  • Closed doors. Open apartment invites visitors inside and facilitates navigating around flats’ layout. The sole door that should remain closed is the one leading to the bathroom.
  • Placing a camera on objects (tabletops, beds, windowsills). What’s more you should refrain from taking photos by hand. 360° selfies featuring clients content with their choice can be posted on social media sites. In virtual tours, however, use a tripod only.

Implement 360° technology to your business

From year 2013 Ricoh has been consequently developing 360° business solutions thanks to RICOH THETA 360 camera series.

Theta Z1 camera 360

Wow effect is guaranteed

Using a 360° camera enables real estate agents to take professional photographs of the apartments in a few seconds and present the whole space in one photo. By doing so they are provided with the possibility of showing their clients around the property without the necessity of leaving their office. The RICOH THETA 360° camera means easy capturing and quick integration with a virtual tour software. Its small size and affordable price allow to take it everywhere with you. Learn more about all the RICOH THETA models on the site:

The RICOH THETA 360° camera means:

An innovative device which helps to save time and money

Economic way of capturing high quality photos

An efficient device which allows you to integrate quickly with a virtual tour software

pairing mobile phone with a 360 camera

Make a virtual tour easy and quick

taking 360 photos

Maximize yours and your clients’ time

presenting an innovative virtual tour

Offer innovative services

interactive virtual tours showdown

Attract clients’ attention thanks to interactive virtual tours

We hope our article will prove useful in your work. May your photos emphasize what’s best in every apartment. If you are struggling to find answers to arising questions, don’t hesitate to ask us! We will be happy to help 🙂

Home staging dla zdjęć 360°

Dobre zdjęcia w ofercie nieruchomości
są niczym sesja najnowszej kolekcji
ubrań w magazynie modowym.
Zauważasz je i nie tylko chcesz je
od razu kupić, ale też czym prędzej
biegniesz sprawdzić jak na Tobie leżą.

Oferta, która wpada w oko.

Dobrze sfotografowana przestrzeń w zasadzie
natychmiast przywołuje pozytywne skojarzenia,
pobudza wyobraźnię i pomaga podjąć decyzję
o zakupie czy wynajmie. A już na pewno bardzo
zachęca do odwiedzenia mieszkania osobiście.

I tak jak każdy modowy fotograf czy projektant
mają swoje rady, jak sprawić by zdjęcia wyglądały
perfekcyjnie, tak samo branża nieruchomości ma
swoje sprawdzone triki, które warto znać, by oferta
nieruchomości szybko wpadała w oko i przyciągała

O co należy poprosić właściciela
mieszkania przed rozpoczęciem zdjęć?

  • W mieszkaniu muszą zostać umyte wszystkie okna i lustra.
  • W łazience muszą znaleźć się świeże ręczniki, a w sypialni świeża pościel.
  • Jeśli w mieszkaniu znajdują się uszkodzone elementy wyposażenia, pośrednik powinien o tym wiedzieć jako pierwszy (połamana roleta na oknie, wyrwane drzwi od szafki, niedziałająca pralka).
  • W dniu zdjęciowym łazienka musi być lśniąco czysta (wyszorowany prysznic/wanna, doczyszczone kafelki i fugi).

Na co warto zwrócić uwagę w pomieszczeniach przed rozpoczęciem zdjęć?

  • Odsłoń okna i zobacz mieszkanie w świetle dziennym.
  • Zwróć uwagę na wszystkie przedmioty, które rzucają cienie na ścianach.
  • Zostaw w mieszkaniu otwarte drzwi do wszystkich pomieszczeń, z wyjątkiem tych od łazienki/toalety.
  • Zlokalizuj szafy i inne meble z lustrami.