HDR Virtual Tours

Differences between a 360° VR Photo and a Virtual Tour

The 360° VR Photo

A panoramic 360° photograph (also called “360° Virtual Reality Image” or “Immersive Photograph”) is taken with more than one shot, with a camera mounted on a specific rotating head.

The result is a large photo of the whole ambient, called “Spherical 360 x 180 Equirectangular” like in this example.

Sample of Spherical 360° x 180° Equirectangular image
Manfrotto panohead 303sph and rotator 300n

Manfrotto 303SPH WTVR
Spherical Panoramic Pro Head

This large photo is obtained by “stitching” the shots with a specific software.

This is the base for the “360° Virtual Reality” photographic experience: imagine you could wrap this image on a sphere with the viewer inside. This is exactly what the virtual tour software does!

The Virtual Tour

The virtual tour is an interactive visit of the whole location, by using many 360° VR Photos.

So it’s the sum of various “immersive photos”, that create a broader virtual space freely navigable by the user.
The vistor can move through the various rooms and spaces and discover any nook and cranny, entering and leaving the rooms using the “hot-spots” on the screen, like in this example.

Unlike the static photos, panoramic photos and the virtual tours allow visitors to turn their eyes in all directions: from right to left, forwards and backwards, up and down, and also to get closer to the objects present in the rooms, making them feel like they are literally there.

Sigma 8mm Fish-eye Lens

“Fish-eye” lens


The tools needed for these kind of tours are very expensive and the necessary procedures to put in place an HDR virtual tour like these are way more demanding than the ones for normal photo shootings.

The camera must have a wide-angle lens or a “fish-eye” 8mm, and must be set on a specific rotating head.

For every room, we must shoot at least 4 photos by rotating the camera in circular motion.

8 rotations for 360° VT

This is an example of 8 shots taken with the “Fish-eye” lens by rotating the camera at 360 degrees, perfectly aligned with the horizon.

To realize our high quality virtual tours, we use only optimum professional equipment.

  • Digital Reflex Camera Canon EOS 5D MarkII
  • High definition “Fish-eye” 8 mm lens
  • Professional tripod with precision bubble level, is necessary because the camera must be in a perfect alignment with the horizon
  • Manfrotto 303SPH WTVR Spherical Panoramic Pro Head – for high precision gigapixel panoramas with telephoto lenses
  • Google R20 V2 – Nodal Ninja – Panoramic Head for fish-eye lenses, certified for Google-Photographers
  • Computerized system to control the camera for multi exposure shots
  • Tools for measuring the “white balance” to obtain extremely bright vivid colors

Software we use to elaborate the shots and create the virtual tours:

  • “Photomatix Pro” by HDRSoft creates a high dynamic range photo, by fusing multiple shots at different exposure
  • “PTGui Pro” for “photo-stitching”, this means litteraly “stiching” together the various frames taken with a rotating camera which generates a larger image depicting the whole panorama (Spherical 360° x 180° Equirectangular image)
  • “Kolor Panotour Pro”, to generate the final virtual tour using the Spherical 360° x 180° Equirectangular image)
  • “Adobe Photoshop” to optimize RAW files and  to refine the work
VT Software Panotour - screenshot

This is a screenshot of “Kolor Pano Tools Pro” – see that the rooms are connected through the “hot-spots”, generating many interactive itinerary

Available features

We can generate an interactive itinierary that the visitor can follow and move around freely inside the various rooms.

We can highlight some blinking “hot-spots”, usually set on the doors, so you can click on it and enter the various rooms.

We can also add the apartment’s blueprint as an interactive map, making navigating easier for the “virtual” visitor.

We can add into the virtual tour personal logos, videos, audio, music and other multimedia objects.

The combination of these softwares creates a group of files that can be published on any website.

This format is very flexible, permitting the system to automatically recognize which device the visitor is using and therefore giving him an optimized version for his device – for example a computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

All of our “HDR Virtual Tours” are composed of hundreds or thousands of shots and all the post-production work is done manually with extreme care to detail to guarantee the absence of defects and disturbances, by highly optimizing every detail.

Some of our Virtual Tours:



The cost to produce a virtual tour depends on the number of rooms and the quality level that you desire.

We can make “single exposure virtual tours” (using as said 4 shots for every room), or we can obtain an even more amazing result uniting the quality of the HDR photos with the magical “360° vision”.
“HDR virtual tours” can be made using from 3 exposure (so 12 shots for each room), to 11 exposure (even 44 shots for each room).

The more demanding the task, the higher the price will be.

Every property has its own style: some may need shots for only a few rooms; on the other hand others may need shots for dozens of rooms, common areas, gardens, swimming pools, spas… we can make a virtual tours during the day and spectacular nightly shots also.

Some virtual tours can be shot in one day, and for others it might be necessary a week, and therefore it’s impossible to have a fixed price for producing virtual tours.

Feel free to contact us for any information, based upon your needs we will be more than happy to suggest the product that would best fit you and then we will be able to quote a price.

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