360° RAW HDR — Review & Tutorial for Virtual Tour in 2020

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Kandao Qoocam 8K released their in-camera processing of DNG8 photos, ExpressDNG8 mode, and SuperHDR. This changes the game of PROFESSIONAL Virtual Tour creation in 2020. In this video, we are going to review all of these features with an emphasis on SuperHDR and HDR photo editing workflow in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW 2020, and PTGui 12. We’re going to compare SuperHDR to RICOH THETA Z1 Dual Fisheye plugin and Insta360 ONE R HDR to see what is the best 360 Virtual Tour camera for HDR photography in 2020.

Table of content:

0:00 — What you are going to learn today
1:15 — Qoocam 8K HUGE update review
1:36 — In-camera RAW+ and batch processing
2:06 — ExpressDNG8 vs DNG8 RAW+
2:41 — SuperHDR explain
3:21 — RICOH THETA Z1 Dual Fisheye plugin explain
4:19 — HDR image quality comparison: Qoocam 8K vs Theta Z1 vs Insta360 ONE R
5:43 — Photo Resolution difference: 8K vs 7K vs 6K
6:10 — Qoocam 8K SuperHDR vs Insta360 ONE R HDR
6:48 — Qoocam 8K SuperHDR vs Ricoh Theta Z1 Dual Fisheye HDR
7:12 — HDR photo capture time comparison — who is the fastest w/o ghosting?
7:28 — Live Demo
10:42 — Professional 360 DNG HDR photo editing workflow
11:01 — Merge HDR photo in Adobe Lightroom Classic (+ deghost)
11:45 — SuperHDR Issue: Chromatic Aberration & how to fix it
12:18 — Pros & Cons of stitching w/ Qoocam Studio 2.0
12:53 — Why learning manual stitching is IMPORTANT for interior photographer
13:43 — PTGui workflow for Qoocam 8K
14:20 — Qoocam Studio produce a FLIPPED photo — how to fix it.
15:00– 360 Photo editing workflow

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Left: Qoocam 8K DNG8 in-camera RAW+ / Right: Qoocam 8K SuperHDR

The truly exciting update is SuperHDR. In a nutshell, SuperHDR is merging 24 DNG with three different exposure brackets. Look at the result here at the exact same settings. SuperHDR has dramatically increased the dynamic range, color, details, and reduced noise. The result really speaks of itself. I will highly recommand to download all my sample. All the samples have minimum color grading except pull down the highlights to 100% and raise the shadow to 80% — which is why we shoot with HDR at the first place.

So how is that quality compared to Insta360 ONE R night shot — a 9 DNG merging and the One R HDR. What about the king of Virtual Tour camera Theta Z1?

First image resolution — Qoocam 8K is 8K output. You can actually reach 8534 X 4267 with PTGui — more on that later. One R is 6K (6080 x 3040) and Z1 is 7K (7388 x 3694). According to this One R review video, we know already DNG8 is still better than Nightshot in terms of dynamic range and image quality.

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Left: Qoocam 8K SuperHDR / Right: Insta360 ONE R HDR

In HDR, One R is okay, a lot better than One X. But it is really wasted out and the dynamic range is nowhere compared to Theta Z1 or Qoocam 8K SuperHDR. As you see in the shadow, it is also very soft looking and not sharp. I think Insta360 can do the same thing as Kandao — do a bracketed merged of the Nightshot. But right now, this feature is not there.
One R HDR does has one advantage — less ghosting in the final result. The Insta360 Studio 2020 in the latest version has a better HDR merging technology than Lightroom or Camera RAW — so it produces less ghosting. But again, if you use Photomatix as I explain in this tutorial, than, it does not matter. Photomatix is going to produce the best HDR result as professional HDR software.

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Left: Qoocam 8K SuperHDR / Right: RICOH THETA Z1 Dual Fisheye Plugins 9 EV+-

Okay, let’s compare Z1 Dualfish eye to Qoocam SuperHDR. They are both very good. I honestly think it really comes down to personal taste at this point. Z1 has less chromatic aberration and slightly better and natural-looking color. But Qoocam 8K is sharpener and less digital noise. There is no denoising done in any of the sample photos. And you can easily use Topaz Denoise AI on the Theta Z1 to produce the same or better result. Watch this tutorial here.

One more really important thing is the time it takes to capture the HDR photo. As you know, longer it takes, more ghosting for a moving subject. So ideally, we want the fastest camera we can get in HDR. Well, let’s test that, should we?

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HDR time comparison: Qoocam 8K vs RICOH THETA Z1 vs Inta360 ONE R

So now you see WHY Insta360 ONE R has less amount of ghosting. 20-second per photo difference is a big deal. If you are doing a large Virtual Tour in volume — you might consider using the Insta360 One R instead just because it will save you lots of times. And time is money.

360° HDR w/ ONLY a Phone. Qoocam 8K SuperHDR Mobile Editing + Tripod Removal Tutorial

If you are sold, let see how easy to capture HDR photo with ONLY your mobile phone with Qoocam 8K SuperHDR:

Thank you for watching. I will highly recommand to download all the sample photos in this video and see it for yourself. The next tutorial, we will be foucs on the best Dual Fisheye plugin workflow for Ricoh Theta Z1, with the latest Z1 Lightroom plugins and PTGui Pro.

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