BEST Raw 360 Photo Camera of 2020 – Ricoh Theta Z1 vs Qoocam 8K + Pro HDR workflow tutorial


Yes, I know, you want to find out which is
a better RAW DNG 360 photo camera in 2020. Ricoh Theta Z1 or the brand new Qoocam 8K? This video will answer that question and teach
you a full HDR workflow for professional virtual tour photography from your Boi Hugh – the
REAL professional. Let’s roll the cinematic trailer. Hey, what’s up, everybody. It is your boi Hugh here from CreatorUp. First, let’s take a look at outdoor under
the sun – the most common scenario – well if you are in sunny California. Winter here is still sunny and we don’t really
have weather. From left to right, we have Ricoh Theta Z1
DNG ungraded, Qoocam 8K DNG ungraded, and Qoocam 8K DNG8 ungraded. They are all in ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/2500. Z1 is in aperture 2.1 and Qoocam 8K is 2.0
– so they are similar. Let’s quickly compare DNG8 and just regular
DNG in Qoocam. Let’s zoom in my face to 200%. You see the regular DNG is really noisy around
the shadow area and also not as sharp as the DNG8. We know for sure, DNG 8 is always gonna be
better than just DNG. So if you own Qoocam 8K and you want to take
pictures, use DNG 8, NOT DNG. DNG 8 takes a longer time to process – but
the quality increase as you see here, it is well worth it. So now, let’s focus on comparing Theta Z1
and Qoocam 8K DNG8. On close up, if you look at the chart, they
are mostly the same. Qoocam is a little bit more saturated – but
in a good way. The first big difference is the dynamic range. As you see, the Theta Z1 is better in shadow. You can see more in the celling right here. Flip to the sunny side, you can see it better. The highlight of 2 camera is exactly that
same – but the Shadow Z1 is a lot better without compression artifacts. Zoom in 200% so you can see it better. This is clearly the benefit of a larger sensor. But the bigger issue is sharpness in distant
objects. Let me show you. So the Qoocam take 8K photo – in theory, it
should see better in distant objects than Z1, which is 6K. But it is not. Look at this focus chart 6 feet away from
the camera. If you can not see it clearly, let’s zoom
in 300%. Now, let’s have an eye exam. Put on your glasses. You can clearly see at least 3 E on the Z1. On the regular DNG of Qoocam 8K, you can only
see the biggest E. On the DNG8 – the sharpness is improved – like almost double. But you can only see the second E, and it
is very fuzzy. You certainly can NOT see the third E. So there you have it. In normal sunlight, the Ricoh Theta Z1 is
better. Not by much, but it is better – no double
it. What about Virtual Tour? Which one is a better Virtual Tour camera,
especially for an indoor situation with very complicated lighting? Here we have a typical scenario – outside
the windows is really bright but inside the room is really dark. We actually took HDR bracketed photos. But to make things easier, let’s just pick
the middle picture in the selection. Here in Z1, we pick the ISO 100, shutter speed
in 1/640s in 2.1 aperture. It is on the dark side, but the windows are
not overly blow out. Here is my processing. I hit auto just to get a ballpark of my adjustment. Then I up the exposure to 1.51 in lightroom
classic. We gonna go extreme here to save the highlights
– so we drop it to 100% and lift the shadows to 100%. Pay attention to this crazy color noise. B/c later on, I will show you why DNG 8 is
better in this particular scenario. I am just gonna do my standard thing here
– texture, clarity and dehaze to 30 and Vibrance to 40. Don’t forget to remove chromatic aberration
– necessary step for all 360 camera. That is – I am not going to add any of my
personal settings here for comparison purposes. Export in lightroom and pop up Ricoh Theta
Z1 stitcher. Here you can recalibrate to make a perfect
stitch. Something is def missing compared to Qoocam
studio. There is no camera just come out and has a
perfect result – you need to make it better in post-production. Z1 is certainly not a consumer camera – same
as Qoocam 8K, if you want to get a great result. You use PTGui to stitch. For those of you just expect to hit a button
and have a perfect result – sorry to tell you, that never happens. If that is the case, it will put all of us
professionals out of jobs. Okay. Now we are doing the same with Qoocam 8K DNG8
– we use Adobe Camera RAW just to show you a different workflow – but it is exactly the
same as Lightroom classic – you can use both. So make sure you have the exact same processing
as Z1. But now you see when I pull down the highlights
and raise up the shadow – it is a lot clearer than Z1 – there is almost no color noise or
no noise – which is crazy. This is the power of Qoocam DNG 8 that none
other cameras have. Let’s make the final comparison. Left, we have Z1, and right we have Qoocam
8K after the exact same processing workflow. Z1 is unusable b/c of the noise. Qoocam 8K DNG does stand out this in scenario. But, in the professional world, we always
take HDR. Here is the workflow on how to take HDR photos
with Ricoh Theta Z1 mobile app. Open the app and hit the gear icon, and choose
multi bracketing mode. You see I have 8 steps here. – with different shutter speeds. I can go in and adjust each individual shutter
speed setting to have an even spread in exposures. Then, I hit the capture button and try to
stay absolutely still. That is the one bad thing about HDR – there
can not be any motion there. So for outdoor low light situations – which
I will show you next, this is impossible. Finally, we take a look at Low Light shot
with both cameras. Here we are in Santa Monica Pier at night
after 11pm – so is
really dark. You see, the Ferris wheel in the distance
is constantly spinning. To capture the clear image of the Ferris wheel
– we can not have a long exposure low light photo – it is not going to work. So here for the Z1, we decide to keep ISO
100 and shutter speed to 1/6s. Same as the Qoocam 8K in DNG 8. Here is the dark side of me. As you see it is noisier in Z1 – look at my
pants. But Z1 does look clearer in distance objects
– you can clearly read the text right here but not so much in Qoocam 8K DNG 8. In conclusion, I personally think Ricoh Theta
Z1 is still better. But Qoocam 8K is a great cheap alternative
with an impressive result and easy to use workflow. What do you think? Comment below. Like this video and help your boy out. If you have not subscribed yet, please, please,
consider subscribing as I am working on Christmas time to bring you this content – it is a lot
of hard work. The best Christmas present to me is to help
me reach 40 thousand followers before the end of 2019. Merry Christmas everybody and thank you so
much for hanging out with me again before Christmas and now go spend some quality time
with your family – take some 360 photos and photoshop your Boi Hugh in your family photo
and tag me – b/c I have nowhere to go during Christmas – all alone, making more YouTube
videos. Hey, see you next YEAR! Don’t let your family catch you watching me
again.

Comments 34

  • My wife is an Asian that's not great at math too 🙂

  • Thanks for doing this comparison, much appreciated. Just in case it's confusing for anyone watching, he points to the wrong cameras at 12:05, but what he's actually saying is correct.

  • Seems I'll need to save for a z1 for still 360 photos but since I do mostly video it looks like the 8k is going to be best, can't wait to see what January brings from Insta360. This year I'm only going to listen to you and Mic on their product, too many "influencers" out there that don't do 360 regularly.

  • Super, thank you very much

  • Thank you

  • Thank you sooo much for these tutorials. You are the best 360 youtuber when it comes to professional 360 shooting and editing

  • HaHaHa! You're the best Hugh!! Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to you! Thank you for all of the valuable information that you share!!

  • Thanks a lot for this comparison.
    If you ever gonna visit Germany you could feel invited. 😊

  • thank you love, happy days …

  • Merry Xmas Hugh, I just got into 360° photography using a GoPro HERO 6 and HUGIN for stitching. I am looking to buy a camera and at the moment I want a good 360° video camera that also does passable virtual tour photos… So I am waiting to see what INSTA360 come up with before making a decision. I realise that the Z1 is NOT a video camera… how about the Qoocam, is that any better? I think I would start off with an INSTA360 then when I get my first jobs use the money to upgrade to a Z1. Last comment, I noticed that the Z1 is no longer available to buy on RICOH's website, is this a sign of something new?

  • Nice comparison but you make it sound like it's hard to do post processing. Literally anyone can achieve so called professional results in minutes with PTGUI and Photomatix esque software it really isn't hard at all.

    Z1 was always going to better at photos.

    Also, nothing beats a DSLR and decent glass. I made a tour for Bentley using a full frame and top end glass and it took maybe 15 to 20 mins per picture for the final result which in terms of money worked out to be about 250 bucks per picture. Easy money and only maybe an hour more than using the Z1 fully. I think anyone who is serious about 360 photography should have a DSLR rig and an all in one like the Z1/insta360 as you will be able to create much better work that stand out from your average tours.

    I use the Z1 in my work to get really unique angles that I wouldn't get so easily with a DSLR such as shelf shots in a barber shop and clients go crazy for them. I recently shot the Shard in London and took over 500 photos with a Z1 and DSLR.

    I highly suggest people to watch the PTGUI tutorials they are great and in a few hours you'll be able to easily have a workflow you can repeat again and again.

  • great video dude !!!! Merry Christmas !!!

  • So I should cancel my order for the Qoocam 8k….

  • you're so underrated dude. I thought you were one of the guys who has like 3mil subs 😂 you deserve all the subs come your way! merry Christmas!

  • Great video! Merry Christmas ~

  • thankx bro !! you are the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My Z1 is still alive

  • Why all these tributes? Just use a iPhone camera!

  • Great video, mate. Thanks for your commitment. 🙏 At the end of the day, as a professional it's down to the experience we provide and the way we serve the needs of our clients, not the gear we use. They're not going to quibble about whether or not they can see more 'Es'. If they do, it was our fault we didn't find that out to begin with, not the camera's.

    In saying that, the Ricoh is overpriced, and the QooCam can and will be updated. If I need the resolution and resolving power to read far away text, I'll use my actual camera and fisheye lenses to capture 50+ megapixels. 😏 Funnily enough, the length of my workflow with that is comparable to the workflow with the Theta, but achieves superior results… 🤓

  • Hugh great video! Gotta say Thank you for all your content. 1 of your previous videos convinced me to get the Z1 when it had first come out. I would be very interested in an in-depth tutorial on your workflow for Z1 , Happy Holidays!

  • Thank you so much. Your test choices are very relevant and I appreciate a lot your opinion as a professional photographer. I'll be more than happy to know your Z1 workflow.
    I subscribe and I take inspiration from you and apply it to my practice.
    And happy Christmas BTW, take good care of you for this end of year season.

  • Merry Christmas Hugh!

  • Thank you Hugh!!!!! You are the BEST!!!! Not much be celerbrate here in SG! hahahahaha….. is sharpening my skills through your helpful tutorials.

  • By the way, I have used LR to create HDR from ONE X bracketing shots. Do you think there is a better workflow using the software you mention?

  • if that happens it will put us professionals out of jobs

    My boy hugh end of 2019

  • Many thanks for all your videos this year. It would be a pleasure to share a xmas diner in France with you and show our country

  • Your tutorials and product comparisons are by far the best. Many thanks. Please keep it up.

  • Can u make video about gopromax vs qoocam 8k?

    and gopromax at low light or sunny plce have a visual noise?

  • Thanks Hugh! I love your work. Its great. Merry Christmas!

  • Excessive compression or inferior optics on the Qoocam 8K? I can definitely see more fine detail in the trees and pebbles on the Theta Z1 than on Qoocam, which also has flatter colors. Too bad….

  • Any ideas when insta 360 will release their next camera, I'm waiting cos I want qoocam haha

  • YES YES YES I want to learn 🙂 (re: 10:45)

  • Thank you so much for your reviews, and I have a question, do you think future upgrades can improve the quality of the qoocam?

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