Professional Photos VS Matterport Stills
If you don’t care about all the details, and just want to see the samples then scroll down!
We offer lots of different packages for those who are looking for quality marketing materials for their next listing. In order to facilitate all budgets, timelines, and listings, we have made an exhaustive menu of services. For many (myself included) more options can be problematic. However, as it turns out, real estate is a diverse practice and we need to cater to a lot of different situations.
To make things easier, I have prepared this blog post with a lot of examples of Matterport Stills versus professional photography. Before I display the samples, I am going to try and describe each process as briefly as possible and give some direction on where both options shine.
Professional Real Estate Photos
This is our specialty. It’s what we typically recommend for most listings. Our process involves using a flash and taking multiple images, some with a flash and some without. Our goal is to use the flash to even out the color shifts that happen from interior lighting, ambient lighting from windows, and generally uneven lighting caused be poorly lit rooms or other things.
Once we return and begin editing, we have high quality RAW images which provide a ton of latitude to edit. We can brighten dark images, darken bright images, and anything in between. We manually combine the flash and non flash frames and come out with an image that utilizes the best parts of flash and natural lighting.
The final product tends to be more balanced, it has better lighting in darker areas, and there’s typically more accurate colors. The tradeoff is that it takes longer to edit, because we do each image individually to get that look. Therefore, the price tends to be somewhat higher versus taking stills from Matterport. It’s great for most listings, and we usually recommend our 3DPro package which includes a 3d tour and professional photos.
The Matterport platform allows us to pull stills from their system to create photos. It’s a great feature because we can essentially create a virtual tour AND photos all in a single process. When we get back to the office, we process the Matterport tour and pull the stills from that tour. Additionally, it allows us to pull images from the house that we might have missed or overlooked while we were there.
Matterport utilizes a photography technique called HDR (high dynamic range) as well as panorama stitching to create their still images. HDR is created by taking multiple images of different exposures (dark, even, and bright). Then a piece of software combines those images (36 per scan) and then stitches them together in a 360º panorama. It allows us to walk the property when we’re back at the office and take photos at any time, something that can’t be done with standard photography. It tends to be faster and can sometimes have a faster turnaround time, which is why we can do it for slightly less than photos paired with a tour.
The drawbacks with Matterport stills come with the limitations of HDR. Because there is no flash used, dark rooms or darker areas of rooms will be less pleasing. Color shift is common with HDR and you tend to have less realistic colors in the end, unless rooms are well-lit with lots of natural light. With a flash, done properly, we can emit unwanted shadows, color shifts, and provide the most natural colors and lighting, which is just impossible with HDR. The images we have to work with from Matterport are jpeg images rather than RAW images, which means we have much less flexibility when editing.
We won’t have the ability to change lenses or focal lengths, so doing detail shots is basically out of the question. Additionally, because Matterport stills are panoramic composites of 36 individual images, sometimes they don’t align properly. You can see this in countertops or other straight surfaces where there are jagged edges which aren’t there in real life, and it can be especially bad in intricate chandeliers. This is present in nearly every scan we have ever done. It’s not as noticeable during the tours, but can be in the still images.
Matterport stills are great for properties marketed with a virtual tour on a budget. With faster turnaround times and cheaper prices, they tend to be favored by agents who are looking to turn around listings quickly or are working with fewer marketing funds. For those circumstances, we always recommend a Matterport tour with our additional add-on to pull stills from them!
Pick What Works For You
We have tons of packages to fit the needs of anyone and everyone. If you’ve got a listing coming up, check out our packages and if you have any questions about them, then let us know!