Why the change?
Panoleh has been around for almost 3 years. Yes, it is that long! With your help and support, we have now expanded to markets beyond our shores of Singapore.
To further facilitate our brand, and to expand your reach even further, we have decided to rename ourselves to Panopedia.
Why Panopedia, you might ask. All thanks to you, we are the fastest growing and now one of the largest database of 360 Virtual Tours in the world! Of course, with such a large database at our disposal, we will be launching new features and even a new Panotour Builder that will help you showcase your portfolio better. After all, our vision has always been to expand your reach beyond our shores.
What are the changes?
Besides the change of the logo throughout the entire site, you will notice that the logos on emails such as this, are changed as well.
Please also note that emails from us will now be from @Panopedia.com instead of @Panoleh.com. However, should you receive any email from @Panoleh.com, do contact your friendly account manager for verification, or you may just reply this message.
URLs will also be changed from www.panoleh.com to www.panopedia.com. However, this URL change will not affect your embedded Panotours, as the Panoleh.com domain name still and always belong to us.
Our social media pages will be merged soon, but I will send you an update once that happens.
How will this affect me?
The rebranding exercise was intended to be minimally disruptive, and hence your Panotours and subscriptions will not be affected in any way. However, should you encounter any errors arising, or any issues whatsoever, please inform your friendly account manager for rectification.
Panoleh and Panopedia are brand names wholly owned by Clover & Dime Pte Ltd., Singapore. Any and all related domains from other countries, are owned by Clover & Dime Pte Ltd, but may be under the management of our subsidiary offices in the relevant country.
For verification, please contact us should you have any doubts.
How to Take a Good Panoramic Photo for Virtual Tour
1. LightingLight and illumination are the basics of photography. The very word “photography” comes from two Greek words, phos meaning light, and graphis meaning drawing. Hence, photography can be described as “drawing with light”.If you ask me to name the most important thing in photography, I would say light. Without light, there is no illumination. In a room without illumination, everything is pitch black. You can’t see a thing. Taking a shot – assuming your camera allows you to – produces a solid black photograph. You switch on a lamp, and you send light across the room, and everything is illuminated. Now you can take a photograph and show something in the picture. You realize that your eye and the camera both needs light and illumination to work.Photography is about capturing light and recording it, whether on paper, or more frequently now, in a digital format. As a photographer, you can control the amount, intensity and duration of light required to create the picture. One advantage of using a 360 Camera is the ease of use. There isn't so much to take note of when position for your shot unlike traditional camera's concern about capturing the right lighting. The concern is only when under dim condition is where quality will be affected generally. So what you need to know most importantly is only 2 simple things when taking photo with a 360 Camera. Firstly, switch on all the lights in the room and pulling up all the curtains to allow as much sunlight as possible. This will be sufficient enough to get good quality shots with a 360 Camera.2. BalanceProfessional photographers usually toggle with the balance of the camera to frame the idea shot, expressing the feeling they wish to portray out of a photo. Even for the leisure photographer, do you remember the last time when you were taking different shots of your food or photo of yourself just trying to find the best photo that portrays the desired feel? The benefit of using a 360 Camera is you only need to remember to keep your 360 Camera straight up. Because of the nature of the surrounded image that 360 Camera produce, balance is not a significance issue, thus another plus point of why 360 Camera is a must have. 3. Above waist level This is very simple and straightforward. Always make sure your camera is taken above waist level, ensuring your image will give your user an eye-level point of view. Avoid placing camera on the floor or anywhere lower than the waist will provide a more professional looking result.4. Right camera settingsWith numerous camera settings available, for a beginner this can be both confusing and daunting. Manual exposure, aperture priority, ISO, shutter speed may all sound demanding for a normal user. Another reason why we highly recommend the Ricoh Theta cameras is because of it’s ease of use. Its like the Apple of all 360 Cameras with its user friendly settings and control. Users new to 360 photography need to know only one thing, and that is setting your camera setting on the phone’s app to HDR mode. Ricoh did a great job in creating simple settings like HDR mode for beginners so now anyone can take great photos. HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it essentially takes a series of images, each shot with a different exposure from darkest to lightest. This is currently only available for the Theta cameras. So if you are using a Theta camera, remember to set it to HDR mode before shooting. Another common problem of using a 360 Camera is shooting in fluorescent lighting. The lighting and illumination will look distorted in images. The solution to tackling such problems is changing your shutter speed to 1/50, or shooting it with auto mode may work as well. 5. StagingHome staging is the act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. People usually use arts, painting, accessories, lights, greenery and carpet to stage the home, to give potential buyers a more attractive first impression of the property.After understanding the importance of staging, there is only 2 main point that user should take note of when taking photo for their virtual tour. 1. Always make sure the home is kept tidy and presentable. Giving potential buyer a homey feeling or a visualisation that this is their future home, is vital in deciding if this is going to be their future home. A good first impression always count nevertheless. 2. Engaging a professional stager. Empty homes leaves an empty feel to some buyer after viewing it. You can’t really blame them as there will always be viewers with poorer imagination, so do consider it a worthy investment as a professional stager can transform an empty home into a dramatic one that everyone dream of owning. Leaving a deep impression of that home is vital so eventually it will help you to sell off your home quicker. Notice the significance difference in an empty and staged home? There's a reason why 80% of the population are not artistes because they have bad visualization. So its your job to show them and help them visualize a home they will live in the future. On the day they sign the option to purchase, you be glad to find all this worth the investment. There are many home furnishing company that provide home staging services . Look it up in google and you will find one easily.6. User experienceLast but not least, user experience is also another important thing to take note of when creating virtual tour. You should always try to place your camera at the middle of the room so your viewers can navigate easily. Also try to keep to a recommended minimal amount of images or scene in a virtual tour . Ever heard of too much of anything is no good. Same logic applies here as too much images can be confusing sometimes and that will leaves a bad impression to your prospective buyer. We recommend an average of 7 to 10 scene per virtual tour . For larger landed homes, try to keep it under 20. ConclusionWith this 6 basic tips, you are ready to start taking your panoramic photos for your virtual tour. Follow the guide here for a more detail step by step on how to do it.
6th February 2017Read More
Ricoh Theta SC Review
Ricoh has recently release a new camera to their 360 camera lineup after a year of anticipation. It is deem as a more budget friendly model with adequate specs to give it’s older brother the S model a run for it’s money. The Ricoh Theta SC is designed to make 360 photography more accessible with a simpler interface and a lower price point. For still images, users won't see much differences between the Theta SC and the Theta S. Both cameras uses the same pair of 12 megapixel sensors measuring at 1/2.3" and both use dual f/2 lenses. Internal software stitches the data from both sensors together to create simple 360 images. Both also share similar 8 GB of storage will keep up to 1600 images internally without an SD card. You can also always change the memory card inside by yourself but it might void the warranty so that is not really recommended. 1. Design Ricoh Theta SC has a candy bar design very much similar to the theta S except slightly bulkier in dimension. Its got a softer, powder coated metal finish and its sleek design is very practical. The camera’s layout is simple , allowing you to use with just one hand or it can be operated remotely by connecting to your smartphone. Its small form factor allows you to easily slip it into your jeans or inside your bag . It also has a number of colours to choose from and Ricoh’s fans would certainly be delighted that their prayers are heard because previously only black colour is available on the theta S. A glowing LED to indicate that it’s recording, a Wi-Fi light to let you know if wireless communication is on or off, and an indicator that differentiates between photo mode and video mode 2. Image QualityThe Theta SC is believe to share the same camera lens and capabilities with the theta S. With 14 megapixels and capturing image size up to 5376x2688 pixels. We have make a comparison of the photos in the below example and our conclusion is that both images looks almost identical. Images taken by the 2 cameras are sharp with little saturation thus giving it a vibrant look with little detail lost. The camera is best work during daytime and the night photography is also pretty decent due to it’s f2.0 aperture. It is still best images in the 360camera category that you can get below $1000.Below is a comparison of photos taken with both different camera. Ricoh Theta SRicoh Theta SCVideo QualityThe Theta SC only shoots in 720p instead of 1080p. Stretch that resolution around into a 360 view and video quality will be rather low when uploaded onto youtube or facebook. That footage is also recorded at a very choppy 15 fps and clips are limited to five minutes instead of 25 on the theta S. You’ll be able to store several hours of footage on the included 8GB of storage, but the individual video limit still remains. There is also no HDMI port, thus live streaming function is not possible. Theta SC sample videoConclusion 360 photography and virtual tour is definitely going to be the future of real estate marketing as the VR popularity continues into a new era. The Theta SC currently retailing at $488 and it is consider really affordable for the image quality it gives. It provides the same image quality as the theta S and that is sufficient enough to recommend this as the go to camera to get if you decided to start marketing your properties with virtual tour. Even though its video function is relatively sub-par , but usually its not really practical if you aren’t doing a lot of live streaming and video recording. This is no doubt our favourite camera in terms of value & quality walking into 2017.
6th February 2017Read More
Why Virtual Tours is Not Only for Beautiful Properties
Last week, I met a friend for a drink and the topic of buying a place came up. She was planning to move out of her current rented place and buy a house with her boyfriend. Having scheduled 4 of her viewings with Agent A on 14 Feb 2017, curiously, I asked her, “of all dates, why 14 Feb? It is Valentine’s Day.” Immediately, she cancelled all the viewings.This scenario may sound familiar, and I am sure the thought of preventing these waste of time ever occurred.When you use Virtual Tours to market the properties you represent, the cost and time savings are significant. Viewers who have been through the virtual tour will be able to decide if it’s the property they seek. When they eventually call you, the interest is genuine and your chances of closing the deal are higher.In this article, let us explore how Virtual Tours can help you market properties in your portfolio, be they beautiful or unattractive ones.Why Beautiful Properties need Virtual Tour?Have you ever wondered who the first property agent to use photos to market properties was?When did every real estate agent started following suit?Most importantly, why do you use photos to market your property?The answer is obvious; photos produce results. This technique, “Improved Marketing through Visualisation,” takes advantage of the simple fact that, we humans are Visual Animals.We make decisions by what our sight provides. We are impressed by what we see. We turn our heads to look at beautiful things. If you have a beautiful property in your portfolio, why limit its potential? A beautiful property should be shown off, catching as many pairs of eyeballs as possible. Show it to potential buyers who can afford it, or even those who may not at the moment.Why, you ask. Because it gives them a dream, allowing them to walk through the property as though they are there and visualizing how it’s like to be actually there. People who are impressed will share it with their friends, they will tell their friends and colleagues, or even share it on social media. Hence, it makes a highly effective but yet cost-free marketing tool. As a result, you will get more calls from potential buyers, which is what you wanted in the first place.Why Unattractive Properties need Virtual Tour?Several years ago, I was looking for a home as a newlywed. My wife and I were looking for a 3 room HDB (Housing & Development Board) resale flat near the city. We browsed through various property portals, going through numerous listings. The first thing we did was to filter out those that had no images or insufficient details, even though it might have been in our desired locations. In the end, the ones we shortlisted had something in common - they had many photos and detailed descriptions.Why did my wife and I filtered out those listings initially? For the simple reason that we do not have the luxury of time to go for so many viewings. Also, I felt that the agent might be hiding something, hence the lack of confidence to provide sufficient photos and information. Yes, I may have possibly missed out on better units, though I believe that the agent who put in the effort, deserved the deal.Make a DifferenceThere are more than 100,000 listings in property portals. Even after filtering by area and other basic requirements, there are at least 50 to 100 listings to sift through to our dream home. So how do you make your listing stand out from the rest? Should you hide as much information as possible, because the property you are marketing is not attractive, and still hope for calls from potential prospects? Or do you put as much information as possible and be totally transparent, to attract potential buyers who are genuinely interested?The answer should be rather obvious by now. Virtual Tour is definitely one of the ways to attract these potential buyers to look into your listing. It is all about law of large numbers, when there are more people looking at your listings, the chances of conversion into a successful sale will be higher.With the advancement of technology and education, demand from buyers will be higher. Buyers will want more information, details and transparency before they commit to buy a product. Virtual Tour will be the future on how buyers view properties. It is your decision to set the trend first, or to follow the trend after.
22nd February 2017Read More