Let There Be Light For Your 360 Camera - Using 360 Video Cameras | StructionSite

Let there be light…for your 360 camera

December 4, 2017

Matt Daly

The sometimes dark and poorly-lit conditions on jobsites or older buildings can make using a 360 camera difficult.  Unlike traditional point-and-shoot cameras, a 360 camera needs light that shines in all directions simultaneously.  Taking in-wall photos is especially challenging when rooms have poor or no light at all.  Fortunately our good friends Alex Snyder and Justin Porter at Truebeck Construction are pioneers in reality capture for construction.

They shared this little light with me and I’m very impressed with the power and form factor.

The image above shows, from top to bottom, a Ricoh Theta V camera, ¼-20 male thread adapter, and the R-PAL 300 lumen personal area light.  Make sure to get the ‘combo’ pack with the rechargable batteries and charging dock when purchasing the light.  Follow the links provided here to grab any of these items on Amazon.

Results Matter

What we care about of course is the results, so I have several side-by-side views below for review. I took three ‘progress’ photos in StructionSite and used the split view to show the differences. The two split views below show the R-PAL compared to the overhead light already available in this room as well as no light at all. Note that I used the camera controls in the live preview region of the StructionSite app to turn the EV all the way up, letting in maximum light.

Left: R-PAL light                                         Right No light

Left: R-PAL light                                          Right: Overhead room light

Illuminating the right information

You can see there are some ‘hot spots’ created on reflective materials like the metal straps holding the heater but in general the R-PAL light is giving us great illumination within 3-4 feet of the camera. But what about farther away?  The comparison below is not apples-to-apples because the overhead room light is located much closer to the other side of the room, but you can see the R-PAL is still casting some useable light about 12 feet away in the corner.

Left: R-PAL                                                  Right: Overhead room light

I hope this little light can brighten up your capture process out in the field. Please share this article if you feel you know others who struggle with this as well.

To learn more about how you can implement 360 Photo Capture on your job sites, sign up today and start documenting!