Dual Fisheye plugin is an essential third party plugin for Theta Z1 (reviewed here) and Ricoh Theta V (reviewed here) by Yoichi Hirota, who has made apps such as the Mi Sphere Converter and edit360. Dual Fisheye enables additional capture modes:
- Single unstitched file. This lets the user stitch the photos themselves using any stitcher such as PTGui.
- Burst mode. This is for capturing action but also for stacking.
- Exposure Bracketing. Automatically an exposure bracket of 3 to 9 shots, with 1EV intervals.
- HDR-DNG (Theta Z1 only). This captures an exposure bracket of 3 to 9 shots in DNG, then merges them in-camera with deghosting into a single 16-bit DNG files.
For the Theta Z1, these modes can be shot in DNG, making them even more useful.
One limitation of the Dual Fisheye mode is that the files are unstitched. Theta Z1 does have a Lightroom plugin called Theta Stitcher that can stitch Z1 files but it had limited compatibility with Dual Fisheye HDR-DNG files, or Z1 files that had been edited by other programs, resulting in an error, “No compatible DNG files.”
There were workarounds such as renaming the files or using older versions of the Theta Stitcher, but they were inconvenient. Fortunately, now the Theta Stitcher supports Dual Fisheye HDR-DNG files. You need to update the Dual Fisheye plugin to version 2.8 or above, and the Theta Stitcher to version 2.10 or above. With the updated plugins, you can readily stitch HDR-DNG files in Adobe Lightroom Classic as easily as normal Theta Z1 files. Please note that it will not work with older photos shot with previous versions of the Dual Fisheye plugin.
This update has been long overdue. With this update, the Theta Z1 cements its status as the best 360 camera for virtual tours (tied with XPhase).
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