WGAN-TV eBook: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera18022
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WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
WGAN-TV Podcast: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
WGAN Forum Podcast: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace | WGAN-TV Podcast | WGAN Forum Podcast
WGAN-TV eBook: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace
WGAN-TV Training U
WGAN-TV Training U (in Matterport): 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace
[/vimeo]WGAN-TV | 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera[/url] | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace
Video: Matterport Pro3 first impression on Mare Island in Vallejo, CA | Video courtesy of Sparks Media Group YouTube Channel | 3 November 2022
Video: How far can you space scans with the pro3? watch this and find out.
Video: I scanned 7,800+ sq ft with the Matterport Pro3 in under an hour! | Video courtesy of Sparks Media Group YouTube Channel | 14 November 2022
WGAN-TV eBook | 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera
[WGAN-TV eBook above]
If you want to succeed faster scanning with your Matterport Pro3 Camera, watch WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 22 December 2022 at 5 pm ET:
✓ WGAN-TV Live at 5 | 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera
My guest is: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 170 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com
I invited Tom to be my guest on this WGAN-TV Live at 5 show after watching his Matterport Pro3 Camera video:
✓ Matterport Pro3 first impression on Mare Island in Vallejo, CA
Tom is based in Suisun City, California (halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento).
Among the questions that I will ask Tom Sparks (@ScanYourSpace) on WGAN-TV Live at 5 (5 pm ET) today, Thursday (22 December 2022) are:
1. How long does the Matterport Pro3 Battery last (and when/why would you need a 2nd or 3rd battery).
2. Has the Matterport Pro3 Camera Tripod Mount needed tightening with a HEX 3mm tool?
3. How long can the distance be between scans?
4. Any extra gear that you carry with his Pro3 (that is different from Pro2)?
5. Your thoughts about scanning in bright sun with the Pro3? (Any issues?)
6. Your thoughts about the Matterport Pro3 Camera Tripod versus your other tripods?
7. Any issues with scanning with the Pro3 with windows that separate an office?
8. How hard to train a teammate to use the Pro3 versus using a Pro2?
9. What does the dollhouse look like when you scan with a Pro3?
10. How do you keep the Pro3 camera clean? (LiDAR element?)
Additional questions that I should ask Tom on WGAN-TV Live at 5?
✓ www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com
✓ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sparks-media-group/
✓ YouTube Channel Sparks Media Group
✓ Email: email@example.com
✓ Facebook: Sparks Media Group
✓ Instagram: sparksmediagroup
✓ Yelp: Sparks Media Group
✓ WGAN Forum: @ScanYourSpace
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[/vimeo]WGAN-TV | 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera | Guest: Scan Your Space (a Division of Sparks Media Group) Founder and CEO Tom Sparks | Episode: 171 | Thursday, 22 December 2022 | www.ScanYourSpace.com | www.SparksMediaGroup.com | @ScanYourSpace
Transcript (video above)
Dan Smigrod: Hi all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, December 22, 2022, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
We have an awesome show for you today: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera. Here to talk to us about that is Tom Sparks. Tom is Founder of Sparks Media Group, and located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. Tom, thank you for sharing your expertise with us today.
Tom Sparks: Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Dan Smigrod: Tom, for context for today's discussion about the Matterport Pro3 Camera, tell us about Sparks Media Group.
Tom Sparks: Sparks Media Group is a media company. We provide pretty much every tool that a real estate agent could need to market a property. Photos. We provide video. We provide 3D virtual tours; floor plans; property websites; virtual staging; virtual decluttering; rendering of buildings; and pretty much everything that an agent could need to market a property.
Dan Smigrod: Tom, you mentioned residential. Do you shoot other categories as well; other categories of clients?
Tom Sparks: We do. We're heavy into residential, but we also do commercial. Getting into industrial; not quite there yet where I want to be. But, yeah, we want to be able to touch all areas.
Dan Smigrod: You mentioned virtual tours. Which platforms are you using for your virtual tours?
Tom Sparks: Right now we're using Matterport and we're also using the iGUIDE, and those are the two that I'm sticking with.
Dan Smigrod: I imagine you publish the Google Street View as well.
Tom Sparks: We do.
Dan Smigrod: I noticed on your website -- www.SparksMediaGroup.com -- that you also have another company: Scan Your Space (www.ScanYourSpace.com). What's the context of having two different domains; two different brands?
Tom Sparks: Sure. www.SparksMediaGroup.com was really geared towards the residential crowd. We started getting contacted by retail, bakeries, restaurants, fitness centers, car dealerships, and they wanted pricing to do 3D virtual tours of their properties, to do photos, to do video, and those are in a completely different ball game as far as budgets.
I didn't want to point them all to www.SparksMediaGroup.com where it says, "we can do 2,000 SQ FT for $200." Why not create this whole new website and say, "2,000 SQ FT of commercial space is going to be $600" or whatever it is, so I created Scan Your Space (www.ScanYourSpace.com).
Really, where that's going right now, is the hospitality industry: country clubs; hotels; resorts that have ballrooms that are available for rent, or spaces that they rent out for private events will go in and scan those.
We also do 360º photos: not with Matterport or iGUIDE, but with our regular DSLR cameras or mirrorless cameras. Then we'll virtually stage those and put them all together in a nice package and deliver it to them so they can put it on their website and use it for marketing purposes.
Dan Smigrod: The coverage area for Sparks Media Group; for Scan Your Space?
Tom Sparks: We're covering all of California right now. We have photographers in Texas, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho and Arizona.
Dan Smigrod: I imagine those are independent contractors that you're using to cover all those states?
Tom Sparks: The majority, yeah.
Dan Smigrod: Awesome. Before we move into the Matterport Pro3 Camera, how did Sparks Media Group get started?
Tom Sparks: I started doing photography 20 plus years ago. Family, friends, birthday parties, that kind of thing. Then I started doing weddings, corporate events, family photos and I was getting burned out in that, and I joined a company -- as a contractor -- to shoot residential real estate.
I said, "this is cool because I'm pretty extroverted; but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to be around people." When you're shooting a house alone, there's nobody there, so it's just perfect. The houses don't talk back, the houses aren't late, that thing. It was great, I love driving and I was able to drive around the houses and shoot them and deliver the content.
I didn't have to worry about editing them or anything. But the pay wasn't that great and there were a lot of gaps I noticed in services that were provided and really just overall customer service. It got to the point where I remember showing up late to a house. I told the company that I was going to be late because of traffic and I was probably 30-45 minutes late.
I showed up and the agent was upset; pissed off. "You're late. I was about to leave. I got other stuff to do than to wait for you." I said, "sorry, I called the company and told them I was going to be late." They never let the client know. So, that right there, I was like, well, this is just bad customer service.
Tom Sparks: In an effort to be able to provide more services to this company I was working for, I went out and bought a Matterport Pro2 Camera. Never having used Matterport, never had a job, no experience with it, just bought a Matterport Pro2 Camera.
Then I called them and I said, "hey guys; I know that you offer Matterport. I went out and bought a Matterport Pro2 Camera, and so if you have any orders for that in my area, feel free to send me out." Well, they got super-defensive and said that I was now in competition with them. I was like, well, how is buying a Matterport putting me in competition with you when I have a camera?
That's technically considered competition. Anyway, that just dissolved the relationship with me and them. I said, "okay, well, I like shooting houses. I know customer service and let's just start Sparks Media Group."
Dan Smigrod: And, the rest is history. You had a Matterport Pro2 Camera. Do you still have that?
Tom Sparks: I do.
Dan Smigrod: When did you get a Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: I, like some other people that I know, was kind of a holdout to getting it. I think I got it, maybe a month ago. I'd have to go back and look at the videos I post.
Dan Smigrod: Back in November 2022 and how many days if you've had a chance to shoot with the Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: I've used it on a lot of jobs already for myself and for other companies as a contractor for them. I couldn't tell you how many days in a row, but it's a lot.
Dan Smigrod: That's a lot. It's so much that I would add one other hat to your services as a key influencer: you're actually publishing a ton of video on your YouTube channel, which is how I met you and that I found your YouTube videos about the Matterport Pro3 Camera awesome, super-helpful.
Tom Sparks: Thank you.
Dan Smigrod: Which is actually why you're here today. To jump into: 10 Pro Tips for Scanning with the Matterport Pro3 Camera, I thought we'd just start with scanning and maybe talk a little bit about indoor scanning first.
Dan Smigrod: In fact, even before we do that, what are your initial thoughts about the Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: Well, I have it right here. I'll just hold it as I'm talking about it, but it's solidly built, and feels a lot sturdier than the Matterport Pro2 Camera.
I've personally never dropped the Matterport Pro2 Camera, but I've seen a ton of forum posts about people dropping the Pro2 and I don't know what would happen if this drops, but it seems like it's pretty bulletproof.
Maybe the LiDAR might not be. But yes, it's solidly built. I love the removable battery; the rechargeable battery. Yeah. I like it. It's small, compact. I don't know why.
Dan Smigrod: I'll ask the question a little bit differently. Now that you've had a chance to use it indoors, outdoors, and down quite a bit of scanning with it, any buyer's remorse about buying it or super-happy, absolutely glad you did?
Tom Sparks: No, I'm glad I did. No buyer's remorse. I do have a love-hate relationship with Matterport. There was a while where we were beefing and I was only offering iGUIDES.
But no, Matterport is, I think here to stay and I don't have any remorse. As soon as I'm ready and as soon as they're available, I'm going to go out and buy more. I think they are available, the batteries went pretty quick.
Dan Smigrod: Yes. In fact, in the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com), we just started a text alert service because the Pro3 batteries have been so hard to get a hold of, they became available for 24 hours yesterday, and if anyone is tired of checking, we can just go to the We Get Around Network Forum and search the subject line for "text alerts Pro3" and it's now a (free) service that we offer is to help people know when the Matterport Pro3 Camera batteries are on sale again.
Tom Sparks: This is a valuable service. I'll have to say that. Thank you for posting that because had I not got your email alert about that post, I wouldn't have been able to get on and get the two batteries that I got yesterday, so thank you. They should be here today.
Dan Smigrod: You're welcome. How would you compare the Matterport Pro3 Camera to the Matterport Pro2 Camera when it comes to scanning?
Tom Sparks: It's maybe like Ferrari versus Toyota. In the sense of speed, the Pro3 is incredibly quicker. I posted that first impression video that I did and I was shocked by how quick it was turning.
That was the first time that I actually had used it when I was making that video and it was just like [fast spin gesture] and it was done. The Pro2 is fast but the Pro3 is faster, obviously. It's just better.
Dan Smigrod: Are you going to get rid of your Matterport Pro2 Camera or there's reason why you're going to keep the Pro2 and keep the Pro3?
Tom Sparks: No, I'm keeping it. I have a few of them, a few Pro2, and I'm on the Matterport Classic Plan [before 2019] with that. I'd say, right now, 90 percent of my residential customers are still doing interior only.
Dan Smigrod: That makes it a little bit of a challenge because you can't use the Matterport Pro3 Camera with Matterport Classic Pricing.
Any residential space that you're doing, you're using the Pro2, and I imagine that there's a little bit of tension inside you about, "gee, I loved this Ferrari. I would like to use it for scanning of homes. But for these clients, I need to keep on a Matterport Classic Pricing Plan and therefore I have to shoot them with a Pro2." Is that ...?
Tom Sparks: Yeah, that's perfect way to put it, and that's probably the only tension I have in regards to it is, I have to use the Pro3 on the Matterport new Cloud pricing plan [post 2019] and I want to keep everybody – as many as I can – on the Matterport classic pricing plan.
Dan Smigrod: If someone was new to Matterport and they were deciding between a Matterport Pro2 Camera and a Matterport Pro3 Camera, there is somewhat of a difference of a few thousand dollars and difference in pricing. If that was you and you are making a decision today, would you still just take the Ferrari over the Sedan?
Tom Sparks: I would; simply because when I had just the Pro2, I did have a few clients, including a school, and they wanted me to scan their outside campus, or scan the outside of a house that was for sale, and I would have to do that at the dusk hour when the sun wasn't shining writing or I'd have to rent the Leica BLK360 scanner.
That was expensive and a headache and the BLK360 is a whole different beast of slowness. If I was just getting into it and having to decide on what to get, I would get the Matterport Pro3 Camera first.
Dan Smigrod: Despite the fact that it's a few thousand dollars more than the Matterport Pro2 Camera? Primarily, I think I'm hearing two things. Correct me or enhance, 1) was speed and 2) was outdoors.
Tom Sparks: Correct. In that order; speed and then outdoors. Well, you could save a couple of thousand dollars and get the Pro2, but then if you ever need to do outdoor, you're going to rent a BLK360. At some point, renting the BLK360 all those times it's going to add up to that couple of thousand dollars.
Dan Smigrod: Let's go back to scanning. Any observations in terms of indoors scanning that you've done: any challenge?
What comes to mind to me is glass surfaces and offices that have glass. Have you noticed any challenges of scanning with the Pro2 with offices separated by glass or with the Pro3, or does Pro3 work just fine: mark windows, mark mirrors?
Tom Sparks: Yeah. I'll say when I was using the Pro2 and doing areas that had glass doors or glass railings in outside space, I would tend to mark those prior to getting right up on it. Then I never really had any issues.
With the Pro3, I just did a car dealership the other day and there's a ton of glass in there, and no issues at all. I even went through a glass wall that had a glass door and it saw both sides of it. No issues, no alignment issues, anything.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to actually count that as our first tip is related to glass, is that you don't have to do anything special. The Matterport Pro3 Camera is just going to work. You still may need to mark your windows as you're scanning. Is that true or works even without marking it?
Tom Sparks: Well, previously with the Pro2, I would mark as I'm approaching, but before I get to it. Now, I mark after it, so I still do all the markings while I'm there on site, but I do it after. I haven't have to do it before and I haven't had any issues.
Dan Smigrod: Do you notice any difference with error messages: Pro3 versus Pro2?
Tom Sparks: No. I did get one. I wish I would have remembered what it was, but I did get one error message on the Pro3, and I just did a rescan and it kept going.
Dan Smigrod: I've talked with a number of Matterport Service Providers that have owned a Matterport Pro2 Camera, or still own it and now have the Matterport Pro3 Camera and they talk about; way less error messages while using the Pro3. Is that true for you too or you haven't noticed that yet?
Tom Sparks: I haven't noticed it to that point. I never really got a lot of errors with the Pro2. I think the way I scan, I tend to scan more than I need, more scan points than I need, so I think that eliminates a lot of issues.
But I'm not one of those people that are on the group's going, "oh my God. I'm having errors today. What's going on?" I just don't tend to get those, knock on wood.
Dan Smigrod: In terms of scanning outdoors, distance between scans?
Tom Sparks: Yeah. I did the test. I took my handheld laser measure with me and originally I was just picking up the tripod and going five steps, putting it down. I did this test and I started it. I typically, when I'm outside, I was going every 10 steps. But then I said, let me try to go 11 steps, 12 steps, 13 steps.
Dan Smigrod: Fifty-seven minutes later ;-) how many steps were you up to between scans?
Tom Sparks: I think it finally got an alignment error at 43 steps, so I had to go back to 42 steps. So 42 steps for me was the limit, 42 steps.
Dan Smigrod: Forty-two steps, and then you've actually done a little translation table. So 42 steps of Tom Sparks –
Tom Sparks: (5' 9" self) 42 steps = 115' 6" ;-)
Dan Smigrod: Say again.
Tom Sparks: 42 steps = 115' 6"
Dan Smigrod: 42 steps = 115'
Tom Sparks: Correct.
Dan Smigrod: 42 steps = 115' 6" 42 steps = 115' 6"
Tom Sparks: 42 steps = 115' 6"
Dan Smigrod: 42 steps = 115' 6" That's versus maybe every six or eight feet with a Matterport Pro2 Camera can't even do that outdoors with the Matterport Pro2 Camera (unless you're a rocket scientist and understand and appreciate how the Pro2 camera works in order to tease that out.)
We'll just, for the purpose of this conversation, say it's nearly impossible to scan outdoors with a Matterport Pro2 Camera unless you are an artist. With the Matterport Pro3 Camera, no issues in terms of scanning outdoors bright sun?
Tom Sparks: Yeah. No issues.
Dan Smigrod: 42 steps = 115' 6"
Tom Sparks: 42 steps = 115' 6" - that's cool. I was impressed at 40 feet.
Dan Smigrod: Truly, it almost means from a practical standpoint, anywhere you want to put the Pro3 camera outdoors, there's a good chance that the scan's going to connect, and in your 57 minute video -- thank you, which was actually awesome.
Thank you! I noticed in three days you had 300 people who had watched the video. There's obviously interest in the distance between scans, 42 steps = 115' 6"... That's really awesome.
I think just as a tip, if you're thinking about buying the Matterport Pro3 Camera, the ability to scan outdoors and to have a lot of distance between scans, and you may not necessarily do that in a model (because you want some walking around experience), but it may be handy to know there's quite a large distance that you could do between scans.
Tom Sparks: Yeah. That's one of the things that stood out to me. I don't know if I saw it somewhere on Matterport's marketing, it was like, "you could scan further apart." You can, but how does that translate into a good user experience for navigating it, walking around?
Dan Smigrod: Well, Tom, you put together this tour of -- help me out -- Mare Island Vallejo, California.
Tom Sparks: Mare Island, Vallejo.
Dan Smigrod: I "walked around" and I walked around even where you were close to the 42 steps and I found it okay.
If I really wanted to walk that decommissioned military base, I could move quickly and cover a lot of ground and I didn't necessarily need to step every 10 feet.
I understand you might, from a business standpoint, scan it differently if you need to be able to put a scan in front of each storefront, in front of each building as you're doing it. But the fact that you had a lot of distance towards the end of creating that tour, I found that just fine.
I think this probably goes back to when you talked about the rotation of the camera's speed, you call that I think a Ferrari versus a [Toyota], there's really like, I think there's three reasons for speed. 1) Matterport Pro3 Camera rotation speed, 2) is the distance between scans. Because that means you may be doing way less scan points.
If you can do a tour in 100 scans rather than 200 scans, that in itself, you might say is half the time.
Tom Sparks: No, I did that whole tour real-time as you saw in the video in about an hour and it was 140-ish scans or so.
Dan Smigrod: Then 3) fewer scanning errors. If you do end up experiencing fewer scanning errors, then that's going to translate to time savings. Though you haven't actually noticed that just yet.
Tom Sparks: No.
Dan Smigrod: I had asked about outdoor bright sun. Are there any issues in using the Matterport Pro3 Camera in bright sun?
Tom Sparks: No, I did an airplane the other day and got a little lens flare, which is annoying, but it happens I guess with any camera. I can't be mad at that.
Dan Smigrod: Maybe just the spin for your client; "it has this nice artsy effect in bright sunlight that looks like high, very richly shot cinematic movies that sparkle ;-)"
Tom Sparks: The wax job on the wings.
Dan Smigrod: Bright sun, no issue other than you may get some lens flare. That's good to know. Matterport Pro2 Camera, a lot of discussion in the We Get Around Network Forum about shooting outdoors with a pool that the water ends up black in a dollhouse view.
What about a Matterport Pro3 Camera scanning outdoors, is water also still black in the Matterport dollhouse view?
Tom Sparks: The very first house I did with the Pro3 had a pool and I noticed it was black on the mini-map. What I did was I did a 360 and converted it to 3D, and it showed up as water on the mini-map so I sent it in for processing and it came back black. It handles it the same.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to say "darn" -- because that actually should work and that would be a pro tip which would be, if you're using the Matterport Pro2 Camera, shoot it as a 360 photo and convert with Matterport Cortex AI, and while I have water.
Dan Smigrod: I'd be curious, not today, but if you end up continuing to try that to see if you have success and if that was just a random thing that the water ended up being black in the dollhouse.
Tom Sparks: Well, it brings up a good point that if it's showing up on the mini-map as water, they should, maybe that's a bug, so maybe I'll create a Matterport Support ticket on that and see if they can explain that.
Dan Smigrod: It would be interesting because in theory, it should just work, and other Members of We Get Around Network, in fact, we did an entire show with Kevin and Eric Doyle with Home3D.us --
That was one of the tips that they suggested, that they carry I want to say a Ricoh Theta Z1 camera in order to shoot 360s for their outdoor scans. I want to say maybe they were doing exactly what you're talking about, but anyway, I'm in the weeds -- a little bit off topic. Before we move on to talking about the gear and I have some questions on that, is there anything else on scanning indoors, outdoors that you would offer as tips to people?
Tom Sparks: One thing outdoors is, the video I did on Mare Island, I wasn't concerned if my shadow was in the shot because it wasn't for anything other than my uses, but that's something to pay attention to, is standing back far enough, and I guess I can carry over to the Pro2 as well, but I don't know how my shadow effects with the Matterport Pro3 Camera LIDAR.
Standing back far enough so that your shadows not in any of -- whether it's the photos or the LIDAR scan data, I think would be important.
Dan Smigrod: Okay. I suppose that it would be interesting if you could charge a premium to clients to say, "we're going to shoot at noon in order to eliminate the camera's shadow or a person's shadow," and that's a premium.
It's like paying a premium -- you don't get stuck in the middle seat on an airplane. Pay a premium for aisle or window seats. ;-)
Dan Smigrod: I think about the Matterport platform as spatial data actually being the most valuable thing that Matterport does, that enables all kinds of applications. Are you doing anything where the scan data has been important to your clients or not yet?
Tom Sparks: Not yet. I do have a client I'm talking with to scan some buildings that are going to undergo renovation, and they want to get the data files, the Matterport E57s or the Matterport BIM files. I started on making a comparison chart between the Pro2, the Pro3, the BLK360 and some of the higher-end scanners, the Faro and such.
Tom Sparks: I'm working on that spreadsheet now. I'm just going to come and give it to them and say, "if you're at this price point, this is what you're going to get." If you want this level of quality, you're going to have to go to this price point and that thing. I don't have any real-world experiences right now getting data from it, but.
Dan Smigrod: Well, two things that "sparks"...
Two things that "sparks"... 1) we did do a WGAN-TV Live at 5 show on Matterport Pro3 shot MatterPaks and Matterport E57 files, and Level of Detail (LOD) often referenced as LOD and I think that show for anyone that's really interested in understanding the data of the Matterport Pro3 Camera and its limitations in terms of how you sell that into a client.
Highly recommend, go to the We Get Around Network Forum (www.WGANForum.com). Search in the search box for: "Pro3 E57" and that WGAN-TV Live at 5 show will pop up.
Dan Smigrod: We discuss things like outdoor elevations as-builts, construction documentation.
There really is this conversation about what is the client's expectations about the Level of Detail -- the LOD -- versus what is the capabilities of the Matterport Pro3 Camera shot Matterport MatterPak and Matterport E57 file (and BIM model).
We're not going to discuss that any more on this show, just referenced people back and certainly interested in the future how the spatial data from the Matterport Pro3 Camera ends up helping you get additional categories of clients and additional clients. Was that in the back of your mind when you bought the Pro3 that this might open up new use cases for you?
Tom Sparks: I hadn't been using the Pro2 for that, so not really, but it's an added bonus -- icing on the cake. If I can use this and get good data out of it, then why not?
Dan Smigrod: Let's switch "gears" and talk a little bit about gear. You're talking about buying two extra batteries, Matterport Pro3 Camera batteries yesterday. In fact,
Dan Smigrod: Tell us about how long one battery lasts and why you ended up buying two additional Pro3 batteries?
Tom Sparks: This is one thing I wanted to try to get done before our show today and hadn't really had a chance. I did take some notes and I'm referencing them, but when I did that Mare Island scan, I started at 60 percent battery and I got down to 41 percent by the time I was done, and that was over 143 scans.
I don't have a good benchmark from 100 percent down to zero, 500 scans. I don't know. I haven't run out of battery yet.
Dan Smigrod: Why did you buy two more?
Tom Sparks: Because I'm an extremist and there's a battery shortage and if I need to sell some -- to make some ;-) No, because I'm an extremist and hopefully I want to get a couple more Pro3's. I just want to have enough battery, if I'm doing a big project, I don't want to have to stop and charge.
Dan Smigrod: Have you done any all-shoots that might be a challenge if you only had one Matterport Pro3 Camera battery?
Tom Sparks: I've done all-day shoots, but I haven't killed the battery yet.
Dan Smigrod: On the Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: On the Pro3.
Dan Smigrod: Do you ever do listings where there's no power?
Tom Sparks: Sometimes.
Dan Smigrod: Other than that safely, "I just want to make sure that I have a battery." I don't want to run out of battery. Was there anything specifically that you decided you wanted to get two batteries? I'm trying to understand why you just didn't buy one Matterport Pro3 Camera battery?
Tom Sparks: I just felt it's the extremist in me. I could have bought when I wanted to buy two, I didn't want to spend the money to buy three. I had three in my shopping cart originally, but I felt like I should give somebody else that extra one. Just comes down to with my regular camera, I shoot Sony, and I have eight batteries for that. I have never ran through eight at one time, but I have four batteries for my drone. If a battery is low and I forgot to charge it, I have a backup.
Dan Smigrod: Sounds like a plan. Is there any other special gear that you carry because you're shooting with a Pro3 versus the Pro2?
Tom Sparks: Not specifically. I bought those Wedge-It door stops.
Dan Smigrod: I was thinking of something else because I asked you about, do you carry a HEX 3mm wrench? I think the answer was yes.
Tom Sparks: I do have one: not because of the reason that the [Pro3 quick release tripod mount clamp] is becoming loose. I just have one because my tripod occasionally works themselves out.
Dan Smigrod: Hold that up; just for a second if you wish. This is the Pro3 quick release that goes between the tripod and the Matterport Pro3 Camera.
There have been some Members of the We Get Around Network Forum Community that have reported that the Quick Release mechanism gets loose, and they literally carry a HEX wrench, a 3mm Allen Wrench in order to be able to tighten that -- just in case -- if they're in the field.
Tom Sparks: Correct.
Dan Smigrod: You happen to be carrying your wrench related to your tripod, but you happen to have a set that you carry. Have you had to tighten that Pro3 quick release mount?
Tom Sparks: No.
Dan Smigrod: Tripod: are you using a Matterport tripod or a different tripod?
Tom Sparks: No and somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like Matterport is using a Manfrotto. Maybe. Seems like it's a re-branded Manfrotto.
Dan Smigrod: I don't know the answer to that.
Tom Sparks: I wasn't a fan of tripod that they sent me with the AXIS.
Dan Smigrod: Matterport AXIS smartphone motorized rotator.
Tom Sparks: Yeah, and that tripod was paper-thin and that's not very usable. I've used this one for years and I love it so much that I bought a couple of them.
Dan Smigrod: What is it?
Tom Sparks: It's a Promaster Specialist SP532C and it's the carbon fiber version. Then I have a head on top: the SPH45P.
Dan Smigrod: Can we see that? Can you take that off head off your tripod just to show us what you got and then maybe hold it up in front of the camera?
Dan Smigrod: Which one is that?
Tom Sparks: This is the Promaster SPH45P.
Dan Smigrod: Promaster SPH45P.
Tom Sparks: Promaster SPH45P.
Dan Smigrod: Why do you like this quick release mount?
Tom Sparks: Well, it's just easy to use. It's fluid. I've been using this particular brand and make and model. This is the third one that I've owned, but I've been using it since 2016.
Dan Smigrod: It makes me a little bit nervous because I would call that a ball head that's on top of that.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to issue a warning and then maybe you could comment on that. Unless you're a long-time, serious professional photographer, be super-careful about buying a ball head with a Matterport Pro3 Camera or Matterport Pro2 Camera for that 'matter' - because you could easily lose your camera.
Tom Sparks: Let me rewind. I don't use the ball head for the Pro2 or the Pro3.
Dan Smigrod: Thank you.
Tom Sparks: I attach it directly to the tripod.
Dan Smigrod: Are you concerned about losing either the Pro2 or the Pro3 if you were to use that ball head or you couldn't use it anyway because you need that quick piece for Matterport?
Tom Sparks: But with the Pro2, I think I've put it on here once and I don't know why I did it. I just wasn't thinking. I didn't drop it, but I've actually dropped my regular camera off of this because it tightens up. It's really great.
Don't get me wrong, but sometimes I'm just in a hurry up and let's get set up and I don't tighten it down all the way that the camera is like. With the Pro2 and the Pro3, I attach directly to the tripod.
Dan Smigrod: What do you do and about how you carry your Matterport Pro3 Camera in the field?
Tom Sparks: I bought the Matterport case. I didn't buy the Matterport Pro3 Camera Acceleration Kit [includes hard case], so I went out and bought the case separately.
Dan Smigrod: Did you buy that from Matterport?
Tom Sparks: I did.
Dan Smigrod: Are you happy with it?
Tom Sparks: No. It's bulky. I think they have space for what, six batteries and just a lot of extra stuff that I don't have and it was really annoying looking at all those empty battery slots when I didn't have any batteries. It could be smaller.
Dan Smigrod: Is the foam Pick N Pluck™ or ... do you have it handy?
Tom Sparks: I do. I can grab it. I think it's laser-cut. Let me grab it real quick. Hold on.
Dan Smigrod: Let's take a look at that. You have one of those follow-me cameras.
Tom Sparks: Sorry.
Dan Smigrod: We're following you. ;-) Maybe if you go back to your chair there, we're looking outside the side door at the moment.
Tom Sparks: Follow me back.
Dan Smigrod: It's following you. It's getting there, almost.
Dan Smigrod: Thank you. Now we got you. I was just curious to see that case, and if it's possible to hold up.
That's interesting because it looks like you bought that case separately, but when I go to Amazon.com and I look at the Matterport Pro3 Camera hard case online, it doesn't have that pre-cut foam when you buy the individual case so actually, it did. Did that surprise you when you bought it?
Tom Sparks: No.
Dan Smigrod: Could you hold it up one more time just so everybody could see the case?
Tom Sparks: The follow-me on the cameras is freaking out, sorry.
Dan Smigrod: It's got room for some heavy-duty door stops, the Matterport Pro3. Does it carry the Matterport Pro3 Camera within the Pro3 case? Yes. Then it's got places for batteries. Battery charger.
Tom Sparks: Six batteries. Two chargers.
Dan Smigrod: You can put it down. That's great. Thanks for showing that. Were you surprised that it had the fittings because the (Amazon.com) picture doesn't show that?
Tom Sparks: No. On Matterport's website, it did show it, didn't it?
Dan Smigrod: I want to say certainly when I go to Amazon.com that it shows just Pick N Pluck™ foam, and I got to think it's the same case.
Tom Sparks: I normally buy from Amazon. I bought it from Matterport directly and at Matterport it did show it as it pre-cut.
I'm a fan of pre-cut form. I don't like cutting my own form. Pick N Pluck™ is annoying too, so that's one of the reasons I did buy it. If I found a smaller case that had it pre-cut, I would've bought that, but this is just the one that they had.
Dan Smigrod: Trying to do just a quick search on the Matterport Amazon store here. That's interesting. I'm not sure I even see the case being offered for sale.
Tom Sparks: I don't see one.
Dan Smigrod: It was and it's no longer. Very interesting. Thank you for that. Is there anything else on gear-related; care and feeding of the camera?
At the top of the show, you mentioned that it feels really sturdy. Is there anything that gives you angst? How about cleaning?
Tom Sparks: No. The lens cloth that came with it is great. I haven't had to use it too much. Just before I start, I'll look at it and say, it looks clean to me. There's no dust on the glass.
Tom Sparks: I did try it outside in-between rain, but I haven't tried it during rain, and I don't think I will do.
Dan Smigrod: I don't have it in me to ask you to do that for our audience. ;-)
Tom Sparks: I know some people that have used the Pro2 outside during rain and I still wouldn't do it. I think there's just a limit no I'm not going to do it.
Dan Smigrod: I noticed in the We Get Around Network Forum that some Members have various lighting solutions.
There's not really a place to attach anything on the Matterport Pro3 Camera for lighting. Do you have any thoughts on lighting?
Tom Sparks: I do. Can I grab something?
Dan Smigrod: Yeah. I'm also curious if you've scanned outdoors or scanned indoors in low lighting. We've talked about bright sunlight - outdoors, but any low light?
Tom Sparks: I haven't done low-light yet. For my Pro2, I've bought these Litra lights and just a bunch of various GoPro mounts and then I'll mount this right on top of the Pro2.
Dan Smigrod: Litra.
Tom Sparks: Litra.
Dan Smigrod: Litra.
Tom Sparks: These ones are dead so I can not turn them on, but they're extremely bright.
Dan Smigrod: In fact, we did an entire WGAN-TV Live at 5 show on those Litra lights, so if anyone wants to deeper dive on that and if it's still for sale, a specific mount for the Matterport Pro2 Camera.
Tom Sparks: On this one works great, but I would think that you could just take this and stick it right there.
Dan Smigrod: Well, that makes me nervous. Does that make you nervous?
Tom Sparks: Why?
Dan Smigrod: I don't know. Change the torque of the camera, $6,000. No?
Tom Sparks: I'm going to be a rebel and try it.
Dan Smigrod: Report back to us, please. I'm just looking at my notes on gear. Incidentally, on that tripod, I want to say that carbon fiber tripod you use, if I'm not mistaken, it's like a $400 tripod.
Tom Sparks: Extremist! It is.
Dan Smigrod: I just want to point out, so when our viewers started Googling and looking for that, it is a pricey tripod for most real estate photographers. Tom, why did you decide you needed a tripod that cost twice as much as what everybody else is using?
Tom Sparks: Previous to really dive into this, I would always buy the $30 Best Buy - Fry's - tripod; little plastic ones and they would always break. I went years without having one because I thought tripods sucked and I didn't need them.
But you need one for real estate and so I figured, well, do I want to lug around an aluminum version of that which I think might be around $200 - all day - multiple times a day, multiple shoots?
Or do I want to just spring for something that's lightweight and more comfortable to carry around? That's what I chose to do.
Dan Smigrod: You mentioned three tripods, so should we be concerned that it wears out or you're a busy professional photographer and it didn't surprise you that you had to replace them? Or actually, you have multiple setups with other team members and therefore you have three of them?
Tom Sparks: The first one I had, I dropped it a few times, didn't cause any damage, still worked. But one of my photographers was in need of a sturdier tripod so I donated that to him. Then I bought two more, one for my everyday use and then a second one if I'm tag teaming a property with somebody, we can just have very similar setups. It's just backup gear.
Matterport Pro3 Camera learning curve and training.
Dan Smigrod: If you've used a Matterport Pro2 Camera, what is the learning curve of using a Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: I didn't experience any, "what do I do now moments."
Dan Smigrod: Just instead of connecting to the Matterport Capture app with your Pro2, you connect with your Pro3 and now you'll notice that you can scan outdoors.
Tom Sparks: One thing I used to try to shy away – when I was doing indoors and there were shadows or sunspots on the flooring, the Pro2 didn't pick that up and so we'd have to take a 360 photo and convert it with Cortex to 360 scan.
That was one thing I was pleasantly surprised about. I was like, "yeah, I don't have to do that anymore." I can just keep going.
Dan Smigrod: Just to clarify for somebody who might be thinking about buying a Matterport Pro2 Camera or Matterport Pro3 Camera and has never used Matterport before, it's probably helpful to know if you have sun pouring in through the window in a bedroom and you're scanning, well, a Pro2 is going to not see that light.
If you don't do that extra scan at some point later in the day, what's going to happen if someone's walking through the dollhouse view, they're going to fall through that black hole in the bedroom right down to the next floor.
Tom Sparks: Yeah.
Dan Smigrod: The Pro3 solved that. You weren't even thinking about it, but it just made that light pouring in from the window disappear as an issue. On training, assuming you either hire another photographer or you engage your photographer but want to train them to use a Pro3 Camera, what's your sense about? Would it be easier or harder to train the next photographer in your organization with a Matterport Pro3 Camera versus a Matterport Pro2 Camera?
Tom Sparks: I would think easier just in regards to not having to do that extra step of converting when you have sunspots. I don't have to mention that. Speed and training, we can get through a house quicker.
But I'm not doing anything different as far as the number of scanned points inside of a residential house. I'm still doing the same amount.
Dan Smigrod: That's important to know in terms of when we talk about speed for residential if you're going to shoot the same number of scan points with the Matterport Pro3 Camera versus a Matterport Pro2 Camera, you're going to pick up some savings and time because of how fast the Pro3 rotates versus the Pro2.
But it's not like if you were scanning a super-large indoor industrial space where you might be able to do it in half the number of scans.
Tom Sparks: Right.
Dan Smigrod: We've covered a lot of ground. Is there anything that comes to mind that we haven't talked about that might be helpful for anyone that's new to the Matterport Pro3 Camera?
Tom Sparks: Not in particular. You brought up a good question and you said, "how do I put it on the tripod?" In what order do I put the quick-release clamp on?
Dan Smigrod: Yes.
Tom Sparks: What I do is I put the Matterport Pro3 Camera quick release clamp on the tripod first. I put this on, tighten it down and then I'll mount this to the Matterport Pro3 Camera. I just feel like having this on here and trying to twist this all around. [Camera follows action on screen.]
Dan Smigrod: What I'm hearing is a Pro tip: when you get the Matterport Pro3 Camera, connect the quick release clamp first to the tripod and then second, connect the Matterport Pro3 Camera. Your chance of losing your Matterport Pro3 Camera in an, "oopsy, I dropped the camera" moment is going to be less.
Tom Sparks: I would say so.
Dan Smigrod: I'm going to add one other tip and then maybe you'll see if you have anything else to add. This came up because another Member that We Get Around Network Forum Community actually did drop their Matterport Pro3 Camera.
They had bought what they thought was "insurance" through Amazon to cover the camera. When they went to make the insurance claim, the company said, "sorry, you were using the camera for commercial use, that's excluded."
So far, I think I've made progress with Amazon to say it's not fair -- when you when you put the Matterport Pro3 Camera in the shopping cart to automatically pop up to sell me Add On "insurance" when a $6,000 camera is only going to be used for commercial purposes (and the coverage excludes commercial use).
By the way, that pop-up doesn't even mention commercial use exclusion. You have to be a really serious researcher to go get to the website of that company, go find the terms of the contract and know that. It looks like I've been succesful stopping Amazon from using that pop-up on the $6,000 Matterport Pro3 Camera but it looks like they're still offering it if you get the Matterport Pro3 Acceleration Kit.
My tip is decline the Add On because it only covers hobbyists; it does not include commercial use and I don't know what else anybody would do with a $6,000 or $8,000 Pro3 camera other than use it for business purposes.
Tom Sparks: That would be annoying.
Dan Smigrod: That would be annoying. Tom, anything else to add before we say bye?
Tom Sparks: No.
Dan Smigrod: Tom, thanks for being on the show today to share your expertise with us.
Tom Sparks: Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it and maybe we'll have another chat in the future.
Dan Smigrod: That's awesome. We've been visiting with Tom Sparks. Tom is the Founder of Sparks Media Group located in Suisun, California, which is about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento.
A full-service photography agency and doing virtual tours with Google Street View, iGUIDE and Matterport with a Matterport Pro2 Camera and a Matterport Pro3 Camera and providing coverage throughout the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas through a network of photographers.
You can check out Sparks Media Group at www.SparksMediaGroup.com or the virtual tour division at www.ScanYourSpace.com -- If you have follow-up questions for Tom, he's in the We Get Around Network Forum.
His WGAN Forum Member name is @ScanYourSpace For Tom in Suisun, California. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum in Atlanta. You've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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