HELP:// 5d mk IV - 360 hdr photography settings

Hello friends
Does anyone has a Canon 5D Mk IV to advise me with settings I should use for a perfect 360 HDR photo in term of Manual settings of WB / Aperture / ISO / Shutter…etc.
In order to get a perfect stich, I am setting the camera to M, but I still have a doubt that all my 4 angles with their 7 bracketing will have exactly the same settings and nothing will be turn on into Auto.
Let me know if you have a thought about it


Step one. just get 4 pictures stitched together without bracketing. Make sure that works and you have enough overlap.

Different artists will say different things. But for me, ISO should put you into an area where the longest exposure is as short as possible. If you are at ISO 100 and doing like 11 or 13 exposures, which, SOME cg artists say is necessary, then your longest exposure could be 30 seconds. And I dont know about you, but, I dont have an extra few minutes of spare time when on set. So, I like ISOs in the 1000 range. If it gets noisy, then fecking denose the thing.

-ISO 1000 ish
-f8-11 ish
-white balance is either 5600 or 3200, or, better yet, matches the hero camera
-shutter speed should be found by taking an aperture priority still of your scene at the above ISO and f stop recommendations, and setting that as the midpoint. Typically in the ballpark of 1/125.

For anything more than 9 brackets, 1.0EV increments is good. For anything less than 9, 2.0 EV increments is good.

Focus to just shy of infinity. Don’t forget your chip chart and shiny ball.

If you turn the dial to M, and turn off AutoWB, then you’ll be fine.


Do yourself a favor get a Theta and you can do the entire 360 in about 20 seconds, brackets and all.

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Theta used to not be high enough rez for to get sharp reflections, but plenty for lighting. Is that still the case, or did they up their stats?

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I have the new theta, works amazing for about 95% of the projects with certain shots that need super sharp reflections maybe better to use cannon but honestly I haven’t used that method in a while and no one has complained yet, to me its the time saver on set, it takes seconds and is super easy to transport so that is worth it for me.

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Agreed. Would I use it for CG cars. Probably not. But would I use it for everything else? Yup. I have some HDRs stitched with a Theta and with a big boy cam. Lemme see if I can dig 'em up.

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I also want to say you should download the ThetaHDR app it allows you to bracket I think 24 shots with the press of a button, so that take about 20 secs on set with your phone so super easy to setup and capture.

would be great to see that comparison @randy we’ve all been ‘that guy’ on set burning up valuable time with a still camera and tripod :smiley:

i know @bmack loves him some of that faaaaaaast theta action…

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Theta for 90% of what you need! Theta Z1 is the only way to go totally worth it.

You get 7k stitched plates at jpg and raw cinema DNG. You can shot 20 exposures If you want. I dare a CG artist to question the THETA Z1!! You can get good reflections out of it as well the images out of it are clean and sharp on low ISO.

Do a test and make sure it can work for your shot if you need reflections.

You also need to know how to shoot HDRI’s. (White Balance, Color Chart, Exposure, Shutter Speed, Camera Placement ECT. )

Don’t use a jack hammer when you really need a cordless drill.
Do your own tests and comparisons to see what you need out of the HDRI. Remember bigger HDRI also take up more space and render time.

Do you need a 400MB 16k HDRI in a scene destroying your render time? My guess is most likely NOT… 90% of the time.

Wait a year and I bet Theta will have a 12k HDRI 360 Cam anyway and you’ll never have to fuss with the a nodal ninja again.


This is a pretty good comparison of a 360 theta vs bracketed dslr exposures.

I have a insta360 One X that is pretty close to the quality of the theta V and i find it good enough. I paid for a license of PTGui a couple years ago and the amount of time to shoot and stitch HDRIs makes it so that I’ve used it exactly twice in the 2 past years when the 360 cam is totally fine 90% of the time

I highly recommend the insta360 cam just for everyday fun too.

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Anyway for the 5Dmk4:

Set your lens to the hyperfocal distance. On an 8mm this should be close to infinity, you can get a panorama with 3 positions on an 8mm but if you have a canon 8-15 set it to 12mm and you can get a much nicer and higher resolution panorama with 4 positions.

Set it to Manual
Set exposure to 1/3 stop exposure increments
Set to save RAW & JPG images - Max Quality
Choose desired exposure increments Menu > Orange Custom Camera > C.Fn I:Exposure > 1/3 stop 5000
Set Bracketing Order to - 0 +
Set Number of bracketed exposures to 7,
Set bracketing distance to 2 1/3

Create Custom User Settings C1 for Daylight EXT, C2 for Daylight INT, and C3 for Night EXT
Set ISO to 100
Set ƒ-stop to ƒ/22
Set shutter speed to 60
Set to C1
Set ISO to 400
Set ƒ-stop to ƒ/22
Set C2
Set ISO to 400
Set ƒ-stop to ƒ/8
Set C3

Set the release to 2 second delayed. This will set off the beeper timer then fire off all 7 shots without needing to hold down the release.

In case of extreme low light, bump the ISO up to 800

These settings will get you a massive 14 stops of dynamic range, you want to bias the image towards the darker side, so that you are seeing the individual filaments of a light bulb in the less exposed images, this is because it’s always easy to gain up an image after the fact. You just can’t rescue highlights.

With these settings you should be able to take a full 360 about 30 seconds.



I understand your viewpoint, however things don’t have to mutually exclusive and you choose the best tool for the problem. I wouldn’t do a theta on something that needs the resolution like a car commercial but sometime speed is better or more necessary than quality and sometimes quality is more necessary than speed, you choose the option that suites the need. I have done plenty of theta shoots and it doesn’t make it harder for the CG team its just measuring the need for the job.

Possibly, I just don’t see why one would sacrifice the image quality when it doesn’t save any significant time. You can shoot an HDRI with a DSLR in under 30 seconds, and in a pinch use it for textures. There is no way to use the images as textures from the theta, it doesn’t well in low light, and it has stitching errors that need painting out.

from someone that has used both I can say it does save significant time in many aspects using it from setting up the camera to stitching to rendering, but choose your own adventure.

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