XPhase Pro S 360° Camera

Links, resources and tips that might help to start with this high resolution 360° panoramic one-click camera with 25 lenses/sensors and 134 MP stitched output.
XPhase Pro S

XPhase Pro S 360° Camera

XPhase Pro S 360° Camera 1024 557 dreihundertsechzig

INTRO
The Xphase Pro S is a 360° one-click camera, that can capture 200 MegaPixels in total (with a 16K output). It works with 3 or 6-shot HDR and it’s own file format “ORI”, where the single pictures from all 25 sensors (3/6 each) are saved. Stitching is easy and surprisingly good with their own software/app “PanoManager”. The possibilities with this nice tool seem endlessly, but the system is still in a early state. At the momet i cannot reccomend it for professional use and only to experienced users, who are willing to spend some time with it and can evaluate the up-/downsides.
(tbc)

As there are still smaller and some major issues with the hard- & software, please check the Facebook group for the actual status of development. I will add more information to this article, soon. For now, you’ll find some basic information below.

INDEX/OVERVIEW
Where to buy?
Initial Set-Up & Begin Shooting with the XPhase Pro S
Review, Samples, Workflow & Tutorial from 360 Rumors
Facebook Group/Board/Community (“XPhase / XPhase Pro Group“)
Firmware/Software & User Guides
Version History (last updated 2020/01/21)
Useful Accessories & Shooting Equipment (tbc)
My RAW Workflow (tbd)
Recommended 3rd Party Apps & Software (tbc)

Issues and Flaws (last updated 2020/01/25, tbc)
Technical Specs & Background Information on the XPhase Hard-/Software (tbc)
Virtual Tours/Panoramas Shot with XPhase Pro S (tbc)
Comparisons with other 360°/DSLR Cameras (tbc)

Resolution Comparison, Equirectangular 2:1, 16K | 12K | 8K | 5.7K | 4K

360° Panorama Photo Resolution Comparison, Equirectangular 2:1, 16K | 12K | 8K | 5.7K | 4K

Where to buy?
http://www.stabilizer-pro.com/c/xphase-cameras-0429
As it ships from China, there may apply some import tax and/or duties depending on the destination country.

Initial Set-Up & Begin Shooting with the XPhase Pro S
Please read the “Tips for Quick Start” and all manuals provided together with the hard-/software before starting.
Charge, update firmware, get the software/app ready, configure and shoot for the first time. You may consider to run PanoManager on Windows (in any folder/direction with write access, like root of harddrive) and a capable Android phone (at LEAST 2 GB of RAM, Android 5.1, good chipset and stable WiFi connection, ++).

The workflow from shooting to final panoramas is not easily understandable if you haven’t done it on your own.
I hope i can get it in short:
1) Shooting: Choose between 3HDR/6HDR and your favourite options. You can also choose to save the single lens RAW DNGs, what makes saving a lot slower (normal shot: ~15 secs./RAW 1,5 – 12 mins.), so only for special occassions. Otherwise the cam saves all single images to an “ORI” file.
2) Stitching: If you’ve chosen “auto-stitch” in the smartphone app, your shot will instantly get stiched on your phone to JPG. Then you can also plug the USB stick into your PC and stitch the ORI files there to DNG, PNG or JPG. You can now even choose to stitch only single exposures of a 3- or 6-bracketed HDR. So you have a lot of options.
3) Post processing: I have best results when stitching to DNG and do the developing in Adobe Camera Raw/Photoshop. Sometimes i stack several stitched DNGs with Kandao RAW+ and develop it then or mege different exposures with HDR software.

Review, Samples, Workflow & Tutorial from 360 Rumors
https://360rumors.com/xphase-review
https://360rumors.com/xphase-upgrade-adds-dng-raw-mode-improvements-price-increase
“TOO GOOD to be true? XPhase Pro review Part 1”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzBanUIMWeA

Find more videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=xphase+pro+
Find more samples (ORI, DNG, PNG, JPG, PNO, etc.) in the FB group.

Facebook Group/Board/Community (“XPhase / XPhase Pro Group”)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/xphasegroup

Firmware/Software & User Guides
Download for Windows and Android (not listed on Google Play Store):
https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1-OXae23cmymYcWUld7OMNlfUyIfr2kVk

You’ll find the iOS app in the Apple App Store, which is usually way behind the Win/Android versions (see FB group for more information).

Version History

January 21, 2020
Software and Firmware (2020120 version)
1. Support level correction using a gyroscope
2. Add "-5EV~+2EV" (-5EV, -3EV, -1EV, 0EV, +1EV, +2EV) option to HDR6 mode
3. Support outputting real raw DNG for each camera (Need to use SanDisk U disk, using Toshiba U disk will make storage speed very slow)
4. Support GPS meta tagging
5. Add "BEST" option to jpeg quality (YUV444 and quality 95)
6. Reduce color unevenness
7. Improve gamma curve for jpg to reduce blow out
8. Improve stitching in low light
9. Fix a bug that ori file larger than 500M could not be stitched
10. Fix a bug that could not be deleted in batches on ios (ios will be updated soon)

December 18, 2019
Software and Firmware (191218 version)
1. Improved color processing: Reduces color unevenness in certain light and reduces glare
2. Changing or saving default settings
3. Provide visual confirmation of the shutter press and exposure complete
4. Allow the Panomanager app to be connected/reconnected to the camera without pressing the shutter button
5. Provide more option of dynamic range: from -2EV ~ +2EV to -3EV ~ +3EV
6. Add an option to stitch without HDR merging (e.g. only stitch -1EV)
7. Indication of used shooting options in the apps
8. Add an option to avoid streaks caused by stroboscopic light sources such as fluorescent or incandescent lamps (50 or 60 Hz)
9. Add XMP tags to DNG file

November 26, 2019
Firmware (1126 version)
This new version fixed color issues in low light conditions.

November 13, 2019
Software and Firmware (1113 version)
This new version fixed the DNG bug, adjusted the Gamma in JPG output, fixed color issue of dark area.

November 7, 2019
Software and Firmware (1107 version)
This new version fixed the bug of 1031version, optimized stitching algorithm, DNG has been disabled for now, will enable in next few days after fixing.

October 31, 2019
Software and Firmware (1031 version)
This newest version update Auto Mode 6shot HDR and DNG Raw output.

October 25, 2019
Software and Firmware (1025 version)
This new version comes with 6shot HDR.

September 27, 2019
Software (0927 version)
This new version fixed stitching errors and turned off the auto-stitching function.

August 28, 2019
Software and Firmware (0828 version)
This new version improves photo stitching, please make sure to update both the camera firmware and softwares.

All version information was posted by Danny Wong on the public XPhase Pro Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/xphasegroup/announcements).

Useful Accessories & Shooting Equipment

USB WiFi repeater (recommended for much higher range, check for a cheap black one with foldable antennas, better than Xiaomi to set up and run)
Power bank (to run the repeater or charge the XPhase between shooting). Check out the Feiyu Tech charging handle for charging while shooting (you’ll need a clamp and screw adaptors, see image above)
Charging cables and spare parts (original bottom caps, cables and lens protective glasses can be purchased at stabilizer-pro). You can also use spare cables with DC 3.5 mm x 1.3 mm, 2 A (ebay, Amazon, etc.)
– *Waterproof hardcase (approx. 35 x 29,5 x 15 cm). Fits XPhase Pro S, RAVPower AC750 filehost/repeater/power bank, Richer-R WLAN Repeater, charging cables in different lengths, remotes and adapters, USB sticks and micro sd cards, YI 360 VR camera for quick 360° videos, Zoom H2n Spatial Audio Recoder incl. windshield, Feyutech Handle Charger, Andoer Monopod Stand incl. 2-3 x 200 g SMALLRIG weights, Insta360 Invisible Selfie Stick, Insta360 Carbon Selfie Stick, Zhiyun Quick Setup Kits, Lenspen MiniPro III, a lot of stickers on the sides and of course some desiccant packs (moisture absorber) 😛
– “Extended Battery Pack“/power supply accessory: “Xphase Pro S camera extended battery, length: 245mm, width: 25mm, 6800mAh, continuous working time 3hours. (Camera standard built-in battery is 3400mAh, continuous working time 2hours)“. (coming soon)
Best tested USB stick so far: LEXAR JumpDrive S47 (Sandisk UltraFit old version, Toshiba TransMemory U364)
Color checkers & greycards (for your perfect RAW workflow): Check out X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo 2, Datacolor SpyderCHECKR 24 or SpyderCube
– Monopods, poles, weights, stands, 360° lighting solutions, quick-release adapters, etc. ->
tbc (you can check the FB group for great tips, meanwhile)

My RAW Workflow
Shooting tips for various scenarios, stitching to DNG, stacking/merging different 3/6HDR DNGs or even DNGs of single exposures with your own choice of software like Kandao RAW+ or Photomatix HDR, developing in Adobe Photoshop/Camera Raw or Lightroom, leveling/straightening if needed, final denoising/sharpening if needed, nadir patch, inject 360° EXIF information/XMP metadata if needed and other enhancements.
My basic tips: Shoot -1 EV underexposed (at least) to preserve hightlights and work with the DNGs.
tbd (you can check the FB group for great tips, meanwhile)

Recommended 3rd Party Apps & Software
Android: edit360 (leveling), Tiny Planet FX Pro, Snapseed, TouchRetouch (nadir editing)
iOS: Please comment any apps here (fb group). It would add great value!
Windows: Hex Editor Pro (to unpack 6shot ORIs), Kandao RAW+, Photomatix Pro (HDR software), Exif Fixer, FAT32 Format, RAWTherapee (RAW DNG processing), Adobe Photoshop (Camera Raw Filter), GoPro VR Player (360 degree playback and tiny planet/2D shot extraction for PC/Mac), Exif Pilot (for advanced metadata editing)
Virtual tour creation: Pano2VR Pro, 3DVista Virtual Tour Pro, kuula (web-based), Panotour Pro (discontinued)
tbc (you can check the FB group for great tips, meanwhile)

Issues and Flaws (last updated 2020/01/25)
– The latest version of PanoManager (20200120) has issues when stitching to DNG. Use previous PM version meanwhile, but without the benefits of the new release (GPS, leveling, new 6HDR mode)
– My unit suddenly gave up and stopped shooting (only 4 beeps), had to be replaced
No real RAW output (DNGs are generated from already “cutted” JPGs and are not set up perfectly)
– Dodged black and white points in the camera’s unstitched JPGs from each lens (not using full range of 255 values)
– Color shift from center to edges in the unstitched JPGs (vignetting causing “color blobs” on final panos)
– Issues with 3 and 6shot HDR bracketing (EV steps are not thought well, sometimes bracketfail)
– Lagging when shooting several shots right after another (perhaps due to overheating SoCs or USB storage – unconfirmed)
– Some shots in a row are not saved correctly (perhaps due to overheating or as Danny Wong says “USB connection to the drive got loose”)
– Hot pixels from right after starting the camera (even at 0° C) that ends in a “starry sky” all over the panorama when shooting longer exposures (tested Manual Mode, ISO 100, 3.2 – 8 sec., 3HDR). According information of Danny Wong, this is an hardware “limitation”
– Lenses fogging up from inside the camera what makes shooting impossible (Silica Gel packs inside the storage case can help to avoid this)
– Some reporting weak WiFi signal
– Bottom part with male screw is made from plastic (hygroscopic Nylon) and is a weak point to break
– Heavy lens flare on bright light sources (caused by the coating/filter of the lens glasses)
– The camera cannot be charged while mounted (3.5mm charging port is under the bottom cap)
– Built-in gyro not activated for stabilization/leveling, yet
– iOS/Mac software outdated/not available
tbd in more detail (you can check the FB group for more information, meanwhile)

Technical Specs & Background Information on the XPhase Hard-/Software
Sensors: OmniVision OV8865 Color CMOS 8 MP (3264×2448) Image Sensor with OmniBSI™-2 Technology, 1.4-micron, 30 fps, Automatic black level calibration (ABLC), Static defective pixel canceling, Supports output format 10-bit RAW RGB (MIPI), Supports horizontal and vertical sub-sampling
Chipset/SoC: HiSiliconHi3519 V100” with Cortex-A53s*
Interfaces: USB 2.0, WiFi 2.4 GHz
Battery: 3400 mAh, Li-Po
Power supply: DC 3.5 mm x 1.3 mm, 2 A
Optics/lenses: Lens glasses with coated “lens protective glass” (“The AR coating on the protection glass of Xphase Pro S lens is different from Ocam, but it nearly not affect the glare, the glare is mainly affected by the lens and IR filters.“). Lenses, (IR) filters and coatings not known.
Focal Length: 3.85 mm*
Horizontal Field of View (HVoV): 44.5° (FOV: 68°)*
Focal length multiplier: 7.6*
Sensor size: 1/3.2 inch / 4.54 x 3.42 mm (diagonal: 5.68)
Bracketing in 3HDR/6HDR mode: -2, 0, +2 / -3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 EV
Fastest shutter speeds: 1/15000 sec. (~1/3840 sec. = 0,00026s for middle shot)
*According to user findings
(tbc)

Virtual Tours/Panoramas Shot with XPhase Pro S
Vernissage/Exhibition “MUNICH POP ART” at köşk, Munich, Germany
Tollwood Winter Festival 2019, Munich
Grafitti Artworks & Mercedes Benz (Car Advent Calendar), Donnersbergerbrücke, Munich
Christmas Market 2019 on Munichs Marienplatz
(tbc)

Comparisons with other 360°/DSLR Cameras
One shot zoomed in comparison with Ricoh Theta Z1 by Jimmy Munro
One shot comparison with Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere, Kandao Qoocam 8K and insta360 One X by Fabian Ruyters
XPhase Pro Review: DSLR-level 360 camera for VIRTUAL TOUR (+ comparison vs Theta Z1) by 360Rumors
Many more can be found in the FB group.

…more will be added soon!

Thanks a lot to Andrew Dodd, Dean Zwikel, Ian Tresman, Michel Mendes, Michael Ty, Giorgio Marchetto, Fabian Ruyters, Jimmy Munro and many others for making this article possible!