Time to shoot with IMS-5 vs Planix Pro

Hi all, I’m still rockin my IMS-5 camera and the sale on the PlanixPro is looking great and I’m going to pull the trigger on it. So my question for people who have used the IMS-5 and Planix, what are the shooting times like? Does the Planix take your shooting time down by a third? Since you’re not shooting three photos per panorama? I’d love to hear about it

I made the switch a year ago - and I’ve been very pleased. It’s a bit faster doing shoots, but I found the real time savings was in the pano alignments. Be sure to review their materials on ensuring you can “see” one pano to the next and its auto alignment is spot on. I just do minimal editing in Stitch. You will love it.

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I am new to all of this and I am planning to start a part time business next year doing this on my days off (Saturday and Sunday). This is the lowest price I have seen it at and yes from what others have said in the past I expect that the shooting time will be reduced by at least 25% when compared to the IMS-5.

That said the IMS-5 does generate better pictures but most people won’t care because the quality of Planix Pro is still very good and being able to reduce the time you have to spend on their property capturing the pictures is a benefit for you and your client.

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I shot with an IMS-5 for many years. (And prior to that, a Model T – I mean IMS-4. Don’t trip on that cable, which I did once. :pensive:) I’ve switched to Planix.

The Planix will save you lots of time both onsite and in post. If I had to, I could probably shoot a property twice as fast with a Planix vs IMS-5. You save time from capturing full 360° panos at once (vs three camera rotations with the IMS-5), from the Planix magically aligning most panos on the floor plan for you as you shoot (vs manual alignment), and later in Stitch.

However, the trade off is image quality. There’s a noticeable difference between the two. You will have issues with color casts (e.g. very yellow yellows) and blown out areas (e.g. windows and other highlights). I’ve also been struggling with the exposure of outdoor panos, which has been time consuming to reshoot. You can correct for some, but not all of this, in Stitch.

Unlike the IMS-5, with the Planix offers several HDR modes that you can choose from. There’s a lower quality mode that makes your onsite time ridiculously fast, a highest quality mode that is slower but still faster than the IMS-5 (though also lower quality), and in between modes. I use the slowest/highest quality mode, which I’d say lets me shoot 30% faster than with an IMS-5.

Is the Planix image quality good enough? Coming from a commercial photography background, I was on the fence for a long time. I want to deliver the best quality I possibly can, so I kept using my IMS-5 until a few months ago. Using the Planix, I see a big difference in image quality but I have yet to have a client comment about the switch. I suspect that many (most?) users view iGuides on mobile devices, which are more forgiving to image quality. So I’ve continued to use the Planix.

That said, I’ve kept my IMS-5 for shoots where I want the best possible image quality. For instance, a couple of years ago I shot an iGuide of an exhibit of a few million dollars of Rembrandt artwork for an art gallery. I would not have shot that with a Planix. I have no doubt that the client would not have been happy with the result.

For me, this is a case where you pick the right tool for the job. The Planix is a brilliant product that evolves the iGuide ecosystem and is well-suited for real estate, so that’s what I’m using.


I actually just posted a couple videos comparing both on my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/@sparksmediagroup

I did the same house with the IMS-5

then with the IMS-6 (Planix Pro)

just under 2,400 sq ft.

approx 33 min with the Planix Pro and approx 50 min with the IMS-5

here’s a link to the tours
ims-5: iGUIDE 3D Tour for 2SW-0 Crespi Ave, Caramel By The Sea, CA
planix pro: iGUIDE 3D Tour for 2SW-0 crespi avenue, Caramel By The Sea, CA

I would say a little under a third of the time is saved with Planix if you use the single shot option. But of course that means you have to walk out of the rooms, which adds a little time. Alignment of panos in Stitch (or on the fly during the shoot) is easier, too. We use both cameras. because time isn’t always of the essence.
We do a lot of commercial work too, and our biggest complaint about Planix is that it doesn’t handle the interactive measurement options #2 and 3. This is because the “half-way” point of the Planix panos appears as a foggy area and can’t be used in measurements.