What are the various mounting options for the Avatour hardware?

Depending on your use case, you may want to consider one or more of the mounting options below.

A typical Avatour host setup includes a 360 camera and a smartphone or tablet, as well as appropriate hardware to mount the two devices. Most 360 cameras, including the Insta360 and Ricoh models we recommend, use a standard 1/4"-20 mount, common among point-and-shoot cameras. Mounting a mobile device alongside the camera, though, is a nonstandard application and can be a bit tricky to figure out.

Once you have that figured out, you can decide what sort of stand to mount the assembly atop - a standard tripod, or something more specialized. 

Device/Camera Mount Options

Avatour Custom Mount

We've developed a custom mount specifically designed to accommodate a 360 camera and smartphone, permitting both landscape and portrait orientation and maintaining a center-of-gravity as close as possible to the main axis, to maximize stability. This mount is 100% aluminum and can accommodate any size phone. It does not fit a tablet, however.

You can buy the Avatour mount at this link.

Mounting bracket with cold-shoe adapter

If you want to mount a tablet, or if the Avatour mount is unavailable, the best option is to use a mounting bracket in the correct size which has a "cold shoe" on the top. You can then use a cold-shoe adapter to provide a 1/4"-20 mount for the camera.

Our favorite brackets are made by Ulanzi. The Ulanzi U-Pad Pro is our recommended tablet mount, while you can choose between the ST-07 (plastic) or the ST-02 (aluminum) for a phone mount. Keep in mind that these mounts only work with the device in landscape orientation.

To connect the camera to the mount, you can get a cold-shoe adapter from a variety of vendors. We've had good luck with these.

Stand Options

Avatour collapsible mini-tripod

Our Avatour kits ship with a collapsible mini-tripod, including an extendable selfie stick and a folding tripod base. This is a flexible solution that is extremely portable, and light enough to carry easily for extended periods, but also can be easily unfolded and set down on surfaces. If you have to travel light and carry only one stand, this is a good option. It has a limited height, however, at less than 1m when fully deployed. Adding a second extendable stick would allow more height with minimal impact on portability.

Light monopod

manfrotto_mstandvr_vr_complete_aluminum_stand_1521157861_1395668For stationary applications, you should consider a monopod with tripod base rather than a standard tripod. Since the Avatour system captures in full 360, a tripod winds up blocking a lot of the image below the camera. A monopod minimizes this effect.

Our favorite combination of price, quality, and portability is the Manfrotto VR Aluminum Stand at around $160.

Wheeled stand options

For tours of office and light industrial environments, where the camera needs to move but is moving over a smooth surface, a wheeled monopod works great. It provides more stability than a handheld option but allows easy movement. It also allows the Host to stay hands-free.

One option is to combine the Manfrotto Stand listed above, or another tripod, with a wheeled tripod dolly like this one. Tripod dollies range from lightweight and portable to large and heavy; there are some stability benefits from the heavier options.

impact_lsp_sfb8_folding_wheeled_base_stand_1423665972_917857Another option is to use a wheeled C-stand such as this one (normally used for lighting). These are much sturdier than a monopod/dolly setup, albeit less portable. Make sure you get an adapter like this one to connect the C-stand to the 1/4"-20 thread on the camera/phone mount.

Some of our life sciences customers have discovered a convenient alternative to a C-stand: a wheeled IV stand. Here again you'll need something to attach the mount - a clamp like this one will do the trick.

Hands-free body mount

When your Avatour needs to travel across stairs or rough terrain, a wheeled stand may not be an option. For these cases there is another option to keep the host hands-free: a body mount.3rdPersonView-LITE-360-5_1800x1800

Sail Video Systems in the UK makes a unique belt-mounted monopod that is designed for 360 shooting. It can easily accommodate the Avatour mount, placing it conveniently within reach for operation. This is an excellent option for true mobility.

Some customers have asked about helmet mounts. These are only feasible when using the Ricoh Theta cameras with Avatour, since these cameras do not have a direct wired connection to the mobile device, and can be mounted on the helmet alone. The Insta360 cameras we support would not work in this configuration.

bushman_panoramic_hl_halo_360_light_1601467530_1593689

Lighting

There's one notable option for 360-degree lighting - a battery-powered LED lamp from Bushman Panoramic. It mounts directly inline with the camera using a 1/4-20" mount, has multiple brightness and color balance settings, and runs for 70 minutes at full brightness.  The Bushman Halo is the only option we're aware of in this form factor.

Drones

It is possible to mount the Avatour system on a drone, providing real-time 360-degree visibility for remote users anywhere in the world. The specifics of the mounting system must be developed and tested carefully for the specific drone to be used. If you're interested in a drone application, please contact Avatour to discuss your goals and your options.