Streamlining your workflow, saving time

Designed for rapid, high precision 360º imaging, iSTAR is a panoramic camera that captures full HDR spherical immersive images for efficient visual documentation of an environment and use in other high precision applications such as laser scanning and photogrammetry.

Ease of use and zero setup time

The iSTAR 360 degree panoram­ic cam­era rugged, light­weight and has a small foot­print mak­ing it easy to trans­port and deploy. With zero set­up time, iSTAR does not require pho­to­graph­ic expe­ri­ence to oper­ate. With one-but­ton cap­ture and IP64 rat­ing, it is fast and easy-to-use either indoors or out­doors.


Fast, accurate and precise

iSTAR has 4 x pre-cal­i­brat­ed sen­sors ful­ly syn­chro­nised to deliv­er a high­ly accu­rate 50MP spher­i­cal image with excel­lent high dynam­ic range (HDR). iSTAR is fast at cap­tur­ing images with typ­i­cal cap­ture times from around 5 sec­onds. As many as 50 to 60 panora­mas can be cap­tured on one bat­tery charge. This can be increased to over 600 when using the option­al exter­nal bat­tery allow­ing you to cap­ture through­out the full day.

Pro­cess­ing and stitch­ing the images is also fast. NCTech’s desk­top appli­ca­tion Immer­sive Stu­dio, which is sup­plied with iSTAR, can batch stitch images in sec­onds.


Seamless integration

iSTAR is designed to be as data neu­tral as pos­si­ble with out­put to con­nect seam­less­ly into your work-flow. The deliv­er­ables from iSTAR are indus­try stan­dard com­pat­i­ble and can be used with the major­i­ty of exist­ing appli­ca­tion soft­ware. In addi­tion to using neu­tral data for­mats NCTech also offers soft­ware devel­op­ment Kits (SDK) for pro­duc­ers of rel­e­vant third par­ty soft­ware to run some core iSTAR func­tions run direct­ly with­in their own soft­ware envi­ron­ment, elim­i­nat­ing unnec­es­sary data import/export steps and there­by fur­ther increas­ing user effi­cien­cy.

Multiple applications

iSTAR has been designed to pro­vide rapid 360 degree imag­ing across a vari­ety of appli­ca­tions in indus­tries such as sur­vey­ing, engi­neer­ing, law enforce­ment, pub­lic safe­ty, and media.

Typ­i­cal appli­ca­tions for the iSTAR panoram­ic cam­era include 360 degree visu­al doc­u­men­ta­tion of an envi­ron­ment to give a full immer­sive view of a scene with all aspects in full con­text, includ­ing link­ing indi­vid­ual panoram­ic images togeth­er as a ‘vir­tu­al tour’ (sim­i­lar to Google Street View) to enable the view­er to ‘move’ between cap­ture posi­tions. iSTAR’s accu­rate cal­i­bra­tion means that it can also be used in high pre­ci­sion appli­ca­tions such as exter­nal HDR (high dynam­ic range) imag­ing and colouri­sa­tion for spher­i­cal laser scan­ning sys­tems like Faro, Leica, Sur­phas­er, Top­con, Trim­ble, Z&F, etc.

iSTAR images can also be used for pho­togram­me­try appli­ca­tions, both image-to-point­cloud pro­cess­ing (for exam­ple, Agisoft Pho­to­Scan) and also point to point mea­sure­ments.

Models and versions

iSTAR is avail­able in two vari­ants, FUSION and FUSION Lite‚ iSTAR FUSION is the stan­dard mod­el for pre­ci­sion 360º HDR imag­ing. The ‘Lite’ ver­sion of FUSION is avail­able at a low­er price with Colour Cloud restric­tions.

An infrared (IR) iSTAR ver­sion is avail­able for cap­tur­ing both panoram­ic images and 360º time-lapse in zero light con­di­tions, with (non-vis­i­ble) IR scene illu­mi­na­tion.

iSTAR is a 360 degree imaging system capable of delivering high resolution panoramic images. The multiple capabilities and technical features can greatly improve your work flow by delivery content data quickly and efficiently.

Operation modes

iSTAR has two oper­a­tional 360 degree cap­ture modes. Still image cap­ture and time-lapse. In both modes, data can be cap­tured direct­ly to SD card or USB stick.

iSTAR can be mount­ed and deployed in var­i­ous meth­ods. Ter­res­tri­al, with a stan­dard tri­pod using the 1/8 thread engi­neered into the cam­era base, vehi­cle mount­ed using roof bars, tri­pod suc­tion feet or secured under a UAV for air­borne map­ping.

iSTAR data capture time

Sin­gle expo­sure — 5″
HDR ON — 10″
HDR PRO — 20″

Still image data can be cap­tured in NCTech’s pro­pri­etary 8 bit RAW (*.nctri) for­mat with the cap­ture time typ­i­cal­ly rang­ing from 5 to 20 sec­onds. Cap­tur­ing in RAW for­mat speeds up the cap­ture time. JPG images can be extract­ed from the RAW files dur­ing the post pro­cess­ing process in Immer­siveS­tu­dio. Images are cap­tured direct­ed to a SD card or a USB stick.

Key specifications

  • Rapid image cap­ture: Cap­tur­ing images takes as lit­tle as 5 sec­onds
  • Easy-to-use with one but­ton push to oper­ate
  • Cal­i­brat­ed sys­tem for high-pre­ci­sion appli­ca­tions
  • Cap­ture 360 degree stills and time-lapse
  • Up to 600 images on one charge using option­al exter­nal bat­tery
  • Gen­er­ate geo-ref­er­enced spher­i­cal imagery
  • Seam­less inte­gra­tion into third par­ty soft­ware
  • Two mod­els: FUSION and FUSION Lite
  • Remote con­trol from tablet or phone over WIFI
  • Auto­mat­ic HDR to cap­ture mul­ti­ple expo­sures imag­ing light and dark areas
iSTAR features
iSTAR frontal

Rapid 360° imaging

iSTAR has been designed as a high­ly portable rapid imag­ing sys­tem. If your require­ment is for fast, accu­rate data col­lec­tion iSTAR is the per­fect tool. iSTAR can cap­ture images in sec­onds and in full HDR.

Using iSTAR is as sim­ple as push­ing a but­ton and no exper­tise is required.

Low light capture

iSTAR can cap­ture data in rel­a­tive­ly low light con­di­tions. When using auto HDR mode this is enhanced with a con­sis­tent light range across the image.

Addi­tion­al portable mobile light­ing sys­tems can be used to flood­light the loca­tion.

Point cloud colourisation

NCTech has worked exten­sive­ly with the lead­ing laser scan­ner man­u­fac­tures to devel­op iSTAR’s capa­bil­i­ty for HDR colouri­sa­tion of point clouds.

iSTAR’s rapid cap­ture abil­i­ties allows for data to be quick­ly cap­tured and over­laid onto the laser scan to two pix­el accu­ra­cy.

HDR exposure fusion

A key fea­ture of iSTAR is it’s high dynam­ic rage capa­bil­i­ties (HDR) with an impres­sive EV range of 27 f-stops. This enables iSTAR to cap­ture the true colours and a light vari­ant in a scene ensur­ing no data is lost.

iSTAR can be set to cap­ture a sin­gle expo­sure, five, or set to ful­ly auto­mat­ic where the loca­tion is auto­mat­i­cal­ly analysed pri­or cap­ture to deter­mine the best EV cap­ture range.

Data with positioning

GPS receivers can be con­nect­ed to iSTAR to record the posi­tion and loca­tion of the data cap­tured. iSTAR has been test­ed and is com­pat­i­ble with a wide range of indus­try stan­dard receivers includ­ing high end IMU’s for high­er accu­ra­cy.

iSTAR’s inter­nal sen­sors record the com­pass posi­tion­ing as well as tilt vari­a­tions dur­ing cap­ture.

The data is writ­ten direct­ly to the images and the EXIF data and is retained through­out the post-pro­cess­ing work-flow.

Automatic HDR
and exposure fusion

What defines iSTAR’s image qual­i­ty is the abil­i­ty to cap­ture in high def­i­n­i­tion (HDR) in extreme light­ing con­di­tions ensur­ing all the detail of the loca­tion is cap­tured accu­rate­ly. HDR cap­tures both extreme light and dark areas of a loca­tion with­in one image. iSTAR has 3 HDR set­tings includ­ing a ful­ly auto­mat­ic mode where the up to 9 brack­et­ed expo­sures are cal­cu­lat­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly, giv­ing an EV range of up to 27 stops.

normal photo istar hdr

Sam­ple images above tak­en with iSTAR. On the left a sin­gle expo­sure in high con­trast­ing light con­di­tions. The light out­side is extreme­ly bright with the inte­ri­or dark in areas. The same scene cap­tured in auto HDR mode on the right, iSTAR auto­mat­i­cal­ly analy­ses the scene and cal­cu­lates the cor­rect expo­sure set­tings for the cap­ture.

Low light

iSTAR can cap­ture data in rel­a­tive­ly low light con­di­tions. When using auto HDR mode this is enhanced with a con­sis­tent light range across the image. Addi­tion­al portable mobile light­ing sys­tems can be used to flood­light the loca­tion.