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 and also has some time-lapse capability. The ‘Lite’ version of FUSION is available at a lower price with limited HDR capability and no time-lapse mode.

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
capturing

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.

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