Virtual Tour Cameras & Lenses

What if Matterport had VIDEO?!? Realsee Galois M2 review

Imagine if you could have a Matterport-style 3D virtual tour but with video.  Realsee Galois M2 is a 3D LiDAR virtual tour camera similar to Matterport Pro 3 but with several additional features, including the ability to add video seamlessly, adding animation and sound to your virtual tours.  Fountains flow, swimming pools shimmer, and fireplaces crackle, enhancing the immersiveness of your virtual tours.  I’m a virtual tour photographer and I’ve been testing and shooting with the Galois M2 for several months. Here is my review.


I have been shooting virtual tours primarily with a DSLR or mirrorless camera because the image quality is far superior to 360 cameras.  Not only do clients love the image quality, but the photos are also much easier to edit compared to photos shot on a 360 camera which require a lot of time to make them look not even half as good.  The downside of using a DSLR is that there is a higher chance of user error, such as moving the tripod by accident while rotating it, or even perhaps missing a shot.  If you take enough photos, something is bound to happen because no one is perfect.


Realsee Galois M2 is a 3D virtual tour camera with LiDAR, similar to Matterport
Realsee Galois M2 is a 3D virtual tour camera with LiDAR, similar to Matterport

Because of that, I was interested in a more worry-free alternative, which is why I started looking into Realsee Galois M2, a virtual tour camera with a LiDAR sensor, similar to Matterport.  It uses a Micro Four Thirds size sensor that enables it to capture DSLR-quality 360 photos at 16K resolution (16,000 x 8,000). It doesn’t just take 360 photos but also scans the environment with a depth sensing lasers.  Realsee’s software can use the 3D data to generate a dollhouse view that shows the property in 3D or enable users to take measurements, such as the width of a doorway.

Realsee Galois M2 has a powerful, long-range LiDAR sensor
Realsee Galois M2 has a powerful, long-range LiDAR sensor

As you move through the virtual tour, the furnitures seem to change perspective.  Moving around from room to room feels like walking around the property rather than simply teleporting from one room to another.  Another important benefit of the 3D data is that the virtual tour can be created almost in realtime as you shoot, automatically.


To shoot with Galois, you first connect wirelessly to their phone app, which acts both as a remote shutter and a monitor.  When you press the shutter, the Galois shoots and rotates automatically, while scanning the area.  With each photo you take, you can immediately see the 3D model’s point cloud generated by the camera.  You then take the camera and move it to the next spot where you take another photo.  The app automatically aligns the second shot with the first and continues building the 3D model.   The photos don’t even have to be very close to each other.  I’ve taken shots as far away as 9m (29 ft) apart and they were still able to align correctly thanks to the Galois’ powerful LiDAR sensors.

Left to right: shooting; previewing; 3D model
Left to right: shooting; previewing; 3D model

In the shot above, you can see the shooting screen shows you the shots you’ve taken and the 3D model generated from your shot.  You can also see the density of the 3D point cloud.  You can then see where the 3D model has missing data or insufficient detail and needs additional shots, so you take the camera there and press the shutter (the blue plus button on the app) to take the shot. Because all of this happens in realtime, you can have confidence that you’re capturing the right number of shots and that the virtual tour will be generated successfully.

At any time, you can even tap on a point to take a look at the 360 preview (middle screenshot above) so you can double check how it looks — you can do this while still shooting the virtual tour.  You can even move within the preview screen, to see if the points are near enough for you.   As you shoot, the app generates a 3D point cloud that you can inspect in 3D if you wish (right screenshot above).

Once you finish taking the photos, you upload it to the cloud which processes the photos further and prepares the virtual tour for you.  Depending on the property’s complexity, the process can take up to a day, but in the projects I’ve tried so far, it’s taken up to 8 hours.


One of my favorite features of the Galois M2 is a video integration feature called Video Fusion.  With this feature, you can animate parts of your photo such as a swimming pool or fireplace or even people, by shooting a video which is seamlessly blended with the photo — automatically.  It looks almost like a 16K 360 video.  Take a look at this sample (allow time for the video to load).

This effect has previously been implemented in advanced virtual tour software such as 3D Vista and Pano2VR but it was a laborious and time-consuming process.  The innovative part is that with Galois, the process is completely automatic.  I just shoot a video with my phone (up to 4K resolution) and upload the video to the server.  The Realsee software does the tedious work of matching the colors and perspective to blend the video and photo seamlessly.


Among the virtual tours I shoot, the most commonly requested service is to post a virtual tour to Google Street View.  In this regard, virtual tours shot on Realsee can be automatically uploaded to Google Street View automatically.  Here is a sample of a tour shot on Galois and uploaded to Google Maps:

Uploading to Street View has no additional cost and the virtual tour stays on Google Maps without any monthly fees to Realsee.  One limitation is that Realsee links all hotspots to each other, whereas with software such as GoThru or Panoskin, I can specify how the hotspots are linked and those same connections will be uploaded to Street View.


Because the Galois is fully automatic, I was a bit concerned about surrendering control.  Could I really trust the Galois to take each shot correctly and align each hotspot accurately?  I found that it was indeed very reliable.  Moreover, as you can see above, you can see your virtual tour generated in realtime, which gives you instant feedback on whether you are capturing enough points.  Indoors, I have yet to encounter a misalignment.  Outdoors, I’ve only seen a slight misalignment with a very large exterior scan of a building.  Fortunately, one of Realsee’s features is “manual splicing” which lets you use the app to reposition any node manually if necessary, avoiding the need to reshoot.


Realsee Galois is incredibly easy to use, saves a lot of time, and is very reliable.  Moreover, it has unique features such as Video Fusion that can be very useful for highlighting unique aspects of a property.  Before shooting with it, I felt that the cost was prohibitive.  But now that I’ve shot with it, I can see how the cost is justified because of the time it saves both in shooting and editing, in addition to adding features such as Video Fusion and dollhouse view.  While the image quality is not as high as a manually-edited DSLR virtual tour, it serves the needs of 90% of commercial clients.  Moreover, it is possible to replace any Galois shot with a DSLR shot if I want more detail.  Because of its reliability, convenience, and versatility, I will now be using Galois for the majority of my virtual tours.


You can get a discount using these affiliate links:

Realsee sent the Galois M2 to me for review and offered to compensate me for my time.  However, I found the camera very useful so I asked if I could keep the camera in lieu of payment and Realsee agreed.  They saw the draft of the review video I made but their comments were very limited, such as removing the discussion of two features (virtual staging and Live 3D call) that they felt were not in demand in the US market.  They also explained to me the differences between their pay-as-you-go model with Matterport’s subscription model.  They did not comment on the other parts such as the disadvantages I pointed out.  Everything in the video and in this post is based on my independent judgment.

About the author

Mic Ty


Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Hey, Mike. Big fan here. I learned how to make 360 panos and virtual tours using your course! Excellent training. The problem I always run into with my tours is that my clients don’t want me to process my images on line. (privacy issues) I have to do everything off line and in house. That’s why I use PT GUI, 3D Vista, Dark Table, etc. I am very impressed with this Galois M2 camera. Lidar with 20 meter range is great. Do know if can I process the images off line? Thanks for your time.

    • Thanks Bruce! It is possible to download: the stitched images (full 16k resolultion), the floorplan, screenshots / reframed photos, the 3d model (obj format and others), point cloud (e57, or ply format), and “space video” (a video of an automatic tour).
      As for hosting the Realsee tour on your own server with links, hotspots, etc. I’ll have to check, although I suspect it’s not possible. Let me get back to you on that.

  • Hi Mic
    Thanks for a detailed review a question please re a site screen.
    On the facebook group Nick Powell was asking about a screen and iPad was his eventual choice but on your video you were using a phone.
    What are the requirements for a site screen and is the latest iPad Pro, overkill and the latest iPad Air should be OK!
    I presume the larger the screen the better.
    And to confirm, the software only works on site with an ios or Android App and not a browser?
    Thanks again.

    • Hi Konrad. An iPad can work but as you noted, it can also work on a phone. A larger screen would be convenient for looking more closely at the alignment, although I think it’s not absolutely necessary. I didn’t use one and I never felt the need to use an ipad just for the Galois. And yes to use Galois, you need their mobile app — a browser alone won’t be able to control the Galois.