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Trisio Lite 2 review: best virtual tour camera under $500 (after February 2022 firmware update)

Trisio Lite 2 firmware and app update
Trisio Lite 2 firmware and app update

A firmware and app update to Trisio Lite 2 (reviewed here) has improved image quality.  There’s also a new desktop app.  Here is an updated review based on the new firmware and app update.

Trisio is an 8K 360 camera with excellent stitching
Trisio is an 8K 360 camera with excellent stitching

Trisio Lite 2 is a new 360 camera that takes very detailed 8K photos and has excellent stitching.  Unlike other 360 cameras, it has only a single lens, then rotates automatically to take four HDR shots which are stitched into a 360 photo.  When I tested it, I found that it had many strengths:

  • ease of use: Just press the button and it analyzes the scene to set the exposure intelligently, and shoots the photos automatically.
  • amazing detail: as much detail as the Theta X and Theta Z1, which cost significantly more.
  • excellent dynamic range: excellent highlight and shadow range, with natural-looking contrast.
  • accurate colors: many 360 cameras tend to increase saturation to appeal to consumers.  Trisio, however, has accurate colors.
  • smooth stitching: the Trisio has one of the best stitching that I’ve seen for 360 cameras.

Trisio sample (edited with HQ Lite 10 second curves)

However, the Trisio had some issues:

  • images looked flat
  • no Raw mode
  • no desktop app
  • horizon not automatically leveled
  • no unstitched photos (can’t stitch manually)
  • susceptible to flare

Now a firmware and app update has taken care of most of these issues.  First, the image quality has improved.  You can see the 360 sample below:

The colors and contrast look quite good to me and are presentable even without editing.  My only criticism is that the skin tones can be a little bit saturated, making me look a bit sunburned.  But in my opinion, compared to other 360 cameras on the market, this is very good for an unedited photo.

New desktop stitching app

Trisio desktop app
Trisio desktop app

Second, there is now a desktop app for both Windows and Mac.  No longer is it necessary to stitch the photos on your phone.  It has a very simple no-frills interface.  Here is the workflow:

  1. Connect the Trisio to your PC or Mac via USB.
  2. Copy the photos from the Trisio (under DCIM/Picture folder) to your hard drive.  You’ll notice that the photos cannot be read by your PC or Mac.  That’s ok.
  3. Launch the Trisio app, and specify the directory where you want to save stitched photos.
  4. Click on “Stitch photos” then select the photos you want to stitch.  You can stitch several at the same time.

That’s it.  The photos will be stitched and will appear in the directory you selected.

Manual stitching

If you wish, you can stitch the Trisio photos yourself.  From the Trisio app, click on “Extract Photos” and select the photos you want to work on.  Trisio will convert the photos into unstitched photos.

Trisio unstitched photos
Trisio unstitched photos

The unstitched photos are cropped fisheye photos, which are ideal for maximizing resolution for a single row panorama.  I tried stitching them in PTGui and PTGui’s automatic stitching could not achieve a better stitching result than the Trisio app.  It is possible to get a smoother stitch with the manual addition of control points, but since the Trisio app already does an excellent job, I think most people will find it unnecessary to resort to another stitcher.

Trisio sample photos

Here is another sample from the Trisio (edited with HQ Lite vol. 1)

Unresolved issues

Although the update has taken care of the workflow and the flat-looking photos, we still don’t have Raw photos.  Fortunately, because the colors are accurate and the photos already look good without editing, then there is less need for Raw photos.

Trisio claims that the horizon will now be leveled automatically, but so far, I still don’t see that.  You’ll need to make sure the camera is level when you shoot, or straighten the horizon manually in post-processing.  Finally, the lens is still susceptible to flare.

Summary and Conclusion

Even before this firmware and app update, Trisio was already one of the best 360 cameras for virtual tours.  With this update, Trisio has only gotten significantly better, making it an excellent choice for virtual tours for excellent image quality and a lower price, especially if you don’t want to have to edit your photos.  If you’d like to get the Trisio, you can get it at a discount here:

5% discount on Amazon with this link and this code: DZ3UT64B
10% discount on Aliexpress with this link  and this code: JS6I6U9VUACR

Thanks for using these affiliate links at no additional cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews.  If you’re interested in Trisio, you can join the user support group here.  If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.  I do my best to answer all questions.  If you want to know how to use the Trisio to earn money from virtual tours, see here.

 

About the author

Mic Ty

13 Comments

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  • Those night shots are impressive! For virtual tours, this may be the ticket. As a fan of the Theta V, I feel like the new X might be a better camera for creative photography, virtual tours, and also the ability to shoot video. Thanks for the samples and work you do!

    • Thanks Jon. Note that these were pretty fast edits. Re Theta X, it has several advantages including video and the ability to capture everything in one shot, so moving objects are no problem. But for virtual tours with static environments, etc. the Trisio offers better photo quality at a lower price.

      • Thanks, Mic for this review. It makes me feel that I made the right choice. I bought the Trisio just for indoor tours. I will use my insta360 One X 2 for video. I don’t do enough tours and just wanted better quality shots with better dynamic range. Do you think this my setup is ok or should I consider the Theta X?

        Hope you can do more articles or videos on the Trisio 2 Lite since there are not that many.

        • Thanks Kent. Yes that’s a good setup. As for Theta X, it has photo quality similar to Trisio and has excellent detail for video but the stabilization is nowhere as good as One X2.

  • Hello Mike
    What is the version number of the latest firmware?
    Can you please help me with this problem:
    I have a problem with Apple photos since using the Trisio camera. Thousands of my photos have disappeared from my photos library and there are now only about 18 photos left. But when I go to change the Nadir logo (on iPhone) I can see all of my photos. I am not sure where these photos are being stored, but I would like to get them back to the Mac. Any ideas please.
    Re the Mac desktop application. It will not install on mac as it is for an unverified developer. Do you think that Trisio will put it on the app store?
    Thanks

    • Hi Noel. I’m using firmware 3.2.2 and app version 1.2. When you say your photos disappeared, you mean photos shot by your iPhone? I’ll ask Trisio about putting the app on the app store.

  • Hi Mic,

    Thanks for the updates.

    I have a question that has been on my mind since the first moment I saw this camera. Due to the fact that this camera uses mechanical moving parts I wonder if two captures taken from the same place without moving the camera matches pixel by pixels. Let me explain.

    Imagine that I want to remove people and moving objects from a 360 photo of a crowded place. One way to go would be to take several shots, open them as layers in PS and use the stack mode median. Do you think that would be possible? Is the Trisio motor so precise that its output images match pixel by pixel?

    • Hi Ramon. I don’t think it is possible for any rotator to have images that match pixel by pixel. Even a panoramic head doesn’t do that. But many software can align the images.

  • I really can not understand how could you do the 2 comparison photos with the old firmware and the new 1.2 firmware. It’s the same photo ! Same positions, lights, clouds….
    I think you should take the camera and connect it to a pc, to update the firmware… and even if you had 2 trisio with different firmware, to swap for the 2 photos, you can’t match the same position, lights and clouds !