Stitching Theta Z1 HDR Rendered Pictures

Hello everyone!

I am a real estate photographer that is trying to get into the virtual tour game. I am trying to edit HDR Rendered 360 pictures on Lightroom Classic but I cannot use the Theta Stitcher plugin because it is not a DNG file. When I upload the pictures to KUULA, there are noticeable and sloppy lines where the picture should be stitched together. I was wondering if there were any solutions to this? I know I can take raw pictures, but the HDR Rendered come out so much better. Any input or help would be great!


Have you evaluated the dual-fisheye plug-in by Ichi Hirota? The plug-in is free. There are some inexpensive add-ons that can speed up the workflow.

This is a series of apps that includes DNG transfer to mobile and Stitching and mobile. If you have questions, ask them here.

For HDR pictures inside the THETA Z1, there are two modes:

  • HDR
  • Handheld HDR

If you are using a tripod, HDR is best. If you are holding the camera on a selfie stick Hh HDR is best.

Can you post the stitching problem? (screenshot of small area)

If you want to post the actual image, you’ll need to put the image up on someplace like Google Drive and then put a link to the image on this forum.

Perhaps unrelated to HDR internal rendering, I was thinking of doing tests with the stitching for bracketed shots.

I do not know if the settings below have any impact on the internal HDR. I do not think the settings below can be adjusted with the official mobile app, but @jcasman and I looking into building a mobile app to make these adjustments. I’ve been waiting because I’m not sure what “dynamic” stitching is what problems are solved with “static” versus “dynamic” stitching.

I have tried the DNG bracketed photos but I found that they still do not come out nearly as crisp as the HDR Rendered pictures…especially when it comes to blown out windows. Here are two pictures that show the stitching lines. They aren’t major but I want to make sure the pictures look as professional as possible before I start to offer them. The Theta stitcher plugin that I use after editing in Lightroom will not let me upload due to them being JPEGs and not DNG files. I tried to convert and safe the pictures as DNG’s and than uploaded them to Lightroom again to try and open in the plugin but it is saying that the original needs to be a DNG.

Thank you for posting the picture. That stitch line is more noticeable than you should see with standard HDR (done inside the camera). I don’t have that line on my Z1 HDR (internally created) images. Are you viewing the images with the desktop browser?

Did you just get the camera? If so, have you upgraded the camera to the newest firmware with either the desktop or mobile app?

If you want to pursue stacked DNG for real estate, here’s an example:

If you have facebook, you can see the 360 image here and assess the color of the window scene.

The THETA stitcher for lightroom is only used if the input is DNG.

There are a number of options for this type of real estate photography.

  1. Use internal HDR with tripod. The output is JPG. You can quickly get this up on your tour site. This is the easiest
  2. Timeshift plug-in with tripod. You can quickly take pictures using one lens on each side and then the camera will merge the pictures.
  3. Single DNG. This provides more light info than standard JPG and also has reduced ghosting compensation issue of HDR (which might not be relevant for real estate). You need to stitch the image. The output of the stitching is JPG. The input is a DNG file.
  4. DNG HDR for even more light info. You need to merge the files inside the camera into a stacked DNG. This is automatic witha camera plug-in.

I think other people can provide more information on the best technique.

There’s a lot of different options, so I think it can be confusing.

You are welcome! The strange thing is that the line isn’t consistently as distinct for every picture. For example, I can’t see the line at all in this picture which I took along with the previous 2. No, I use the Kuula program to view all of my pictures and to create all of my virtual tours. Is there a better program that works better with the Theta Z1?

I have had the camera for a few months and as far as I know my firmware is up to date. As of yesterday it was update 4.10.1 and the app update was 1.29.0.

Thank you so much for that! Those look great.

I would love to just use the first option for ease and overall quality.


I discovered that this line occurs only AFTER I upload and edit it in Lightroom. Attached are the same picture. The first one is without editing in Lightroom and the 2nd is after editing. Any idea as to why?

See this for an explanation:

Conclusion: Edit the DNG images and stitch afterwards!


@CorLeone, good memory. I had forgot about the update for 360 Pano Support in Adobe Camera Raw. Nice.

Thank you guys! I finally figured it out and they are looking fantastic now! Really appreciate all your help!