Photogrammetry testing – Commercial software incoming

This is something of a pre-series post, explaining a little change in direction.

Up until now, I’ve been adding to and tweaking my popular “Photogrammetry testing” series, in which I try out as many free photogrammetry packages as I can to try and find the best.  I use a standard dataset and a single computer with consistent specs, and then I compare models and processing times.

Now, free software isn’t always the best solution for someone. Often the commercial packages offer, if not advances in speed and reconstruction quality, then at least a nicer User Experience (UX).

It seems somewhat one-sided of me to extoll the virtues of free software without ever comparing them with their commercial counterparts.

So that’s what I’m going to do.  I’ve requested trial licenses from a number of companies so I can run the software in a full capacity, rather than a limited trial or free version.  I’ll run my Styracosaurus model at default and tweaked settings, and show you the reconstruction and tell you how long it took.  I might also try a larger dataset while I’ve got access to the software, just to see how it scales.

The programs I’m planning on testing are:

  • Reality Capture (in progress)
  • 3DF Zephyr Full (in progress)
  • Agisoft Metashape (formerly photoscan – in progress)
  • Autodesk ReCap Photo
  • Pix4d
  • Context Capture

If you work for a company that makes photogrammetry software that I haven’t listed, or if you have a favourite program I’ve not mentioned, that you’d like to see reviewed, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.

In the mean time, if you want to be kept up to date as these reviews happen, either subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter. I’m planning on roughly one per week, but we’ll see how much other commitments get in the way of that.

When I’ve finished with these, I’ll write an up to date summary of all the free and commercial options.


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