A conventional film camera or a digital camera can be used to take panoramic photo sequences. I shoot with a Nikon Coolpix 950 digital camera or my vintage Nikon F with a 28mm lens. If I want to shoot a full 360 degree panorama with either camera I need to take about 11-12 frames, (this will depend on the focal length of the lens used). I generally provide 30-40% frame overlap so that the Photo-Vista stitching application can work effectively. For QTVR images it's best to use a tripod so that a perfect horizontal strip image is obtained. Most of my panoramics and QTVR's are shot handheld. This takes a little bit of extra concentration but with practice it can work well. The only drawback is that you may have to trim whatever excess image exists to obtain a rectangular 360 degree pan image.
Once the sequence has been shot the photos need to be coverted to a digital format, (if you are using a digital camera your work is done). If you are using film you can either have a photo CD made of your slides/negatives or scan them yourself using a flatbed scanner with film capabilities, (e.g UMAX Powerlook III, Nikon Coolscan or HP PhotoSmart).
With a sequence of digitized photos one can use their PC to complete the job. I use Live Picture's Photo-Vista application to stitch the photos into a single .JPG file and PanaVue's Visual Stitcher, (Beta), to create the QTVR .MOV file.