Forget your customary video guidelines, when shooting in 360 degrees comfort might trump quality. 360 video -- that VR-like format that permits you to look up, down, left, proper, and behind -- is all the trend proper now. But to get these wraparound views, you will want a particular digital camera (or a number of digital camera setup) and a big dose of patience.
I realized this the hard way throughout my month-lengthy crash course comparing three totally different gadgets: the 360 Freedom (holding six GoPro Hero4 cameras), a Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K Twin Pack Professional (holding Kodak Pixpro cameras) and the Ricoh Theta S (an single-camera all-in-one resolution).
1. Not all 360 cameras are created equal
The first challenge was attempting to figure out which cameras to include in our shoot-out. A quick Google search of 360 cameras will show you'll be able to spend anyplace from $200 (for the LG 360 Cam) to $60,000 (for Nokia's Ounces digicam).
You additionally must factor within the viewing angle. Even cameras that have 360 within the name won't produce shoot the complete 360 degree angle. The 360Fly and Kodak's Pixpro SP360 are examples of cameras that only have a viewing vary of 240 degrees vertically. To get a full spherical picture, you may fill in the missing angle with graphics as in the case of the 360Fly, or set up two cameras back to back as in the case of the Pixpro.
To produce a full 360 shot with a GoPro you'll want not less than 6 of them mounted on a third party rig or watch for GoPro's Omni, a completely integrated answer that incorporates the six cameras into one casing and syncs all of them automatically.
The straightforward clarification for the vast difference in worth is quality: the cheaper the digicam, the lower the resolution. However there's more to it than that. Only the cameras at the high end of the value spectrum, like the Oz., are capable of shooting stereoscopic video for VR.
2. There are two types of 360 movies
Monoscopic is the commonest type of 360 image found on Google's Street View or in gitup git2 360 rig
gamers like Youtube 360 and Facebook. These are flat renderings 360 degree renderings of a shot which may be viewed on any screen or in a headset. You can transfer around the space, but you have no real depth perception.
Stereoscopic video amps up the digital reality element by making a 3D rendering of a 360 degree shot utilizing a separate enter for each eye. Such a immersive content material is normally shot with two lenses (one per field of vision) and could be considered in 360 with a VR headset.
3. There are totally different degrees of issue
For the purpose of our comparability we determined to test out only monoscopic 360 cameras at three levels: beginner, advanced, and prosumer.
Newbie: The Theta S is Ricoh's the second version of Ricoh's 360 camera and costs around $350. Level and shoot and also you're ready to go. The stitching is finished on the fly so you possibly can share your shot instantly with out editing. Others in this class embody the Samsung Gear 360 and the LG 360 Cam.
Advanced: The Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K Twin Pack Professional costs $900 and consists of two Pixpros mounted on a cage. Because you're getting video from two totally different sources, you will must sew them together in put up production. Nikon's KeyMission may have an analogous high quality, but will record all of the pictures in one device.
Prosumer: We tested out a Freedom360 rig, a third-party enclosure utilizing six GoPro Hero4s. The rig requires you to press all six capture buttons directly and sync the movies manually with a special editing software. Your complete setup could end up costing over $three,000 ($500 for the Freedom360 rig plus the six cameras and the software).
4. Comfort is king
Only the Theta was compact enough to fit comfortably in my pocket during a weekend excursion. Each the Freedom360 rig and the Pixpro require some planning and setup time so do not count on to take a spontaneous hiking shot next.
The Theta can be the only one that doesn't require an SD card -- it comes with 8 gigs of storage on board and a in-built battery. With the opposite options I had a number of SD cards to keep observe of and a number of batteries to charge.
5. Objects in 360 should not all the time as they seem
It's hard to know what your shot will seem like in 360 whenever you're getting ready to shoot. Every part in plain sight of the camera is fair game when shooting in 360, however you don't know at what distance it's going to apear, what the lighting looks like or once you're standing on a stitch line.
A sew line, I learned, is the purpose at which the video from each lense meets the opposite to create the total sphere.
Because the Theta does all of the stitching internally in real time, it means that you can use your phone as a view finder with the mobile app if you want to preview. The stitch itself is comparatively seamless and even stitches the precise camera out of the shot.