A Beginner's Guide To 360° Cameras

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A Beginner's Guide To 360° Cameras
February 1, 2017

VR is a HOT topic. This guide is for all of the upcoming content creators that want to start shooting their own 360 VR videos for the world to enjoy. Right now is the best time to get into this field. Actually, yesterday was the best time to start recording but you are reading this right now so that’s kind of too late.

 

VR 360° cameras are quickly becoming the best devices for filmmakers and content creators. VR is picking up the pace with an increased desirability for virtual reality hardware, games and more. Many people are having to upgrade their equipment to create and access 360° VR content.

 

The future of media lies in the field of 360 VR cameras that have the ability to present more information in a more interactive way. New and inspiring cinematic works are now being seen such as:

Many Hollywood directors are now using these high-quality cameras in their filmmaking projects and producing more immersive films than ever before.

 

VR 360 Camera Terms and Considerations

 

Monoscopic: Single lens cameras that are attached together via a ring to form a circular formation. Monoscopic camera setups are generally the easiest and lowest cost setup. The most common setup for this style of video usually involves a least six different cameras in six different fields of view to create the full 360° experience.

Stereoscopic: Often filmed with two cameras per FOV. Cameras that utilizes two cameras designed for each eye. This can generate the 360° yield the vision and create a 3-D/360° view. Increasingly better stereoscopic options will become available as time passes.

ISO — Lens: It is important to look at the shutter time as well as the ISO range to see if the lens is capable of what you need for filming. ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain. Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds.

 

Image quality: The highest possible resolution that the camera is capable of producing is also an essential part of the process. A quality image will be determined by the number of pixels assigned in the frame. Looking for higher resolution frames will often result in a better quality video. 360 VR videos are usually half the resolution of a 2-D video camera.

 

FPS: frames per second is a huge factor in determining quality and size of your 360 video. Minimum of 30 frames per second will be required to ensure that your camera is capable of capturing video at a rate that is similar to that of a film camera.

 

Storage: Amazing VR quality comes with a price….massive storage issues. Some cameras will come with internal hard drives and/or an expandable SD or micro SD slot.

 

Size: portability and convenience are two factors you must consider. A large and heavy option may not be right for you depending on what you want to carry around. Weighing the cost benefit of a large camera for its image quality versus a portable camera for its convenience may be a good idea.

 

Battery: Extra battery life is a MUST for any 360° camera. Don’t skip out on an efficient battery. An extra $100 could mean an extra hour of footage rather than going home early to recharge.

 

Kodak Sp360 4k — $449

 

Pros:

 

  • Highest Quality — 4k camera
  • Dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof, shockproof, waterproof
  • 4 microphones, high frame rate, motion detection

 

Cons:

Giroptic 360 — $499

 

Pros:

 

  • Replaceable battery and memory card.
  • Water resistant (up to 30 feet deep)
  • Shock resistant
  • Appearance design.
  • Extra battery.

 

Cons:

 

  • LCD display has LEDs display which can be hard to read under direct sunlight.
  • Trouble with stitching all the images when combined.
  • Video quality is great but not the best of its class.

Bublcam — $799

 

Pros:

 

  • Appearance design
  • Removable microSD slot for 32GB storage.
  • Small size (280 grams) and 3.14 inches in diameter.
  • Can do both 360 videos and photos.

 

Cons:

 

  • The none removable battery takes two hours to fully charge while empty. The battery life depends on the mode you are shooting in.
  • Lack HD quality.
  • Lack audio quality.

Ricoh Theta S — $249

 

Pros:

 

  • Highest Quality Images
  • HD Live streaming
  • Dustproof & splash proof
  • Ease of use for Beginners
  • Extremely portable

 

Cons

 

  • Blurry Footage quality
  • Weak Lenses, easily susceptible to damage

LG G5 360 — $99

 

Pros:

 

  • Price
  • Ease of use for beginners
  • Extremely portable
  • Real Time live Preview

 

Cons:

 

  • Soft, Blurry with noticeable stitching
  • Weak Lenses, easily susceptible to damage

Conclusion

 

The future of media lies in the field of 360 VR cameras that have the ability to present more information in a more interactive way.

 

You most likely have some ideas on how content creation will change with VR. Share them with us on social media!

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