A lot of people have a camera with them these days thanks to smartphones. But that’s not all. Still and video cameras are as popular as ever. We’ll note that the distinction between still and video cameras is also fading thanks to modern camera functionality. There’s a lot happening with picture-taking technology and the latest additions to the gadget list include video rigs for DSLR cameras, drones and dedicated 360 degree designs.
About 360-Degree Cameras
The photo tech I’ve been into a lot recently is 360-degree camera technology and techniques. It seems the selection of products will likely grow a lot over the next few years which will also improve the quality and functionality.
It has always been a bit of a challenge to take outstanding photos that get noticed. With all the digital images we encounter every day the challenge to connect with an audience is more difficult than ever. Experimenting with a new and less common camera design can be one way to briefly get ahead of the crowd.
The 360-degree camera design is a portal for exploring an unusual viewpoint on human activity, rural landscapes and cities. Some creative people make 360-degree cameras seem like a ticket to the fifth dimension. It’s important to remember that the pursuit of 360-degree photography has been around for a long time. Before low cost 360-degree cameras the best way to get 360 images was to shoot a series of contiguous wide angle images using a tripod. Later you would have to stitch them together by employing the right photo editing software.
You’ll experience two seemingly opposing truths while working with 360-degree cameras: (1) They are easy to use. (2) It’s difficult to shoot good quality stills and video.
There are two low-cost products that are currently the most popular among the 360-degree camera offerings. They are the Ricoh Theta SC 360° video and still camera which excels in image quality and the LG G5 Friends 360 CAM LG-R105 which features a MicroSD slot, is less expensive than the Theta and can shoot at an optional mode that is less than 360 degrees. By the time you read this there could be other contenders.
The Essentials of Shooting with a 360-Degree Camera
- Carefully check your camera’s view before shooting. To get top quality stills and video it’s essential that you align the camera to both vertical and horizontal orientations. It should not be titled. Be careful that neither your arm nor the tripod creates an unacceptable distraction within your photo.
- There is no focusing with these cameras. If there is a main subject in the photo that you want your audience to notice you’ll have to invent other ways to make that subject stand out.
- The most interesting 360 videos are busy – they have a lot going on – all around the scene.
- Right now you’ll encounter sharing issues with sites that can’t process or properly render 360 photos.
- The same goes for viewing on your device, not all current software can do the job.
- You will appear in the hand-held shots. Decide how you want to pose before you shoot.
- All the general photo taking advice you’ve learned still applies to 360, possibly with some variation. For example, when you’re taking pictures outdoors you should shoot before 10 AM and after 3 PM whenever possible and use your experience to make certain your scene is well-lighted.
- A tripod will solve a lot of your 360 shooting problems. The tripod will help you shoot a properly aligned picture and it could help you get out of the picture.
- Have good photo editing software and know how to use it. This will help you save a lot pf photos that might otherwise have to be deleted.
With a method of photography that’s so new there’s a lot of opportunity to be creative and to score some firsts for the hobby.
You may also want to consider the Samsung Gear 360 Real 360° High Resolution VR Camera (US Version with Warranty) and the 360fly 360° 4K Video Camera at Amazon.