You have a dream: you want to set up the first successful Virtual Reality Youtube or just want to start creating your own 360° video.
Then the moment will come that you will start looking around for a 360° Camera, as this will be an essential part in creating 360° content.
The fact is that the technologie is already around for many years, and its popularity is rapidly increasing.
We see an increasing amount of 360° Video in our daily lives, it pops up on the major platforms (YouTube 360, Facebook 360) and I’m sure most of you have already experienced the fun in looking around with your Smartphone in such video.
This type of video was, untill not long ago, wasn’t really mainstream, we would like to elaborate on 2 of the most important reasons:
- The camera’s were expensive, very expensive, with the rapid evolution of components however, these type of camera’s are getting available to the “Average consumers”. (the same reason why VR goggles are getting into price ranges that we all can afford)
- Producing a 360° Video was a very timeconsuming task which also required a massive amount of computing power. This was because the different images generated by multiple camera’s had to be “Video stitched” to generate a full 360° result.
2nd generation 360° Camera’s
The technologie is now already at the stage that we’re seeing “2nd generation” 360° camera’s being launched on almost a montly basis. We like to call it 2nd generation 360° camera’s and by that we mean camera’s like Samsung Gear 360 and Nikon Keymission 360.
This type of camera is able to record and produce full 360° Video with just a single button click. This is because the necessary stitching is done “on board” these camera’s and one of the major obstacles for creating your own 360° video herewith belongs to the past.
The content that you generate is easy editable using a Smartphone and the result is already in a suitable format to share it with your friends.
So now, everybody will be able to create his own 360° video at an affordable price (and we’re only at the beginning of the “360° era”)
Expectations are that we will see a massive surge in the amount of 360° video being available in the near future, this also of course has to do with the fact that this type of content is fun to watch! You can experience it with a Smartphone, “looking around” in that spectacular surfingvideo, or enjoy it in a more immersive environment with your cardboard on.
Some of the 2nd generations that are already available:
Buying a 360° Camera
We will, briefly, step into the things you want to keep in mind when you go out to buy or order a 360° Camera
What do you want to do with it?
- You’re a Vlogger en you want to be able to capture and share 360° right “off the streets”? (or even livestream it to YouTube)
- You’re a (Kyte)surfer and want to capture your tricks in 360°?
- You’re a realtor and you want to shoot some 360° foto or video “on the go”?
- There’s a 360° camera for every possible scenario.
Now we can get into naming a whole bunch of possible applications and suitable camera’s but we won’t 😉 With the above examples we do want to illustrate that doing some research for your own, before purchasing one, is a wise thing to do.
Every camera has its pro’s and cons and you want to get the right one to suit your needs.
Watch out for older 360° Camera’s!
We’re not trying to push you in certain direction regarding the purchase of a camera BUT beware of the fact that there is a growing amount of “1st generation” 360° up for sale on sites like Ebay (ao) which will potentially disappoint you.
When buying an older (second hand or not) 360° Camera pay close attention to the following:
Resolution: Older devices often provide a lower resolution then you will be needing to create at least a minimal acceptable quality of video material.
Good thing to keep in mind is that if you see “1080P” (HD) this in fact means that those pixels are distributed over 360° worth of material. In other words: 1080P in 360° will not really display as HD quality.
Frames per Second (FPS): Older devices (for example the Kodak SP360, don’t mix that up with the newer Kodak SP360 4K) often capture video at low framerates, the lower the framerate, the lower the quality of your video. Low framerates will for instance, create far from smooth running video. 30 FPS is the minimum you want to aim for, and this is already pushing it.
Compatibility of video: 1st generation camera’s, even when they are capable of generating “already stitched” video, often generate an output which isn’t suitable to share on, for instance, YouTube.
Sometimes you will have to “inject metadata” to the video in order to reflect as 360° on YouTube.
Beware of Chinese “Banggood” or AliExpress camera’s!
When new technologies are picking up in popularity it never takes long for “The Chinese” to jump in and start producing their own version of things. With the increasing popularity in the 360° Video and camera sector we see the same pattern.
We see an increasing amount of “360° Camera’s” popping up on sites like Alibaba, Dealextreme, Banggood and so on, these camera’s are often “inspired” by a more premium quality camera but there is one big BUT!
This type of camera is often referred to as being a real 360° camera but in most cases this is not true. In fact these camera’s often are equipped with “extreme fisheye” lenses that will generate an extremely distorted (round) video result.
One example of such a camera would be the Ooka , when looking at the demo vids you kind of see what we mean.
This isn’t to say that all Chinese 360° Camera’s are bad but its good to take note of the fact that buying a true 360° camera for under 100 bucks will prove to be quit the challenge.
What do I capture on 360°?
Yes, well the post is actually titled: “Create 360° video”
What you want to capture in this exciting format is basically up to you 😉
The big advantages of filming 360° are the fact that we are really in the early stages, we do see it around a lot but the real surge has yet to begin and the amount of content now available is (relatively) low. This means that you will enter a world of opportunities to become the next “TopTuber” or “Vlogger Millionaire”
Are you capable of identifying The Next Tubething in 360°, do you know how to get to the masses?
Maybe you are that new TubeZillionaire 😉
One thing to keep in mind when filming 360° is your POV (point of view), keep in mind that 360° video puts the viewer on the location where the camera is when filming.
What do you want to tell? What’s the role the viewer is playing? Do you want it to be a “First Person” or is the viewer actually watching along?
These questions, and the answers, will play a crucial role in determining where your camera will be at when filming. Do you locate it at eye level or you want to hang it on a ceiling?
First think, then choose position.
To get to an exciting 360° video you will need some movement, now if the movement originates from the camera itself its good to realize that the object moving the camera (RC Car, Drone or a person) will be visible in the end result. (you are filming 360 remember). You can decrease this effect by carefully selecting your camera position, you can always edit out this kind of things from the end result but this will prove to be a time consuming exercise.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the content that you are creating will, at some point, will be viewed using VR goggles, you have to realize that its important that movement that occurs in your video is, more or less, calculated and predictable. If you don’t take this into account you will end up creating 360° video where Motion Sickness will likely occur on the viewers end. Needless to say that your content won’t be very popular when it causes nausea, headache and so on.
The first and most important advice we would like to give you: Think before taking acion!
Beware when buying second hand (or 1st generation) camera’s and be aware when buying low budget Chinese camera’s. There are a lot of manufacturers currently in the process of developing a 360° camera and some of the better quality cams are already available.
When creating 360° video its always a good idea to look at it yourself (yes this is maybe needless to say) and especially experience it with a VR goggles, pay attention to your own feeling. Do you feel nausea coming up? Headache?
You might then want to read the article again 😉