10 Things to Know Before You Shoot 360-degree Video

360-degree video is a new frontier. If you're thinking about being a pioneer in this genre, here is a great starter guide that will help you set your expectations and prepare your content. Look for more 360-degree tips and gear here on Videoguys.com.

10 things I wish I knew before shooting 360 video

Cnet.com by Vanessa Hand Orellana 10-things-to-know-360-videoWe now have the tools to record the world in 360 degrees, but using a 360 camera can be much more than just a point and shoot operation. Here are some tips to help you get started. Forget your standard video rules, when shooting in 360 degrees convenience may trump quality. 360 video -- that VR-like format that lets you look up, down, left, right, and behind -- is all the rage right now. But to get those wraparound views, you'll need a special camera (or multiple camera setup) and a large dose of patience. I learned this the hard way during my month-long crash course comparing three different devices: the 360 Freedom (holding six GoPro Hero4 cameras), a Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K Dual Pack Pro (holding two Kodak Pixpro cameras) and the Ricoh Theta S (an single-camera all-in-one solution).

1. Not all 360 cameras are created equal

The first challenge was trying to figure out which cameras to include in our shoot-out. A quick Google search of 360 cameras will show you can spend anywhere from $200 (for the LG 360 Cam) to $60,000 (for Nokia's Ozo camera). You also need to factor in the viewing angle. Even cameras that have 360 in the name won't produce shoot the entire 360 degree angle. The 360Fly and Kodak's Pixpro SP360 are two examples of cameras that only have a viewing range of 240 degrees vertically. To get a full spherical image, you can 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 need at least 6 of them mounted on a third party rig or wait for GoPro's Omni, a fully integrated solution that incorporates the six cameras into one casing and syncs them all automatically. The simple explanation for the vast difference in price is quality: the cheaper the camera, the lower the resolution. But there's more to it than that. Only the cameras at the high end of the price spectrum, like the Ozo, are capable of shooting stereoscopic video for VR.

2. There are two types of 360 videos

Monoscopic is the most common type of 360 image found on Google's Street View or in 360 players like Youtube 360 and Facebook. These are flat renderings 360 degree renderings of a shot which can be viewed on any screen or in a headset. You can move around the space, but you have no real depth perception. Stereoscopic video amps up the virtual reality element by creating a 3D rendering of a 360 degree shot using a separate input for each eye. This type of immersive content is usually shot with two lenses (one per field of vision) and can be viewed in 360 with a VR headset...[continue reading]

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