360-Degree Video Camera Setups

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Image credits – Flickr

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest trends in technology and video production, you’ve obviously noticed the sudden upsurge of 360-degree videos. 360-degree videos are a thing now and the trend isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. In fact, it might just be the way videos are shot from now on. 360-degree videos provide an immersive experience like no other and the technique is quietly gaining a stronghold in mainstream video production.

The point here is that you’re likely going to have to shoot such a video sometime soon and it would be a good thing to be prepared. So, to help you out, here are few things you need to know when setting up a 360-degree video shoot.

Get the Right Camera

There are quite a few options in the 360-degree camera market. Of course, the best ones are the ones that offer true omnidirectional capabilities. To put it in layman’s terms, good 360-degree cameras can capture every inch of your surroundings.

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Image credits – Wikimedia

Another factor to consider is that the recorded video must be easy to edit. You should be able to get the job done using standard editing tools.

Some good examples include Samsung’s Gear 360, Nikon’s Keymission 360, Kodak’s Pix Pro Dual Pack, and Ricoh Theta. All the models listed here come with two fisheye lenses that capture opposite ends. The recorded videos are then stitched together using tools that are provided with the cameras.

Needless to say, the results are quite fantastic.

Get the Resolution Right

Some 360-degree cameras offer a choice of resolutions. But, it’s always a wise idea to stick with the highest resolutions when shooting. This is because 360-degree video players, especially the ones on Facebook and YouTube compress the videos. As a result, you lose quality.

The only way to counter this is by setting a high resolution from the get-go. That way, the compression won’t ruin the detail drastically.

Look for the Sweet Spot

As established earlier, 360-degree cameras have fisheye lenses, which means, they record at wide angles. The problem with this is that the distance between two objects tends to get magnified while increasing the depth of field. Get too close and you’ll end up with distorted images. Get too far and your subject loses focus.

In order to create maximum effect, you need to put yourself “inside the action”, i.e. create a first person perspective. This will, of course, require you to conduct a few experiments before you find the “sweet spot”.

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