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Posts Tagged ‘360Degree’

The 360fly 4K PRO camera can livestream 360-degree UHD video

29 Aug

360fly just launched pre-orders for its new 360fly 4K PRO, a camera capable of live streaming Ultra HD footage in 360-degrees.

The camera, which is priced at $ 800 USD and will be available commercially starting this Fall, can livestream equirectangular footage over HDMI 1.4 on YouTube and Facebook, as well as live 360-degree 4K footage using WiFi. An internal battery supports up to 15 hours of standby time and 1.5 hours of recording time; there’s also a USB 2.0 port for continuously powering the camera.

The camera is available to preorder now from 360fly. Specs below:

  • 4K, 2880 x 2880, @ 30 fps
  • Up to 1.5 M shock resistant
  • Integrated USB 2.0 Input Cable
  • Integrated HDMI 1.4 Output Cable
  • One Operation Key (Power ON/OFF, Recording Start/Stop)
  • Accelerometer, E-Compass, GPS, Gyroscope
  • IP67 Rated For Protection Against Splash and Blowing Rain (submersible up to 1M)
  • Internal 64GB Memory Storage

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Panono no more: 360-degree camera maker sold after ‘amazing but also exhausting journey’

05 Jul
Jonas Pfeil demonstrates the size and design differences between the working prototype Panono camera (right) and the design model of the final production unit (left). In a letter to backers he has confirmed that the company is to be sold, after only delivering around 400 cameras.

It’s official: Panono, maker of an innovative 360-degree camera, is to be sold after only managing to deliver around 400 cameras to its backers. The company filed for bankrupcy in May, but in a letter to backers, co-founder Jonas Pfeil has confirmed that the sale of Panono’s assets is expected to be finalized very soon.

As he explains, ‘assets’ in this context means ‘inventory, software, the rights to the hardware, almost all employee contracts, IP rights etc., […] but not the obligations towards external parties’. External parties like the Indiegogo backers that funded the Panono camera. In other words: if you backed Panono and you didn’t get your camera yet, you’re officially out of luck.

Thanking backers for their support and understanding, Pfeil called the experience ‘an amazing but also exhausting journey’. He stressed that, as shareholders, ‘the [outgoing] founders will […] not profit from this sale, as the money will be used by the insolvency administrator to pay outstanding invoices and other debt first.’

Meanwhile, there’s some good news for the 400 or so backers that did get their cameras – after some initial uncertainty, it seems that the cloud service supporting the device will continue to be maintained.

We really liked the Panono when we tested it last year, and we’re sorry to see it go. Were you one of the backers? Did you receive a camera? We’d like to hear from you.

Read our review of the Panono 360-degree camera (July 2016)

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Meeting Owl robotic video offers 360-degree views of conferences

22 Jun

Owl Labs, a startup backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, has launched a new camera called the Meeting Owl. This 360-degree camera is designed specifically for companies and groups, enabling them to hold video conferences without the burden of manually operating the cameras. The Owl does the hard work itself, automatically focusing the video feed on the person who is talking. Oh, and guess what it looks like? Yep, an adorable, productivity-increasing owl.

The device features a 360-degree camera on the top of its cylindrical body, as well as a total of 8 omnidirectional beam-forming microphones for capturing audio from all directions. The combination of the two enables Owl to capture everyone around a table at the same time, presenting viewers with a full view of the conference room. The camera shifts focus onto whomever is speaking, and presents split-views if multiple people are engaging in a conversation. The microphones isolate important noise from unwanted ambient sounds.

Owl Labs has designed its conferencing camera to work with major video conferencing platforms, including Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and GoToMeeting; the camera is plug-and-play via a USB cable. According to the company’s website, ‘limited quantities’ of the Meeting Owl are available at this time, with shipping starting within the next four weeks. The camera is priced at $ 799.

Via: The Verge

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Makers of the Panono 108MP 360-degree camera filing for bankruptcy

24 May

German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for insolvency proceedings at a court in Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately this means it’s very unlikely that the backers of the original crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo will ever receive their camera. 

The small number of buyers who purchased a Panono through retail channels after the Indiegogo campaign could be affected as well. At this point it is unknown if the the Panono servers, which power the automatic stitching of the Panono’s 360-degree images, will remain functional for the foreseeable future.  

Initially things had gone well for the German start-up. The Indiegogo campaign generated 1.25 million dollars in 2013. However, it soon became obvious that the team had miscalculated the development time for the camera which back then only existed in prototype form.

The final product was due to ship in 2014 but instead there was only a second prototype in February 2015. A few months later first shipments were announced, but not to the project backers. Instead the cameras went to retail customers who paid a considerably higher prices. It appears at this point the company had already run out of money and was hoping to generate additional funds for mass production and eventual shipping to project backers. 

Now it seems this plan has not worked out either and remaining funds have dried up. We had the chance to test both a prototype and final product of the Panono camera and were quite impressed by the technology. 360-degree cameras are now much more widely available than in 2013 but none of the affordable models offer the Panono’s 108MP resolution and image detail. 

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Google releases list of Street View-ready certified 360-degree cameras

12 May

Google has released a list of 20 360-degree cameras that are available or will be launched over the coming months that have been certified according to Google’s new ‘Street View ready’ standard. This means they can be used in conjunction with the Street View app to create content for the Google Street View platform. 

The cameras meet one of four new “Street View ready” standards, allowing users to choose the way of uploading 360-degree content that is most suitable for them.

  • Street View mobile ready: 360 cameras that can publish Street View directly from a mobile app, without requiring a desktop workflow

  • Street View auto ready: 360 cameras tailored for vehicle-based collection with the highest accuracy

  • Street View vr ready: 360 cameras or systems that collect geometry in addition to generating sets of connected 360 photos

  • Street View workflow ready: Publishing tools (sometimes bundled with cameras) that can upload to Street View accounts

You can see the list of certified cameras in the graphic at the top of this page. More information on the Street View ready standards is available on the Google developer website. Many of the cameras in the list will be on show at Google’s Street View Summit in Tokyo, Japan this week.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Take a 360-degree look around the dunes of Mars’ Ogunquit Beach

05 May

NASA’s Mars Rover recently spent some time on the Red Planet’s Ogunquit Beach, studying the area’s dunes that stretch for miles. According to NASA the image above was stitched together from 115 individual images taken between March 24th and 25th. Color has been adjusted to represent how it would look in daytime Earth lighting. To fully enjoy a quick trip to Mars, be sure to play the video above in a browser that support 360-degree video.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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This 12K rig uses six Panasonic Lumix GX80s for 360-degree video

03 May

UK-based filmmaker Nick Driftwood has been busy, making a 360-degree video rig using six Panasonic Lumix GX80 (GX85 in the US) bodies, each fitted with a 3.25mm lens, covering a field of view of 243-degrees. With each camera shooting 4K video, 2880 X 2880px X 6 equals 12K footage. He showed it off to our friends at Photo Gear News last week at the NAB show in Las Vegas.

The super-wide lenses come from Hong Kong 360 company iZugar, and the camera takes advantage of the 1:1 video capability that Panasonic offers in its 4K Photo mode.

Even if you’re not interested in 360-degree video, it’s worth watching just for the guy in the background at 0:53.

A sample of the output from Nick’s 12K rig can be found below.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Ricoh to show-off 4K-capable Theta 360-degree camera at NAB

21 Apr

Ricoh will be showcasing a prototype Theta 360 camera that can capture 4K clips and live-stream video at the annual NAB show next week. In addition to its video capture and streaming capabilities, the Theta concept will also have four microphones, allowing it to capture ‘spatial surround-sound audio.’

In an interview at Photokina last year Ricoh told our Richard Butler that putting such features into the current form factor would be difficult due to processing power and heat management, so it will be interesting to see how they pulled it off.

DPReview will be at NAB and will drop by the Ricoh booth to see if we can take a closer look.

Press Release

RICOH TO SHOWCASE THETA 360-DEGREE CAMERA WITH 4K VIDEO AND LIVESTREAMING AT 2017 NAB SHOW

WEST CALDWELL, NJ, April 20, 2017 — Ricoh today announced it will be showcasing a prototype of its newest Theta 360-degree camera, capable of capturing high-resolution 4K video in a single shot, at the upcoming 2017 NAB Show, April 24-27, in Las Vegas. The camera will be featured at the Ricoh booth, C11139, located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In addition to capturing 4K video at 30 frames per second, the new camera will enable 4K 360-degree livestreaming, and a built-in 4-channel microphone will record spatial “surround-sound” audio.

The new camera is expected to be launched later in the year.

Ricoh offers the industry’s most extensive line of spherical imaging cameras, known for their high image quality, sleek design and ease of use. First introduced in 2013, Theta cameras allow consumers to record fully spherical images that show the entirety of a scene in photos or videos. The camera line’s combination of small size, high quality imagery and incredible functionality are a result of Ricoh’s many decades of experience in advanced imaging and optical technologies. The company has long been a leader in professional printers and copiers, and is known for its high-quality optics and optical components. A key achievement with the Theta series is an ultra-small twin-lens folded-optical system capable of capturing two wide-angle images and then marrying them into a single spherical image.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Insta360 Air 360-degree camera for Android quick review

17 Mar

Insta360 Air
$ 129/£139 | www.insta360.com | Buy Now 

The Insta360 Air is a smartphone add-on that turns your Android device into a fully-fledged 360-degree VR camera. It’s capable of capturing still images and video, and comes with a live-streaming function. It only weighs 26.5 grams / ~1oz, comes with a protective rubber case and attaches to your phone either via the microUSB or USB Type-C port. We got our hands on the latter version and have tried it out on the Huawei P10 and Motorola Moto Z Force.

Key specifications:

  • Phone Compatibility Android phones
  • Dual-fisheye lenses
  • F2.4 aperture
  • 3008 x 1504 (3K) still image resolution
  • 2560 x 1280 video resolution (3008 x 1504 with some smartphones)
  • 30 frames per second
  • Real-time stitching
  • 37.6mm / 1.48in diameter
  • 26.5 grams
  • Available with microUSB or Type-C connector 
The Insta360 Air is small and lightweight enough to always be carried anywhere. A rubber case provides protection on the go.

Operation

The capture screen offers a good range of features, including filter effects. Optionally images and videos can be exported in ‘tiny planet’ format.

Using the Insta360 Air is very intuitive. Plugging the camera into your phone’s USB-port launches the Insta360 app which lets you capture images, record video or live-stream to YouTube or a web-address. When shooting images or video you can apply exposure compensation or Instagram filters, which are applied to the preview image. 

The integrated viewer allows you to create albums and see your recorded content in all its 360-degree glory. There is also a range of sharing options which let you choose between sharing full 360-degree photos/video or ‘tiny-planet’ style images or animations. Overall the app is nicely designed, works reliably on our test phones and reacts swiftly to user input. 

The Insta360 Air can also be used as a 360-degree webcam on Skype and other video-chat applications after connecting to a PC’s USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. 360-degree webcam support for Mac should be provided soon via a software update. 

 The Insta360 Air can also be used as a 360-degree webcam.

Stills

In still image mode the Insta360 Air captures photos with a size of 3008 x 1504 pixels. That’s less still image resolution than you’ll find on cameras like the Samsung Camera 360, the LG Cam 360 or the Ricoh Theta SC and when viewed in 360-degree mode on a large screen the levels of fine detail aren’t great. That said, images usually show good color and exposure, and the stitching algorithm that joins the two halves of the images does a very good job. Very occasionally, minor ghosting can be visible but otherwise images taken in good light are relatively free of artifacts.

To view this image in the Google Photos 360 degree viewer click here.

When sharing images, you get the option to export them in a ‘tiny planet’ style format which can, depending on the subject, make for interesting effects. The radius of your ‘planet’ can be adjusted by pinch-zooming. The image below is the ‘tiny planet’ version of the photo above.

This is another image in bright light. Up-close the images can look a little soft but still provides a very immersive experience when viewed in a 360-degree viewer. We also like the way the area right below the camera is slightly darkened to make it less intrusive in the image.

 To view this image in the Google Photos 360 degree viewer click here.

The Insta360 Air deals well with well-lit interior scenes like the one below. There is some luminance noise in shadow areas but given the relatively low image resolution it is not very intrusive.

  To view this image in the Google Photos 360 degree viewer click here.

The image below has captured a good impression of what’s going on in this busy scene at MWC 2017. The camera white balance deals very well with the many different sources of illumination and image detail is not significantly reduced from outdoor images. There is no EXIF-data reported but the shutter speeds are fast enough to avoid most motion blur in indoor scenes.  

  To view this image in the Google Photos 360 degree viewer click here.

Image filters can be applied at the point of capture, like I did for the image below, or in post-processing.  

 To view this image in the Google Photos 360 degree viewer click here.

Video

In video mode the Insta360 Air can record 2560 x 1280 video resolution, which is more or less in line with other entry-level 360-degree cameras. Insta360 says that with some phones a resolution of 3008 x 1504 pixels can be achieved but neither the Motorola Moto Z Force or the Huawei P10 which I used for this test offered this option, despite start-of-the-art chipsets. 

2560 pixels wide is more than Full-HD resolution but stretched across an entire 360-degree circle the it’s actually not that impressive and at screen size videos look a little soft. They are great at typical social media size though, with good exposure and color and smooth motion. As with the stills, occasionally some ghosting is visible. 

The 1280p low-light clip below is clean but again pretty soft. Nevertheless, the clip offers a good impression of the interior space it was recorded in. 

The camera also offers a 960p video option which saves you some space in your phone’s storage, but as you can see in the clip below, compared to the 1280p footage detail is noticeably reduced. If you’re not about to run out of space, 1280p is definitely the better option. Still, the clip below shows that, thanks to the super-wide angle lenses, Insta360 Air footage looks quite stable, even when captured hand-held from a fast-moving bike.

The 960p video below shows that the Insta360 Air is capable of capturing a usable exposure even at night but image quality is suffering quite a lot, making this clip only watchable at small output sizes.

Like in stills mode, you get the option to share videos in the ‘tiny planet’ format. It’s a great way of displaying your entire surroundings in a standard video format and can be a fun effect.

Conclusion

The Insta360 has a lot going for it. It is one of the most affordable 360-degree cameras we have seen, and perfectly integrates with your Android device. It’s ready to shoot a few seconds after plugging it into your phone and doesn’t require a microSD card as it is using your device’s built-in storage. The small dimensions mean you can always carry it with you and inside its rubber carrying case the camera is well protected.

The USB-connector means there is no need for a potentially flaky Wi-Fi connection to your mobile device but it does look a little fragile – disconnecting the camera when using your smartphone for other things is wise. In terms of still image resolution the Insta360 Air is not quite on the same level as some of its rivals in the entry-level segment, but images are well-exposed and mostly free of stitching artifacts. 

Overall, the Insta360 Air is a great introduction to the world of 360-degree imaging that offers a good variety of features and functions to play with. And at $ 129 it doesn’t break the bank either. More information is available at insta360.com.

What we like:

  • Compact dimensions
  • Intuitive app control 
  • Generally good stitching quality
  • Price

What we don’t like:

  • Still image resolution lower than some competitors
  • USB-connection to smartphone feels a little fragile
  • No tripod mount

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Insta360 Air turns Android phones into 360-degree VR Cameras, now available in US and Europe

09 Mar

The Insta360 Air camera, which attaches to an Android smartphone via a microUSB or USB Type-C port, turns your phone into a 360-degree VR camera. It’s now available in the US and Europe. The Insta 360 Air uses, via a dedicated app, the smartphone display as a viewfinder and captures 360-degree stills and videos with its dual fisheye lenses.

The camera offers real-time image stitching and comes with integrated live-streaming to YouTube and other platforms. Content can be shared directly from the app to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms. The app allows for viewing content on-screen or through a VR headset. 

The Insta360 Air can also be used as a 360-degree webcam on Skype and other video-chat applications after connecting to a PC’s USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. 360-degree webcam support for Mac should be provided soon via a software update. The Insta360 Air weighs only 26.5 grams and can capture 3K photos (3008 x 1504 pixels) and 2.5 K video (2560 x 1289 pixels) at 30 frames per second. The company also says real-time image stabilization will be introduced via a firmware update ‘in the coming weeks.’

The Insta360 Air is now available for $ 129 at retailers in the US. The device can also be purchased in the UK, Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan through Amazon. We are currently working on a review of the device, so watch this space. 

Press Release:

Insta360 Air Arrives in US and Europe, Turns Android Phones into 360° VR Cameras

Real-Time Image Stabilization on the Way
SHENZHEN, Mar. 7, 2017 – The Insta360 Air, a smartphone add-on that instantly turns Android phones into 360-degree cameras, is now on sale across the United States and Europe. 

“The Air is what we’re all about — cutting-edge technology that empowers people to capture and share experiences just the way they live them,” said J.K. Liu, CEO and co-founder of Insta360. “We can’t wait to see what the world’s Android users create.” 

Android and iOS account for more than 90 percent of the world’s smartphone users, and the release of the Air means all of them can now enjoy seamless 360-degree photography and live-streaming. The Insta360 Nano, launched last year, offers a plug-and-play 360 experience to iPhone users. 

The Insta360 Air’s simple, intuitive design makes capturing and sharing 360-degree content easier than ever. After connecting via USB Type-C or Micro-USB port, the Air uses a smartphone’s display as its viewfinder, allowing users to capture 360-degree stills and videos with the Air’s dual fisheye lenses and camera-interface app. 

With real-time image stitching and integrated live-streaming support for YouTube and other platforms, users can broadcast immersive experiences to the world or share 360-degree content to friends on a host of popular social media — including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Messenger — directly from the app interface. Users can explore content on a screen or through a VR headset for an even more immersive experience. 

The Insta360 Air experience isn’t limited to mobile. The Air also serves as a 360-degree webcam on Skype and other video-chat applications after connecting to a PC’s USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. 360-degree webcam support for Macs will also be introduced in a future update.

The Insta360 Air captures 3K photos (3008 X 1504 pixels) and 2.5 K video (2560 X 1289 pixels) at 30 frames per second. Weighing only 26.5 grams and with a diameter smaller than a ping-pong ball, the Air is also the most portable consumer 360-degree camera on the market. 

Real-time image stabilization coming soon 

Insta360 is committed to providing ongoing support to both devices and users well after purchase. Air users can expect regular updates to the Insta360 Air app and camera firmware. Among the most-exciting updates on the horizon for the Air is the planned addition of an all-new feature, real-time image stabilization. 

The advanced image-stabilization technology corrects unwanted vibrations and sudden directional changes as they happen, letting users capture smooth and steady live streams and video. 

The technology will mean a vastly improved experience for viewers using an immersive VR headset. And by reducing the variation between adjacent frames of a live-stream or video, it also offers big bandwidth savings. Real-time image stabilization is set to be released via app update in the coming weeks, and Insta360 Nano users can expect the feature as well. 

Priced at $ 129 USD, the Insta360 Air is now available via Amazon in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Japan. U.S. consumers can buy the Insta360 Air offline at B&H and Fry’s Electronics, with other regions also offering offline sales at select retailers.

Watch the Insta360 Blog for more updates.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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