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360 Video Capture Options

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Ilea Shutler
360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 25, 2017 at 3:36:13 pm

I have a client that wants to start doing 360 video documentaries in the style of the NY Times Daily 360 https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/australia/100000005316189/trying-to-sav.... They are a news non-profit and work off of grants mostly, so they've got a constrained budget, but I was hoping for advice on what kind of rig to invest in.

I know there's the Samsung 360, which seems like a good-budget friendly solution, that might come with a few limitations if, like me, you don't own a Samsung phone, and have a Mac instead of a PC, but it could work. On the other, higher end, there's buying a rig that holds 6 go-pros as well as separate stitching software, but I was wondering if there were any in-between solutions? Maybe not 6 go-pros, but 2 or 3 cameras or something. From the research I've done it seems like a lot of the self-contained all-in-one, or single 360 view cameras are pretty low quality and don't have great reviews.

If anybody with some experience shooting 360 video had any advice about any of these options or perspective they could give me before I decide what to buy, it'd be greatly appreciated!


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David Lawrence
Re: 360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 25, 2017 at 9:10:12 pm

Hi Ilea,

I have a Gear 360 2017, and while it's fine for casual use I can't recommend it for professional work.

If you have the budget for a more professional camera, I suggest looking into the Z-Cam S1 https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/z-cam-s1-professional-vr-camera# or Insta360 Pro https://www.insta360.com/product/insta360-pro

Both these cameras cost under $4000 and though they still have issues, there's a good support network of professionals using them, as well as engaged manufacturers who are very responsive and helpful.

I'd avoid multi-camera solutions using GoPro as the syncing and stitching is a huge pain. The all-in-one cameras coming out now seem to be the direction the industry is headed.

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David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

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Noah Kadner
Re: 360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 25, 2017 at 11:37:48 pm

For the higher end- you can rent Jaunt VR and the Nokia OZO at places like Abel Cine:

https://www.abelcine.com/rent/cameras-accessories/vr-360-cameras

Noah

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Walter Soyka
Re: 360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 26, 2017 at 12:13:04 am

David, have you had occasion to try Mistika VR yet? I have not, and I'd be very curious to hear about your opinion.

https://www.sgo.es/mistika-vr/

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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David Lawrence
Re: 360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 26, 2017 at 2:12:22 am

[Walter Soyka] "David, have you had occasion to try Mistika VR yet? I have not, and I'd be very curious to hear about your opinion."

Hi Walter,

Yes I have and I like it very much. It's incredibly fast and does a better job with stitching and color then just about anything else I've tried so far. They have a ton of templates for most of the 360 cameras on the market and are always adding new ones. The workflow can be as simple as adding the camera files, applying the appropriate template and boom, done. But there are may tools for tweaking if needed. The UI is a bit quirky with powerful features that are a bit hard to discover, but easy to use one you learn where they are and how to use them. The developers are constantly making improvements and soliciting/listening to user feedback. The newest beta version has very nice tools for working with stereoscopic 360 which for me is important.

As one of the more vocal critics of Adobe's move to a subscription-only sales model, I must note that Mistika VR also only available via subscription. But unlike with Adobe, I have no problem with Mistika VR. I think of Mistika as a "black box". You send camera files to it, do some work, and get a stitched file out. Done. Even though you can save "project" files of your work, once you have your equirectangular master, there's no need to ever go back. Unlike Adobe products, it's not an editorial tool. Mistika is an example of the kind software where I think rental makes perfect sense. Rent the tool when you need it, turn it off when you don't.

Frankly, I'm also happy to Support SGO now so they can continue to do work in the future because I think eventually it will become unnecessary. Camera manufacturers are building/bundling excellent stitching solutions with their cameras and eliminating the need for 3rd party stitchers. We're already are seeing this with Z-Cam Wonderstitch, Insta360Pro Stitcher, and Kandao Studio. We're at an awkward early time in the development of both the hardware and software in this medium and eventually the camera will take care of this, as well it should.

Bottom line/tldr: It's awesome, give it a try! :)

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research

linkedIn: http://lnkd.in/Cfz92F
vimeo: vimeo.com/album/2271696
web: propaganda.com
facebook: /dlawrence
twitter: @dhl


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Walter Soyka
Re: 360 Video Capture Options
on Sep 26, 2017 at 11:02:36 am

Thank you, David!

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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