360 Video and Photo are the latest trend in social media. Here is how you get started creating your own.
I HAVE BEEN CREATING 360° PHOTOGRAPHS for years using an app called ‘360 Panorama’. I would upload the photospheres to their server and create tiny planets for my Instagram feed.
But everything has changed.
360° Video is now mainstream on Facebook and Youtube and 360° Photos can be contributed to Google Street View. Facebook and Google are highly invested in creating the platform and the technology for VR / 360° media… and they are just getting started. You’ve probably seen 360° videos turning up in your Facebook feed already – they’re rad!
These videos are different from regular videos in one very important way – you choose where to look in a 360° environment. The video allows viewers to look up, down and all around. The same is true for 360° Videos on Youtube.
I’ve been creating 360° Videos for a few months now and I thought it was time to explain how you can get started creating interactive, VR headset ready, 360° video and photos now.
RICOH THETA S
Unless you want to spend $4,000 on a 6 GoPro 360° Video rig (and if you want to create 360° professionally then you should consider it) the best option at this time is to get started with the Ricoh Theta S camera.
The Theta S is tiny (about the size of a candy bar), easy to use (with a free app for capturing media and several editing apps as well) and affordable – they are about $350 on Amazon.
The Ricoh Theta S is easy to use right out of the box, just turn it on and start shooting!
The Ricoh Theta S captures in 1080p – although the viewable media on Youtube is not true 1080p, it is a lower resolution, the video still looks great on mobile and in Facebook pages.
The Ricoh Theta S has 14MP of resolution from two 1/2.3″ sensors. Each sensor is 12MP, but when the image is created, it is the equivalent of a 14MP image. There are two lenses, one on each side. The electronic shutter can open and close in 1/6400 of a second. For night or low-light photography, a 30-second exposure is possible. Close focus distance is 3.9″. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100-1600, and the camera captures JPEG images and MP4, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video. Video is 1080p at 30fps for up to 25 minutes.
Almost as cool as the 360° videos are the 360° photos. I’ve contributed 150+ ‘photospheres’ to Google Maps Street View, many of my recent photospheres captured effortlessly with the Ricoh Theta S. Below is a recent example of a 360 Photo I shared to Street View.
SO if you are looking to enter the magical world of 360° interactive media then you should get your hands on a Theta S and start creating. It is a blast experimenting with the technology and finding new, creative ways to blow people’s minds.
Good luck and HAVE FUN!