This was a very busy week for me with several projects (you’ll see them soon), but it’s also been an interesting week for the 360 camera industry.
You’ve already seen some of the news such as Apple’s AR and VR announcements and the first 360 video samples from the Essential Phone’s 360 camera, and although this week was light on new cameras and accessories, it gave me some time to craft a hands-free third-person camera mount that is completely invisible to a 360 camera, discover some unexpected features of the Garmin Virb 360 that you probably haven’t heard about already, and play with iOS video editor Luma Fusion which now supports 360 video.
Full-featured 360 video editing on iOS with LumaFusion
LumaFusion is a full featured multi-track video editor for iOS, and they’ve now added 360 video support to enable you to edit your 360 videos on the road, in 2D 360, or 3D 360 (top-bottom or left-right).
The key to using LumaFusion for 360 videos is to specify a 2:1 The display ratio of resolution pixels along the x axis to the y axis (i.e. HD video of 1920 x 1080 pixels has a 16:9 as... More for 2D or 1:1 for top-bottom 3D 360. You won’t be able to view your 360 video in 360 within the app, but you can edit it like any other video, trimming videos, adding transitions, titles and narration. You can specify the bitrate, audio quality, and other options, and the app itself will add the correct metadata for you.
Garmin Virb 360 features you might not know about
Garmin Virb 360 preorders have begun shipping at B&H Photo and Best Buy, and will be at Best Buy stores on June 14. Despite its relatively high cost compared to other 360 cameras, the Garmin Virb 360 is the camera I am most excited about at the moment because it is the most feature-rich 360 camera in its price range.
You probably already know about its gyro-based A process to reduce shakiness caused by an unstable camera., 360 audio and hands-free voice control. But it has several other features, and even some features that I have not even dared to wish for!
Here are some of them:
The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More balance: Many 360 cameras have an issue with having inconsistent exposures between their lenses, which makes the stitch line more apparent despite how smoothly it may have been stitched. The Virb 360, on the other hand, can set the The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More using the front lens only (the rear lens will use the same The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More as the front lens), the rear lens only, both lenses, or set The measurement of the brightness and range (latitude) of light being captured by the camera. Exposure is governed by ca... More independently for each lens to maximize The varying degrees of brightness that can be captured by a camera or displayed by a playback device. You can think of i... More (such as when one lens is in the shade and the other is facing a sunlit scene).
Multiple camera control: With a single smartphone, you can control multiple Virb 360 units, enabling you to capture a scene from multiple angles. One Virb 360 creates a master camera while other units become “extended” cameras. Garmin hasn’t specified the limit on the number of units.
Instant On: Here you are just minding your business when suddenly something interesting happens and you want to capture it with your 360 camera. But by the time you turn on your camera and start it up, it’s over. Been there, done that. But on the Virb 360, even with the Virb 360 turned off, you can simply slide the record switch and it will immediately turn on and begin recording, which means it’s ready to shoot any time.
Actually, it’s not the first 360 camera to do this. The Nikon Keymission 360 also has an instant on feature that allows you to begin recording instantly with the camera starting from standby. However, on the Keymission 360, this often resulted in the button being pressed accidentally in my bag, and it became an annoyance for me. With the Virb 360, you record by sliding a switch instead of pressing a button, thus making it less likely that you’ll accidentally record footage.
It’s also worth noting that the Garmin Virb 360 also has customizable stitching, allowing users to set the focal distance used for stitching to near or far depending on the scene. It also has a photo intervalometer, exposure bracketing, a solution to cut down on wind noise, and manual shutter with a 30-second shutter speed. I go into more details on each of these features here.
Invisible hands-free third person mount
Even though there are a few third-person camera mounts already out there, like the Sail Video System, the mount I made for the Xiaomi Mi Sphere is invisible–even to a 360 camera. I made the mount using a Benro MK10 selfie stick, a vented bike helmet and zip ties. (Note: For this video, I used the Xiaomi’s half The number of pixels in an image, typically presented as a ratio of the total pixels on x axis to the total pixels on th... More to get 60 fps).
The mount works because of the Xiaomi’s slim profile, which among other things minimizes the The bottom of the sphere.. It also takes advantage of the Xiaomi’s A process to reduce shakiness caused by an unstable camera., which keeps the horizon level even as I move my head around. This combination is lightweight, portable, inexpensive and, as you can see from the video, it works!
In other news, the 12th annual IVRPA Conference was held over the weekend in Vienna, and DroneVolt has a new 360 camera rig on a remote controlled dolly called the Janus 360 VR Bot, but I don’t have those specs yet.
And that’s the week in 360! See you next week.