We get this question all the time and love answering because it can be useful for any industry. Unlike prospective buyers, it however takes a bit longer to make investors understand. The easiest (and probably the best) way to convince people is to show how a 360 degree image looks like, in a mobile device. Sold!
With a 360° camera, you can shoot panoramic images and videos. Big deal! English please!
We won’t get into jargons here and ignore the ‘experts’ for a while, by not talking about stereoscopic rendering, micro 4/3 sensors and bitrates. There’s a large percentage of audience out there who are new to 360 degree cameras, so this article will target them. Below’s a post on a Google Search Q&A:
So unlike a smartphone’s camera or a DSLR, a 360° camera captures two 180° media and ‘stitches’ them together to give you the result. Let’s say a group of friends stand around the camera and shoot a picture. When shared on Facebook, the followers can scroll around to see all of them within one image. The camera above is an Insta360 ONE R (Twin Edition) that is being used for outdoor photography.
Below is another image which can be better appreciated in 360 degrees. Drag or scroll around, and click on the arrows in the bottom to see other 360° images shot within the line of sight.
When we are talking to prospective customers or investors in person, we open the Street View app, click on the Explore tab and show the top images on display. Otherwise, they can open their Google Maps app, search for a mall or a tourist destination they know of, and click on the 360° images there, for a personalised demo that they can relate to.
What Else Can a 360° Camera Do?
Promoting a place (by uploading in Google Maps) is an idea, as general as sharing vacation or party photos with those you care about. Another practical function is live streaming.
Let’s say the camera is placed next to a track on a marathon event. Viewers can see in real time in all directions, who’s passed, who are running up and the audience cheering. The same goes for exhibitions, seminars and meetings.
The camera above is the Insta360 TITAN – a 11K 360° camera with 8 lenses. It was designed for professional use and costs around $25,000 in the official store. Learn more here.
The first image on the top of the page is the Insta360 ONE X, which costs $650 (visit store) and has two fish-eye lenses back to back. It can be used as an action camera (like the GoPro range) and fit into your pocket like a phone would.
Professional filmmakers have a multitude of options these days from various brands. With a 360 degree camera, all perspectives are captured at one go. Which means post production is probably easier since there are more options for editing.
Cameras like the Matterport Pro2 are used for 3D scanning a house for sale. Here, a potential buyer can “walk through” or take a virtual tour of the house – jump from a room to the other, go to the balcony and even different floors. These 360° tours are not the same as a video shot from a phone or a bunch of images in a slide show.
Watch the below video to see what a biker can do with a 360° camera.
Please feel free to ask any questions at all. We are always open to suggestions, feedback and new ideas. Examples shown above are for illustration purposes only and not for promotion. Stay home, stay safe!