A 360-degree camera is great if you want to capture the full view of the summit on Half Dome or take in all of the surrounding architecture in the Piazza San Marco in Venice and share that experience on Facebook or YouTube so friends can pan around a scene and fully be there in the moment. After researching 360-degree cameras for 30 hours and testing five top contenders, we think the Ricoh Theta S is the best affordable, user-friendly entry point into this rapidly developing new category of photography.
The Theta S is one of the easiest-to-use 360-degree cameras on the market thanks to its clear status icons and comfortable feel. It’s capable of more advanced shooting modes, but for the most part, using it is literally as simple as just pointing and shooting with the big button in the middle of the device. Sharing your images and videos is similarly easy. Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you adjust capture settings and trigger the camera remotely from an iOS or Android device using straightforward apps. While its two ultra wide-angle lenses can’t shoot in 4K resolution, they do capture great-looking stills and video with better color accuracy than rivals.
What is 360 degree video?
360-degree videos, also known as immersive videos or spherical videos, are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omni directional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama.
360-degree video is typically recorded using either a special rig of multiple cameras, or using a dedicated camera that contains multiple camera lenses embedded into the device, and filming overlapping angles simultaneously. Through a method known as video stitching, this separate footage is merged together into one spherical video piece, and the color and contrast of each shot is calibrated to be consistent with the others. This process is done either by the camera itself, or using specialized video editing software that can analyze common visuals and audio to synchronize and link the different camera feeds together. Generally, the only area that cannot be viewed is the view toward the camera support.
The benefits of 360 video
There are clear benefits of 360 degree video content when including it in your marketing strategy. Aside from the unlimited possibility it gives to viewers and content creators; it encourages engagement and, through this, has over 3 times the conversion rate of traditional video content and a 30% higher repeated view rate. It’s clear that your audience is likely to respond better to your marketing efforts if they have immersive, 360 degree video content to interact with.
For YouTube, 360 video is more than just a new platform, it’s a marketing tool in itself. Working together with Snoop Dog, YouTube created Snoopavision, one of their most popular April Fools of all time. You can see the original movie here. It proved such a hit that a short series followed, teasing fans and generating serious interest in the 360 YouTube was developing seriously. You can see what the platform has done with 360 video here, with an innovative look at London which really shows off what the panorama camera can do. Watching videos like this shows you the potential of this technology.
Limitation of 360 video
1. It is not really an honest assessment
A person can be completely dishonest when they are filling out a feedback form for a certain individual. They might be scared to hurt another person’s feelings if they rank them in a certain way. Also, some may be vengeful and rank a person below what they deserve. As such, the method isn’t entirely reliable.
2. It can be time consuming
This depends on how many points need to be covered in the assessment and how many people need to be provided feedback. For instance, an individual may be asked to provide feedback for their colleague and their manager. Answering these feedback forms requires much thought because you can’t just click through.
Delivering the feedback to the actual person also takes time. The person needs to be told their good points as well as their bad points and how they can improve on it. Sometimes, the individual being assessed doesn’t entirely agree with the assessment which could lead to trouble.