360-degree cameras – aka panoramic cameras – are becoming increasingly more affordable over time. How affordable? You can snap up a basic model capable of churning out 1280×1024 video for as little as $65.
The question is, what exactly are 360-degree cameras for? Here are a handful of ideas for you to work with:
‘Kinetic’ Points of View
Most movies and videos are one-dimensional, where the audience sees events through one very specific lens. Panoramic cameras, however, let the audience rotate the video to adjust what they see on their screens.
This opens up an entirely new cinematic experience for viewers. They can actively participate in the content they are watching by changing their viewpoints at will. They can peek around during events, and replay videos while focusing on something else in the background.
This provides more opportunities for creative directors and photographers, especially those that have the vision to create new experiences for viewers.
Interactive Live Galleries
The same ability to control the camera can be applied to live video feeds. This makes it possible for viewers to better interact with an ongoing livestream event – something that adds even more ‘life’ to livestreams.
Viewers will be able to interact not just with the personalities on-screen, but with the video they are currently working with. The potential utility for this kind of footage is far-reaching, from jam-packed arenas where viewers can ‘feel’ the vibe of the crowd to one-man expeditions in the wild. This may even open the way for ‘collaborative’ viewing where viewers can pool their attention to get more information out of a single video feed.
Combining the promise of dynamic cinematography with ongoing events helps further immerse the viewer in the whole experience. This becomes especially important now that VR is getting into the mainstream.
Virtual reality is advancing at a rapid clip, and 360-degree cameras are practically designed to create the perfect VR experience.
VR is a technology that immerses users in a digital world with the use of a headset. Panoramic cameras make it easier to create those worlds, as the footage puts the user in one very specific spot. The user can then rotate the world around him or her; adjusting the view as they see fit. This fits in perfectly with the immersive properties of VR, as the user needs only swivel his or her head. This synergy between bodily motion and a panoramic point of view is the key to VR-focused footage.
Those interested in creating content for virtual reality setups will definitely want to experiment with 360-degree cameras.
The ability of panoramic cameras to continuously oversee a wide area makes them the perfect tool for keeping watch over a large area.
Ordinary security cameras are limited by their narrow field of view. Even cameras with pan-tilt-zoom capabilities can only focus on one angle at a time. By contrast, 360-degree cameras can see in all directions. Operators need not be blind-sided, as they can more quickly switch points of view as needed. Any events that happen will be caught on camera, as these types of camera ‘see’ all around them.
This makes 360-degree cameras a useful addition to security systems that need to protect wider areas.
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