Cameras and mobile photography
360 photography is currently accessible to everyone with a mobile phone. All mobile phones today come with built in camera. These cameras have software that allows the user to point and shoot to capture a full 360-degree image. Both Apple iOS and Android mobile operating systems include this ability directly from within the camera apps.
However, if you’d like a dedicated 360 camera there are also many consumer options available today. These compact portable cameras often compromise of two opposing wide-angle lenses and sensors, are perfect for capturing a complete spherical image without the need for specialist equipment. Tech Radar has a roundup and review of some current 360 camera options available. Their list is not extensive and there are new cameras with better specs and capabilities being released each year. All these stand-alone cameras have dedicated mobile apps for editing images.
Once you’ve taken some images with your camera you’ll probably want to share them with your friends. Facebook has built in support for 360 images within the platform. There are also now many virtual reality communities online that support the upload and sharing of 360 images and video. You’ll find many of these platforms are interactive on mobile devices and don’t require the use of a VR headset. VeeR is a good place to explore and be inspired by some incredible 360 image and video content.
Traditional image and video sharing platforms, like Flickr and Instagram, are also popular options for sharing edited 360 images. While these platforms currently do not offer interactive 360 imagery display, they are perfect for sharing manipulated captures. A popular manipulation of a 360 image is the ‘tiny planet’ (or also called ‘little planet’) format. Tiny planet images are a creative example of what can be captured and output from a 360 camera – and can also be a fun challenge to your brain interpreting them. Other options for sharing our 360 imagery could include virtual tours or through Google Street View.
Whatever you choose to do with your 360 imagery, making sure you’re prepared is key to capturing engaging and creative imagery. Be aware of your surroundings and look for natural or man-made angles. Most of all, get out and explore because in your hands you have a special camera that offers incredible possibilities beyond simple panorama photography.