Rain and the Gear 360

Rain and the Gear 360 are well suited to the weather we are currently subjected to in Switzerland. For the past month and a half we have had rain almost every single day. As a result of this it has limited the number of opportunities to go out and get 360 footage.

360 camera rigs are not designed for rain. Most 360 rigs involve at least six non weatherproof cameras and rigs that are designed for dry rather than wet conditions. To go out in this rain would drown the equipment. With additional funds you could film in these conditions with weatherproof gear but the cost increases. Add to this that camera systems like the Ricoh Theta S prefer clear skies and nice weather for taking video and you see that it is not really worth the effort.

By the end of September the Samsung Gear 360 should provide us with a simple to carry, weatherproof 360 camera which could be fun to take canyoning (if they make a specialist housing) or hiking for doing other sports activities where weather proofing is a useful feature. The trend to make devices at least splash proof is good.

Another nice feature of this camera is the ability to use 200 gigabyte SDHC cards. with these cards you can record for hours. When the card is full or when you’re changing location you can change cards in seconds and continue working on a project. With the Ricoh Theta S you can record for 45 minutes before you need to transfer the footage, clear the memory and start recording again.

With 200 gigabytes of storage one concept that I would love to test is 360° time lapse videos. You could fix the camera to your bike, to a canoe or to some other object and set it to take a picture at regular intervals. So far I have not seen a mention of an interval recording mode but with 200 gigabytes you can record for hours without worrying about storage. You could change the speed in post production.

This camera records in UHD rather than HD quality. Video recording is at a resolution of 3840×1920. 360 videos taken with this camera should be more pleasant to view as a result.

The 360° video eco-system is still in it’s infancy and most 360 video solutions require people to use a number of cameras. Both Samsung and Ricoh provide all in one solutions along with software to stitch the images ready for post production. They are helping to democratise the medium both by making production cheaper but also by enabling people to produce content. This increase in content will encourage more people to get VR goggles which in turn will justify increasing the budget of 360 video production budgets. It will go from being a niche product to being mainstream.

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