Tips for learning how to shoot 360° videos
The New York Times, Wall Street Journal like big media organizations have been experimenting with this new technology for a while and some more newsrooms are on the way. So that’s the reason i decided to purchase a 360-degree camera and see what i could do as a journalist myself
Here is what i has learned so far and share my experience with you.
After reading many numerous reviews and testing different equipment’s i decided to purchase the best 360-degree camera so far which is a Ricoh Theta S.
Reasons for this decision
360-degree spherical view
Ricoh Theta S offers you 190-degree field view with its two lens and you will 190 degree field view per lens which will give the full spherical 360-degree video. Some other big names like Theta S price range offers a 240-degree view but it is not spherical. There is a black circle in the bottom of image which i find very disturbing
– Best price/performance ratio for low budget.
To buy a camera i didn’t have a large budget but i was curious to discover this technology Richo Theta s. IF you go for a professional 360-degree rig you need to spend a minimum amount of $3000. But Ricoh Theta cost you only $350, which is affordable amount to spend for experimenting.
Here is a quick review:
It’s a point and shoot camera. It is very simple and easy to use
Ricoh Theta s easily fits in your hand and you can comfortably carry it in your hand bag as well.
It can capture complete 360-degree panoramas in one shot and automatically the stitching is done.
Wi-Fi issues. The camera is controlled over a smartphone app via Wi-Fi connection. I don’t know if that was something specific to my camera but in some occasions the Wi-Fi connection didn’t work and I had to start recording manually.
Video image quality is modest. No 4K and don’t expect to produce high-quality video images. But it’s OK for YouTube or Facebook shares.
1.There is no single lens
Unlike the other traditional camera’s Ricoh Theta S have two lenses and each lens support 190-degree the one lens is in the front and one in the back. For a 360-degree view the camera needs more than one lens. Camera will capture the surrounding every object or the space you just need to pint the camera to any direction. All you need is to do is hold and steady and shoot.
Using the multiple lenses can also create the lighting problem it just depends of the location. Or the amount of light on one lens may be different than the other lens causing the significant color differences.
2.There is no behind the camera
Behind the camera is very common term in the field of entertainment industry. It points out to anyone which is actively involved in the production. But there is no such thing called behind the camera with the 360-degree view. “Everything around is inside the camera including you.
Do not show a weird expression while you are holding the camera make sure unless you intend to do so.
If you do not want to be in the scene then you will have to hide behind an object or thing and remotely the camera from a distance. But make sure in this case you keep the camera well protected against drops or damages.
With this mindset there is an interesting ethical question arises. What if people around us do not want to be seen on camera?
So the answer is with the traditional camera you could just point o camera elsewhere but with the camera having 360-degree view this is not possible unless the person is not near.
3.Be inside the action
The 360degree cameras have wide angle lenses and these lenses magnify the distance between object’s while allowing the greater depth of field.AS a result if you are too close to the desire object it will look distorted. Your focus are will be very wide if you are too far from the objects and it will be indistinguishable .
You will losses your emotion inside the scene.
I think the best thing to do is to stay inside the action where reviews can feel themselves immersed in a natural way. You just need to find the sweet spot and depending the action of your story
.Not too close not too far and now too low or wither too high. BE the eyes of the viewers and take them to places, moments, events of experience the thing which they may not be experience in other ways. Make it exceptional.
4.No need to pan or tilt
You do not need to pan or tilt the camera like traditional cameras because the 360-degree camera shoot everything in the scene so you just make sure do not tilt or pan your camera.
This may be hard at the beginning but you should get used to it soon and avoid the unnecessary moves which will cause dizziness for the viewers.
5.It’s like shooting a theater scene
Now forget about the traditional camera setup and bring the 360-degree view camera and implies several changes for the producers. You just need to develop a different mindset and think out of the box and since the camera can record everything which is around, everything in between the floor and ceiling.
Everything even you can take this as earth and sky as well you should be presentable and engaging for the viewer.
You can either position the camera as the center of the action does let the character reacts towards the viewers. If they are part of the story or the camera could be used like in a documentary and position the viewers as an outside observer or put in another way a fly on the wall.
6.Keep on experimenting but keep in mind: “Do we really need this?”
We all know that 360-degree and VR videos are the new coolest thing. Experimenting and playing is vital for innovation but you need to try to address some key issued before you began
What is your goal? Do you really need to shoot in 360-degrere camera? What do you want to achieve by using the 360-degree camera? Can you achieve the same results by shooting with the other traditional camera or even by a smartphone? What is your main purpose?
Answering these questions before taking any action which will help you to better plan your work and evaluate the outcome.