Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

Great guest post by Rachel Stinson, she has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. See her DigitalPoinHub website here.

How the latest 360 Cameras are helping in generating VRs?

Information technology is constantly evolving and with the changes in information technology the video camera industry infrastructure is also changing. We have started seeing spy camera pens for security surveillance and 3D recording glasses. However, spy pens are not the only thing new in the photography industry, another interesting thing which is getting increasingly popular around the world is the concept of virtual reality videos. Virtual reality commonly known as VR is a sort of video which provided with a first-person visual experience to the person watching the video. So, if you watch a virtual reality video you will feel like you are actually at the scene. But the question you might be asking here is how can we create virtual reality videos? Well the answer is simply available in the form of 360 degree cameras. If you are wondering how the latest 360 cameras are helping in generating VR please read below:

Starting from the basics a 360 camera as denoted by the name allows the photographer/videographer to look around in every direction. Virtual reality cannot be created from a normal camera because you cannot look around in every direction, but if you use a 360 degree camera and record all directions you will be able to capture the moment in a very realistic way. A virtual reality video is recorded to provide a real-time experience of the moment. We have seen virtual reality games before but virtual reality videos are a fairly new concept, and now with the introduction of different virtual reality recording devices both professional and personal VR videos are recorded. For example, Kodak has targeted professional VR videographers with its PixPro SP360. The camera is available at an affordable rate and allows users to record high quality 360-degree videos. The device enables recording of high quality professional videos because it comes with two cameras. The videos from both cameras can be merged together as well however the process of merging is a bit complicated. Devices such as PixPro help in recording VR videos of action oriented videos i.e. sports videos including surfing, soccer, skiing etc.

Virtual reality can be created with 360 cameras that are available in the form of glasses and also using rigs which allow the videographers to hold the camera in a spherical shape. A camera can be fixed at a specific angle and will cover the complete surroundings. Cameras can be mounted at different angles depending on the needs of the shot. On the personal front leading tech companies i.e. Google and Facebook are introducing devices and apps that let regular users record VR videos. For example emergent is an app which allows recording of a VR video in combination with photos. The app can be used to record a portion of video and then video can be combined with VR photos taken through the app. Youtube has created an entire section on VR videos to provide a platform to hobbyists for sharing their VR videos.

One of the reasons why virtual reality with 360 degree camera can be created is because it allows the whole environment to be captured, and there is no behind the camera scenes. Although, this allows the flexibility of recording the entire field but at the same time it requires the videographers to be extremely careful. Therefore, it is recommended to clear any clutter around the camera before recording to record a realistic VR film.

Companies i.e. Nokia, Samsung, Facebook and Google have introduced different VR recording devices which can create a VR experience for user recording professional videos. For example, Nokia OZO camera comes with eight video sensors with an ability to capture 45 minutes of 360 degree footage at 30 frames per second. Moreover, it has eight microphones for recording 360 x 360 sound.

360 degrees cameras are built with unparalleled techniques and are enabling people to experience places they haven’t even visited in real-time. 360 degree cameras are helping in generating VR not only because they allow view from all sides, but also because they come with additional features such as headsets and microphones which help in capturing the real essence of a place or an event. Therefore, 360 degree cameras are enabling videographers to create VR because of their refined technology and experiences they generate.

In addition to the 360 degree cameras, Google is on its way to introducing new duel facing cameras which will be able to record 180 degree videos. Therefore, in future we will be able to see users recording virtual reality videos from their smart phones. According to Google’s VP, building VR with smart technology was like “building airplanes from bicycle and car parts” but despite the difficulty the company is going to launch easily accessible VR cameras by the end of this year. The development in information technology and addition of features such as multiple cameras in one device, VR headsets, VR glasses that can just be worn to record videos and apps which allow recording and editing of VR videos from phone are helping in generating more VR videos. Already existing devices in the market are helping in generating VR and we are going to see further improvement in the technology with better pixels and easy to use cameras. Currently the VR cameras available are for sophisticated use as any clutter can become an obstacle in recording a video. However, with Google launching VR cameras by the end of this year we are going to see common usage of VR cameras.


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