If you haven’t experienced a 360° video yet, you’re in for a blown-mind. I recently watched this 360 degree vlog made by Casey Neistat and had such a good time exploring NYC. Even without a VR headset like the Oculus Rift or Gear VR, 360° video is super fun to watch and explore through a platform like YouTube since you can still move your camera around to see what’s “around” you. I’m convinced that this is the future. Experience it for yourself as soon as possible. Be sure to check out our list of the 10 best VR (Virtual Reality) headsets, too.
But how do you create 360 degree movies? Well you’ve got to have the right type of camera. And, surprisingly, there are quite a few already available or almost available (think pre-order). There are plenty for consumers and even some great pro options. I can’t wait to start testing out fully immersive movies myself. I also can’t wait to see what great content other creators put out there as well.
Of all the 360° cameras available right now, the Ricoh Theta S is probably the best immersive/VR camera for personal use. At $349.95 you’ll be able to shoot in 1080p HD at 30fps for up to 25 minutes at a time. There’s also the ability to livestream your 360° videos and the footage is transferable to your phone or mobile device without the need to hook up to a PC first. And yes, you can absolutely use this camera to shoot 360 degree video for YouTube! There’s also a cheaper (and more colorful model) available as well called the Theta m15.
Okay, so what about a 360 degree camera that has absolutely no blind spots? Check out the Bublcam which serves up 1440 x 1440p footage at 30fps. With included features for HDR and timelapse photos — including tilt pan and VR pan functions — you’re sure to end up with some amazing (and unique) shots.
The Nokia OZO is one tasty looking camera: it just looks like something unreal out of a Tom Cruise sci-fi film, doesn’t it?! But it is, in fact, very real (well almost — at the time of writing it is still coming soon). Featuring 8 2K-by-2K sensors which sync with 8 microphones, the OZO VR camera is going to make a big splash on the professional scene.
For consumers I’d have to say the design of the Giroptic 360 degree camera is probably the coolest around (remember the OZO is aimed at professional VR filmmakers). Unfortunately, the Giroptic is still in pre-order stage, but when you are able to get your hands on it you’ll be able to shoot 360° video in 2K (and take 4K panorama pics) — and, and this is a big and — you won’t need any proprietary editing software. Just use what you’ve got. Plus, there’s a lightbulb adapter — imagine handing this thing from the ceiling!
Freedom360 GoPro Mount
So you want to use your GoPro hardware to create 360 degree immersive video, eh? Well the easiest way to make that happen may just be the Freedom360 mount which holds 6 GoPros and lets you stitch the footage together for crazy-high-quality footage. If you’re looking to film a 360 degree experience in 4K you could definitely use this mount with the GoPro Hero 4 Black (well, with 6 of ’em) — but nobody said that would be cheap.
Aimed at the sport action cam crowd, the V.360 is shock, dust and water proof for up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. With dual mics and a variety of sensors (including a barometer, altimeter and accelerometer), athletes can tell more of the story than ever before. No 4K here, though, as you’ll only be able to shoot in 1080 resolution and I have to say, it does look a bit goofy — but hey, maybe it’s perfect for what you’re into!