When considering what camera to use for a 360° shoot it is not as straight forward as a normal shoot. Considerations regarding quality differ from what you would think about when looking for a traditional camera. For example, you look at a camera that shoots in 1080p high definition, you know it is of reasonable quality. However, due to the post production processes involved in making a 360° video 1080p results in very degraded, poor quality footage in a 360° film.
The reason for this is because of the stitching, or wrapping, process that the footage undergoes to make it into a spherical 360° video. The footage you record is effectively stretched to pull it into the sphere so you end up looking at a stretched out, or blown up, portion of the original footage. Like if you were to zoom right into a small area of footage in a normal edit, you introduce grain and noise as well as pixel related aberrations.
The two cameras that I looked at for this project were the Samsung Gear 360 and the Ricoh Theta S. Both fell within my price range and currently are the main two consumer level 360° cameras on the market.
Samsung Gear 360 Specs:
CMOS 15.0 M Image Sensor
Dual lens, 360° of 180° options
3840x1920 resolution video
Ricoh Theta S Specs:
CMOS 12.0 M Image Sensor
Dual lens, 360°
1920x1080 resolution video
The Samsung has a much higher resolution, and also more options regarding shot, allowing for clean plating using 180° video if needed and a little more versatility than the Theta.
The better quality of the Samsung can also be seen in this video from San Diego VR YouTube channel:
As you can see, the Samsung camera outputs a much better quality. Due to this I selected that camera for this project.
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