Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Reality  

Discuss cameras used for shooting panoramas, virtual tours or 360° videos (GoPros, DSLRs, one shot cams, etc..) and their various accessoires (lenses, monopods/tripods, etc...).
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klausesser
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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by klausesser » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:38 pm

mediavets wrote:No-one can offer HDR video.


Well - that´s not quite the case.

Magic Lantern provides "HDR" video for quite a time already - and it works fine (but much of an efford , , )

Others mounted two or three identical cameras in a way they all shoot the very same image, set each of the cameras to a different exposure-value. In a plugin of the post-pro app (FinalCut X, AfterEffects and others)
The two or three movie"streams" get combined to one.

The advantage: you can use the original speed for shooting: 60fps stay 60fps, 30fps stay 30fps and so.

This allows to shoot moving objects as well as pan and tilt of the camera.

On thze other side: you need three identical bodies, theree identical lenses, a perfect rig for mountig them, which means a HEAVYtripod and head . . and some other things.

The assembly also is quite challening - you can use a beam-splitter for example . . but really: very challenging mechanically, very bulky

But the results can be very fine!

Klaus

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by mediavets » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:14 pm

I intended to say that no-one can provide HDR 360 video.

But it seems that's not quite the case either.

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by klausesser » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:34 pm

mediavets wrote:I intended to say that no-one can provide HDR 360 video.

But it seems that's not quite the case either.


Correct. Depends on what you mean precisely saying "provide HDR 360 video"

All HDR-processing needs to be done in post-pro of course.

Klaus

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by klausesser » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:43 pm

mediavets wrote:I intended to say that no-one can provide HDR 360 video.

But it seems that's not quite the case either.


360 HDR video surely can also be done the way i described using the 60-->30fps technique.
But that´s hell of an efford . . . =D

You can do so using 6 or 7 GoPros in a usual rig running them @60fps and split it to 2x30fps
using different apertures for each.

Klaus

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by mediavets » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:22 pm

klausesser wrote:You can do so using 6 or 7 GoPros in a usual rig running them @60fps and split it to 2x30fps
using different apertures for each.

Klaus

And how would you process the HDR as well as stitching the video files?

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by klausesser » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:28 pm

mediavets wrote:
klausesser wrote:You can do so using 6 or 7 GoPros in a usual rig running them @60fps and split it to 2x30fps
using different apertures for each.

Klaus

And how would you process the HDR as well as stitching the video files?


Processing the HDR gets handeled by a plugin in FC or AE (these are the ones which i know and used so far.)

https://vimeo.com/35520425 (MagicLantern/AfterEffects)
http://www.fcpeffects.com/products/hdr-plugin (FinalCut)

I forgot: you also can do a "fake HDR" - just like you can do "fake HDR" using a single RAW-file.

You even can shoot RAW - if you own a Canon and MagicLantern - which provide RAW-video.

Stitching the voedo-files for 360x180 is the same as you do for APV.

Klaus

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by itsrichphoto » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:48 pm

What you really want, rather than HDR video taking different exposures or creating work arounds in after effects, is simply raw video! A video codec that will offer more dynamic range and editing functions after shooting. Go pro offer a watered don offering. Or you could always just shoot right?

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by Destiny » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:17 am

Hi...

Well that was back in July.. Nothing new on their website..

So many companies make statement, Word First, Jaw Dropping, Best Ever.. >>> But so far I fail to see any clear winner.. Some units seemed to have made outlandish claims yet we are are still waiting for the first one of their production line.. Release dates continuously being extended...

I would bet that there is a mob out there, with a secret project just waiting to announce the goodies.. I personally would not bother with any option so far.. Unless they can prove the output media is up to a good standard... So far none of them can prove that..

Destiny...

gigajeff wrote:Hi,

We will offer dual exposure @30FPS. That means, shooting at 60fps with 2 different exposures. Obviously, caveats with fast motion will apply, so this will be more useful in scenes that are more static (stationary camera and slower movement).

We will also offer multiple exposures at a lower frame rate.

thanks,
Jeffrey

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by lightsailvr » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:50 pm

Hi Destiny,

If you were a Kickstarter backer of the Sphericam project, you would be getting updates about the cam. It's a perk for believing in the project enough to put money into it. The camera is on track to be delivered by December and they've included USB-C connection for live monitoring and a much faster data download (free by the way).

I don't know how much experience you have shooting 360 video (from your responses on this board, it appears to me to be not much) but coming from a professional video background, I will say that GoPro's are one of the worst ways to capture 360 video, despite what many companies will try and make you believe. They have several inherent problems:
1. Rolling shutter. Moving the camera at all causes stitching issues
2. Unable to lock exposure and get a properly exposed image. A single bright light can ruin your 360 video.
3. No preview. No way at all to tell what you are shooting.
4. Poor battery life.
5. Horrific media management (helped by 360Heroes software, but dealing with 6 or 10 cards, needing to merge video takes longer than 10 minutes - it's an ordeal). It takes quite a long time.
6. Unreliable. I have had several cameras fail to take the proper settings, not fire over the wifi, and they often overheat and shut off. Of course, no way to know this without looking at the cameras (and thus ruining your 360 shot)
7. Fragile. Sure a GoPro in a case is nearly indestructible, but outside, the lenses are quite fragile. Freedom 360 offers a cage for this sort of thing, which is great, but PARALLAX.
8. COST! $1500 for a 360 camera is an absolute STEAL when you consider it solves many of these issues and costs much less. To give you an estimate, each GoPro is $500 and you need a minimum of 6... so that's $3000 alone and doesn't include the rig, the cards, spare batteries, etc.

I am using Kolor Autopano Video and producing 360 video content. I hope that GoPro is listening and would offer a solution for the 360 community. We are all very early in this experiment and it is exciting to think of where it heads. I think we should not be putting down new and innovative cameras (despite my rant about GoPro, they are one of the only options out there, so that's pretty cool). Instead, let's get excited and stay positive about the future!

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Re: Sphericam 2, the 4K 360º Video Camera for Virtual Realit

by Destiny » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:14 pm

Hi lightsailvr

Well the fact is, I do not believe in your unit or any other enough to put money into it.. So that leaves me out of the running to receive updates.. As I have said, so many companies have started World First, Best Ever, Mind Boggling 4K Resolution >>> Its all sales hype to me..

With the GoPro Rig, its an improvised solution. A very good idea but it can never be perfect.. I personally would never spend that kind of money for any of the Rigs.. The quality of the 360 is just not good enough..

My experience with 360 video is zero.. Apart from testing out AutoPano Video with test shots captured from a GoPro. To be honest, I gave up with it. But even though I do not have experience with 360 video, I still have experience with normal video, enough to realise the difference between good quality v poor quality output..

On your website you have 4 X 360 video's, none of which can be viewed as actual 360 media, since they are expand.. I would like to see them as a spheres to see the extent of the distortion..

Nevertheless, viewing your demo movies, lets take the last one into account. There are very few eye level features. There are lamp posts, which seem to have their tops chopped off as it plays, which suggest to me it they were buildings at the same level there would be huge cut off part of to the features within the video.. There is too much blurriness too.. The aircraft as it fly's past has its wing chopped off.

I am looking forward to a solution that address these issue and many more when it comes to 360 video.. Its apparent by what I have seen so far that this technology to develop has huge issues and challenges.. For me I am happy to sit on the fence with all of the options so far... Since all the solutions are not cheap with poor quality video results ...

I agree with most of your comments about the GoPro but they have sold millions of them, so they know how to sell it... I personally would never buy one.. Way over priced but they were designed for a purpose.. Which never included 360 video.. That came later.. I would expect that since there is a huge demand for 360 video, that GoPro are developing a solution designed from the ground up to capture 360 video..

I wish you luck with your lunch in December and I look forward to reading the reviews..

Destiny...

lightsailvr wrote:Hi Destiny,

If you were a Kickstarter backer of the Sphericam project, you would be getting updates about the cam. It's a perk for believing in the project enough to put money into it. The camera is on track to be delivered by December and they've included USB-C connection for live monitoring and a much faster data download (free by the way).

I don't know how much experience you have shooting 360 video (from your responses on this board, it appears to me to be not much) but coming from a professional video background, I will say that GoPro's are one of the worst ways to capture 360 video, despite what many companies will try and make you believe. They have several inherent problems:
1. Rolling shutter. Moving the camera at all causes stitching issues
2. Unable to lock exposure and get a properly exposed image. A single bright light can ruin your 360 video.
3. No preview. No way at all to tell what you are shooting.
4. Poor battery life.
5. Horrific media management (helped by 360Heroes software, but dealing with 6 or 10 cards, needing to merge video takes longer than 10 minutes - it's an ordeal). It takes quite a long time.
6. Unreliable. I have had several cameras fail to take the proper settings, not fire over the wifi, and they often overheat and shut off. Of course, no way to know this without looking at the cameras (and thus ruining your 360 shot)
7. Fragile. Sure a GoPro in a case is nearly indestructible, but outside, the lenses are quite fragile. Freedom 360 offers a cage for this sort of thing, which is great, but PARALLAX.
8. COST! $1500 for a 360 camera is an absolute STEAL when you consider it solves many of these issues and costs much less. To give you an estimate, each GoPro is $500 and you need a minimum of 6... so that's $3000 alone and doesn't include the rig, the cards, spare batteries, etc.

I am using Kolor Autopano Video and producing 360 video content. I hope that GoPro is listening and would offer a solution for the 360 community. We are all very early in this experiment and it is exciting to think of where it heads. I think we should not be putting down new and innovative cameras (despite my rant about GoPro, they are one of the only options out there, so that's pretty cool). Instead, let's get excited and stay positive about the future!

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