For a long time, the concept of purchasing my own 36o video camera was like a glimmer of light in the distance. I knew the day would come. Around a year ago – I went on a hunt to find a 360 video camera that would allow me to capture 360 film in good quality without a) Blowing the bank and b) Making me cry because of how crap it was.
At the time – there were a few options:
- Back one of the many kick starter campaigns out there and wait.
- Purchase a go-pro rig. 6 – 12 go-pro’s rigged together to form a cluster that captured video in 360.
- Spend 1 billion dollars and buy something professional.
- Suck it up and wait for another year before I had some real options.
I did wait. Like a sucker. I think it’s good to wait for some things. It makes you appreciate them when they arrive.
More recently, I decide to jump back into the hunt for a 360 video camera and I was pleasantly surprised at how far the industry had come. To get a good comparison I set some ground rules.
- It had to be no more than $5k. Preferably no more than $3k.
- It had to record at a minimum of 30fps and have a reasonable quality (preferably 4k).
- It had to auto-stitch the videos into a sphere…no post production required for joining all the imagery together.
- It had to provide options for external storage.
- Reasonable battery life (Not overly picky on this point).
- It had to output a file that could be manipulated by me in post production.
- It couldn’t be a go-pro rig (too fiddly and too many failure points).
- It couldn’t be an all out pro-model…I want to experiment for now. The pro stuff can come later.
I went away and looked at the market. There is now a wider range of options, and even then, a lot of them are still in the final stages of development. This means i’d have to pre-order.
After much comparison (i’ll try load the table with the data soon), I landed on Sphericam 2.
The team at Sphericam have already made a 360 cam (Sphericam 1) so I figure they’ll have ironed out a lot of issues from release 1. This bad boy records in 4k @ 60fps! It’s got 6 lenses with a global shutter. It films in 12-bit colour and spits out a pre-stitched file that I can edit with professional editing software.
For me in Australia – it will be around $3k once you convert the currency and pay for premium shipping. I got in touch with Jeff Martin – the CEO of Sphericam. I asked if I pre-order, when would I expect the goods. His words:
“In the worst case, it will be February. We are doing our best, but it’s hard to say now 100% if we can ship all in January. Jeffrey”
Seems like a nice bloke. God i’d be stressed if I was him.
Not sure if I will pre-order, or just wait to hear a few reviews. I’m a little nervous with laying out so much cash for something that has not been reviewed yet. But if it lives up to it’s specs – this camera will be a game changer for content creators wanting to work in 360 video.
In the mean time, i’ll just have to work with our borrowed go-pro rig for our music video.
I live in hope that the day I can get my grubby mitts on a camera of my own will come soon!