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360° Video

Since the invention of the video camera, we have lived in a time where everything is documented with just a few buttons. Recently, there have been a string of videos that break the mold of what a recorded video should be. The videos have one thing in common: they have been shot in 360 degrees.

These videos make the viewer feel like they are watching the recorded event live, as they can tilt the video in any direction and watch parts of a video that were never accessible before videos that went full circle. This is hardly a new step in virtual reality, as gaming devices like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset bring the same sensation to a person’s living room. However, the ability to be a fly on someone’s wall at any place in the room for a live event further enhances what we can do with a camera.

A typical camera with circular capabilities uses dozens of small camera to create overlapping fields of view. Think of the technology like you’re taking a panoramic picture with the average camera. Instead of the device shooting in a straight line, a 360-degree camera takes the same principles of a panoramic camera and shoots in a circle.

Video-sharing giant YouTube has started support for videos shot in 360 degrees, and now you can move around an area with the flick of a finger or the click and drag of a mouse. On cell phones, a viewer is able to tilt their phone and be a part of the experience.

Several notable companies and video creators have taken advantage of this technology including the filmmakers of the Star Wars franchise, NASA, WWE and CollegeHumor just to name a few.

The price varies on 360-degree cameras, as it appears the cheapest devices go for around $70, and the most expensive 360-degree cameras can go for well over $1000.

These cameras should be a videographers dream, as the technology available today blurs the line between what is around you and what is not. Soon enough, more creators will use these cameras than what was originally thought, and it will change the way we watch videos.

This technical innovation is available to more people than ever before; therefore I suggest you get one of these cameras once you have saved up enough money. This is one of those technological marvels we will tell our kids about. I give the innovation of 360-degee cameras five-out-of-five Riverhawks.

by Josh Hughes

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