What Is a 360 Degree Camera?

360° degree images and video have become a hugely popular method of capturing life in recent times. As technology has progressed, 360° cameras have become more compact and more affordable. These cameras can capture everything around you, making viewers feel like they are in the picture.

You have seen probably seen 360° images and video on Facebook, YouTube or on your VR headset. News organisations are using 360° video to capture live events, and your friends and family may even be using these types of cameras on their travels.

Nakano Beach in Iriomote Island - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Only a couple of years ago, you needed big, expensive equipment to capture such immersive images and videos. But now you can get affordable, consumer 360° cameras that fit in the palm of your hand.

360° cameras are constantly improving, so you should expect to see big things in years to come. Below is everything you need to know about 360° cameras to get started in 360° photography.

A Flight Above Izu Peninsula in Kameishitoge, Izu Skyline - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

How Does a 360° Camera Work?

360° cameras are characterised by multiple cameras shooting video or images from multiple angles with overlapping field of views. These images are then “stitched” together to make on coherent spherical image.

These cameras shoot horizontally, and many shoot vertically as well, giving perfect spherical images. There are two types of 360° videos, including monoscopic which is a flat rendering of a 360° shot, and stereoscopic which is a 3D rendering of the 360° shot.

Monoscopic is something you might see on YouTube, which can move around but don’t appear as realistic, while stereoscopic is what you’ll see on a VR headset which makes you feel like you’re really there.

The Painted Hall at The Old Royal Naval College in United Kingdom - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

What 360° Camera is Suited to You?

There are several levels of 360° cameras available from beginner to advanced, so there is sure to be a 360° camera to suit your purposes.

You can get 360° clip-on cameras for your iPhone, like the Insta360 Nano, which even has an app allowing you to upload your images and video straight to Facebook.

The Ricoh Theta S-360 is a great beginner camera. It’s simple to use, point and shoot, and is small enough to fit in your pocket. It stitches the images together itself so you don’t have to do anything before posting it.

@tkk.360album - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

If you want something a bit more advanced the Nikon KeyMission 360 might be for you. It shoots 4K Ultra High Definition video, giving you impressive spherical video. It’s even waterproof to 30 metres.

Once you have your 360° camera, the next step is getting out there and experimenting with all you can do with 360° photography. It can take a bit of trial and error, but soon you will be capturing impressive videos and photos you’ll want to share.

@marlyse.muller - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

How to Share your 360° Images?

360° images and video aren’t like traditional images; they don’t exist to be printed and hung on a wall. Instead these images and videos are designed to be a purely digital medium.

They are very reflective of the times we live in. Many of our photos sit on our computers, so why not take some images that really work on it? If you’re looking for a way to incorporate new technology into your portfolio, people love this digital trend.

nrjmobile - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

360° shots are made for sharing. You can easy share these images and videos online through platforms like Facebook and YouTube. You can even embed them on your website.

Purchasing a Virtual Reality headset is a great idea too. Let your friends and family immerse themselves in your travel photos by showing them on a VR headset!

For all the latest 360° cameras, and other must-have photography equipment, check out the Camera House online store. The Camera House blog has more handy tips or you can head instore to get some expert advice from our friendly staff.