Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nikon Keymission 360 app now ready for download

The app for controlling the Nikon Keymission 360 is now available for download. You won't be able to do much with it without a Keymission 360 or 170 though because the first thing the app does is to try to connect to a camera. 

Nonetheless, we can see from the app preview that the interface looks simple and there's a self-timer. It shows the shutter speed which gives me hope that the user can select the shutter speed (either shutter priority or manual). I don't see any ISO indicator but my understanding is that you can select ISO from 100 to 1600. Exposure compensation will also be adjustable +/- 2EV.

I'm going to post a review as soon as I receive it (possibly by next weekend). 

Nikon Keymission 360 user manual and desktop software now available for download
Nikon Keymission 360 unboxing
Announcement and specifications
New sample videos
Comparison with Samsung Gear 360 and Kodak SP360 4k
Free accessory pack with preorders
Free shipping offer; available accessories
Keymission 360 comes with these accessories
Sample full resolution photo from Nikon Keymission 360
Hands-on report on the Nikon Keymission 360 from Photokina 2016

Reminder: today, Oct 22, is the last day for Nikon Keymission 360 promo

Just a reminder that if you're interested in the Nikon Keymission 360, there's a promotion offer where you will get a free KeyMission Accessory Pack that includes a mini-tripod, extension arm (handle / selfie stick), carrying case, and rechargeable battery, but only if you preorder by October 22 (today).

Friday, October 21, 2016

NBA to be streamed in VR this season

This season NBA will be streaming in VR - one game per week for the whole season.  To watch the VR stream, you'll need to subscribe to the NBA League Pass, and you'll need a Samsung Gear VR (reviewed here)

The VR stream will be shown on the Next VR, which is not yet available on other VR headsets, including the Gear VR's big brother, the Oculus Rift.  Next VR has shown other sports events in VR as well, including soccer, boxing and golf.

If you haven't checked it out yet, you might also be interested in Follow My Lead: the Story of the 2016 NBA Finals, a 360 video documentary, free to download on Oculus Home.

Dokicam - a fully spherical 360 camera

​Dokicam is a fully spherical 360 camera, shaped like a ball, like the Samsung Gear 360.

Nikon Keymission 360 unboxing

The Nikon Keymission 360 is a fully spherical 360 action camera, the first camera from one of the four largest camera manufacturers.  Some cameras have already been shipped to media ahead of the official release on October 26.  Here are a couple of unboxings:

Entaniya's lens may enable very high image quality in a hemispherical 360 camera

Entaniya announced the Entaniya 250, a 250-degree fisheye lens for Micro Four Thirds sensors that may provide very high image quality for a hemispherical 360 camera.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Check out the amazing 360 photos of the EPSON Pano Awards winners

EPSON announced the winners of its 2016 Pano Awards. There were 4,545 entries from 1,066 photographers representing 60 countries.  Of those entries, 173 were in the VR/360 category.

The top winner in the VR/360 category was Oleg Gapunyuk of Russia for his haunting 360 photo of an underwater cave in Mexico. You can check out the other top 20 winning photos in the VR/360 category and the winners of other categories.

Thank you very much to Bob Soron for bringing this to my attention!

Nintendo Switch (Nintendo NX) will not have any VR capabilities

Nintendo revealed their next console today, called Nintendo Switch.  (BTW I'm so glad they didn't call it Swiitch)  It had been codenamed Nintendo NX and in June was rumored to be delayed in order to add VR capabilities.  It appears that wasn't the case.  Instead, Nintendo Switch is a hybrid gaming device that is both a desktop console and a handheld portable.
In an interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that Nintendo is still waiting for VR to be at the point of being "mass market adoptable," which implies that they believe it's not there yet.  This means that for this generation of consoles, we probably won't see a VR device from Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch will be available in March 2017.

360 video is here to stay: 8 reasons to use 360 video

     360 photos and videos are one of the biggest trends of 2016.  However, a popular YouTuber named Derek Muller (2veritasium) argued that 360 video is just a fad and is "a bad idea."  He's wrong and I will establish why 360 video is here to stay.
     In this first part of this post, I will lay out 8 reasons to use 360 videos.  In the second part of this post, I will address Derek's arguments point by point.
     I invite you to look objectively at the facts and the reasons supporting both sides of the arguments, and decide based on the evidence.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DEALS: Playstation VR Launch Bundle available again for preorder at Amazon for shipping on October 27

The Playstation VR Launch Bundle, which is sold out at most retailers, is now available for preorder at Amazon, with delivery on October 27.

The PSVR Launch Bundle adds the following to the Core bundle:
- Playstation Camera (required to use PSVR)
- two Playstation Move motion controllers (not required but highly recommended for most games)
- Playstation VR Worlds.

Playstation VR is convincing even non-gamers and skeptics who try it

Some things in life simply cannot be conveyed in words and must be experienced first hand.  But once experienced, no explanation is necessary.  VR is one of those experiences, and the Playstation VR is convincing even non-gamers and skeptics.

Inception VR is a new platform for viewing 360 content

Inception VR is a newly launched platform for viewing 360 content.  Unlike sites like YouTube and Vrideo which focus on user-generated content, Inception VR's emphasis is on high quality content by large studios.  This follows the strategy of 360 platforms such as Jaunt and Hulu VR.

Big improvements to Insta360 Nano with app update

Insta360 Nano (reviewed here) is a 360 camera for the iPhone.  Insta360 updated the Nano app to version 1.5, which brought several improvements:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The difference between VR and 360 in one short GIF

These days, people often use VR interchangeably with 360 video.  Sure, they are related concepts and both will allow you to look around, but they are quite different.   This short animation elegantly illustrates the difference.

Create, Discover and Share GIFs on Gfycat

You can also see the difference in Baobab Studio's Invasion! which is available both as a VR experience (on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PSVR) and as a 360 video (on Samsung Gear VR, Jaunt, Vrideo, Samsung VR, and other platforms).  In the 360 video version, you can look around.  In the VR experience, you can look around, crouch, jump, move forward or backward, and in the case of the HTC Vive, walk around a bit.

Insta360 Nano Mount tripod adapter now available for around $36 with free shipping

If you have the Insta360 Nano (reviewed here), the Nano Mount tripod adapter is a very useful accessory (check out my hands-on review and test here).  It had been available in September but at scandalous prices (currently $77 + shipping).  Fortunately, it is now in stock from an Amazon reseller for $36, with free shipping.

Amazon itself is also offering it for preorder at $30 but with an unknown delivery date.

At $36 or $30, it seems a little pricey, but the materials and construction are very high quality.
The Insta360 Nano (reviewed here) is a fully spherical 360 camera that attaches to your iPhone to make it easier to control the camera, view 360 photos and videos, and to facilitate sharing to social media.  It provides very good image quality and best-in-class livestreaming.

Stitch 2D videos into 3D 360 video with StereoStitch

Earlier this year at NAB2016, StereoStitch announced their realtime 3D 360 stitching software.  A demo is now available and they've also announced pricing.

Luna 360 Camera delayed; issues refunds to some backers

Luna is a crowdfunded 360 camera with several innovative features.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Serious Sam VR now available on Steam with a 20% discount!

Serious Sam VR is now available on Steam, and for a limited time, it's 20% off!

Adding high quality audio to a 360 video

When using a 360 camera to record live music, there is nothing more important than the audio quality. Here are some tips for capturing high quality audio using a professional external microphone.

Another amazing sample video from the Z Cam S1

Here's another sample from the Z Cam S1, a professional 360 camera with 6k at 30fps or 4k at 60 fps.

This camera continues to impress me.  With other cameras, distant objects usually look soft, but on the S1, even the farthest objects have a lot of detail.

In case you haven't seen it, they also recently posted a low light sample.  The Z Cam S1 is available on Indiegogo, with about a month left in its campaign.

The Simpsons celebrates 600th episode with parody of VR

The Simpson's is the longest-running scripted TV show and to celebrate their 600th episode, they made a 360 video parodying VR.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Playstation VR Launch Bundle now sold out at most retailers

The Sony Playstation VR launched a few days ago on October 13, and the Launch Bundle is sold out at almost all retailers, hinting at a pretty good launch.

Apple's Tim Cook doubles down on AR over VR

photo by Apple
Tim Cook once again emphasized Apple's interest in augmented reality (AR) above virtual reality (VR).