Saturday, December 3, 2016

NFL to be broadcast in VR but only for Samsung Gear VR

Four NFL games will be shown in VR and you'll be able to watch them for free but only if you have the Samsung Gear VR (reviewed here).

Interview with Mark Marano, a pioneer of little planet time lapse videos

photos by Mark Marano

     Mark Marano is a prolific photographer who has been taking 360-degree photos for more than a decade, and he has captured among the first, if not the first, little planet time lapse videos since 2010, before the advent of 360 cameras such as the Ricoh Theta in 2013.
     In this post, I asked Mark about his perspective on the longevity of 360 photography.  He also provides advice for photographers who want to explore 360 photos and videos.

Friday, December 2, 2016

DEALS: Samsung Gear 360 (with US warranty) on sale for $299

The Samsung Gear 360 (reviewed here) is still the most affordable 4k 360 camera, and now you can get for even less at Amazon and B&H Photo.  Regularly $349, it is currently on sale for $299.  This is for the US version with warranty, not the gray market import version.
- Amazon $299.99
- B&H Photo $299.99.
I don't know how long these sale prices will last.

4k @ 60 fps indoor lighting 360 videos from the Z Cam S1 and a new 360 camera from Z Cam

Here's a new indoor lighting sample from the Z Cam S1, a high-resolution 360 camera capable of video at up to 6k 30fps or 4k 60fps.  The sample here is at 4k 60 fps.

UPDATE: apparently one of the videos is from a new camera!  I'm still trying to find out more information about it, but it appears to be related to the iZugar Z4XL.

DEALS: LG 360 Cam for $99.99 at DailySteals

If you missed the Amazon lightning deal on the LG 360 Cam, you can still get it for $99.99 from DailySteals here, a 50% discount from its $199 MSRP.  Here is my review of the LG 360 Cam.

Thanks to Jim Jensen of the Google+ Photo Sphere Community for bringing this to my attention!

Rumor: patent reveals positional tracking plus face- and eye-tracking for Samsung Gear VR

The next Samsung Gear VR may have not only positional tracking and but also face- and eye-tracking features not found even on current desktop VR systems, according to a Samsung patent found by

Review: Koroao lens cap for Ricoh Theta

This inexpensive accessory could save your Ricoh Theta's lenses from scratches.

Modified Insta360 Nano can work with an iPod Touch 6th Gen

The Insta360 Nano (reviewed here) can be modified to work with the iPod Touch (6th generation).

SteamVR improves support for Oculus Touch but other limits remain

Yes you can use the Oculus Rift (reviewed here) and Oculus Touch (impressions here) to play games for the HTC Vive (reviewed here) but there had been some issues such as lack of haptic feedback and awkward button mapping.  Valve just rolled out an update to SteamVR Beta that resolved these issues, although other limits remain.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Oculus Touch launch lineup revealed

Oculus Touch, the highly anticipated motion controllers for the Oculus Rift (reviewed here), will be launching next Tuesday December 6.  Today Oculus announced the games that would be available during the Oculus Touch's launch window.  Check out the lineup!

Nikon Keymission 360 photos and videos now automatically recognized as 360 on Facebook

When a photo or video from the Nikon Keymission 360 (reviewed here) is uploaded to Facebook, it will now be recognized automatically as a spherical 360 photo or video.

Fourth Instagram Contest for Ricoh Theta

Ricoh announced its Fourth Instagram Contest for Ricoh Theta shooters, with the theme "Happy Holidays."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reminder: December 5 is the last day to get The Unspoken and VR Sports Challenge for free with your Oculus Touch

     The Unspoken and VR Sports Challenge will only be given for Oculus Touch preorders.  Starting December 6, they will each be $30.

Sample 360 photos and videos from Eyesir, a camera with 4k livestreaming

The Eyesir 4k (previewed here) is a fully spherical 360 camera with 4k video and is claimed to have 4k 360 livestreaming capability.  Here are recently posted samples and information about pricing.

TECHNIQUE: The difference between composition for spherical 360 photos and 360 videos

a scene from KA: the Battle Within
360 photos and videos appear similar but the difference in how they are viewed requires different approaches for composition.

Herobound: Spirit Champion now free for both Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift

Herobound: Spirit Champion is an adventure game for the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift, and it's now free for both systems.  Here's a brief review of this game, which delivers more than you might expect in both graphics and gameplay.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Panasonic prototype 360 camera with 4k livestreaming

     Panasonic demonstrated a prototype 360 camera with incredible 4k livestreaming performance.

A documentary filmmaker explores the joy and wonder of 360 photography

      Do you remember the day that you fell in love with 360 photos and videos? 

      Danny Mydlack is a Professor of documentary filmmaking and media history at Towson State University near Baltimore.  Prior to becoming a professor, he worked in New York and Hollywood for clients that included Nickelodeon TV, Goldman Sachs and Scholastic Publishing.  In this thoughtful essay, he writes about the joy and wonder of 360 photography.

Insta360 Air's Indiegogo campaign has been successfully funded ... after just one day!

Yesterday, Insta360 began their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Insta360 Air, a 360 camera that attaches to your Android phone.  In just one day, they already met their fundraising goal!  

The Insta360 Air is still available for preorder on their Indiegogo page for $99 plus shipping, a discount of 17% compared to the $119 MSRP, which makes the Insta360 Air the most affordable spherical 360 camera on the market, and on top of that it appears to have better video quality than many other aggressively-priced 360 cameras.

Please note the Air is not for use as a standalone camera and requires an Android phone (with either a Micro USB or a USB Type C).  For iPhone users, check out the Insta360 Nano (reviewed here).

You don't need the Nikon Keymission 360 app to use the Keymission or to change settings

The Nikon Keymission 360 (reviewed here) is one of the most controversial 360 cameras, largely because of its half-baked smartphone app.  But the fact is that you don't have to use the Snapbridge 360 / 160 app to use the Keymission 360.

Monday, November 28, 2016

DEALS: Cyber Monday deals for 360 cameras and VR

Here are Cyber Monday deals for 360-degree cameras and VR systems.  I've grouped the deals into three categories:
- 360 cameras and accessories
- VR systems
- VR games and apps.

UPDATE 1: Lightning Deal on LG 360 Cam.  $99.99, regularly $199. Here:  LG G5 Friends 360 CAM LG-R105 Only for Amazon Prime members.

UPDATE 2: I added Playstation VR deals (both on the headset and for software)

Insta360 Air now available for preorder on Indiegogo, and it's the most affordable spherical 360 camera

Insta360 Air, a 360 camera for your Android phone, is now live on Indiegogo and available for preorder, at a price that makes it the most affordable fully spherical 360 camera on the market.

Here are 20 free games and apps for Oculus Touch!

Here are 20 games and apps that are free for Oculus Touch, the motion controllers for the Oculus Rift (reviewed here).  Before you read on, I must warn you that reading this list could make you go insane with impatience for Oculus Touch. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sample video from Detu F4, a 360 camera with 6k video resolution

The Detu F4 is a spherical camera that is capable of 6k resolution (6500 x 3250 @ 24 fps).  Tech vlogger Steve Shew got one and posted a sample. Check it out!

Nikon Keymission 360 troubleshooting: "Cannot connect to camera"

The Nikon Keymission 360 (reviewed) has a quirky app that is very prone to difficulty connecting with the Keymission.  Here's a common issue and a couple of ways for resolving it.