Facebook do 360° video with 500 extras, a custom camera rig and a hired-out Grand Central Station. Ricoh make a camera (the Theta) you can buy and actually use.
And now at the end of the month anyone with an iPhone and $199 burning a hole in their pockets will be able to film their own 360° extravaganza courtesy of Chinese company Insta360.
The Insta360 Nano, a Lightning-connected add-on pack for the iPhone 6, 6S and Plus models, connects to your iPhone and allows you to shoot, stitch and upload 360° video right from your phone.
The dual-lens rig has a 4K mode, although frame rate is limited to 15fps at that resolution. It will do 3K at 24fps and 2.7K at 30fps though so it’s technically a few pixels ahead of Ricoh’s Theta (currently the camera to beat for no-fuss 360° video).
Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 6400 and the built-in battery lasts ‘theoretically’ for a hundred minutes between charges.
As well as operating attached to an iPhone, the camera can be used on its own, and will record to Micro SD cards. Neatly, the camera’s packaging can be converted into a Google Cardboard VR viewer for watching back your 360° masterpieces.
We haven’t seen a sample of the Insta360 Nano yet but it’s listed on Amazon as being available at the end of the month. Could be a good way to dip your toe in the 360° video water without having to invest in 12 GoPros and a supercomputer to stitch your footage together…