A new camera promises the full picture!
Ever wonder how a 360 degree video is shot? Usually, it takes a bank of really expensive cameras, their individual video streams are later stitched together. Now, a new and relatively inexpensive camera called the 360fly lets anyone create similar videos in minutes.
360fly nailed it on the design. The camera looks slick and has a neat "EPCOT" ball shape that's easy to grip and carry around. My main concern was making sure I didn't scratch the lens, which makes up a majority of the top of the device. It does come with a handy carrying case, I'd recommend using it.
The software is a bit of a different story. It was a bit confusing to set up since 360fly wants you to sign up for an account to share your creations, but there also seems to be a separate password for the camera itself. This is likely for security so someone picking up your camera can't access the videos on it.
Creating videos is pretty easy - you just select your camera and instantly get a live view of what it is seeing. Then you can move around and see the entire 360 view. Press record and you'll capture not only what you see, but the entire 360 degree view. Then, once you capture a video you have to download it to your phone, edit the clip to select the best parts, add filters, audio effects and more before you can share to the 360fly website. It's a fast process once you get to know each step but the first few times it a bit time-consuming and complicated.
Now for the bad news. Although Facebook and YouTube have support for 360 degree videos, there is a technical issue that keeps 360fly videos from being compatible. The company says they want to work out this issue, but right now you can only view the videos you create with 360fly on their own app, website or a third-party site run by a company named Defy Media.
Update: Just got word from 360fly that there will be "Facebook integration from its desktop app in a few weeks." Stay tuned...
Bottom line - this camera is really neat and it's pretty amazing how anyone can now create 360 degree videos at a relatively inexpensive cost. The biggest thing holding it back is the ability to share your creations on top social media sites including Facebook and YouTube. When the company solves this issue, this technology will really take off in a big way.
360fly is $400, exclusively at Best Buy.