Many years ago when mobile communications were CB radios or walkie talkies, I shared my vision of cellphones to CB users and they find me funny. Then cellphones came and I was blessed to be working with a telecom company and was with the early users. I predicted text messages will be popular when back then, text messages are advertised as only for people that does sign language. Naturally, it didn’t become easily acceptable too as pagers were more popular back then.
Being a technology enthusiast, I wasn’t surprised when Smartphones became more powerful than the computers I used when I started programming. Technology sure innovates faster nowadays. Digital photography as well made plenty of advances in megapixel count from CGA resolution (320×200) to now 50+ megapixel count of high-end DSLR. For casual photography enthusiast though, megapixel count is over the max already and not much of concern anymore. I mean, who’s printing bigger than A4? Or who’s printing at all? Pretty much all digital now, eh?
I’m predicting the future of photography will be in 360. Why? For simple reasoning that goes like: “Why take a portion when you can have the whole picture?”. Well as the saying goes, “with power comes responsibilities”. When taking pictures in 360, you now have to consider not only what’s in front of you, but as well the whole environment. For example, outdoor with nice mix of clouds will be better picture than say cloudless or gloomy day. As usual, not much around me agrees in 360 photography prediction. And they have more reasons:
- Distorted images
- Headache-inducing video viewing experience
- Too complicated
Distorted images are actually not an issue, it is just the way I converted the images where I want to show the “small world” effect just for fun. Please see my galleries below for sample small world images. Normal pictures can actually be produced from 360 images, it’s just that I find more fun in creating small world effect. As for headache, I guess our brains just need some getting-used to? Pretty much similar to 3D viewing experience maybe. Too complicated I totally agree, you need tech savvy to be able to set it up and enjoy 360.
I started 360 picture-taking with my Samsung Note 3 which requires like 50 snaps and few minutes processing to come up with a single 360 picture. I already enjoyed the resulting “Frankenstein” image but I just can’t freeze the moment so I can take 50 snaps, not to mention the silliness of pointing my smartphone all over the place with all the people around wondering what I’m doing. I call it Frankenstein image because most of the pictures I’ve taken, the stitches are very visible.
I totally understand why I’m yet alone in taking 360 pictures or videos in places I’ve visited so far. Here are the difficulties I’ve encountered in getting into 360 pictures:
- The first hurdle is to just view the taken pictures or videos
- Either you remove the micro SD card or use USB-C cable and have another gadget to view or copy pictures/videos
- I’m assuming that you’re already aware of micro SD as LG R105 360 cam doesn’t come with it and it is needed to store pictures/videos
- The next challenge is to have preview before taking picture/video
- This involved installing an app
- Setting up WiFi and looking for password – not for the faint of heart
- An easier puzzle is to copy 360 pictures/videos to your viewing gadget
- This is quick once preview is setup as download is available when viewing pictures
- Can’t yet download video though, have to either connect the cable or use micro SD card reader :(
- Also, converting pictures for normal viewing and printing
- This is a piece of cake compared to having preview
- The LG app comes with viewer but I prefer another app for generating “full-screen” view
- Lastly, our reluctance to change
- There’s just none other than DSLR type shooting and its high quality results, everything else is out of consideration, for many anyway :(
Will take sometime before 360 cams become standard with smartphones. If ever, my features wish list are as follow:
- Choice between circular and full-screen picture
- Can generate normal pictures
- Can specify start-up view
- Can view continuously rotating 360 picture
- Can view slideshow of rotating 360 pictures
- Can setup camera to either take regular or 360
Thanks for any comments about this article and sample images below.
Oh btw, I plan to document the 360 cam setup to help rid those “difficulties”.
Cheers and Godspeed!!!
(Please tap then swipe or drag to view the rest of the picture, you can activate full screen as well)
Here’s sample “Frankenstein” 360 picture that took me “forever” to compose:
And here’s sample 360 picture I enjoyed taking in a single tap:
Slideshow of Converted Pictures
(Please tap pause and click forward/backward for manual viewing control)
Welcome to our next generation photos :)
Our Niagara Falls series of 360 photos.
Our 360 pictures Canada Day Photo Album:
Happy 150th Canada Day everyone.