Thursday, November 3, 2016

7 Nikon Keymission 360 tips, tricks, and workarounds



Here are a few tips and tricks for the Nikon Keymission 360 (reviewed here):

1.  Change the video resolution to 1920
Standard equirectangular videos need to be in 2:1 ratio.  By default, the video resolution of the Keymission is 3840 x 2160, which is not a 2:1 ratio.  Most 360 video editing software won't recognize the 3840 x 2160 as a 360 video.  Fortunately, there's a simple remedy: use the app to change the video resolution to 1920/24p.  At 3840x 1920, the resolution is a standard 2:1 ratio.

Here's how to do it:
- make sure your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on
- launch the Snapbridge app and select the Camera icon
- select Camera Settings
- select Shooting options
- select Movies
- select Movie options
- select 1920/24p


2. Change the Wi-Fi channel
If you are having trouble reconnecting with the Keymission, you might want to change the Wi-Fi channel.

Here's how to do it:
- make sure your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on
- launch the Snapbridge app and select the Camera icon
- select Camera Settings
- select Network Menu
- select Wi-Fi
- select Network Settings
- select Channel and try a different Wi-Fi channel to see if you get better results.  Try changing it to channel 1 or 11.  The best channel will depend on what other channels are being used by the other Wi-Fi signals in your vicinity.



(Thanks to Jim Jensen of the Google+ Photo Sphere Community for this tip!)

3. Remote activation
Did you know that you can turn on your Keymission 360 wirelessly?  This could be useful if you are recording an event and need to turn it off during some intervals. With remote activation, you can turn the Keymission on from a distance instead of having to go to the camera to turn it back on.

(Note: this requires that you have already paired the Keymission with your phone - see the tutorial here)

Here's how to do it.
- Make sure your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on.
- Launch the Snapbridge app and select the Camera icon.
- Select Remote Photography.  The app will search for and connect with your Keymission.
- On an iPhone, you'll be prompted to connect with the Wi-Fi (on Android, this will happen automatically).
- Tap on Remote Photography again if needed.

Note: if this is not turning on your camera, check under Camera Settings / Network menu /  Bluetooth / Send while off (select "Yes").



4. Changing the lens
If you remove the front lens element (to clean it or switch with the underwater front element), there's an easy way to put it back.  The front elements have a little mark on the rim.  Align this mark with the solid white dot near the Nikon logo (Nikkor logo on the rear side).  Then twist clockwise to lock it.

When changing the front elements, use the guides to help you realign and reattach them.
5.  Increase the automatic power off time
The Keymission's Wi-Fi can seem unreliable, disconnecting when you don't expect it to. One of the reasons it can disconnect is if the camera shuts down when not in use to conserve power. By default, the "auto off" time is 30 seconds - which sometimes leads to unexpected disconnections.  Fortunately, you can change this auto off time to 1 minute or 5 minutes to reduce the possibility of inadvertent shutdowns.

To change this setting:
- make sure your phone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on
- launch the Snapbridge app and select the Camera icon
- select Camera Settings
- select Auto Off and change the setting.




6. Downloading videos
Because of the Keymission's high quality video, video file sizes are huge, so it takes a very long time to download them.  By default, if you press download, it will attempt to download all photos and videos from the camera, which can take a long time. Instead, use the preview mode to review your videos, and then download only one video at a time by selecting it first before tapping on the upper right corner to download it. You'll see that it will say "Download selected pictures."  Alternatively, just download them instead using your PC or Mac.


7.  Self-timer
Connecting wirelessly to the Keymission can take a while.  To trigger the Keymission "remotely" I instead rely on the self-timer.  This gives me time to move away from the camera.  It can also be used to allow me to move my hands away from the camera before taking the shot (to avoid the "giant hands" look) when used with a selfie stick.

I set my self-timer to 10 seconds, which is a little longer than I want to hold out the camera so conspicuously with a selfie stick.  Instead, I press the shutter to begin the countdown, then I hold on to it for about 5 seconds or so.  Then I hold out the selfie stick / camera, which means I only need to hold it out for less than 5 seconds instead of 10 seconds.