Friday, March 25, 2016

Updates on 360 Camera Availability (March 25, 2016)

There are many 360 cameras that will be available soon, so here's a list to help you keep track of them.

Currently available
Ricoh Theta m15 (~$230)
Kodak SP360 (original version - ~$290)
Ricoh Theta S ($350)
VSN Mobil ($350)
360fly (original version - $399)
Kodak SP360 4k  (Single - $499; dual pro pack $899)
Panono (EUR1499)


Now available for preorder:
LG 360 ($200) - Release date approximately May 2016.  Available for preorder from B&H.
Bublcam ($799)  - Release date June 15, 2016.
Giroptic (2k 360x300 camera) - Now available for pre-order from Giroptic.com for $499. Release date not yet known.
Insta360 4k (4k 360x360 camera) - Now available for pre-order from B&H Photo video for $899 $599.99.  Release date not yet known.
Sphericam v2 (4k 60fps 360x360) - $2,499 ($500 discount) on Sphericam's website. Available 10-12 weeks from order.


Soon available for preorder:
Insta360 Nano ($200, 3k 360x360 camera) - Expected April 2016 from B&H.
Samsung Gear 360 (almost 4k 360x360 camera) - B&H Photo is still showing a price of $399 $349.99.  Preorder not yet available.  Release expected May 2016.
360fly 4k (waterproof 4k 360x180 camera) - scheduled for April 2016 release for $500 from Best Buy.


Vuze (360 3D camera) - pre-order delayed from March to April 2016.  Shipping scheduled for Q3 2016.  Expected cost "below $1,000."


Available in the near future:
Nikon Keymission 360 (waterproof 4k 360x360 camera) - Nikon says Spring 2016.  Unknown price.
Luna (waterproof 360x360 camera). $349.  Scheduled for shipping in August 2016.


Upcoming announcements:
Olympus TG-Tracker ?? (not sure if this is a 360 camera)


Unknown availability:


Go6D is scheduled to announce several 360 cameras at SXSW March 17-19 Cedia, September 13-17.

Amazing Aerial 360 Video of Fireworks


Ever wondered what it would feel like to soar through fireworks?  Insta360 produced an awesome aerial 360 video of fireworks using a drone.  (It's on YouTube so you need to select the maximum resolution for best effect).  If the 360 view doesn't work, here's an alternate link on Insta360's own website.



The video was taken with the Insta360 4k camera, available for preorder from B&H.  Insta360 also created a tiny planet video showcasing the 4k camera.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ricoh Theta S back in stock at Amazon!

The very popular Ricoh Theta S has been out of stock nearly everywhere (unless you want to order directly from resellers in Japan).  But if you're still looking for one, good news: Amazon has them back in stock on March 30 here!  Only 2 left in stock at this time!

Samsung Gear 360 Coming May 2016

We finally have an estimated availability for the Samsung Gear 360 camera. It's coming early May, according to B&H. Still no preorders. 


Ricoh Theta adds USB livestreaming

The popular Ricoh Theta S can now livestream via USB. Previously, livestreaming required an HDMI connection and an HDMI input on the recording device.

To stream via USB, you need to download the UVC Blender app from Ricoh's site: https://theta360.com/en/support/download/

This could be a pretty interesting development for video conferencing, among other uses.

ZOMG! Ricoh FINALLY adds self-timer to Theta!!!

After years of users' requests, Ricoh is FINALLY adding a self-timer to the Ricoh Theta via a firmware update!

The self-timer is toggled via the wi-fi switch. The default timer is 5 seconds but can be changed via the app. 
This is EXACTLY what I suggested to Ricoh a few weeks ago!


Anyway, to update the firmware, you need to use the desktop app. Here are Ricoh's instructions. 

Official announcement here: https://theta360.com/en/info/news/2016-03-24-3/

Take a virtual tour of Las Vegas





You can take a 360-degree video tour of Las Vegas on the Vegas VR app. Produced by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the app provides 360 videos of famous Las Vegas sights including the gondolas at the Venetian, and a helicopter flyover over the Strip.  The LVCVA also has a site with some 360 and non-360 photos and videos called GeoVegas.


Kris Roche's Music Video of a Japanese Town in 360

Kris Roche, a musician based in Kyoto, Japan released a music video of the song "Be Love," showing a town in Kyoto.  One of the challenges of making 360 videos is how to deal with the camera artistically? Do you hide it or include it anyway or what? Cleverly, the video uses Kris' guitar as a mounting platform for the camera (a Ricoh Theta S) with pretty good results.  If you liked the video, you can check out Kris' website.  You can also check the Youtube channel of the videographer, Alessandro de Bellegarde, who has several 360 videos uploaded.

http://youtu.be/J5lgV4AqPy4




PSA: 360Rumors is now also on Twitter, Instagram, and Spinnable



Hi everyone.  Just a quick reminder that 360Rumors is now also on Twitter.  Not only will you get tweets of the latest blogposts, but I will also retweet relevant information from other Twitter users.

And if you want eye candy, check out my Instagram as well (@360Rumors) and Spinnable (@creadvty).


Brussels Vigil (360 Video)

Here are 360 videos of mourners for Brussels.

From New York Times:

From the Telegraph:


From RT:






Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Preorder the LG 360 VR headset for $200



LG's 360 VR headset is available for preorder from B&H Photo Video for $200, the same as the 360 Cam. The 360 VR is a VR headset that connects to the LG G5 and has its own screen, so your phone is free to be used as a controller, or for other purposes. However please note the reviews on 360 VR have been somewhat negative. 


Samsung Gear 360 Price Drop to $350!



The Samsung Gear 360 price has been reduced from $400 to $350 at B&H Photo!

Insta360 4k Price Drop to $599!


The preorder price of the Insta360 4k camera dropped from $899 to $599 at B&H Photo! This makes the Insta360 4k the most affordable 4k 360 camera at the moment. However, it faces competition from the LG360 ($200, 2k video),  Samsung Gear 360 ($350, almost 4k 3840x1920), and even Insta360's own upcoming Nano ($200 or less, 3k video). 

Virtual reality helps bring smiles to kids with cancer


This has to be the best use of 360 livestreaming that I've ever seen.  Expedia, in partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, found a way to give the gift of travel to children with cancer -- kids whose immune systems have been ravaged by cancer therapy and have been staying at the hospital sometimes for months or years.

For this project, Expedia built 360-degree projection rooms.  They then sent people to locations across the world with 360 livestreaming video cameras.  Patients were wheeled in, and the rest is magic.  Check out the video and bring a box of Kleenex.



Please consider supporting St. Jude here.





Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Playstation VR preorder sold out at Amazon



No there's nothing wrong with your clock or your calendar. If you can't seem to find the Playstation VR on Amazon, it's because it's already sold out on Amazon.

UPDATE: it's available from Target.com with free shipping


It's still available at BestBuy.com with free shipping, at the time of this writing.  


It's also available from Gamestop.com but there is a charge for shipping and it is NOT available for in-store pickup.


I'm sure some of the sales are to scalpers but the very strong sales for the Playstation VR is great news for the entire VR/360 industry.


Insta360 Nano Availability and Added Info

Here's some more info on the Insta360 Nano's availability: It will be available in the US in early April. The primary distributor will be B&H Photo Video. 

Also got more info on its operation and compatibility. The Nano connects only to an iPhone with a lightning port. It cannot connect to an Android phone, even with WiFi. However, you can use the Nano independently, without being attached to a phone.

Does that mean Android users will just have to make do without a smartphone interface? Fortunately not. Insta360 will release an Android version of the Nano around June or July.

Monday, March 21, 2016

GO6D launch delayed

GO6D was scheduled to launch some of its cameras at SXSW.  In the days leading up to SXSW, GO6D seemed optimistic. As recently as March 15 on its Instagram account, they were inviting people to check them out at SXSW. However, ultimately, GO6D was not able to launch any of its cameras at SXSW. 

"We attended SXSW but weren't able to launch our camera because we missed the deadline by a few days," a representative stated.

Unfortunately, there were no details forthcoming on any of their cameras. "We're so sorry but we cannot provide specific details until our cameras are officially launched."

Playstation VR Pre-Orders Start March 22!



You will be able to preorder the Playstation VR starting tomorrow, March 22, 2016 at 7am Pacific Time at participating retailers including Amazon. The launch bundle costs $499 and includes:

- Playstation VR
- Playstation 4 camera
- two Playstation Move controllers
- Playstation VR Worlds game disc

The bundle won't include a Playstation 4, which you'll need in order to use the Playstation VR. 

Update (3/22 7am): Gamestop has started taking preorders!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

You can now pre-order the LG 360, the most affordable 360 camera


You can now preorder the LG 360 camera for just $200 from B&H Photo, making it the most affordable fully spherical 360 camera.  The price is consistent with my predicted MSRP based on the recently-announced offer from T-Mobile.  At this price, it would be almost half the cost of the popular Ricoh Theta S, with similar or better specs. Specifically, advantages over the Theta S include 2k video, 5.1 surround sound, and an expandable Micro SD card slot. It has two 13mp sensors, similar to the dual 12mp sensors of the Theta S, though the final resolution of the image is not yet known.

The price undercuts the $400 Samsung Gear 360, which does have a higher video resolution. The Gear 360 also works only with certain Samsung smartphones. It is not yet known whether the LG 360 works only with certain LG phones or with any smartphone.