Friday, January 13, 2017

Detu Sphere S now available on Amazon; might be good for night sky photography

A couple of months ago, I posted about the Detu Sphere S, a higher resolution version of the Sphere 800.  The Detu Sphere S is now available from an Amazon reseller, at $160 plus shipping.  Interestingly, it seems that Sphere S is one of the few 360 cameras that may be able to handle night sky photography.

Here's a recap of the Sphere S specs:
- 12mp sensor
- field of view: 236 degrees
- aperture: f/2.0
- 1/2.3 inch 12mp backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor by Sony
- photo resolution: 4000 x 3000
- video resolution: 2880 x 2160 @ 24 fps; 2560 x 1440 @ 30 fps
- weight: 77 grams
- dimensions: 50×50×43mm

The Sphere S can export its video in equirectangular mp4 for viewing on a VR headset, although the resolution of 2880 x 2160 is not the standard 2:1, which makes me wonder if the video will appear distorted.

One of the interesting features of the Sphere S is that it has a manual exposure mode, with a shutter speed that can be as slow as 24 seconds.  This would be useful for night sky photography, and it would make the Sphere S one of the very few 360 cameras with such capability.

I haven't seen sample videos on YouTube, but there's a sample photo in the background of the official webpage, which seems to show pretty good dynamic range.

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