October 17, 2011 | Uncategorized | ,

Amazing 360 Degree Video Camera Lens

Click the video and move your mouse left or right.

A company called EyeSee360 makes lenses that record in a complete circle. Actually more like a doughnut. The viewer uses their mouse to pan around and see everything around the camera. These products were originally designed for military and aviation use, but now they’re available for videographers and consumers.

There’s an $80 version of the lens made for iPhone. It’s called the GoPano Micro, but there’s a $700 version of the lens for more serious cameras. The rough video sample above is the result of vibrations severely affecting the video. A better mounting job would have produced much better results as Roy Furchgott acknowledges in his NY Times Blog. You can see more video examples at Go Pano.

The way it works is that the camera records video images on a 360-degree mirror attached to the lens. The images are distorted, but then the GoPano software un-wraps the image and turns it into a continuous 360-degree video.

Just an interesting gimmick? Or does it have serious applications. Could it be used in a dramatic video to show both participants in a conversation? If so would this re-write the rules of “shot-reverse shot” shooting for dialogue scenes? But the wide angles distortions would rule that out. Perhaps it’s more appropriate for sports POV shots like race cars and extreme sports.

Video Producers, I’d like to hear your ideas for using this lens.

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4 thoughts on “Amazing 360 Degree Video Camera Lens

  1. Kenneth Lyons

    This is very interesting. I’m anxious to try it out in a Wedding video. An elevated view in the church and in the reception during the speeches.
    Only problem is, how will there be interaction between the TV screen and the viewer/s.
    On the computer it’s easily accomplished with a mouse.

  2. Mark Weiss, P.E.

    Fascinating, but obviously requires an entirely new playback technology to implement. DVD players and Blu-ray players lack the control interface to accomplish panning live video.

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