Do you remember when, months ago, I talked you about the idea to shoot panoramic 360° photos using the own smartphone ? Because it's comfortable, because you always have a smartphone with you, because you'd not have to buy cameras, carry more stuff with you, just a smartphone and a small gadget.
Do you remember this article ?
Easy Panoramic Head could be a solution !
Whats' Easy Panoramic Head ? It's a Nodal Point Adapter for smartphones.
(In this article I'll not explain you what is the Nodal Point, there's Wikipedia for this.)
I'll make you a simple example..
We all started with the GSV app, right ? At least, the 90% of the people who started to shoot in 360° at the "begin". We all used GSV app because it allows you to take a panoramic picture simply using the camera of smartphone. You don't need to buy expensive cameras, no need to buy GoPro rigs, just a smartphone and 5 minutes of your time.
But there was a problem with the stitching because the "point of view" of the camera was moving at every shot and this caused a parallax error that the software couldn't manage everytime.
Here is where the Easy Panoramic Head joins the game. This adaptor allows you to keep the Nodal Point of your camera always in the same place allowing to change the direction and avoiding the errors you'd make shooting by hand.
The base is very simple. It's a kind of case with the shape of your smartphone made with a screw which blocks the phone in a certain position allowing to keep it in that way even while you're turning it to take the photos which will compose the panosphere.
The adaptor is 3D printed and there are two colors : Orange and Black. It's very light but the matherial is good.
My smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy S8. The EPH is built based on the model of smartphone you selected in the website and it's not compatible with the other phones (of course because the position of the camera is always different.).
Orange color is amazing.
I always used GSV app, but is also possible to use Google Camera (for who is still able to install it).
My impressions : It's good. I didn't need to connect 360 cams for the picture, I didn't need to charge anything but my phone, I didn't need to care about the usual things like stitching based on lighting of the environment. Just open an app and shoot.
Of course nothing is gold : it's not the most comfortable thing I've ever tried because it can't rotate. Being screwed to a tripod/monopod you have to rotate the whole tripod/monopod or use a head that you can turn (as I did). It'd be more comfortable having a rotation on the Z axe, in this way it'd be usable in much more situations, especially if there's no possibility to rotate the tripod. And it'd also be StandAlone in some cases.
Apart this, I like it. The pictures are way better than made by hand. There are no stitching errors. Maybe something very small on very close objects (less than 50cm), but the quality of the pictures is very good. Of course, this is your phone camera's merit, but the absence of stitching and the perfect alignment helps to keep everything on the right position.
Time : it is obvious that taking pics with the smartphone is not that fast as an AIO 360° camera. During my tests I needed around 2 mins to take all the pictures needed and then around a minute for GSV precessing them.
Does it worth ?
Yep ! As you know I'd not advice something I'd think to be useless. I work in this way. But the results I had with Easy Panoramic Head were awesome. The resolution of each picture is 10K and you can notice it taking a look at the 360 pictues on this article. And the only thing I had to bring with me was an adaptor (of course a monopod too, but I never go out without it). Plus, since you'd use GSV app, the photo would be ready to be shared.
The price is 45€. A bit high ? Maybe just a bit, in my opinion. But since the results are good it'd be better to spend 45€ and try using your phone instead of spending hundreds of € for a 360 camera which would not give you the same results. This is something I'd advice especially to who is starting to take 360 pics right now. To the beginners. But also to consumer level customers.
The photos are taken with a Galaxy S8 (a 3 years old phone) so with a better phone the pics would be even better.
For obvious reasons it is not possible to record 360 videos.
Here there's a complete video of the whole shooting process. The video review will be out on september (when I'll begin the new series of videos.)
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