360° Photos with Smartphone


This "new" way to take pictures, to "relive" moments, to look at a picture and see the people who were wondering "What the f**k is he doing ?" while you were shooting.

Yes, do not say you have never done ;)

But with the 360-stand-alone cams it takes time. Turn on, open the Wi-Fi, connect to the smartphone, open the app, wait for the preview, click, open the gallery, wait for the download. This is the standard procedure in 99% of cases.

But this guarantees quality. Guarantees a better editing possibility (RAW). Guarantees flexibility of use, as it is possible to put the camera almost anywhere (tripods, drones, motorcycles, helmets, animals and so on).

All this is true. But in case there was the need to take a quick shot, if you go in a hurry or if you do not want to commit someone for a few minutes? The situation becomes a little inconvenient. For a clean shot to have already on smartphone, starting with the camera turned off, in any case it takes at least 1 full minute. This is in case the first shot is perfect, otherwise even 2.

This led to the creation of "on-phone" cams. The cams that must be connected to the smartphone to work. Leaving out the small brands, there were a few models of on-phone cameras, among the most famous are the Insta360 Air, Insta360nano, ION360 U, MadV Mini.

The shutter speed, using these cameras, is reduced from 1 minute to 15/20 seconds, and this for the first shot because the next will be much faster. The advantage is that the photos are saved directly in the gallery of the phone and can be edited or uploaded directly on the various platforms.

Which is the malus? The quality. Usually this type of cams have a low resolution. It's around 4K, although there are cams that have taken a step forward (MadvMini that reaches 5.4K photos, but sacrificing the video that is in FHD). However, 4K is the bare minimum to have a decent quality in 360, but more is better.

The Insta360 One is an exception that can be used as an on-phone camera. However, since I have not tried it, I don't want to risk saying any wrong detail.

Now you are probably thinking: "Where do you want to get there?"


If you understand after reading this word, put a comment below ;)

Smartphones are the key to everything. Stand-alone or on-phone cams, most of  operations are made through the smartphone. Connect or insert the camera, open the app and tap.

But what if the smartphone could take a 360° picture by themself ?

The latest models of smartphones have front cameras with 16MP, even more in some cases. Obviously also the rear ones have at least 16MP (with the hope that Samsung will wake up making the Galaxy S10). With two 16MP sensors you can get 8K of photos. This is demonstrated by the Samsung Gear360 2016 which, with two 15MP sensors, shoots in 7776x3888.

So a smartphone could be ideal for quality and speed.

What's the problem then? The lenses, obviously. To make a 360° photo, with two sensors, each lens must capture at least 180° of the field of view + a few ° for stitching. Usually it goes from 190° to 200°. As a result, the lenses must protrude slightly from the body of the camera.

It would be an impractical solution and would ruin the design of smartphones, it seems obvious.

From here comes the idea of some brands that have created accessories with wide-angle lenses that are positioned above the cameras of the smartphone. With this system and an app that makes everything work, you could take 360° pictures and record 360° videos without having to buy a 360° camera.

This idea was presented more than 2 years ago by the Vyu360 with a kickstarter campaign which, unfortunately, did not reach the necessary funds for the creation of accessories.

Yet the idea was right. This is the ideal solution for amateur shots, it is the ideal solution for "on the go" photos. What went wrong? In my opinion, the period. In 2016 the 360 was still too young, too new to be understood, to be widespread.

In 2017, FusionLens tried this with a campaign on IndieGoGo. This time the project was successful and the accessories were delivered in October 2018, almost 1 year later.

And how are they going? Honestly I do not know because I do not have an iPhone. Yeah ... FusionLens is an exclusive for iPhone, at least for now. Take a look at Ben Claremont's socials to find out more.

The accessory of the Vyu360, in comparison, was compatible with different models of different brands, as can be seen in this kickstarter campaign.

In your opinion, is this the solution? An easy, cheap and portable accessory and a smartphone for 360 photos.

In my opinion the idea is excellent. And I think that Vyu360 has not totally abandoned the idea.

Why ?

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