Product Reviews Archive

The Amazing 360Fly Camera May Be the Next GoPro.

360fly_CameraProduct1_grande
There are many action cameras out there that have tried to topple GoPro’s dominance, maybe, just maybe the 360fly camera will take the crown with its rugged golf ball shape and 360 degree field of view. While the GoPro’s 180 degree field of view is impressive , imagine how impressive a 360 degree action camera would be. There have many attempts at making a 360 degree field of view video cameras but most of them use the kludgy method of shooting into a curved mirror, most notably the Kogeto DOT for iPhone. The 360fly is different in that it uses an ultra wide angle fish eye lens to capture a 240 degree field of view, while it’s not truly a 360 degree camera in all axes, it can capture a true 360 degree horizontal panoramic FOV for an immersive viewer experience.
The 360fly holds its own as just an action camera; it’s waterproof, shock resistant and small enough to mount just about anywhere. It comes with flat and curved swivel mounts and it looks cool with its black Darth Vader meets Bucky Fuller design. The camera charges via USB and has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and it’s controlled by a smartphone app. The smartphone app acts as a viewfinder, remote control and as a viewer for the completed panoramic videos, although you don’t need a phone just to start and stop the camera’s recorder. Apparently the camera has a 1504 X 1504 pixel square sensor although it’s not exactly clear as to what the resolution of the “unwrapped” video is.
The skeptics may wonder just what the use case for the camera is and if having to use a proprietary viewer is going to take away from the appeal of the camera. We think that the camera has the potential to revolutionize the whole POV camera market just as the GoPro did. We are hoping that the camera will have a time-lapse mode and low-light performance better than a GoPro so that we could shoot meteor showers and whole sky nighttime time-lapses. We are also hoping that there will be an open source HTML5 viewer, so that the panoramic videos can be viewed in any Web browser. We are a bit concerned about the resolution and hope that if the camera takes-off that they will evolve the resolution toward 4K. But we are definitely excited about the product and can’t wait to take it canyoneering and whitewater rafting in Utah. We only wish we knew who we have to kiss to get our hands on one for testing.
The 360fly is available for pre-order and promises to ship in Spring 2015. You can get more information and pre-order the camera at https://360fly.com/ Until you actually get the camera you can check out their demo video:

Meet 360fly from 360fly on Vimeo.

Bargain Carbon Fiber Tripod / Monopod Q-666C

Q-666C Tripod

Q-666C Tripod

The Q-666C carbon fiber convertible tripod is sold under several brand names including Beike and Afaith on Amazon or ebay. This tripod is an inexpensive alternative to some other higher priced carbon fiber ultra-lightweight travel tripods on the market. For shooting time-lapses in remote locations where you have to pack in your gear, a carbon fiber tripod is on my essentials list. Some of the features I like in this tripod are:

  • Lightweight and Compact easily fits in a backpack or carry-on bag
  • Converts to a monopod/ walking pole
  • Extends to almost 6 feet
  • Has twist-lock leg locks
  • Includes a three-way ball head
  • At around $150 I can destroy several for the price of a name-brand carbon fiber tripod

The only thing that I am a little disappointed with is that the ball head is rather heavy. When you are backpacking every ounce counts, so when I’m backpacking,  I use a lighter weight Giottos brand ball head. Also, if you are not careful with the included ball head’s Arca Swiss compatible quick release plate, you can inadvertently loosen the quick release screw and possibly drop your camera.

Check out my video review below:

Celestron/Skywatcher All-View Multi-purpose Mount Overview

All-view Mount with DSLR

All-view Mount with DSLR

The Celestron/Skywatcher All-View multi-purpose mount gives photographers a robotic mount that can do a lot more than your typical telescope mount.  Not only is it a great mount for small to medium size telescopes up to 9 lbs (4 kg) with Go-To electronics will find any of 42,000 celestial objects  for traditional viewing or astrophotography, but it also allows you to do automatic panoramic and gigapixel photography, and even pan-tilt time-lapse photography. We’ll take a quick look at some of the features of this mount to be followed with more in-depth tutorials in later posts.

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