FFS - 360 degree images is NOTHING to do with true VR, an altogether more immersive experience. All that a "360 degree" image is, is where the Photographer abandoned all and any attempt at framing and composition.
Enough already - this misinformation is damaging our art.
KUDOS to an amazing man from Imperial College. And thanks for this newsbite - I was hitherto unaware of the OWL, and have now orded two. Possibly to be followed by more, as gifts, experimental platforms, and more.
Stuff Google Cardboard - this is made from real materials.
And if it is true that Mr May likes a silver 6d coin as his plectrum, even more Kudos.
Brian (not May, but Steel, also Imperial College, also a musician)
VR in the true sense is MUCH deeper than simple "360-degree, scrollable flat images". You should be able to move forwards and backwards in order to get different viewpoints; inside buildings, upstairs, looking out through the windows. And you should do so with the full immersive senses of touch, texture, smell, temperature and more. Not to mention that images should be stereoscopic, with true depth (so that the eye can focus at different distances).
Like so many interesting areas of perceptual science, VR is being cheapened into something altogether less interesting and fundamentally trivial. 360-degree images will sell some cameras, maybe many, but ultimately, the lack of composition and framing will simply bore the rest of us to tears.
PixelJ: I wish these action camera companies would offer swapable lenses for 90 degree or 80 degree fields of view.
Totally agreed Steve. My GoPro 3 goes places I would never even think of taking a "real" camera (note the quotes, I am fully aware that the GoPro is real too!). And mostly, the 180 fisheye is just perfect for what I need. Where it disappoints is in things like wildlife and landscape, where even close up to subjects, there is far too much background detail. I'd buy a second GoPro with (say) 60-degrees diagonal vision in an instant.
Agreed - but then again, every "swappable" part, is another potential ingress point for water. So we all have the option, of buying a "real" camera - then adding a housing.
SEVEN "layers" of OPTICAL glass? OMG - there's even a chance, they're trying to give this thing a lens!
Steve in GA: The high quality of these photos make me wonder:
If Nikon APS-C has gotten this good, why would I ever want to ditch my current Nikon APS-C gear and move to full-frame?
You want better bokeh, RomanP? "FF" (or "FX" in Nikon-speak, as in 135, "35mm") always was a compromise, used for sticking images on Cine film (for convenience) while wasting nearly 1/3 of the emulsion for the sproket holes.
What makes you think "FF" gives you the best? You need a Hassleblad or Pentax 645, mate.
Absolutely! Apart from a legacy of 35mm glass, there is no longer any real meaning to "Full Frame". Each sensor format, from tiny cellphone imagers through to the so-called "medium format" megabucks cameras from Hasselblad an others, has its pros and cons. I have personally been more than happy with 4/3rds for the past 12 years or more, and with my current Oly E-M1, can take photos that easily exceed the quality of my old Kodachrome 25 shots, in a camera the same physical size and weight as my original Olympus OM-1. Brilliant.
The reason an iPhone is a great stand-by camera, is because it's in your pocket anyway, and when an unexpected photo op shows up, and your real camera is elsewhere, you can grab the iPhone and snap.
The moment you start encasing your iPhone in a large chassis, attaching flashes, lenses, external microphones, and whatever else (wheels?!!), it ceases being the standby that happens to be in your pocket. Chances are, it will be sitting at home, next to your real camera.
If you are going to make the effort to take a bulky object and kitbag of spare lenses, filters, etc, with you - surely, in the name of love, you'd want your system based around a decent sized sensor, and using primary lenses, rather than supplementary ones?
And if you choose a camera with the appopriate built-in WiFi or Bluetooth technology, you can still link it (wirelessly) to your iPhone for uploading images to the Cloud.
Biowizard: I find photographing through the bottom of a jam jar is somewhat cheaper.
How do I post images here?
Biowizard: After 40 years as a user of SLRs and then DSLRs, I am happy to have made the transition to mirrorless. My Olympus OM-D E-M1 is utterly superb, and one day I hope I might have a choice of decent larger-sensor cameras using similar technology.
Indeed my comments are about one of the obvious benefits of mirrorless vs SLR: the SAME sensor that judges focus, records the actual picture - so irrespective of which lens you use, there is NO scope for focus discrepancy. Camley, now you get it?
Well that's not bad. As an OM-D E-M1 owner, I decided to call that up for direct comparison. What can I say? My lovely Oly, with its micro-4/3rds format, is all but as good an image as this Nik. To all practical intents and purposes, every bit as good.
Ever since we passed the "Scanned Kodachrome 25" standard (about 12 years ago), I've figured cameras are plenty good enough in terms of image quality. What matters is ergonomics, design and features!
And thus, Olympus wins, for me.
After 40 years as a user of SLRs and then DSLRs, I am happy to have made the transition to mirrorless. My Olympus OM-D E-M1 is utterly superb, and one day I hope I might have a choice of decent larger-sensor cameras using similar technology.
I have several Pelis of the traditional type, protecting assorted audio gear and cameras. I love their cases, but yep, they are amazingly heavy. I'll definitely be giving these new cases a once-over.
Biowizard: Hey - in the same amount of physical space, you could be holding something called a CAMERA. #nuts
To Peiasdf - I'd rather have a decent SENSOR, which is what ultimately takes the image for prosperity. However, FWIW, I have a 12-inch "calibrated" screen on my 4/3rds camera - OlyView running on my iPad Pro, connected via WiFi to my OM-D E-M1, sees to that!
I find photographing through the bottom of a jam jar is somewhat cheaper.
Hey - in the same amount of physical space, you could be holding something called a CAMERA. #nuts
Biowizard: All my photographic life (which takes in film from the mid-70s, up to about 12 years ago, when I switched to digital (mainly)), I have HATED the effects of badly position ND grads. Images look SO artificial, with a linear blurred darkening zone, and as others have noted, where tall objects poking above the gradation remain underexposed while reflections in foreground puddles are blown-out.
You can get SO much better results by squeezing off 5 bracketed exposures in quick succession, covering whichever range of EV you want to play with, and selectively combining them, with appropriate blurred masking, in Photoshop.
Not forgetting, there's probably a good spare 1.5-2EV at either end of your individual raw frames to play with, if you don't want to merge images but simply want to apply some selective exposure compensation masks.
Using Photoshop in this way is frankly no different than dodging and burning in the traditional darkroom - just less hit-and-miss, and a LOT less smelly.
True, but the answer is simple: expose shot 1 for the sea, shot 2 for the sky, and combine. NOT "HDR", just two exposures blurred together at the horizon - rather like using a Lee ND Grad, but with complete control
All my photographic life (which takes in film from the mid-70s, up to about 12 years ago, when I switched to digital (mainly)), I have HATED the effects of badly position ND grads. Images look SO artificial, with a linear blurred darkening zone, and as others have noted, where tall objects poking above the gradation remain underexposed while reflections in foreground puddles are blown-out.