Share your thoughts or experiences with 360 cameras

360 cameras are great for capturing street level photos. There are many 360 cameras in the market, e.g. RICOH Theta, Giroptic etc. It would be great if we can start sharing the thoughts on different models or experiences if you have ever used one of them.

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I am in the market for a new action cam and it might be a 360 degree. Here is what I have found out:

Kodak Pixpro SP360 does not get good reviews as a 360 degree camera. It only have one lens and the part of the image that is truly 360 degree is so small, that it is not worth considering.

360fly looks promising and seems to have everything we need. It is only in preorder and currently only in the US at $400.

vsnmobil looks a little bigger than the Fly, but also seems to have what we need, including GPS and time lapse with 2 seconds as the lowest. Price is $450.

I have high hopes for Sphericam. Hopefully ships at the end of the year or early 2016. Have seen a prototype and looks very promising.

I have tried the Ricoh Theta and it is not great. On the market though which is more than you can say for the others :wink:


Where can I announce as a Beta-tester for Mapillary??? :smile:

check … the Giroptic seems to make the most area : 360x300

There is also the Panomo “ball camera” which should start shipping soon.

No video, but good high resolution images

Have you tried the Ricoh Theta S also ? It is 350 dollar, while the others start at 1500 dollar.
I just cannot find out if it has timelapse and if it can operate while loading.
It can hold 2000 pictures, which is just acceptable.

I was able to borrow a ricoh theta (s i think) of a small organisation here in the neighbourhood. I can’t wait testing it. I’ll keep you informed

I very much doubt So.

Ok, a first update:
it is an theta S
I tested it indoor because it was dark outside, and then it is difficult to hide yourself. If you put it on a monopod you can mount a disc under the camera, I used the lock of a cooky jar to hide myself , but that is blocking a large part of the picture. It could be smaller if you place the camera higher, but at least indoors it creates a strange point of view.
At first I thought the picture was a bit grainy, but than I found out that you can select iso an shutter time manually. Shuttertime up to 60 seconds.
So I went out to take some night pictures with a tripod. But it is hard to stay out of the picture, and looking att the app on my tablet makes me appearing like a ghost in the picture :smile:
But otherwise the picture was really nice.
If the weather is nice al try some daylight pictures tomorrow. …
The theta s has a timelapse, I don’t know if you can take pictures while loading, but the usb connector is so close to the tripod connector, that it will be hard to fit it both to a tripod/monopod and a usb cable,
But I’ll test tomorrow


I was wrong. The Theta S can be bought in Europe for 400 Euro.

It is better to test in cloudy weather and on the move. I am waiting for your “GO” to buy one. I don’t expect another affordable 360 camera in the near future.

I asked Facebook and the answer is that the Theta S is still not suitable for Mapillary.
Let us hope that it is a software problem.

Why isn’t it suitable for Mapillary? (I have no facebook account)

second update on the theta S.
I made a short sequence yesterday. The Theta S can be operated from an app, and than the phone/tablet is provideing the gps coordinates to the image. The Tetha S has no internal GPS, but can provided geotagged images. But then you have to have your phone running in order to gather gps coordinates. It also has a timelapse option. The shortest otion is 8 seconds. So if you walk slowly it is reasonable. This time I mounted the camera on a monopod which I put in my backpack. It fitted firmly beside my back and my laptop.
I didn’t use the lock of the cooky jar, so I am on every picture.
I didn’t succeed to keep the camera straight all the time, but I think it was a loose screw on the monopod and not the backpack.
I downloaded the images to my tablet with the app (wifi connection) and did a manually upload to mapillary.
This was the result:

At night a tested a nightphoto again. It was really dark outside and there was a clear sky with stars. I had the ISO value att 200 and the shutter time was 20 or 30 seconds. Maybe not the best for mapping, but otherwise a really nice picture I think:
The original picture i better than the version on Mapillary, even better than the version you get when you download the image

I also tested if you can use the tetha S while loading the battery and that was possible

8 seconds is the lowest setting for interval shooting

Yes it is, it needs the time to stitch the image and than save it, so it is not suitable for biking.

I suppose that this hardware problem is the same for every 360 camera and that this will not be solved soon. On the other hand, 360 video is possible (in lower resolution probably).
I would use the Theta S holding up my hand on every street crossing in places I photographed already with my smartphone.
A disadvantage would be that my smartphone would be an extra expensive load on the drone.

With “upload” do you mean the python script upload, or the web page upload ?
The first is troublesome on my computer and the second is limited to 50 pictures.
I think you mean the web page download, as tablets do not have python. But does mly accept that without the direction ?

I mean the webupload and because the Theta is using the gps position from the telephone, the pictures have latitude and longitude in the exif. I don’t think the direction or heading is in the exif, but mapillary sets that to north and will try later to figure out the real heading through the 3d modeling process.

You can increase the max number of photouploads to whatever number you want and depending on your hardware and internetspeed it wil work. At my desktop I set it to 500 and that works for me.

Good point! I will also test video and maybe that could generate more pictures per minute @gyllen did you already test the video option or is @filipc the smartest guy around here :wink:

If only Ricoh were as smart as I am ! I stitch my torn clothes during the dark days of Christmas. Why do they have to stitch the images immediately ?
This means that I recall the first sentence of my previous post.