I have been a fan of Ricoh Theta 360 cameras since I bought a Theta SC around 3 years ago. What I like about Ricoh is the quality of the optics and the ability to control the camera as if it was an SLR. Over the years my trusty Theta SC has worked excellently in a variety of situations. I’ve taken pictures of the stars at night, in caves, classic buildings to country scenes. I’ve been waiting for some time for a proper update of the Theta range and finally Ricoh have done it with the release of the Z1. Mine arrived this week.
My first impression of the Z1 is it feels like a more meaty camera. Much bigger lenses, improved optics and the ability to shoot in RAW, certainly suggest some big improvements on the older Theta cameras. The Z1 works in the same way as the older Theta range and comes with the same app for managing the camera on my iPhone or Android phone.
The Z1 is a nice camera. It seems to handle colours in a more vibrant way and there is a marked improvement in resolution, especially in RAW mode. It does feel like a step up from the Thata SC in image quality, though you would expect that in camera which is several times more expensive.
I think to get the best from the Z1, you do need to use RAW mode and then Adobe Lightroom for post processing. I am still getting to grips with that but it certainly does give you a lot of control over your photos. However just in basic jpeg mode, the camera does work well.
My only drawbacks I’ve hit with the Z1, is a bug either in the camera or the iOs software which for time wouldn’t allow me to connect with the camera to control shots. However with by using an Android phone to connect to the camera, I seem to have solved that bug and iOS app is now working fine. It’s early days with the Z1, so I assume more firmware updates will come along to improve stability.
I’d recommend buying the Z1, as it’s easy to use and the optics provide great quality shots. I’d love to see the resolution improved but you can’t have everything. I’d certainly recommend buying one.
Here are some pictures to compare from both cameras:
VR can come in many forms but a powerful approach is to use 360 video. Here is a great example we created, working in collaboration with Broadcast Productions. This 360 video puts the user on top of scaffolding and demonstrates its power at communicating basic elements of safety. Using a mobile phone and Google Cardboard, users can be totally immersed within the experience.
Mobikats have developed our own technology to enable us to make the learning experience interactive. We can overlay questions on a 360 degree image and get users to answer them by staring at different points in the image, essentially using line of sight as a virtual mouse.
The creation of interactive 360 video experiences doesn’t need to break to the bank either. Costs of creating 360 video training are not too dissimilar to those of creating a standard interactive video training package. Yet the advantages are many fold:
To try out 360 video training, you'll need some google cardboard goggles and an Android of iPhone. Then go to the video demo: https://youtu.be/WE7dWsmqbiY. If you'd like to experience a high quality version, please contact us.
360 degree photography can make capturing tenancy inventory checks for lettings much faster and easier. P360M can help!
The process of taking an inventory check can be rather time consuming. Lots of photos, lists of inventory, a detailed description of how they relate to each other and not having much time, just makes it even harder. If mistakes are made, issues become tenfold at the point of a tenant leaving property, when potentially disagreements can ensue. We believe 360 degree photography can help.
A lot of the work in photographing a property can be alleviated using 360 photography. Instead of many photos per room, you only need one 360 degree photo. You may still need the odd standard photo occasionally to draw attention to small details. However, 360 photography gives standard photos context, as it’s possible to match the location of standard photo within the 360 degree view of the room.
360 degree photography will make the process to capture inventory of properties faster and more reliable. It also enables all parties involved in the letting, to visually see an inventory check for each room, so potentially reducing any conflicts at point or renting or at the end of the lease. The end result is savings in time and money, while increasing satisfaction for tenants and property owners.
Taking and managing 360 degree photos is now cheap and easy to do. Cameras can be bought for less than £200 and we here at P360M provide a simple service, that allows a user on their phone or tablet, to annotate 360 degree photos, then upload them to our cloud service. These 360 degree annotated images can be viewed and rotated in a simple web browser. They can also be viewed in virtual reality using a phone and low-cost Google Cardboard goggles. Our cloud service also provides an audit trail for the images, recording who took the photo and when it was uploaded. To find out more go to https://p360m.co.uk
360 degree photography could play an essential part in capturing a scene of a fire in the world of fire forensics. Here is why:
We believe P360M could be a great asset working alongside 360 degree photography in fire forensics. P360M allows a user via a smartphone or tablet. To annotate 360 degree photos and then upload them to our cloud service. Photos can then be viewed by opening a simple web link in your web browser. Web users can rotate the view to see the complete scene, including annotations left by the investigator. It’s also possible to view the 360 degree photo with annotations, in virtual reality goggles using a mobile phone and google cardboard headset.
It’s doubtful that 360 photography will ever absolutely replace standard photography, but will work as a complementary tool, enabling investigators to capture a crime scene in more effective and faster ways in the future.
P360M makes using 360 degree photography cheap and easy to use. Using P360M it’s easy to annotate and upload images direct from the scene. All the images uploaded can then be simply viewed in a standard web browser. It just requires the purchase of a 360 degree camera, which can be made for as little as £200 and taking out a subscription of our P360M service. Why not contact us to find out more: Contact us
I run a mobile app based service called P360M, which enables users to annotate and share 360 degree photos via the web. A number of our clients, sometimes need to work in low light conditions and unfortunately 360 degree cameras don’t generally come with a flash. Therefore to help out all 360 degree photographers, I thought I’d share a few techniques to solve the problem of taking 360 degree photos in low or no light.
Using the light you have
A good 360 degree camera, like the Ricoh Theta camera range, should provide a user with a high degree of control over the camera experience. It’s possible with the Ricoh cameras to switch the camera to manual mode using the Ricoh app. You can then adjust the exposure, film speed (ISO) and White Balance, to use whatever light is available. If the scene is relatively static, I recommend reducing ISO to around 250 and then use longer exposures. It’s worth taking several photos at different shutter speeds until you get the best image possible. The photo below was taken using 1/90s exposure, 100 ISO and F2.0
360 degree image in P360M
How to take a 360 photo in room with no light
It’s actually easier than you think to take 360 degree photos in spaces where there is little or no light available. You just need an independent light source. A source which is diffuse and produces light across 360 degrees is ideal. An electric camping lantern of around 1000 lumens will work well and can be purchased for less than £20. All you need to do is hang the lantern several feet above the camera or alternatively position the lantern underneath your camera tripod. Your camera will do the rest.
View the 360 degree image in P360M
P360M is a 360 degree photo based mobile app service for sharing annotated 360 degree images
P360M service is designed to work with any 360 degree camera. It’s a mobile app service, which enables a rotate and annotate 360 degree photos. Once the image is annotated, it can be shared to others through emailing a web link. Web users can open the link in any web browser and are able to rotate the view to see the complete 360 degree image and any annotations added to it. They can also view the link on a mobile phone in VR using Google Cardboard goggles.
P360M service is great for construction project management, site auditing, project snagging, health & safety site management and also has applications in forensic work for capturing a complete scene. To learn more, go to https://p360m.co.uk
I am the CEO of P360M. A mobile app service, which works alongside any 360 degree camera and allows a user to annotate, then share 360 degree photos with their teams via simple web views. This article will give you a basic understanding of 360 degree photography and how it can be used in the construction business.
What is 360 degree photography
360 degree camera allows a user in one shot to generate a complete 360 degree image around the camera. There are a number of 360 degree cameras available, which are simple to use and relatively cheap to purchase.
360 degree photography enables with one click, the ability to capture a total scene in front and behind the camera. 360 degree photos can be viewed easily via a specialised web service, either as a rotatable view in a web browser or in Virtual Reality using VR goggles. Using VR goggles puts the user actually in the centre of the photo, so they actually feel they are there.
How to capture 360 degree photos
Let’s start with the basics of 360 degree cameras. A 360 degree camera consists of multiple cameras in one device. When it’s activated, each camera takes a photo, which is then stitched together to form a complete 360 degree view around the camera. Usually, 360 degree cameras work with an accompanying mobile app, so the viewer can see and rotate the 360 degree view on their phone. The phone can also be used to control the camera, enabling the user to place a camera on a tripod and take a photo of a complete space without the photographer being in the photo.
You do not need to spend huge sums on 360 cameras for use in construction. The camera we recommend to use is the Ricoh Theta S, because it’s easy to use, generates great quality pictures, has a good battery life and retails at less than £200. Other options are the Samsung 360 camera or Insta 360.
How to make 360 degree photos useful in your work.
To make 360 degree photos useful, you need to be able to easily add notes and be able to share them. P360M is a mobile app based service (iOS and Android supported), which enables a user to annotate 360 images on their phone and then share them with their teams via simple emailed web links.
A user who receives a P360M web link, can open the 360 degree photo within a web browser. The user can rotate the view to see all 360 degrees of the photo and any annotations added by the P360M app user.
The image can also be viewed in virtual reality goggles, using a mobile phone and low cost Google Cardboard goggles.
Why use 360 degree photography in construction?
A picture says a 1000 words, a 360 degree picture says everything. Here are some basic reasons why 360 degree photography can help in construction:
Where can it be used in construction?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of applications, but here are a number of interesting areas 360 photography can be used:
Find out more at https://p360m.co.uk
Click heP360M launches update to web views to improve how text is shown within a 360 view. Now text can be placed in any orientation and any position across a 360 degree image and it will show correctly via P360M cloud powered web views.
P360M is a powerful tool for managing large projects. Users can take a 360 degree image using any number of 360 degree cameras and annotate them within the P360M mobile app. Once comments, arrows, boxes or drawings are added to a 360 image, they can be easily shared to others using the P360M cloud service. To view and rotate annotated images, all that is needed is a simple web browser. P360M allows all project team members to feel like they are onsite through the power of 360 degree photography. Making project communication simple and quick. Ideal for construction, health and safety and many other large physical projects. Take a closer look at our site https://p360m.co.uk
P360M web view example: Construction project update
A long 3 days in London this week exhibiting at the Health & Safety Expo, but it was worth it. With over a 100 new leads to follow up, means I am an exceptionally happy man. It was great to talk to so many people about how P360M can help them in their business. Here are just a few takeouts:
P360M app is now available for Android. Allowing users with android phones or tablets to share annotated 360 images with their project teams. Ideal for the world of construction, where ruggedised Android phones are the norm for project teams.
Android users can now share visual project updates with their teams offsite, via using the P360M app and service . Offsite team members receive an email which links to a 360o annotated picture in a basic web view, which can be seen on a computer or via VR headsets. Now everyone can feel they are there onsite, allowing better and more effective project management.
Excellent tool for the world of construction, project audits and in health & safety applications.
Go to P360m.co.uk to sign up and install our app
See how P360M can work for you in this short video
Now you can see how P360M works out in the field: