Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print

Topic: If anyone was thinking about using a 360 cam...  (Read 1546 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
HotPursuit
*

Reputation 4
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1996 Honda VF750C Magna, and 2003 Honda VFR800 Interceptor
GPS: High Desert, SoCal
Miles Typed: 49

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« on: June 30, 2019, 06:45:43 pm »

I got back a couple days ago from a 10 day trip up through Sequoia, King's Canyon, and Yosemite National Parks, and then back down CA Hwy 1 from Santa Cruz down to Ventura.  Beautiful scenery for almost the entirety of the trip. Inlove

Prior to the trip I wanted to get an action camera of some sort to document it, and I had been considering picking one up to use as dash cam.

Budget being a significant factor, I looked into a number of different action camera setups, and found the best setup is ultimately to run multiple cameras.  I don't have a YouTube channel, and I'm not too concerned with making professional cinematic videos, I just want to be able to review and share my experiences with friends and family.  But the idea of multiple camera setups reminded of 360 cameras, of which most appear to pretty capable now a days, except one thing...  I couldn't find any, save for one, that were either waterproof/shockproof/dustproof, or had an available casing other than a ziplock bag and rubber bands.  BUt the concept seemed easy enough, buy 1 camera that captures in all directions, at all times.

Ultimately I got the Samsung Gear 360 (2016/eyeball looking model) and bought a waterproof and GoPro mount compatible casing for it.  I really like this camera, and it does really well when I'm off the bike doing some sightseeing, but I ran into a couple of issues when using it one the bike.

First obvious issue is heat.  I live out in the desert, and most electronics, when left out in the sun can overheat in a manner of MINUTES.  I use my cellphone as a GPS, but if it's over 80 degrees out, I have put my phone in my jacket, and take all my directions by audio only.  Mounting my phone to the triple tree in warm weather is are recipe for it to just crash on me.  The camera suffers the same issue, especially when inside of an airtight plastic housing.  I suspect GoPro's may be better about this issue, as you have the option to just put a lens protector on, and you don't need to seal the whole camera in a casing.

Next issue is battery life.  Luckily, the camera I bought has replaceable battery units, and Amazon sells replacement/back-up batteries pretty cheap, however actively recording will yield you maybe a couple hours tops.  I had a habit of charging the camera every night, and I believe there was only one day where the battery died on me when I wasn't done for the day yet.  After a couple days on the road, I became much more selective about what I was recording, which helped me save battery power, and later on in rendering/stitching time as well.  Also, with the casing, keeping the camera plugged in while on the bike wasn't an option.  I plan to buy some extra batteries to keep on hand.

My biggest let down was the perspective.  This is more of a general camera framing issue than it is specific to this camera, but 360 cameras generally capture better video/images when they are up high, and free from obstructions.  It sounds like common sense, but let me elaborate...

So I chose to mount the camera to the upper right side of my windshield, which put it about an inch or two below my shoulder.  The longer "beam" attachment that came with the mounting kit I ordered was too flimsy to put the camera higher without creating an unwatchable shaky mess of a video.  The camera gave a great view of my front and immediate right.  Most of the view to the back and left was obstructed by myself, which isn't a bad angle from a cinematic standpoint, but from a "dash cam" perspective, there's a huge blind spot to my left and rear left.  Additionally, because of the relatively low height of the camera, a lot of the views I was hoping to capture (Hwy 1 specifically), weren't adequately captured because the camera was too low to "see" over the road edge and down the cliffs.  I am very averse to mounting the camera on my helmet, but the best perspective from a capture standpoint for this style of camera is head height or higher.  I'll have to think on that issue.

My last gripe is stitching/rendering time.  By default, the camera takes two wide angle shots, and puts them side by side in either a .jpg or .mp4, no stitching required, and totally sufficient from a dash cam perspective in terms of usable video.  If you want to stitch the videos into a 3D/immersive video however, be prepared to spend some time letting your computer, or your phone stitch the video.  So, the Samsung Gear 360 app is proprietary to Samsung phones, Galaxy S6's and newer.  On my Galaxy S6, stitching was significantly faster than on my computer, however, it kills my phone battery.  The phone app is great for framing and previewing on the bike, or if you want to share a video or picture right then, but I wouldn't use it to stitch a significant amount of footage.  Another note, the phone MUST stitch the video before it will let you view it.

There is video editing software you can download from the the Samsung website, but I can tell you, when I returned from my trip, it took my computer 3 DAYS to stitch all the video I decided I wanted to keep, compared to what would probably would have been a few hours on my phone.  Don't just stitch everything and then review.  Preview your videos, and be selective about what you actually want to keep. 

You can also choose to only record on one side or the other, and it will more or less come out as wide angle shot, similar to a GoPro, no stitching required.  This model does have a "loop" feature which you can set to record for a certain time block, and then it will start to overwrite the oldest video in that time block.

All that said, I got a lot of great shots and captures with this camera when I was off the bike, and was free to use a monopod, and was able to use the app on my phone to help frame shots.  It's not a replacement for regular camera though, as it ONLY gets wide angle shots, or 360 captures.  If you want to get a portrait style photo, or close-up, or really anything else other than a wide or 360 capture, you're going to want a regular camera.

I'm still going to keep this camera for recording trips, and try find a better capture solution, however, as far as a dash cam, I think I'm going to invest in a dedicated dash cam system.  This alleviates the clarity of perspective vs. cinematic perspective issue, the overheat issue (I hope), and the power issue.

As most things, there are always compromises to be made.  Generally, I'm happy with the camera, but when compared to an action camera, it's not going to stack up, and the same goes when compared to a dash cam.

***UPDATE 1 JUL 19***

Here's some captures for reference:

Single Lens Photo
SAM_0227 by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

Single Lens Video
SAM_0073 by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

360 Photo, before stitching
360_0214 by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

360 Photo, after stitching
360_0214_Stitch_XHC by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

360 Video, before stitching
360_0160 by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

360 Video, after stitching (2D render)
360_0160_Stitch_XHC by Hot Pursuit, on Flickr

I'm working on finding a site that will share a 360 video in a true 360 format... stay tuned...
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 12:34:17 am by HotPursuit » Logged
Sport-Touring
Advertisement
*


Remove Advertisements

Blue is Best
Light is right
*

Reputation 252
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 2012 FJR1300
GPS: Rio Rancho, NM
Miles Typed: 2412

My Photo Gallery


Blue motorcycles are fastest




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 08:31:10 pm »

Sounds like a great trip, Stephen. I've been the way you went and you can't beat some of the great California scenery.

As for the camera business, that is way over my head!        
Logged

Past bikes: Dirt- '74 MX360, SC500 x 2, '77 YZ400, '78 YZ400, '83 CR250, '85 CR250, '86 CR250   
 Street- '74 S3400, H1500, '72 H2750 x 2, '78 GS1000C, GS1000EC x 2, '80 GS1000S, '00 1200 Bandit, '05 FJR1300, '07 ZX14, '16 1250 Bandit
HotPursuit
*

Reputation 4
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1996 Honda VF750C Magna, and 2003 Honda VFR800 Interceptor
GPS: High Desert, SoCal
Miles Typed: 49

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 02:48:30 am »

Sounds like a great trip, Stephen. I've been the way you went and you can't beat some of the great California scenery.

As for the camera business, that is way over my head!
Thanks!  I'm already brainstorming the next one.  I'm thinking CO...

I spent quite a bit of time researching 360 cameras before I bought it, but it's kind of a niche within a niche within a niche...  I'll see if I can get a couple of pictures and videos in of both the 2D and 3D captures up and maybe it'll make a little more sense after you see the products the camera makes.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
Logged
Advertisement



Blue is Best
Light is right
*

Reputation 252
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 2012 FJR1300
GPS: Rio Rancho, NM
Miles Typed: 2412

My Photo Gallery


Blue motorcycles are fastest




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 07:47:35 am »

You let me know about Colorado. We'll meet up and I can help you with some great roads.
Logged

Past bikes: Dirt- '74 MX360, SC500 x 2, '77 YZ400, '78 YZ400, '83 CR250, '85 CR250, '86 CR250   
 Street- '74 S3400, H1500, '72 H2750 x 2, '78 GS1000C, GS1000EC x 2, '80 GS1000S, '00 1200 Bandit, '05 FJR1300, '07 ZX14, '16 1250 Bandit
HotPursuit
*

Reputation 4
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1996 Honda VF750C Magna, and 2003 Honda VFR800 Interceptor
GPS: High Desert, SoCal
Miles Typed: 49

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 01:31:31 am »

Slightly unrelated...  But after about 1000 miles, give or take, the GoPro style prong/bolt mounts failed when I was rolling about 70mph down a gradually dark desert highway...  Right after a nice long day of rolling around Big Bear...   Sad  To be fair, I did buy the Chinese bargain bin set.  Adequate for the low speed stuff, probably not the best choice for automotive application.

Most frustrating part was there wasn't any warning or indication that the mount was coming apart, it just all at once catastrophically failed.  One second the camera was there, the next, it was rolling down the road into oncoming traffic.  

I was able to to recover the remaining pieces of the mount, the protective casing (which by the looks of, didn't provide much protection to the camera itself), and even the camera's battery!  But the camera itself, with my memory card and my footage from the ride through Big Bear, were swallowed by the desert.

Next time around I'm trying a RAM mount and I've since fabricated a safety tether/lanyard in case of any other future hardware failures.  Of course, in 20/20 hindsight, I really should have done that in the first place.  

I'm hoping that the increased stability of the RAM mount will allow me to run a longer arm, and provide a better viewpoint up at the windshield.  I'm also considering rigging up an over the shoulder backpack rig, which would provide probably the best vantage point for a 360 camera.

By switching to a RAM mount, I also have the option of mounting a camera at the triple tree where I've got my cell phone holder, that I pretty much never use, because it's too hot out here to put your cellphone in direct sunlight for any length of time.
Logged
zer0netgain
*

Reputation 30
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 2018 BMW R1200RS
GPS: VA/TN
Miles Typed: 6414

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 05:32:33 am »

Always, always, always over-engineer mounts for important equipment.  My Zumo 660 had a good cradle, but no easy way to lock it in.  I used a mini bungee and one of those glue on bases to make a lifeline keeping it attached to the bike should the mount fail or otherwise release the GPS unexpectedly.
Logged

HotPursuit
*

Reputation 4
Offline Offline

Motorcycles: 1996 Honda VF750C Magna, and 2003 Honda VFR800 Interceptor
GPS: High Desert, SoCal
Miles Typed: 49

My Photo Gallery





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 07:19:26 pm »

Always, always, always over-engineer mounts for important equipment.  My Zumo 660 had a good cradle, but no easy way to lock it in.  I used a mini bungee and one of those glue on bases to make a lifeline keeping it attached to the bike should the mount fail or otherwise release the GPS unexpectedly.
Yeah, the tether I made is an electrical eye slightly larger than the mounting bolt, crimped and heatshrinked to some Paracord, and a figure 8 loop in the other side.  I can feed loop through my rearview mirror mount.  I gave it a good tug to ensure it'll hold.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to:  



ST.N

Copyright © 2001 - 2013 Sport-Touring.Net.
All rights reserved.

 
SimplePortal 2.3.1 © 2008-2009, SimplePortal