360° Cameras and the future game changers

360° Video Cameras

What are 360 video cameras? Why do we need them?

If you are reading this blog, the chances are you are a bit of a gadget freak or techie like myself, now 360° Cameras or 360 videos have slowly been making their way on youtube for quite some time and places like facebook are also embracing them.

360 videos are camera footage that allow you to be the centre of the subject, you can then scroll around anywhere on the video and view it from different angles, if you are using the Youtube app you just have to move the phone in any direction and the camera/video footage automatically moves, believe me the first time you use it you will be blown away with this technology.

In the early days there have been a few ways to create these 360 videos, mainly using multiple cameras such as GoPro and some specially built hardware to hold the cameras, the footage is then stitched together in post processing using various software to complete the marvel.

Why do we need them?

These cameras are perfect for thrill seekers and action enthusiasts but everyday people are posting videos showing the capabilities of the technology. Virtual Reality filmakers are already embracing the technique with short films displaying quirky ways to capitalise on this future.

Nikon of all people have now decided to get involved in this very optimistic market that is moving forward at an alarming rate, not only is it moving forward at a rate of mega knots 360° Cameras are surprisingly slow to hit the mainstream market and actually hit the hands of the real life end users, the reason for this I believe is because of a product poker game, nobody wants to show their hand and then once they do the next company is frantically busy to trying to produce something that surpasses the status quo so this then leads to companies holding back and so the cycle repeats.

What I absolutely believe will be the latest game changer in the 360° market is the Nikon 360 Keymission Action Camera.
This 360° camera boasts 4K quality (although please bare in mind this does not mean 4K as we know it, it simply means 4K is the overall output of the footage but what we actually view in any one frame will probably be more like 720p)
Nikon 360 Keymission Camera

So far we know it will shoot at resolutions up to 4K UHD, it will be waterproof (down to 100 feet, 30 metres), dustproof, shockproof, and capable of working at very low temperatures. It will also have electronic Vibration Reduction. The camera will be Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled with SnapBridge-compatibility, it will easily link up with with a smartphone or tablet.

We don’t know how long the battery will last and most importantly how much the hardware will cost, my guess is that it will likely come in at around £400 but it could easily cost more compared to a others in the market.

What Now?
The future of the 360° Camera market is very much in its infancy and they need to be embraced by the consumers but with the declining sales announced by GoPro this week there needs to be a resurgence……of what i’m not totally sure, I think many people would agree that GoPro’s are the best cameras for this type of video footage with many competitors coming close, I think the main issue with future sales will ultimately be the price and how quickly the contenders with improve on latest technology.

GoPro Hero 5 is well overdue for release and the new version of this should have significant improvements on its predecessor
GoPro are also due to release it new Karma Drone but it is not yet apparent if it will contain a built in camera or whether it will house its GoPro Hero lineup.

Giroptic claimed to be the first only 360 camera that was able to record full spherical photos and videos without any software or post-processing, but this statement was soon outdated.
Giroptic 360 camera

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What I Think About Youtubers

To VLog or Not To Vlog

New Year, New Start and all that blah de blah de.

Ok so 2015 was a bit of a roller coaster ride and this year I am tackling full on and buckling up for another ride. Business is brutal and you need to be dynamic when it comes to trends and staying ahead of the curve but we don’t have a crystal ball.

Two of the main trends that have showed serious growth over the last year are Youtubers and Vloggers, similar but they are not the same, (kind of like a Carpenter and a Cabinet maker). They have become a force to be reckoned with but 99% of the country hasn’t even heard of any of them. Youtubers spend their days filming their lives and creating content to put out for the world to see.

So what is the fascination with this trend, it is kind of like a big brother scenario, there is something compelling about watching a normal person talk about their day, what they had to eat, where they went shopping, who they met and what they done……… Right. Do you agree? Probably not.

Well some of Britain’s top youtubers have nearly 10 million subscribers thats 10,000,000 people who subscribe to watch their content.

So what does this mean? Well it means big business, these youtubers generate colossal earnings from people who watch their videos, the main revenue stream is from advertising, you know those annoying adverts that start before a video or the banner advert that appears on the screen that you can’t click to delete quick enough, these are placed there by advertising companies and usually for every 1000 views the youtuber is then paid a fee from the ad company, thats fair enough.
Youtube Advertising

This has lead to a massive surge in content creators(youtubers), now admittedly some are genuinely a lot better then others and create comedy skits or gaming videos or useful videos like how to put on make up…hhhmmm.

Like a lot of things in life the trouble occurs when the vultures come out to play and the top end Youtubers sell their souls to the devil and begin to become puppets to specially formed talent agencies, these agencies start look after their affairs and take a cut of their income but supposedly find them great opportunities.

Once again this doesn’t sound too unreasonable but when we explore the matter a little further it turns the subject into a dark cynical world of exploitation.

“Selling out” is a term that has been coined in the music industry for many many years and there is a fine line that can be debated as to what is classed as selling out. For what my thoughts are worth I describe selling out more so in the Youtuber world as turning your back on the people who made you what you are, another term also known as “The Get Rich and Switch Effect”.

Now not all successful youtubers go down this road but I have been following this phenomenon now for quite a few years and watched how some of these stars have grown and its a pretty common trend with the rise of the youtube. We have seen some youtubers boycotting the very events that helped build them such as Summer In The City a popular event for youtube fans to go and see their stars.

My BUSINESS BEEF with Youtubers is that Fotojig is a company that focuses on the fans, sharing their experiences and photos to their photo walls and giving people the opportunity to make affordable posters out of their selfies. Now comes the business diversity, I have approached many youtubers regarding offering them opportunity to create some really cool limited edition mosaic posters using their photos and allowing their adoring fans to also be part of the posters, hence letting the fans feel closer to their stars.
Radio Silence is usually the preferred response from the agencies or contact details, and if I am lucky to get a response its a basic not interested. Now why is this? My opinion is that these agencies are too focused on the bigtime deals like publishing or brand agencies affiliating with the youtubers in question in an effort to suck every last piece of money out of the punters as quick as possible, my fear for some of these Youtubers is the “Pump and Dump” attitude of the fickle agencies seen so often in many aspects of the entertainment world. This leads me back to the selling out aspect, fans are not stupid and can see this but the problem that this has caused, is that it is incredibly hard for New Talent to emerge and get a piece of the pie

Joining the Club
Amity Fest 2016

If you are lucky enough to get in the tight knit elite club, make the most of it, my view is that these stars are pulling up the success ladder instead of helping others get a foot on it, there is enough for everyone to go around.

Final Thoughts – Where do we go from here?
Now don’t get me wrong I love youtubers and I get it, where other people from an older generation struggle to see the fascination and when I think about the future of vloggers it makes me think if you cant beat them (even though I’m not trying to beat them) join them!!!
Youtube is a huge platform for talent and the potential reach is second to none, my biggest reason for wanting to enter this digital world is the opportunities I believe it can bring to people, so if your thinking about getting into the world of Youtubers JUST DO IT!!