360 imaging is capable of so much more than people expect.

I think 360 is still very much in the niche market, but is gaining momentum to leave it very rapidly. I took advantage of one of the better weather days here in the North Burbs of Illinois to go to the Bahai Temple.

The ability to reframe inside the entirety of a 360 photo allows for infinite compositions from a single shutter. This is a huge advantage for architecture, street, and landscape photographers (just to name a few).

While a fantastic new tool to the arsenal of new school photographers, there are some pretty substantial limitations.

An unadjustable aperture, chromatic aberration, unresolved stitch lines, and a lack of ND filters for long exposure (though word has it there are some available for the insta360 One R) to name a few. There is of course, various grades of quality and levels of output as all 360 cams are NOT created equal. This is no different than traditional DSLRs or mirrorless setups.

However, many of the caveats can be worked around with a little pre-planning and clever arrangement. A big one is to use the right tool for the job. What I mean is that if you are using 360 for social media or viewing on mobile, you don’t have to get a monster setup. You can definitely get away with some of the budget options that are out there. However, be mindful when you go to upgrade your platforms. Dynamic range is something you’ll want to understand here. This is the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities, signaling how much variance in white & black there are in your colors. This matters A LOT when you start printing or doing commercial work as you always want to have the best possible range to provide the best quality images for your clients.

In either case, 360 cameras can be a powerful tool for photographers looking for a creative way to capture any style of images. You need only use your imagination.

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