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  • The Kandao Obsidian Professional 360° VR Camera

    The Kandao Obsidian Professional 360° VR Camera
    Virtual Reality (VR) rose from obscurity back in 2015 to become a trend in under three years. And, now, VR videos are getting insanely popular all over the globe. Mind you, we are no longer just talking about immersive gaming technology; but the remarkable ability to create super spherical flicks and amazing VR videos using 360° cameras.

    VR videos provide a first-person visual experience to give you the impression that you are present at the scene. They also give you a sense of depth as you can look around and see what is happening in every direction. However, you need to adhere to specific parameters for movement and placement of the 360° cams.

    Capturing a VR Video

    When filming with a 360° professional camera equipment, there is no "behind the camera" situation as the camera's field of view spans around the whole environment encircling it. Thus, you need to clear all clutter, or at least ensure that you do not mind having the things or activities around you in the video.

    Camera placement is highly dependent on your storyline. The role that you want the viewers to play in the video should guide you. If you want them to spectate, then you should place the camera outside the activity. But if you want them to feel like participants, then you set the camera at the heart of the activity. Remember to place the 360° camera approximately 6 ft high for an eye-level visual experience.

    The 360° camera needs to move in all directions. You should ensure that the camera's movements are smooth and stable. However, whoever or whichever device moves the camera will appear in the final footage. Although, it is possible to edit them out.

    Meet the Kandao Obsidian

    Several tech giants took Facebook's decision to make its 360° 3D video capturing system (Surround 360) open source as a challenge. Many companies went back to the drawing board, but a year later, only three earned Facebook's recognition. Among them the Obsidian R: an 8K high-resolution 360° VR professional camera from the little-known, China-based Kandao Studio.

    The Obsidian R captures 360° photos in 8k resolution using a system of six integrated fish-eye lenses. It then employs a seamless "one-click" software to stitch footage at one frame per second to generate high-quality stereoscopic panoramas.

    Kandao Obsidian R

    The "one-click" software speeds up the post-production process by eliminating complex steps. The system allows you to complete 3D panoramas with just a touch of a button, literally. The camera also learns your preferences and stitches your footage automatically after a short period of use.

    The palm-sized Kandao Obsidian is light, rugged, and highly portable. It features three powering options: an external 12V charger, two batteries, or an Ethernet cable. The Ethernet cable facilitates file transfers and image setting controls thus eliminating the need for slow HDMI cables and costly HDMI capture cards.

    The Obsidian's suite of software solutions with a comprehensive range of rich functionalities is perhaps what earned it the 2017 CES' "Best of Innovation Honoree" in the Digital Imaging Product Category. It comes standard with new-user-friendly software for stitching, editing, post-processing, video encoding, and live streaming. The only downside is that you have to purchase a license for live broadcasting.

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