Have you just bought a 360˚ camera or are you planning to? Then you should read this blog. Because with only the camera you are not ready to start filming. In this blog I will explain what you need to start filming high quality VR scenarios.
The 360˚ camera market is booming. Many new cameras are being launched, both for the consumer and prosumer as well as the professional. Many cameras come with all kinds of accessories, but all cameras lack essential parts to film a good story-based scenario. So what do you need to make your set ready for filming story-based scenarios? We discuss the following topics:
First of all, you need a tripod to set up the camera. What you have to take into account is that the tripod you choose can be set high enough. Because we always film a story-based scenario at eye level to make the trainee feel as if they really are there. A tripod must also be sturdy enough so that it does not just fall over due to wind or vibrations.
As a prosumer, we would opt for a microphone stand. Those are heavy at the bottom and have a small footprint that you cannot see under the logo while playing a scenario. It's easy to use, so you can prepare your camera very quickly. We have chosen the Konig & Meyer 26250 and the Konig & Meyer 26125.
It is important that you do not change the height of the camera while filming, you could use a piece of duct tape to secure the tripod or mark the height. The microphone stand has a 3/8 inch male thread on top. You'll need an adapter to connect it to the 1/4 inch female screw thread that most 360˚ cameras use. We use the Manfrotto 015 Adapter for this.
For a professional set we choose a monopod on a small tripod. To be precise, the Nodal Ninja Travel Pole on the Benro Video Hi-Hat HH100AV. As a professional you probably also use a heavier camera than a prosumer. The above microphone stands simply cannot support the weight of a professional camera. Because the set consists of separate parts, you can transport it more easily.
The Nodal Ninja Travel Pole is made of carbon fiber which makes it very light but extremely durable. This makes the set as a whole also lighter than the above tripods. The monopod consists of two parts, with an adapter you can also use only one part. We do this if we want to film that you're sitting behind a desk or in a car. Then we place the tripod with 1 part of the monopod on top of the chair.
The Benro Video Hi-Hat HH100AV is actually a small tripod. With the three legs you can adjust the tripod to the surface. Very useful when there is, for example, an uneven or sloping surface. The tripod has lot's of grip with its rubber feet. It is extremely sturdy, has a minimum height of 7.5 centimeters and weighs 1.5 kilograms. We add an extra counterweight of 2 kilograms on top for extra stability. We use the Manfrotto 834 for this.
If you want to purchase this set, please note that the Nodal Ninja Monopod Adapter and the Benro BL100S 100mm Half Ball Adapter must be purchased separately.
2. Data Storage
With most cameras you have to buy the memory cards separately. When buying memory cards for your camera, there are a number of things to consider, such as:
The type of data storage, such as a micro SD card, SD card or SSD disk.
Specifications of the data storage, such as the reading and writing speed.
The amount of your data storage, do you go for 32GB, 64GB or 128GB?
This all depends on the camera you have or will buy. Fortunately, you can often find what they recommend on the website of the camera supplier. To give an idea of what our advice is, we give a number of examples with specific cameras below.
As a Prosumer, at the time of writing this blog, we would choose the Insta360 One R or the Qoocam 8K from Kandao. You can read more about the differences between this camera in our other blog [link].
Both cameras use a micro SD card and we recommend the Sandisk 128GB Micro SD Extreme Pro. With this card you can theoretically record about 160 minutes with the Insta 360 One R and about 80 minutes with the Qoocam 8K. We also recommend that you always bring a second card as backup to set in case you run out or your data storage card doesn't work.
We use the Insta360 Pro 2 ourselves, which uses 6 micro SD cards and one SD card. We have opted for 6x the Sandisk 128GB Micro SD Extreme Pro and 1 x the Sandisk 128GB SD Extreme Pro. In theory, we can film about 2 hours and 40 minutes with that. And we always have a second set of cards as a backup.
In addition to memory, you also need enough batteries for filming. Most cameras have interchangeable batteries. We have the rule of thumb to always have 3 batteries: to be able to charge 2 at the same time. If your camera has an internal battery, you can often charge the camera with a power bank while filming. We would take the same rule of thumb for that, although you can also opt for an extra large power bank.
This is often forgotten when buying a camera, the audio. While video is 50% image and 50% sound. That's why this is just as important as the camera itself. And to do this properly, we recommend using external microphones.
Most cameras have one or more internal microphones. And although according to the marketing of most cameras, they record perfect audio, in practice that is really disappointing. If there is only a little wind, too much ambient noise or the actor stands further than 2 meters from the camera, the audio is unusable. It will distract the trainee from the content of your scenario.
If you have a maximum of 2 speakers in one scene, the PicoMic Dual Wireless Kit is perfect. You can connect it to your camera via the 3.5mm jack connection. So you can connect it directly to the Qoocam 8K and for the Insta360 One R you need an adapter. You clip the microphones, with the built-in senders, on the actors and hang the receiver on the tripod. The sound from the microphones is recorded directly to the camera. The only drawback is that you cannot monitor the sound during filming. You will have to do this before filming to set it up properly.
If you buy this set, please note that you have to purchase the cold shoe adapter for mounting it to your tripod separately. We use the SmallRig 1125 Clamp Mount V2 for this.
As a professional, we recommend that you record the sound externally because then you have the most freedom while editing. We used the Zoom F4 recorder with three Rode link filmmaker kits. But we have switched to an external party that specializes in 360˚ video shoots. They ensure that we always have crystal clear a
5. Additional hardware
With this hardware, you have a great set to go filming an interactive story-based scenario. Do you have some budget left? Then you can also think about how you want to transport your hardware. We use B&W Outdoor cases to safely transport all these items. When we place the camera on a chair or a car, we use extra clamps such as the Magic Arm and Super Clamp from Manfrotto.