Life Ac­cord­ing to Your Lens

Dis­cov­er­ing New Ways to Take Pho­tos

NOVO - - ED­I­TOR'S LET­TER - by Stephanie Greenall

Hu­mans are in­nate sto­ry­tellers. From the cave draw­ings in El Castillo to shaken Po­laroids of the 1970s, our species has used sto­ry­telling to share our ex­pe­ri­ences, ed­u­cate one an­other, and to en­ter­tain. Vis­ually map­ping out our his­tory, we have con­tin­ued to doc­u­ment our ex­is­tence. As tech­nol­ogy evolves, so too do our sto­ry­telling tools. With unique per­spec­tives from point-of-view (POV) cam­eras, and im­mer­sive 360 de­gree ex­pe­ri­ences, we can rein­vent how we chron­i­cle our re­al­i­ties.

wear­able pov cam­eras

For ex­am­ple, por­ta­ble, body-worn video cam­eras al­low your friends and fam­ily to see the world as you do, and there are a va­ri­ety of de­vices at your dis­posal to help you par­lay how you see and ex­pe­ri­ence the world.

SPEC­TA­CLES

I may not be an avid Snapchat­ter, but I was in­trigued when the so­cial me­dia plat­form launched its wear­able cam­era. Po­si­tioned at a de­mo­graphic (ages 12-24) that uses con­tent, im­ages, and video as their pre­ferred ver­nac­u­lar, Spec­ta­cles add a new layer to their lan­guage.

The funky-look­ing glasses have quickly made their mark on the wear­able world. Many wear­able cam­eras have come and gone with lit­tle suc­cess, but Snap Inc., has found a new way to mar­ket the tech­nol­ogy for a so­cial-savvy de­mo­graphic that’s ea­ger to share. Where Google Glass failed, Spec­ta­cles have pre­vailed. In­stead of hard­ware that re­sem­bles some­thing from Star Trek’s line of Borg ac­ces­sories, th­ese sun­glasses fea­ture a fash­ion-for­ward de­sign that both users and spec­ta­tors are more com­fort­able with and in­trigued by. To put by­standers at ease, the frames fea­ture a ring of LEDs that il­lu­mi­nate when the de­vice is record­ing, so stealth shoot­ing is more dif­fi­cult— and less creepy!

6 Wear­able and 360 De­gree Cam­eras Ex­am­ined!

With just a click of the but­ton, the stereo­scopic two-cam­era sys­tem records 10 sec­onds of live video, and up­loads it to the SnapChat app. For­get about fum­bling for the phone and at­tempt­ing to un­lock and record what lays be­fore you, Spec­ta­cles pro­vide an eas­ier way to cap­ture that fleet­ing mo­ment. The de­vice al­lows you to show your friends how the world looks to you, with the help of a 115-de­gree field of view, you will be able to take your fol­low­ers on a per­sonal jour­ney.

How­ever, the most frus­trat­ing part about Spec­ta­cles is try­ing to get your hands on a pair. Cur­rently, the specs are cir­cu­lat­ing the United States in a vend­ing ma­chine that re­sem­bles an over­sized min­ion. Dubbed the SnapBot, it ap­pears in a ran­dom lo­ca­tion with­out warn­ing for 24 hours, and is met with mile-long line­ups of peo­ple dy­ing to pur­chase a pair. With a choice of three colours (teal, black, and coral), and a case that dou­bles

as a charger, the cam­era re­tails for $129.99 US. For those of us who are un­able to take a road trip across the states, we are rel­e­gated to the likes of eBay and Ama­zon—but be fore­warned: you will pay triple the price,

Whether this cam­era is just a fad or craze, Spec­ta­cles have done for wear­able cam­eras what Poke­mon Go did for aug­mented re­al­ity; it made the tech­nol­ogy sim­ple to use, pro­vides so­cially share­able con­tent, and pre­pared the pub­lic for what’s to come! www.spec­ta­cles.com

GOPRO HERO5 BLACK

From the depths of the ocean to the edge of space, there is no cam­era that has con­quered the world like GoPro. A true ac­tion cam and a com­pan­ion to any dare­devil or global trav­eller, GoPro con­tin­ues to lead the mar­ket on wear­able cam­eras. Some may ar­gue that past re­leases have made GoPro Inc.’s pedestal wob­bly, but the com­pany is back on sta­ble ground thanks to the Hero5 Black ($399.99 US).

Not just a cam­era com­pany and in­dus­try heavy weight, GoPro have proven them­selves as a me­dia com­pany. Their abil­ity to in­spire users to cre­ate and cap­ture unique con­tent, and share it with the world has been noth­ing short of im­pres­sive. As an ex­pand­ing com­mu­nity of ad­ven­tur­ers con­tinue to flood their so­cial me­dia news­feeds with non-stop POV gold and show­case ex­pe­ri­ences that many of us only dream of.

The lat­est mem­ber to the GoPro fam­ily is the sec­ond cam­era to fea­ture a touch­screen, and the first to in­clude GPS tech­nol­ogy. In ad­di­tion to shoot­ing in Nar­row, Medium, Wide and Su­perView the Hero5 Black has added lin­ear mode. This al­lows you to fix the dis­tor­tion caused when record­ing wide-an­gle pho­tos and video.

Shoot­ing video at 4K is pretty much stan­dard now, and this cam­era can record 4K at 30fps. It’s com­pat­i­ble with ex­ist­ing GoPro mounts, in­clud­ing the new drone, Karma. If you are one for surf­ing, raft­ing, or just splash­ing around, you will be happy to know that Hero5 Black is wa­ter­proof with­out hous­ing for 33-feet (10-me­tres). Be­cause the de­sign had to be al­tered to cre­ate a wa­ter­tight fit, the door con­ceal­ing the USB-C and mi­cro HMDI ports can be a lit­tle tricky to pry open. But that’s a small price to pay for a gad­get that can go skinny-dip­ping.

If there is one new fea­ture to make note of, it’s the in­tro­duc­tion of voice com­mands. So the next time you

are bar­rel­ing down a ski hill, you can in­form your de­vice to stop record­ing … in seven dif­fer­ent lan­guages! www. gopro.com

MECAM CLAS­SIC & NEO MINI

If glasses seem a lit­tle too goofy, or you don’t want to dish out big bucks for a high-per­for­mance de­vice, there are cam­eras that are avail­able to help you dip your toe into the wear­able tech wa­ters. MeCam -- a startup based in Los An­ge­les -- de­vel­oped a line of body-worn cam­eras that are de­signed to cap­ture the mo­ments you don’t want to for­get. The MeCam Clas­sic ($69.99 US) weighs an ounce, and is eas­ily pinned to your shirt, hat, or worn as a neck­lace (sup­plied in the box). Wear­able cam­eras are not just for the RedBull ad­dicted ath­letes, but for the par­ent who wants to record their child’s birth­day party, or for the trav­eller who wants to doc­u­ment their va­ca­tion. We be­come spec­ta­tors in our own lives be­cause we spend much of our time liv­ing through lenses. MeCam wants you to put down your smart­phone and en­joy the mo­ments, as they are be­ing recorded, not af­ter.

The lat­est cam­era to be added to the firm’s col­lec­tion is the MeCam Neo Mini ($129.99 US). Smaller and lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor, it comes in at 1.6-inches square, and weighs less than an ounce. With four stan­dard mounts (clip, suc­tion cup, mag­net, and sticky) the cam­era is ex­tremely ver­sa­tile and por­ta­ble. It shoots full high-def­i­ni­tion res­o­lu­tion (1080P and 8MP), and the user can record in wide an­gle (120 de­grees), or stan­dard an­gle (98 de­grees). The smart­phone app—avail­able on both iOS and An­droid—pro­vides a va­ri­ety of shoot­ing abil­i­ties in­clud­ing time lapse, and 15-sec­ond cap­tures, all of which can be up­loaded to your so­cial me­dia chan­nels.

So, whether it’s a night out with friends, or a hike through a canyon, MeCam has a lifel­og­ging gad­get for you. Start liv­ing your life, not just doc­u­ment­ing it! www.mecam.me

360 de­gree cam­eras

Un­like footage shot with a wear­able de­vice, a 360 cam­era does more than show some­one your jour­ney; it drops them into it. Then, with the help from a head-mounted dis­play (HMD) like Google Card­board or Sam­sung Gear VR, a viewer can be added into a mo­ment and ex­pe­ri­ence it in 360 de­grees.

Since the surge in spher­i­cal video be­gan, it feels like a new 360-cam­era launches daily. From star­tups to in­dus­try giants, the bat­tle to come out on top con­tin­ues. For those who aren’t ready to cough up $5,000 for the GoPro Omni, or $45,000 for the Nokia Ozo, there are other op­tions.

RI­COH THETA S

With a sleek body that’s small enough

to fit in your pocket, the Ri­cho Theta S ($349.99) is a great way to test out 360-con­tent. More af­ford­able and eas­ier to han­dle than many other op­tions avail­able, the Ri­coh cam­era is a de­vice that is ca­pa­ble of cap­tur­ing and shar­ing your world in a com­pelling way.

Shoot in 1080 HD at 30fps for up to 25 min­utes, or hook up the de­vice to your com­puter to test the live stream­ing fea­ture. The por­ta­ble cam­era in­cludes two 180-de­gree lenses that cap­ture im­ages and video, and can be stored on the 8GB of mem­ory.

If you are look­ing for a gad­get to start ex­per­i­ment­ing with 360, the Ri­coh Theta S might be what you’re

sam­sung gear 360

Re­sem­bling a Log­itech we­b­cam from the 1990s and an over­sized golf ball, the Sam­sung Gear 360 ($349.99) has made it into the cam­era bags of both am­a­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als. Con­sis­tently named one of the best 360-cam­eras out there, the de­vice has all the right moves, but only if you’ve got the right phone. For those of us who have sold our souls to Ap­ple, this cam­era will be as use­ful as a lead bal­loon.

If you are lucky enough to own one of the com­pat­i­ble smart­phones, the cam­era will be a wel­come ad­di­tion to the Sam­sung fam­ily. With a com­bi­na­tion of two 180-de­gree f2.0 fish­eye lenses - each with 15 megapix­els - the de­vice shoots two separate im­ages or videos and stitches them to­gether us­ing an app to cre­ate a 360-de­gree master­piece.

The cam­era weighs in at 5.4 ounces and doesn’t slip into your pocket eas­ily, so it’s best to carry it in a case. As Sam­sung con­tin­ues to build their 360 and vir­tual re­al­ity ecosys­tem, I am ex­cited to see how their gad­gets evolve. www.sam­sung.com

Whether it’s a ski trip or just a stroll down the city streets, I chal­lenge you to try out a gad­get that can change the way you record your ad­ven­tures. Happy film­ing! af­ter. www.theta360.com

The Spec­ta­cles wear­able cam­era glasses

GoPro HERO5 Black wear­able cam­era

MeCam HD wear­able cam­era

This pic­ture was taken with the Sam­sung Gear 360 cam­era

Ri­coh Theta S 360 de­gree cam­era, next to a Google Card­board

Sam­sung Gear 360 cam­era

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