Virtual Reality Camera Solutions by Nokia, Kodak & Sphericam – ON THE COUCH ep. 30, part 1

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In this first part of episode 30, I talked to representatives from 3 very different VR camera manufacturers: firstly Kim Grönholm from Nokia, a lead engineer for the OZO camera, the highest-end solution of the three, then George Krieger from Sphericam, and Kevin Cruz from Kodak with the SP360 camera.

Knowing that I still know very little about the new evolving area of VR and 360 degree filmmaking, we started off by talking about current applications of VR cinematography. Further topics are the practical difficulties of actually shooting VR without the crew actually showing up in the shots – and the difficulties of designing cameras for VR with all the challenges that stitching and moving the cameras so close to each other poses.

Will VR ever become mainstream, and what’s the future of it? We talk about how it is still evolving and which applications we will see in the near future. Is the Star Trek holodeck finally just around the corner?

In the 2nd part of this episode, we will talk in detail about the different camera solutions by Nokia, Kodak and Sphericam, and highlight their features and different target markets.

Sphericam VR camera

Sphericam VR camera

Kodak SP360 VR camera

Kodak SP360 VR camera

Nokia OZO VR camera

Nokia OZO VR camera

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 Rod Edwards Reply
Rod Edwards May 14, 2016

I’m sorry Nokia but in my opinion the sample footage is dreadful quality.

I contacted your sales team months ago asking for more info but they took six weeks to answer and even then couldn’t give me any links to sample footage.

Finally … here is a sample 4k link … You can all make your own conclusions about the quality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDbKmdTj8Jc

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas May 16, 2016

Yes Nino but how is VR going to transcend into narrative in Cinemas? How will you be able to direct the dialog and make the audience follow the story line, without being distracted from something else happening? Phillip Bloom just showed a piece where he is following a couple as they walk what it seems to be a museum, the couple is having a conversation. Almost 95% of the commentaries, where about how we all could see the camera, the crew, the museum, none where about the action. This is important, cause, stories will disappear in the surroundings, characters will loose importance, movies will be mere improvisations. I remember doing a piece in the late 90’s for the military where they have been using VR for war applications, yes that and real state, maybe geography. But how will the focus on the narrative will be solved?

 Rod Edwards Reply
Rod Edwards May 16, 2016

Very interesting point, but this short film seems to work ok Vlad Box Rojas :

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nz_W1Vb7IQ4

Much is down to viewer linking the protagonists to the audio to follow theme and starting each scene with them in view.

Don’t watch on Mac iDevice as 360 video still not supported yet on YouTube (May 2016).

Sent from my clever little iPhone.

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas May 16, 2016

Yes it was an interesting experiment, but still the main character gets lost in the maze, sound does not help for there are other distracting elements. Only when they are confine (car), you can focus. For someone with half a second attention span, this works, just until is deemed not interesting enough.
I can think of couple of exits but they still would limit the viewing area.