Knowing the features your 360 camera has isn’t enough. You also have to know how to use them to take perfect photos. That’s what this chapter is for -I’m going to show you how to use your 360 camera. It’s easier than you think, trust me.
Shooting modes at 360 camera
Wien learning to use your camera; thus, improve your photography skills, it’s always good to start with shooting modes. Shooting modes are found on a dial indicated by:
- Av (Aperture priority) – when this mode is chosen, you are the one who sets the aperture while the camera automatically determines the shutter speed. Now, you’re still probably confused about the aperture. What is it? Well, it’s defined as the value or size of the opening in the lens of the camera through which the light passes when the shutter opens. Therefore, the bigger the aperture value, the more light enters. In fact, aperture is one of the most important aspects of quality photography, and mastering it is necessary for the improvement of your skills. Aperture has a direct impact onto the depth of the field. Therefore, paying more attention to this feature is highly important in order to improve your photography skills. You can have a look at best 360 degree camera reviews
- Tv or S (Shutter priority) – this feature is the opposite from the previous shooting mode. Here, you set the shutter speed while the camera automatically determines aperture size. The shutter speed is defined as the period of time the shutter remains open as you’re capturing a scene. For example, if you were to take a photo of fast-moving subjects, such as animals in the wilderness or people playing sports, you would have to choose a shorter shutter speed. On the other hand, a long shutter speed is suitable for blurring a moving subject, e.g. a waterfall, water, etc.
- P (Program) – unlike the previous two shooting modes, once you activate this mode, you get to determine what feature to set for yourself (shutter speed or aperture), and the camera sets the other accordingly.
- M (Manual) – this shooting mode is exactly what you think it is. It gives you full control over setting both shutter speed and aperture on your own.
Some models have more shooting modes, but the ones displayed above can be found on every 360 camera. Always make sure you choose an adequate shooting mode, as it determines camera behavior once you press the shutter. Dare to experiment with modes.
ISO in 360 world
In the previous chapter, I’ve mentioned that ISO refers to a measure of the camera’s sensitivity to the light. The sensitivity is expressed numerically and it goes from ISO 100, which indicates low sensitivity to ISO 6400 representing a high value of sensitivity and more.
Let’s say you’re outside and want to take a photo of beautiful spring flowers in a park. It’s a bright, sunny day, which means there’s a lot of light outside. Therefore, your camera doesn’t really need high sensitivity to achieve adequate exposure. For this purpose, you would need a value of ISO 100 or ISO 200. This way, you will get high-quality photos without too much noise (grain).
Now, imagine you’re about to take a photo in indoor places without too much light. To take a nice professional-looking photo, you need higher values like ISO 3200. This will increase the camera’s sensitivity to the light and effectively multiply the limited quantity of available light to give you a quality image.
Practically speaking, you should keep your ISO value low and increase it if needed. Luckily, most 360 camera nowadays set the ISO value automatically.
You should bear in mind that shutter speed, aperture, and ISO together form the exposure triangle, which means that making changes with one part of this triangle automatically changes others. To have full control over your device and photos you take, it’s necessary to understand the relationship between them. You can see this relationship in the image below:
I have briefly mentioned metering in the previous chapter. It regulates how your camera determines the exposure value. There are three different metering modes:
Average – The camera assesses the tones across the entire photo and exposes the scene to 18% grey.
Center-weighted – The device weights the certain exposure for the region at the very center of the viewfinder, which can sometimes account for about 80% of the entire scene. This mode “ignores” the corners of the photo.Spot-metering – The camera uses onlv a small nart of some scene to assess light/dark tones and exposes it to 18% grey.
Exposure compensation allows you to decrease or increase the default meter reading of the camera. It’s, definitely one of the most important things you should learn to use on your device.
Regardless of the ISO value, shutter speed, or aperture, when you’re about to take a photo, you already have a certain object or scene in mind, which means you also have to know how to set up which means you also have to know how to set up focus. Why? It’s because if focus isn’t set properly, then you can’t get the image you wanted. 360 camera come with a variety of autofocus modes. For the purpose of mastering 360 camera and improving photography skills in 24 hours or less, I’m going to present the two most important ones below:
- AF – S (autofocus single) – Ideally, this mode serves to capture photos of people, objects that don’t move, i.e. stationary subjects like buildings, landscapes, portraits, etc. Here’s how it works: after half-pressing the shutter, the AF-S focus is acquired and then locked onto that point. It will stay in the said position until you let go of the button.
- AF – C (autofocus continuous) – contrary to the previous mode, you use this one to capture moving subjects like people, animals, etc. In this case, after half-pressing the shutter, the focus is acquired and locked onto that point (this part is the same as in the previous mode); however, when the subject moves, this focus will adapt to it and continue refocusing until your photo is taken.
File size and types
One of the main options you have when working with 360 camera is changing file size and types. Ideally, the file size should be at its highest value. This way, you’ll get the most out of your equipment.
Wien it comes to types, you can choose compressed file type automatically processed by your camera. On the other hand, raw is a type of uncompressed file with a lot of image data; thus, allowing you greater flexibility when editing the photo.
Practically speaking, when you’re just a beginner with a 360 camera, opting for jpeg files is a more convenient option. This will enable you to get what you need and gain more experience before you’re ready to move onto more complicated actions. You can have a look at best 360 degree video players 2016.
Since I’ve recommended using the jpeg file type to start, it’s also important to add that you should adjust the white balance before you make your very first shot. W1¡y? It’s because white balance can make a significant impact on the overall color tone on your picture. Yes, you can change white balance during post-processing of the image, but isn’t it easier to do it in advance and save yourself some time? Of course it is! Wien it comes to this setting, you have multiple options such as:
- Daylight – for taking photos outdoors on sunny days
- Cloudy – self-explanatory
- Tungsten – you can use this to take a photo under street lights, under incandescent light bulbs, indoors, etc.
- Shade – you guessed it; this setting is used to capture photos in the shade.
- Flash – adds a cool blue hue to the image. You can use it to add a little bit of warmth into a photo.
- Fluorescent – compensates for those blue and green tones of fluorescent lights when taking photos indoors.
Ideally, you should avoid auto-white balance and opt to set it up manually. This was an overview of the basic things that every beginner should know when starting to use a 360 camera for the very first time. As you have
had the opportunity to see, settings are quite simple, easy to implement, and they can make a big difference for your image.
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