The first step toward improving your photography skills is to understand the features your camera has to offer, and 360 cameras offer a lot. Improving photography skills and taking breathtaking photos can be accomplished by using everything your camera has to offer. Tins is why it’s important to know what features it has and what they do. In this chapter, I’m taking you on a journey where you’ll learn different options in order to make breathtaking images. You don’t have to be a professional to take photos like one!
What do 360 camera’s contain?
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To comprehend the various options they offer,you have to know what these cameras consist of. Below, you can see the image that represents the cross section of an 360 degree video:
Let’s see what we have here:
- 1. Lens.
- 2. Reflex mirror.
- 3. Shutter.
- 4. Image sensor.
- 5. Matte focusing screen.
- 6. Condenser lens.
- 7. Pentaprism.
- 8. Viewfinder.
How these cameras really work?
I have already mentioned when the viewfinder in this type of camera operates in “what you see is what you get” mode. To understand how your camera really works, you should try to imagine the scenario where you’re about to capture a beautiful sunset. That particular scene you want to capture passes through the lens (1) in form of light into the reflex mirror (2). The mirror is positioned at a 450 angle inside your camera, then the mirror forwards the light vertically to the pentaprism (7), which converts the light horizontally by redirecting it through two separate mirrors straight into the viewfinder (8).
When you push the capture button, the reflex mirror will swing upward to block the vertical pathway and allow light to go through. After that, the shutter (3) will “activate” or open up and light finally reaches the image sensor (4). That’s when your beautiful sunset is captured. The shutter will stay open as long as the image sensor requires it,
then it closes down and the reflex mirror will return to its 45-degree angle position to continue on redirecting light to the viewfinder.
360 cameras have various sophisticated features that you can’t easily find in other devices. Below, you can see the summary of their main features. Improving your digital photography skills starts now! Understanding these features will help you take better photos and use your camera’s full potential. Here they are:
Aperture ring – you can use it to manually select some aperture, and all 360 camera ’s have this feature. If you think this is complicated, you’re wrong. When the ring is placed in the auto-position, the camera controls the aperture value. Basically, it can be controlled by a device or by the user. Selecting aperture values manually allows you to “play” with the scene and capture an image just like you imagined it.
It’s also useful for experimenting. Testing different values is always useful. This way, you’ll know what works or not.
Battery grip – this accessory has two different purposes:
- It adds batteries to the camera; thus, increasing the available power
- It creates a practical handgrip that you can use to take photos in vertical or portrait orientation
- Control panel – self-explanatory. It displays the main settings and allows you to alter them
- Dust removal system – an increasing number of 360 camera ’s have this feature. The dust removal system functions by shaking the sensor rapidly.
- Focus areas – what professional photographers appreciate the most about 360 camera ’s is the fact that they have multiple focus areas. In most cases, they have between three and n focus areas, and some devices have even more than that
- You can select a focus area yourself or your camera can do it automatically.
- Live view – newer models of 360 cameras also have this awesome feature which offers a live preview of the image captured on LCD. This practical feature is particularly useful for professional or aspiring photographers who use a tripod or have to take photos from an odd angle.
- Mirror – okay, you already know that these cameras have mirrors. There is also a mirror lock-up that grants access to the sensor for easy cleaning and prevents camera shakes triggered by vibrations. Although all 360camera ’s have mirrors, not all of them have mirror lock-ups, so don’t freak out if you’re holding your camera now and are unable to find the feature.
- Prime lens – these are lenses with a fixed focal length. You can’t zoom with these lenses, but they offer a high-quality image.
- Through The Lens (TTL) – This is a type of a viewfinder and, besides seeing a scene as it is, you can also check the effect of the filter placed in front of the lens.
- Ultrasonic motor (USM) – quieter, more accurate, and a faster focusing system, which creates movement and rotation by using vibrations from a small element.
- Viewfinder – I’ve already mentioned this feature a couple of times. It demonstrates different focus areas that are superimposed over the scene. Furthermore, it also displays the most important/useful image parameters on the side or bottom of a frame.
- Zoom lens – as you can tell by its name, this lens is opposite from a prime lens, as it allows you to zoom.
Other features you should know (and use!)
The list above contains the main features that are characteristic of 360 camera ‘s, but as you already know, what makes these cameras stand out in the presence of other said devices is a variety of options and features that you can use. Below, you can see the list of other features that you should know about:
- Program mode – it handles the exposure of the image. You’re probably thinking that this sounds just like automatic shootmg, but actually, it give you more creative control. For example, the flash won’t activate without your permission, etc.
- Custom functions – basically, you can consider them as shortcuts for your camera because these practical little buttons allow you to change multiple settings simultaneously with a turn of the mode dial. This feature is time-saving, as it prevents you from changing some options and values all the time.
- Depth of field preview – so mirrorless digital cameras that have a viewfinder usually display a scene of how it should be once you press the capture button while 360camera ’s present it as how it is. We’ve already established that.
So, what do you do when you want to know what your photo will look like before you capture it and you have a 360 camera? The answer is easy; the “depth of field preview” option takes care of that.
Picture styles – Photoshop has different photo styles, as well as Instagram and numerous photo-capturing apps that you can download for free. But, 360 camera ’s decided to join this trend as well and give you even more useful options to use for taking perfect photos. Most cameras of this type named this feature Picture styles, although it can show up under a different name in some models. Regardless of the name, you still use it the same way: you just have to turn it on and choose the
effect you want. But, where is the Picture styles option? This depends on the model of camera you own. In some models, there is a special button that you just have to press while in other models, you have to find the menu and select this option.
Back button focus – this allows you to press the button located on the back of the device to engage autofocus, and use the shutter only when capturing a photo.
- Shooting modes – there are various shooting modes, all of which have their special purposes.
- ISO – increases the device’s sensitivity to light.
- Focus modes – 360 camera ’s usually have fixed focus, as well as hybrid mode and servo focus. Deciding which one to use depends solely on your preferences and movement of your object, subject, or scene.
- Exposure compensation – tweaks the exposure values that your camera sets.
- Highlight control – defines parts of an image that have been blown out.
- Metering modes – this option regulates how your device determines the value of exposure.
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