Camera

One of the biggest benefits of PanoMoments is their ability to utilize high quality still photos captured using larger sensor format cameras (Full Frame, M43, APS-C, etc.) compared to dedicated 360 cameras which are often lower quality. Depending on the type of motion you’d like to capture (stop motion vs. smooth motion) you will need to use either the “Shoot, move, shoot” or “Continuous capture” mode of your rotating panorama head. The former will allow you to capture stop motion timelapses across longer rotations (ie. greater than 180 seconds). The latter will allow for the capture smoother motion using shorter rotations (ie. less than 60 seconds) that feel more natural / real time. The type of motion captured is mainly a creative decision, however, your camera choice will impose limitations to the frame rate you can capture with: the higher the capture frame rate the smoother the motion in the scene will be. And the higher the capture rate, the faster you can rotate your camera. Your goal is to get around 300 frames in 360 degrees, so this could be 5fps across a 60 second rotation, 60fps across a 5 second rotation, or something wild like 1 frame per day across 300 days. Remember that when shooting in video you'll likely end up with lower quality footage due to additional compression and alsa a smaller field of view given the narrower 16x9 crop.

Recommended Cameras

There are many compatible cameras out there, and there is no right choice. It depends on your budget and the type of motion you're looking to capture (smooth motion requires high frame rate capture - either in still burst or video). If you're looking to shoot longer rotations (>180 seconds) pretty much any camera will work as you won't be running into buffer/memory speed limitations of the camera. For shorter rotation captures (<180 seconds), most cameras will be limited by their buffer memory which means you’ll need to test your camera’s capabilities before going out for a shoot. High speed and long duration burst capture is relatively uncommon amongst still cameras. We recommend mirrorless cameras that offer fully silent electronic shutters and compatibility with the new UHS-II memory card standard. Check out the growing list of recommended compatible cameras but note that it is not at all representative of the entire spectrum of compatible cameras; it's just the one we've been able to test.

Rank Camera Model Silent E-Shutter UHS-II Support Recommended Lens Notes
1 Panasonic GH5 Yes Yes Meike 6.5mm f/2.0 Shoots 6k 30p and 4k 60p in addition to still bursts
2 Fuji X-T2 Yes Yes Meike 6.5mm f/2.0
3 Fuji X-Pro2 Yes Yes (slot 1) Meike 6.5mm f/2.0
4 Panasonic GH4 Yes No Meike 6.5mm f/2.0 Large buffer makes up for lack of UHS-II support
5 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Yes Yes Meike 6.5mm f/2.0 Burst shooting reliable only at ISO <= 1600
6 Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II Yes Yes Meike 6.5mm f/2.0 Burst shooting reliable only at ISO <= 1600
7 Sony A6500 Yes No Meike 6.5mm f/2.0 Large buffer makes up for lack of UHS-II support