Ever since Google released Jelly Bean I have been taking photo spheres.
Especially when travelling, there are places I will not visit again! Taking photo spheres is a nice way of remembering how the place looked like during my trip…
Yes, using my phone means zero cost to taking a photo sphere, but using a dedicated camera means the photo will look better, with me inside it.
So I bet you’re reading this post because you’re considering to buy a 360 camera…
Before making that purchase, you have to know that you don’t need one!
It’s nice to have, but it won’t replace your phone, camera and GoPro and I don’t think you have an extra hand to use it.
Resolution of my Hero 5 is much better, distortion on a 360 camera is highly noticeable, and you even get lower resolution when you share it on Facebook!
I guess it’s time to start talking about the Madventure 360 Camera.
It’s Orange! – Yes, people will notice it once you start taking a selfie
Compared to Xiaomi’s (black) version, MadV gives you a selfie stick with remote and GoPro mount. (Bought my Madventure 360 from Lazada and price was the same with the Xiaomi version)
I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of sample photos/videos taken by the Madventure 360 Camera. I was impressed with the quality even in low light.
Few issues which no one mentioned before I purchased the camera.
1. You can’t use 1 side only, once you turn it on, you can only take 360 video/photos
2. U3 memory cards are recommended
3. It gets really hot
Physically, this camera is well built, even the monopod and case that came with it look and felt really good.
Camera is bulging out, make sure you have the case all the time.
Power button will also select between photo and video mode, then beside it is the Wi-Fi button, shutter button is the 3rd button available.
USB-C and Memory card slots are on the side with a rubber cover.
Bottom has the tripod mount and contacts for the selfie stick control.
The phone app is pretty basic and will need lots of imporvement. Once connected to a phone, you can use the phone’s volume buttons to take a photo/video.
Editing 360 Videos only allows you to cut the videos, you cannot join 2 videos together.
Once connected to the camera, you’ll notice that 360 photos were automatically stitched by the camera. For videos, you will need to extract the video and save on your device.
Haven’t tried using the PC App, but it’s only available for Windows.
Thanks to inexpensive VR headsets (where you put your phone inside as the screen), Google Photos and Facebook’s support for 360 photos/videos. You can justify why you need a 360 camera. Personally, if you can afford it, why not?
But, I personally have one for the memories…
Am I buying a better one in the future? Probably not.
Honestly, I’ve stopped using BBM and Sphere, and I only use Google Camera when I need to take photo spheres.
Then I’ve read about Ampere!
Believe me, everyone should install this app… Only issue is that it requires Lollipop!
My Note II even discharges when connected to a 1000mAh car charger while using Waze and Hotspot at the same time!
Just this week I found out that the problem is NOT my device nor is it my charger.
All I needed to do was replace my USB Cable!
Since my Note 2 and tablets requires around 1,000mAh to charge, charging on an iPhone (or older) charger will take forever.
With the help of Ampere, I learned that charging on the USB cable I was using varies… The figures changed everytime I moved my device, but best output I got was 700mAh.
Now with my new cable, I’m getting a minimum of 980mAh and I only need 3 hours to fully charge my phone (using my external charger)!
After the long wait, it’s nice to see BlackBerry fulfill its promise of bringing BBM to a larger audience…
After installing BBM, I noticed that I have 3-4 contacts left who still use the service.
Problem I can see here is the PIN.
BBM was from a time when users of IMs needed a PIN (Personal Identification).
We don’t normally provide our personal email addresses and Skype IDs to strangers… We either use our company mobile phone number or company email addresses.
This is where WhatsApp and Viber have an edge. You only need to save your contact’s mobile phone number and you’ll immediately know if the person uses the service. It’s convenient and safe.
Some might argue that Apple’s iMessage is better and simpler compared to WhatsApp and Viber… My only issue with iMessage is that if the other person presently doesn’t have data coverage, an SMS is automatically sent which may cause additional costs if the other person is overseas… Another issue is that a user must use an Apple product to use iMessage.
Maybe it would have been better if BlackBerry released BBM earlier when all our PINs were still active…Maybe it would have been even better if they no longer required PINs for their users…
As of now, it’s too early to tell if BBM will be back to its good old days…
Just received an email this morning saying that Sphere is replacing TourWrist.
I normally use my TourWrist account to share my 360 Panoramas/Photospheres.
Google+ is a great option, but when my photos are not geo-tagged (taken indoors), I prefer to upload and share them using TourWrist.
So what’s different?
Strangely, I was still able to see the TourWrist app at the Play Store.
Other than the change in name and icon, I lost the option to create 360 Panoramas using the App…
The Camera on the upper right section is no longer there… It never graduated from Beta anyway and it’s almost useless!
Here’s how TourWrist looked like
And here’s Sphere.
Did you notice the missing camera icon on the upper right side?
Here’s a sample photo I have taken using the TourWrist App.
TourWrist is a great and fun way to share your Photospheres.
Here are the only issues I have against it… (Please note that issues are there as of writing this post, I may not update this post for every improvement on the App and Website)
Sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is difficult using the TourWrist website.
Why do I want to use their website to share my Panoramas? The mobile app doesn’t have an upload option and as I mentioned earlier, the create option was also removed.
Once Panoramas are shared, clicking the link will not open the Sphere App even if it’s installed on your device (as tested with a Note II and S4). The Panoramas will be viewed using your browser which is not ideal especially on mobile devices.
Loading of Panoramas are slow… So slow that I can’t imagine opening a Panorama using 3G!
Would also be nice if Sphere/TourWrist allows us to add Tags/Hashtags to descriptions of photos!
For people like me who loves to take and share Panoramas, TourWrist is a good alternative to Google+, it just needs some polishing and maybe… more users!
This is one of the most interesting Apps I have seen and tried.
Its for all those iPhone/iPad users who cannot let go of their pen and paper.
I myself use pen and paper for my meetings since my colleagues (and bosses) are not yet comfortable in seeing someone taking notes using an iPhone (or a BlackBerry).
After every meeting, I re-write important items on my PC using OneNote.
With Shot Note, I do not have to re-write my notes after every meeting, all I have to do is take a photo of the notes I have written using my iPhone.
Here’s sample so that you can see how it works, just install the App and take a photo of this note.
Once your Note is saved, you can send it by email or to Evernote.
I honestly started using Evernote because of Shot Note!
Here are a couple of comments I have which are against Shot Note.
1. It uses a special paper that are not easily available in stationary shops here in Singapore.
2. Notes are not uploaded in the cloud, you’ll really need Evernote to access your notes across devices.
3. Import “scanned notes” option is not available, if you have more than 10 pages of notes, it will be difficult to take photos of them individually. It would be better if you can just scan you documents and import .jpg files.
4. I haven’t installed/tried the iPad version of this App but I cannot imagine taking a photo of my Notes using the iPad’s camera.
5. Android version in English is not yet available.
Here’s how the sample note above will look like while a photo is being taken.
Here’s how it will look like in Shot Note
Note Number and Date will also be added automatically (as long as you write it in the paper).
For multiple notes (as mentioned in item #3 above) I have just decided not to use Shot Note and directly upload my Notes in Evernote, here’s how it will look like if the Notes are scanned in jpg format.
I really love Shot Note, I find it very convenient to use for organizing quick and short notes, its like a Post-it that you don’t have to stick on your phone. If you intend to write long notes and have an access to a good scanner, then Evernote can definitely do the job alone.
Shot Note cannot replace my notebook, but my Post-it’s days are numbered.
Fo more information about Shot Note, click here to visit their website.