New mirrored lens turns a GoPro into an inexpensive 360-degree camera

A new Kickstarter project is aiming to create a 360-degree GoPro lens through a concept so simple that store clerks have been using it for years to see around aisle corners: a curved mirror.

The Actioncam360, designed by Pano Pro, fits on any GoPro, putting a curved mirror in front of the existing lens. That lens creates a 360-degree circular video. Using the bundled software, users can unwrap that footage for a full-screen, 360-degree experience, navigating all around the video. Placing the camera with the lens attached toward the sky, users can get a 360-degree horizontal perspective.

Why the mirror? Multicam 360-degree rigs are expensive — the GoPro Omni, which includes six cameras in a circular mount, runs about $5,000, for example. A pledge of $184 will get early backers 360 video with the simplicity of a curved mirror.

Of course, the Actioncam360 isn’t going to get quality that’s anywhere close to the Omni. The mirror and software takes something that fits on a small sensor and stretches it to create a 360-degree view — that’s going to mean a loss in resolution and overall quality. Still, with the price of 360 rigs, the lens could be an affordable way for non-pros to shoot 360 video, because, well, 360 is fun.

The designers are also working on an app to calibrate and unwrap the video from the original sphere shape, and the developers also hope to include a Live View feature. If the campaign reaches full funding, the 360 lens could start shipping as early as September.

The Kickstarter campaign has yet to reach its goal, however, with less than two weeks remaining and over $50,000 to go. An early version that lacks the optical improvements and app updates planned with the crowdfunding is available through the manufacturer’s website.


The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.

Nikon Z 7 vs. Sony A7R III: High-res mirrorless cameras compared

The Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III both have over 40 megapixels, but which one comes out on top? With similar image quality, the answer comes down to speed, autofocus, battery life, and design.

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Nikon Z 7: When megapixels matter, which do you choose?

The 47-megapixels Lumix S1R and 46-megapixel Nikon Z 7 are the two highest-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. The S1R features a high-resolution mode that can take 187MP images, but the Nikon is lighter and cheaper.

China bans selfies at gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Sony A7R III: Which pixel-shift powerhouse is better?

The Lumix S1R and Sony A7R III are different in design, but similar in performance, and both offer pixel-shift high resolution modes which pull even more detail out of their already high-resolution sensors. Here's how they compare.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.