Manfrotto's new 360 tripods help keep gear out of immersive shots

The ability to shoot in every direction poses a new problem: How do you hide the photo and video equipment in 360 photography? The U.K.-based camera support company Manfrotto is offering a solution — an entire range of tripods and accessories designed specifically for 360 as the company announced 360 tripods on Wednesday.

The new 360 tripods start with a base designed to be thin enough not to appear in the shot. Three different base designs allow for a range of different heights using a traditional tripod style adapted for a narrower, base hidden from most 360 cameras. The bases are available in different heights and different materials, including the cheaper aluminum or the lighter carbon fiber. Along with the traditional bases, Manfrotto’s new lineup also includes a wheeled dolly, suction cup stand, and mini tripod.

A selection of extension booms that can be mixed and matched with the bases allow the system to accommodate a number of different heights. The lineup also includes a clamp to attach a 360 camera to poles and flat objects, and includes kits that mix the bases and extensions.

While a multi-lens 360 camera does not need a panning head, Manfrotto is also releasing a virtual reality panoramic head with sliding plates, designed to use with a DSLR and manual stitching for 360 panoramas. The plates allow the camera to rotate on both horizontal and vertical axes, while precise adjustments help minimize the pain of stitching in post production, the company says. The aluminum base is rated to handle over eight pounds.

Manfrotto’s new lineup is the first support system to be created specifically for 360 shooting (though there is a robo-dolly to keep both people and tripod out of the shot). While traditional tripods can be used with 360 cameras, sometimes the tripod’s feet or even the handle on a panning head are too wide, popping up in the resulting shot. The new line is designed to solve those issues while maintaining compatibility with the rest of Manfrotto’s lineup.

Manfrotto says that the new products are compatible with most popular 360 cameras. The company suggests the new system is designed to accommodate both professional and hobbyist photographers and videographers and the $70 to $760 price range seems to support that statement.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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 sure is fun to gawk!

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.