New EyeSee360 GoPano Plus: 360-Degree Panorama Optical Attachment
Panoramic photographs have been around since the earliest days of photography, and almost all of them were created with cameras featuring rotating lenses or multiple, slightly overlapping images recorded sequentially across the desired viewing field. The EyeSee360 GoPano Plus System does the deed by capturing the entire 360-degree scene in a single frame recorded with a conical mirror that mounts onto the filter threads of your camera's lens.
The basis of EyeSee360's approach to panoramic imagery is based on a Renaissance era "technology" called anamorphics, in which a subject is painted as reflected in a polished cylinder, and can only be viewed in an undistorted form by viewing its reflection in a similarly shaped polished cylinder. (Leonardo Di Vinci was among those who toyed with this vehicle of optical trickery.)
In their 21st-Century digital manifestation, panoramic images can be captured using the EyeSee360 GoPano Plus, which consists of a carefully formed and polished aluminum-substrate hemispherical "mirror" at the end of a thin post, which attaches to the filter threads of your camera's lens. According to the nice folks at EyeSee360, the inevitable reflection of the camera and lens is eliminated due to the design of the mirror's curved reflecting surface.
The resulting pictures take in a 360-degree angle of view of the surroundings, albeit a distorted view due to the nature of its method of capture. To open the image up in its undistorted form, you need to open the image file in GoPano's PhotoWarp software (included), which uses reverse algorithms to reconstruct the picture in the form of a 360-degree panoramic image that you can both scroll across as well as zoom in and out of for closer peeks at smaller details.
Along with panoramic stills, the EyeSee360 GoPro Plus can also capture panoramic video clips, which requires the use of GoPano Plus VideoWarp software (Mac only), which is available separately with the purchase of the EyeSee360 GoPano Plus with PhotoWarp 2.5 and is included with the purchase of the EyeSee360 GoPano Plus with PhotoWarp & VideoWarp software.
Drag your mouse or use your arrow keys to go 360 in the scene. Use +/- or scroll button to zoom in.
Though it's designed with a 67mm thread, the EyeSee360 GoPano Plus system can be used with equally satisfactory results with lenses having smaller or larger filter thread sizes through the use of step-up or step-down rings. According to the manufacturer, you can get fine results with DSLRs as well as most point-and-shoot digicams. (A mini version designed for iPhones and similar camera-enabled smartphones is in the works... stay tuned!)
As for lens choices, the folks at EyeSee360 claim you can shoot with most any focal length lens, though macros and other close-focusing lenses are preferable for optimal results.
Accessories to go along with the EyeSee360 GoPro Plus system include a GoPano Magnetic Quick Release Adapter, which enables you to pop the GoPro Plus quickly into place without having to first screw it on and off, GoPano Spacer Rings, which are available individually (67x10mm, 67x20mm, 67x40mm) or as a 3-piece set for maintaining fluid focus from close-up to infinity.
Click here for a complete listing of cameras compatible with the EyeSee360 panorama capture system.