The good news for beginners is – any camera will do. Even a point-and-shoot camera. Even a phone. You don’t need any special equipment, you don’t need a tripod or anything else. An honest thing to add here is that with the right tools and practices you will take better panoramas in shorter time and with less errors.
Try it right now
The secret of 360° photography lies in simply taking multiple overlapping photos and stitching them together. There is really nothing else to it. No matter what your equipment is, try to take some overlapping photos right now. Do it.
How to shoot
In order to create a 360° photo with a classic camera or a phone, you will need something like 10-20 photos depending on the focal length of your camera. For the start I recommend something else than a full 360°. Try to make a partial panorama consisting of just a few shots. May be even three or four. That way, you will get something really quickly and you won’t need many photos. Partial panoramas, by the way, are a great way to capture objects that don’t fit in your camera, such as a tall tower or a building when you are too close to it.
Enough overlap and the no-parallax point
The only thing that you need to take care of during shooting is to have enough overlap in your photos and the no-parallax point. The ideal overlap is approximately 30% but you can have more or less. It doesn’t really matter. All photos you take must be taken from the same spot in space. To achieve this don’t rotate your camera around you but rotate yourself around the camera as if it was fixed in space. This will ensure the perspective won’t change between shots and it will be easier to stitch the photos together because background won’t move on foreground. More on this in upcoming articles.
One last thing: If you want to take a 360° panorama, don’t forget that the last photo must overlap with the first one.
In the next article I will show you how to stitch your photos together.
This has been an article from the Introduction to Effective 360° Photography series.