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Olympus develops 360-degree camera, lens

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon June 30, 2008

Olympus 360 Deg Camera

Olympus in Japan today unveiled a prototype of what's claimed as the world's first-ever true 360-degree camera and matching lens. The sensor can not only capture the entire horizontal view of a given scene but improves on early technology first outlined last year for taking vertical shots. Thanks in part to a uniquely curved lens with specially-made glass, the example can also capture at up to a 180 vertical angle versus an earlier 45 degrees, essentially allowing the camera to snap a complete dome-shaped picture of a scene.

The technology is best-suited to surveillance systems and will most likely be transformed into a shipping product for that category first, although Olympus doesn't rule out the possibility of using the 360-degree camera for other categories; the technology would help photographers create panoramas and virtual walkthroughs without requiring stitching or other complex effects. [via Crunchgear]

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fine print

    this has been available for years:

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HDRI rendering

    I could see this becoming a replacement for using the silver steel ball for HDRI rendering. It lets you get 360 degrees, and 180 up, turn this on its side and you'd get everything you'd get from the steel balls. And if they could ever figure out a way to make one that can take 360* both up and down and all around... I can imagine the use.

  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not, it hasn't

    Read the specs. What you pointed to is nothing more than the old Kaidan panoramic lens. It claims about 115 of vertical view. The Olympus claims 180, quite a difference. I used to own one, so I know very well that the pano lenses do not cover a 360 sphere.

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