When in Dome…

The Morehead Planetarium & Science Center Production Blog

LadyBug3 camera

by Jay Heinz

October 30, 2009 | No comments | Gear

ld3_white_background_largeThere’s been a lot of talk and some experimentation regarding using one of the Red cameras to shoot video for the dome.  The footage I’ve seen coming from the Red looks decent on a 2K system, but on a 4K system, it’s just not there yet. Just a bit too blurry and not ready for prime time.

I’ve been interested see that Aussie dome superstar Paul Bourke has been messing around with Point Grey’s Ladybug3 camera, a spherical digital video camera that works in a somewhat similar way to the Immersive Media camera that The Goog uses for Street View. Check out the installation that he did at the Wollongong Science Centre:

http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/exhibition/Wollongong/ (Scroll down on the page for the video that showcases it.)

While the subject matter (a lab interview with some composited molecular models) isn’t exactly screaming for 360 dome treatment, it is pretty interesting and opens up a host of possibilities. Best of all, he recorded the footage straight to a MacBook Pro. He mentions that the “spherical resolution” is 5400×2700.  Does this mean that it’s half that (2700×1850) on a dome hemisphere? Either way, it’s basically at the same place as the RED camera. Not quite ready for 4Kx4K. But at least there’s another possibility for the future. Hey, if Canon can get the 5D to shoot HD with real lenses somebody is going to break the 4Kx4K barrier soon.

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