FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below we try to answer some general FAQ. If you have questions that are not answered below, take a look at our Tutorials pages where we cover more topics in detail or send us an email to su.063modeerfnull@troppus and we get back to you as soon as possible.

Shipping

Do you ship world wide?

Yes. However, there are some countries where it is complicated (Russia). If you are aware that you are living in a country where shipments from out of the country might not reach you, please try to arrange an alternative shipping address such as a friend/relative on vacation etc.

How long does it take to ship to XYZ?

Within the US: about 5 days or faster, depending on the shipping speed you choose at check out.
Outside the US: usually 3-5 days (with some exceptions)
If you need something faster let us know and we will do our best to get it to you.

Read more about shipping here

Mounts

Which mount should I get?

The Freedom360 Mount and the Elmo360 are both great systems to shoot 360° video.

The Freedom360 Mount is our most versatile mount and the one we recommend and use the most for all kinds of shooting situations. Fitted with the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition camera (cameras are not included) it delivers the highest output resolution, is sharp and delivers good dynamic range. You have control over White Balance (3000K, 5500K, 6500K) and exposure bias. The Freedom360 Mount is small and light and can be rigged in a variety of different ways. The maximum output resolution is about 8k by 4k while a more workable size is 6k by 3k. The Freedom360 is the work horse of the line-up, used and trusted by professionals around the world.

The Elmo360 is an affordable alternative to the Freedom360 system. It comes equipped with four Elmo QBiC MS-1 cameras. The cameras can switch between auto exposure with exposure bias settings or manual eposure which gives control over shutter speed and gain (think ISO setting). White balance has several presets or can be manually adjusted from 3000K to 8000K. The maximum output resolution is about 4k by 2k.

When should I get the F360 Explorer mount?

If you expect the rig will get hit, bump into objects or walls, will fall to the ground or get splashed with water the F360 Explorer is your mount of choice. It will survive in most harsh and rough conditions. Take a look what happens when the rig dislodges from a motorcycle on a race course at about 00:07:15 in the video. The cameras didn’t stop recording!

How much does the Freedom360 mount with six cameras weigh?

About 525gr (= 1.2lbs)

How much does the Elmo360 weigh?

About 450g (1lb)

How much does the F360 Explorer mount with six housings and cameras weigh?

]About 1.2kg (2.7lbs)

 Cameras and Camera Settings

What kind of cameras do I need?

The Freedom360 Mount is designed to fit six GoPro Hero 3/3+/4 cameras. Our recommendation is to get the best camera you can afford. You will get the best result with the newest top level model: the GoPro Hero 4 Black Edition. This camera allows for the most control over settings and is therefore used by the majority of 360º video producers.
The F360 Explorer Mount is designed to fit six GoPro Hero 4 waterproof housings. The waterproof housings come with the GoPro cameras. However, if you already own GoPro Hero 3/3+ cameras, you can always buy the housing separate (for example on ebay).
The Elmo360 already comes with 4 Elmo QBiC MS-1 cameras.[

What are the recommended settings for the GoPro Hero 4 cameras?

Our recommended settings are as follows:

2.7k 4:3 W 1440P Wide 960P Wide
Nominal output size 8k 6k 4k
Bright Light Outdoor 30 fps 80, 60, 50, 48, 30, 25 and 24 fps 120 fps, 60/50 fps
White Balance: native or 5500 K (Outdoor)
ISO limit: 400
Low Light Indoor 30 fps 30 fps, 25/24 fps 60 fps
White Balance: native or 3000 K (Indoor)
ISO limit: 1600 (6400 with additional noise)
General Protune Mode: ON
Auto Low Light: OFF
Sharpness: Low/Medium
Color: Flat

Recording time for GoPro Hero 4 Black cameras

GoPro Hero4 Black cameras will always generate mp4 files that are ~ 4GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 4GB, until the card is full. With Protune on, the camera will make a 4GB file about every 11 minutes for the normal modes, and about every 8 min for the higher modes (1440P/60 and larger).

What are the recommended settings for the GoPro Hero 3/3+ cameras?

Our recommended camera settings are as follows:

1440P Wide 960P Wide
Nominal output size 6k 4k
Bright Light Outdoor 48 fps, 30 fps 100 fps, 60/50 fps
White Balance: 5500 K (Outdoor)
ISO limit: 400
Low Light Indoor 30 fps, 25/24 fps Frame Rate:
Protune ON:60/50 fps
Protune OFF:48 fps
White Balance: 3000 K (Indoor)
ISO limit: 1600
General Protune Mode: ON
Auto Low Light: OFF
Sharpness: Low/Medium
Color: Flat

More about GoPro camera settings

  •    Aspect ratio of the individual videos needs to be 4:3 mode in order for the six videos to have enough overlap to be stitched. 2.7k 4:3, 1440P and 960P are the onlyvideo resolutions that have a 4:3 aspect ratio. We recommend to always use 1440P unless you require a higher frame rate.
  • Field of View (FOV) is always Wide when you choose 2.7k 4:3, 1440P or 960P.
  • It is recommended to always use ProTune Mode. It gives you more control over your final video in post, and gives you a higher bit rate while recording. You see 1440T or 960T in the display when ProTune is ON.
  • Avoid an ISO Limit setting of 6400 since it increases image noise.
  • NEVER use SuperView Mode or the 1080P mode. It is not stitchable.
  • Always Set Date and Time in the GoPro App before a shoot for all cameras. It facilitates better synchronization. It is also very useful to have the same time stamp on the six files when it comes to data management.

Make sure all cameras have the exact same settings.

For other GoPro camera editions than Hero 4 Black or Hero 3/3+ Black pick the settings that apply.

What are the recommended settings for the Elmo QBiC MS-1 cameras?

Metering Overall mean
Distortion correction Hand-shake correction Image Rotation OFF
White Balance Auto Setting ON: Choose from the presets according to conditions. OFF: Adjust the slider according to conditions. ~3000K for Indoor / Low Light ~5500K for Outdoor / Bright Light
Exposure Auto Settings ON: Apply Exposure bias if necessary (-2 to +2). OFF: Adjust Shutter speed and gain according to conditions.
Time Synchronization ON
Angle of View 185º
WDR ON
Resolution and Framerate Low Light: 1080p 30fps Bright Light: 1080p 60fps

Software

What do you mean by stitching?

Each 360° video capture system (Freedom360, Elmo360, F360 Explorer) records 4 or 6 separate videos on a miniSD card, one for each camera. These videos need to be combined into one single video file. This is called stitching. Special software is necessary to line up and warp the videos seamlessly together into one.

What Software do I need?

There are 2 great options for stitching 360 video: VideoStitch Studio and Autopano Video Pro. Which one to use is a personal questions and might depend on your style and expertise. Both offer trial versions so you can test before you decide which one you prefer. Or if you can’t decide – why don’t take both?

Here is more information about it:
Software Info
Kolor Autopano Video Workflow
VideoStitch Tutorial

What is the maximum output resolution?

The output resolution is the resolution you will get after the videos are stitched. The output format is an equirectangular with an aspect ratio of 2:1. Of course the output resolution depends on the settings of the camera. Choosing the highest video resolution for each camera (a setting that produces enough overlap to be stitchable) results in the maximum output resolution.

  • Freedom360 recorded with 2.7k Wide: 8k x 4k
  • F360 Explorer recorded with 2.7k Wide: 8k x 4k
  • Elmo360 recorded at 1080P Wide: 4k x 2k

Miscellaneous

How do I place/rig the Freedom360 / Explorer / Elmo360 system?

How to place or rig the capture system depends mostly on what you want to shoot and what effect you are aiming for. Some basic rules are:

  • Safety first!
  • Use at least two points to attach the capture system to anything that moves.
  • Check for stability!
  • Check between takes!

Here are two of the easiest ways to rig:

Static setup: Attach a pole to a tripod and attach the rig to the top of the pole. Adjust the pole to the desired height (i.e. Shoulder height). Place the system in the middle of the action and roll.

Handheld moving setup: Attach a set of counter weights (3-4) to the bottom of a pole and attach the capture system on the top of the pole. Adjust the length of the pole to about your height. Find the balance point of the pole and hold it there. This should feel pretty easy. Hold the pole at about 45° angle with the capture system in front of you. Walk and record.

How close can I get with the Freedom360 / Explorer / Elmo360 to what I am shooting?

Because of the inherent parallax in any 360° video capture system, there is a minimum distance between subject and camera in order to avoid weirdly looking limps/buildings/etc. in the final video. The rule of thumb is: the smaller the camera system the closer you can get.

For the Freedom360 and Elmo360 keep a distance of at least 75cm (~3 feets). Keep a little larger distance, a littler more 1m (~ 4feet) to the F360 Explorer.

What is the OPTIMAL distance for capturing with the Freedom360 / Explorer / Elmo360

While there is a minimum distance between the subject and the capture system to avoid stitching errors due to parallax you also don’t want to have the subject too far away. Objects that are between 1m to 5m distance will appear as foreground. A distance of 5m to 40m will be background. Everything further away than 40m needs to be big or big structures to be of interest for 360º video.

Mixing GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 3+ cameras

The Hero3 and Hero3+ can be mixed, but it requires some more work: the lens parameters between the cameras are very similar, but slightly different, which means you should optimize the parameters for the 3+ a bit different (select 3rd degree lens parameters for each individual camera in the APG control point optimizer scopes), as well as color correction, since the Hero3+ renders colors a bit different.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,

    I just bought 2 sets of lens caps from you but they are jumping off of my lenses.
    What can I do about that?

    regards,
    Mario

  2. how do you upload videos to youtube?

    1. Joergen Geerds

      Youtube has a tutorial page for 360 video: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6178631?hl=en

  3. Hi,

    I’m having the same problem with the lens caps. I have Hero4 Black cameras.

    Please let us know if there are or aren’t any plans to fix this.

    All the best,
    Patrick

    1. Joergen Geerds

      Dear Patrick, some of the Gopro Hero4 cameras seem to have a plastic lens barrel that is not perfectly straight, which makes fresh lens caps sometimes pop off. As far as we know, lens caps will stay on after a while. We do hope the new lens caps we received today will be able to deal with the (rare) non-straight Gopro lens barrels a bit better.

  4. The threads on the weights are not long enough to thread into the carbon fiber monopod.

    1. Joergen Geerds

      Dear Ben,
      if you are using the Carbon Fiber Pole (Feisol), just leave the 3/8 that comes with the monopod in, and screw it into the female side of the counter weights. The setscrews of the counter weights are removable, only fixed with light loctite.

  5. how much does the broadcster mount weight with six cameras weight?

    1. Hello,

      The combined weight of the Broadcaster mount + 6 Hero 4 Black GoPros is 1.35 lb or 615 gr.

      Hope this helps!

      ~M

  6. How do I tell which lens is the front center of the video? Or which camera is the front center view?

    1. Hi Larry,

      Thank you for your question. Because you are shooting in 360 degrees, you are have great flexibility in editing this in post. You can center any point of view, not just a particular camera, you can also align the horizon in any way you want throughout the entire timeline. You can learn more about this if our 360 Video Training course that we offer here at our NYC location. You can find more details about this here: https://freedom360.us/360-video-stitching-training/

      Best,

      ~M

  7. Can I mix Hero3+ with Hero4 if I use the same settings on all cameras? Are there any things to keep in mind?

    1. Jason Mascheri

      Hi Viktor,
      We recommended only using 6 identical camera models. Matching image quality is very important, and any differences because of hardware or firmware variances would be quite noticeable.

  8. Hi
    We are using to F360 broadcaster.
    We can’t use to that rig when it’s rains.
    Is there any housing solitions or different?

    Best Regards

    1. Jason Mascheri

      Hi leprecorn,
      You may like to check out the F360 Explorer mount. It allows you to mount your cameras after placing them in their acrylic housings, protecting them from water and debris.

      https://freedom360.us/shop/f360-explorer/

      1. Hi Jason
        Thanks for your reply
        I wonder that. If I use to explorer mount, do i have any problem about cables(hdmi and usb for charge)?

        Best regards

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