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How 360 Tech Expert, Yuqing Guo, uses THETA Z1 and THETA X

Interview

Posted date : 2022.06.13

Yuqing Guo is a 360-degree tech expert and are active in 360 Industry and on social network. He has even won VR Silver Award in EPSON Panoaward with one shot 360 photograph.

He is not only great at shooting and editing with THETA, but he also has a developer’s knowledge and shares helpful insights about the cameras. What’s more , Yuqing is also registered for the RICOH THETA Plug-in Partner Program partner program. Read more on how he got started with 360-degree photography and how he uses his THETA in everyday life.

Sunflowers (Silver Award in EPSON Panoaward 2019 , shot with THETA Z1)

The Start of 360 Panorama

How did you get started in the world of 360 panorama?

In 2008, I received my first DSLR camera and have been exploring photography ever since. I love 360-degree photography a lot, some would say I am a 360 maniac and evangelist. I am also a bit of a tech nerd and love mechanics and electronics, so I have a strong understanding of 360 cameras and the VR industry. I started shooting with a one shot 360 camera in 2014 and have experienced almost all of the consumer/prosumer level 360 cameras on the market.

Photo by Yuqing Guo : THETA Z1 (RAW edited) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

THETA Z1 :Dual Fishsheye RAW

Wow! You experienced almost all the 360 cameras in the market? What made you so passionate about 360 devices?

I became familiar with 360 photography back in 2008 during the Beijing Olympic because I saw a 360 interactive panorama during the closing ceremony. I was surprised while I watched it – it was like magic! Since then, I started exploring techniques for capturing 360 photography.

Shooting with THETA Z1

I thought 360 photography was going to be easy as pie – just capturing the image and stitching. I was incorrect and realized that I knew nothing about nodal points and panoramic heads! It was a frustrating learning experience.

Since then, I started from scratch to learn everything there is to know about 360 content. It was like a whole new world for me. At this moment, I remember the poetry from Pablo Neruda:

“And it was at that age… Poetry arrived in search of me.
I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,no, they were not voices,
they were not words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,abruptly from the others,
among violent fires or returning alone,
there I was without a face and it touched me.”

And that is exactly what 360 panorama means to me.

Shooting with THETA Z1

About RICOH THETA and the THETA Z1

How did you get started with the THETA series?

In 2015, I bought the RICOH THETA S. The reason is quite simple. When attending the Prague 2015 meeting, I met 360-degree experts including Sam Rohn, Jook Leung, Jeffrey Martin and more. They all had a sleek THETA S in their pocket and the results were pretty amazing. I also saw a THETA V prototype at the marketplace which drove me crazy.

Without hesitation, I bought one and started my THETA journey. Since then, I carried my THETA S everywhere until THETA V was released. I currently have THETA S,THETA V, THETA SC2, THETA Z1 and THETA X. I am proud of the fact that I could be a third party THETA-expert.

Shooting with THETA Z1

You own 5 kinds of THETAs? Wow! On YouTube, you introduce various tips for shooting and editing using the THETA Z1. Which points do you love THETA Z1?

I enjoy shooting lifestyle 360 content and love to use THETA Z1 in my everyday life. THETA Z1 was designed to deliver premium image quality and was called the “DSLR in 360 cameras” considering its Dual 1-Inch Sensors and triple folded optical system. With this camera, I can capture a precious moment and shoot without a panoramic head.

Photo by Yuqing Guo ( THETA Z1 Dual Fisheye Plugin) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

THETA Z1 :Dual Fishsheye Plug-in

The Dual Fisheye RAW plugin is great by capturing and stacking 16bit float HDR-DNG in the camera with motion compensation. Honestly, I do not use DSLR/Mirrorless to shoot 360 lifestyle images any more. The THETA Z1 has made my life a lot easier and allows me to fully concentrate on the images.

What kind of scenes do you like to shoot with your Z1 in your personal life ?

Dinner shooting with an invisible selfie stick, the so-called Yuqing Style 360 Panorama. I also like shooting traveling panorama, coffee breaks with my friends, and anything else that is great to capture in 360.

THETA Z1 :Dual Fishsheye Plug-in

Any tips for shooting?

Well, you need to place the camera in the best point of interest. For 360 cameras, the best POV is usually in the event center. You should make sure that everything around it is interesting including the nadir and zenith, then capture with the DualFisheye RAW Plugin, which is a bomber feature plugin for THETA Z1. For more info on DualFisheye RAW, please refer to my YouTube video.

Shooting with THETA X

About THETA X

You have already tested out the new THETA X. Which do you like best?

THETA X is the REAL standalone 360 camera with slim form factor. I love the touch screen and how the camera is simple to use in daily life.

Photo by Yuqing Guo (THETA X) – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

THETA X

The quality it delivers is great as well, including a dual 1/2 Inch sensor that produces 11K resolution with a HDR rendering capability.

Shooting with THETA X

Message to the Engineers

Please let us know your message to THETA engineers and 3rd party developer Ichi Hirota who developed Dual Fisheye Plugin.

The THETA development team is just amazing. Thank you for creating the THETA Z1 for us. Even now in 2022, I still believe THETA Z1 is a gift from the future. It is an engineering miracle since it has acrobatic triple folded optics and variable aperture. Sometimes I wonder how it is even possible. I know that THETA engineers are working on the successor model of THETA Z1 and I believe that it will revolutionize the industry all over again.

Ichi-san, I admire your technique and the passion you devoted to the THETA Z1. You have a deep understanding of 360 photography and you are also one of the most promising computer vision engineers. I have read your paper on “Development of High-Quality Volumetric Capturing Workflow”. In your company, you are an outstanding CV scientist. For RICOH THETA, you are the HERO. Please keep up the great work and salute to your contribution on THETA Z1.

THETA Z1 :Dual Fishsheye Plug-in

I will keep up shooting with THETA Z1 and THETA X. Hopefully you will see more amazing content from the THETA camera over on my YouTube channel. If you are interested in learning 360 photos, videos, and more nerdy stuff, please check it out.

You can follow Yuqing on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about how he uses THETA.

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