Have you ever looked up your address on Google Maps and realized that the street view picture of your house is outdated? Or the image itself is so blurry that it looks like it was captured in the middle of a thunderstorm? Well worry no longer because earlier this month, Insta 360 and Google announced that anyone can capture and upload Street View photos and videos with the help of Insta360’s Pro camera. The only catch is that the Pro costs $3,499 flat, but its powerful specs justify the price.
The camera is part of the ‘Street View ready’ program, which identifies devices suited specifically for creating high quality 360-degree content. According to Charles Armstrong, Google Street View product manager, “When Google Street View kicked off in 2007, high-quality 360 photography was only available to those with the resources and know-how to build their own cameras. Now, thanks to the advances of companies like Insta360, anyone can create immersive 360-degree experiences and contribute them to Street View’s extensive map of the world.”
The Pro is the first 360 camera that Google has approved and designated for use with Street View thus far. It shoots in 8k, capturing 5 fps and records everything around it, thanks to the 360 degree design. A few of our favorite perks about the Insta 360 Pro is that it can be controlled directly from Google’s Street View app, which is compatible with virtual reality (VR). Content captured can then be directly uploaded from Insta360’s Stitcher Software.
In 4k, the camera allows for sustained live streaming and real-time stitching. The Pro also has a slow-motion feature with its high-speed shooting mode, and the body is constructed of an aluminum alloy and polycarbonate for protection on those off-road routes. Captured photos and videos can be stored on an SD card, and the Pro also has a USB 3.0 port that can be used to connect extended storage options.
For anyone worried about those potholes or dirt roads, The device also comes with built in real-time image stabilizers that provide a clear and reliable image. Similar to the rigging on Google Map cars, the Pro can be securely mounted to the top of a vehicle to capture anything and everything happening around it. The project itself is a great opportunity for Google Street View to remain updated in good quality imagery while giving the adventurous a new activity to pursue.
Although the Pro may be out of the price range of most photographers, Google announced that it will be making it available in its camera loan program to authorized organizations and individuals.
For more on Insta360’s Pro, visit the company’s website here.