The THETA Z1 360-degree camera is great for hobby shooting as well as for work as a lawyer!

We interviewed Mr. Ogawa, a lawyer and a user of THETA’s flagship model THETA Z1. He shared with us some interesting ways of using his THETA!

How to use Z1 in legal work: traffic accident site

So, Mr. Ogawa, as a lawyer, please tell us specifically how you use the Z1 in your work.

I run a law firm and handle a wide range of civil cases. Occasionally, I visit the site of the incident, document the scene myself, and submit evidence photos to the court.

For example, when I went to check the site of a traffic accident or real estate dispute, I used to take pictures with a normal camera or smartphone. However, I was always very worried about missing crucial details, and it was quite troublesome to shoot dozens of photos of possible evidence without being sure if I would even need them.

On the other hand, THETA Z1 has good image quality, and can capture the details in 360 degrees. So, I can record a whole space in a single 360-degree shot, whether indoors or outdoors. This is indispensable in my line of work!

How are you actually using THETA to document traffic accident scenes for example?

Photographed by Z1: Confirming the view seen from the driver’s seat at the accident site

For example, this 360-degree image above shows the view from the driver’s seat at a traffic accident scene.

We can see not only the front, but also the left and right door mirrors, rearview mirrors, and the rear, so we can get an idea of the driver’s visibility. With a normal camera, there is no choice but just to cut out part of the scene, so capturing evidence like this is impossible without my THETA.

However, since 360-degree image playback is not available in court, it is difficult to directly submit this as evidence in the trial. Therefore, at the moment, it is just for my own verification.

Failed example shot with AUTO

By the way, the image above is no good. If I shoot in AUTO mode, the camera adjusts the exposure to the inside of the car, so the scene outside, which is the main point of the photo, will be overexposed. For that reason, I take the first 360-degree image of the car in manual mode instead of AUTO so I can adjust the exposure to capture the exterior.

The Z1 allows us to control the exposure and other settings. In addition, it can record data in RAW format as well as JPEG, so I think it is excellent for work that requires precise exposure.

How do you shoot with THETA in the car?

Using Z1 on a selfie stick, TM-3

I place the Z1 on a selfie stick in the gap between the driver’s seat and the headrest, just where the driver’s eyes normally are.

Photographed with Z1: From the outside of the car

The 360 degree image above is taken from outside the car in the same spot, showing the complete road conditions. It is very convenient for getting a full view of the accident site.

How to use Z1 in legal work: indoor sites

Please tell us how you get the most out of Z1 for indoor shooting.

In addition to traffic accidents, I often shoot indoors to document the site in real estate cases and bankruptcy cases. The Z1 is convenient because I can take images with such high quality even if I casually shoot with AUTO in a place where the lighting is poor.

Photographed with Z1: Example of indoor shooting

The image above is an example of an indoor shot taken at my office.

Of course, my main goal is to check the site of the incident visually.. But since THETA can shoot in full 360-degrees, I sometimes find evidence that I didn’t notice at first because it was not in my line of sight.

How do you use those THETA images taken at work?

It is not possible to submit THETA 360-degree image data as evidence in court. However, there are occasions when I cut out only the parts that seem to be relevant and submit them as evidence.

Generally, I’d rather use THETA as a way to jog my memory so that I can more easily recall details later.

Expectations for 360-degree images

Please tell us what you think is good about THETA, Mr. Ogawa.

The good thing about THETA is that it lets me take images of everything, including what’s behind me, or other things I might easily miss.

Just as at work, while traveling, THETA allows me to get a good feel for the scenery all around me and allows me to better appreciate the views when I look back through the images.

Thank you very much, Mr. Ogawa! Please keep getting the most out of THETA in private and work.