any good cameras and software for creating hdri or equirectangular images for bkgs?

Am interested in learning to make my own hdri or equirectangular images for my own scenes locally. Can anyone recommend a decent camera and are there software programs designed for this?


Examples produced using the Ricoh Theta above are available here:
from Greg Zaal / is also informative.

Thanks LoboTommy. The revies of the Ricoh seem a bit mixed but I will check it out more. And the website link for the instructions on making an hdri environmental maps is just what I was looking for. Thank you very much.

I went ahead and bought the new Gopro Fusion. I was a bit hesitant at first due to most of the negatives being about how bad the software was. Those comments were usually posted back in December and early January. I was pleasantly surprised that I had absolutely no problem with the software issues brought up in those reviews. It is a really amazing little camera.