A four-channel built-in microphone is capable of recording a truly immersive surround sound: you will always be able to tell where the sound is coming from while watching a video.
There's no microSD slot so you won't be able to expand the memory.
An innovative 2-lens technology that allows capturing any moment from the most exciting angles is without a doubt the sort of revolutionary solution that makes this camera so appealing to so many customers.
Video: 3840 x 1920@30fps
Photo: 14 Megapixels
~19 Gb (up to 40 minutes of 4K video)
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Microphone jack, Tripod mount hole, MicroUSB port
Built-in Li-ion battery (up to 80 minutes of video recording)
Advanced image processing, Auto stabilization (Built-in gyroscope), Google Street view App
1.78" x 0.9" x 5.14"
An Invisible Selfie Stick feature detects the selfie stick in the shot and accurately removes it, thus creating an impression that the camera is flying in the air above you.
The power button placement is somewhat inconvenient - you can accidentally turn the device off and discharge the battery.
The Insta 360 ONE allows making astonishing photos and videos, which will definitely have a huge success on social media. Your videos and photos will be more popular and the number of likes and retweets will increase as well.
Video: 3840 x 1920@30fps
Photo: 24 Megapixels
Slot for microSD cards (8 GB card included)
Bluetooth, Lightning connector, Tripod mount hole, MicroUSB port
Built-in Li-ion battery (up to 70 minutes of video recording)
FlowState™ Stabilization (built-in gyroscope), SmartTrack™, Invisible Selfie Stick, Protective case
3.78" x 1.42" x 0.99"
A built-in Li-ion battery is fairly autonomous and allows the user to record videos for 130 minutes straight. With a USB Type-C connector, the battery charging does not take a lot of time.
The quality of photos taken in low lighting conditions leaves something to be desired.
A 360° camera from Samsung is, to say the least, a revolution for Galaxy and Note users. You will be able to capture everything that is going on around you, and thanks to the Gear 360 app, you'll be presented with the opportunity to edit videos into amazing montages.
Video: 4096 x 2048@24fps
Photo: 15 Megapixels
Slot for microSD cards (card not included)
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Tripod mount hole, USB Type-C port
Built-in Li-ion battery (up to 130 minutes of video recording)
Auto stabilization (Built-in gyroscope), Easy-grip housing, Dust and splash resistant body (IP53 class), Pouch and strap
1.8" x 1.77" x 3.96"
The model comes supplied with a tripod that helps to make multi-hour live streams. Additionally, the tripod can serve as a monopod handle when folded.
Tends to overheat after a prolonged period of use.
The camera is suitable for active people that want to capture every single moment of their lives in the most extreme conditions. This 360 camera has it all: dust, water, and temperature proofing without any additional cases.
Photo: 24 Megapixels
Slot for microSD cards (card not included)
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Tripod mount hole, MicroUSB port
Built-in Li-ion battery (up to 90 minutes of video recording)
Auto stabilization (Built-in gyroscope), Waterproof housing (IP67 class), Pouch and tripod
3.07" x 0.94" x 2.65"
A built-in Li-ion battery does not consume the phone's or tablet's energy. This way, you can record videos for up to 60 minutes from a single charge.
The support of products and the OS has been discontinued.
Thanks to its simple and intuitive UI, the Giroptic IO is incredibly easy to use. Moreover, it will help you share the precious moments with your friends in an absolutely breathtaking 360° format.
Photo: 8 Megapixels
Lightning port, MicroUSB port
Built-in Li-ion battery (up to 60 minutes of video recording)
Auto stabilization (Built-in gyroscope), Built-in clip, Protective case
2.9" x 0.6" x 1.4"
Amazon's 30-day return policy
Ricoh Theta V
Upgraded and Ready
What we have here is a new addition to the Theta family from Ricoh that has replaced a terrific Theta S camera. The new version has an expanded internal memory and upgraded hardware. The Theta V is exceptionally easy to use thanks to its simple and intuitive UI that is based on Android OS, which also allows for future firmware upgrades. It is also one of the few models that are able to record sound in 360° thanks to a set of 4 microphones. With the help of this solution, everyone watching the videos will be able to tell where the sound is coming from.
As for the conveniences, the device features a number of status lights that will help you understand how the camera is operating at any given moment. The Camera Status Light will remain on when the camera is ready to record. The Wireless indicator will be lit when the Wi-Fi is on and will flash when there’s no connection. A Capture mode light will tell you what shooting mode is selected at the moment (photo, video, or live stream). The video recording and memory warning lamps will tell you if a camera is recording or running low on memory, respectively.
Powerful and Long Lasting
With an Ultra HD 4K support, the camera is able to record stunning panoramic videos and photos. Though, regardless of resolution, the device records in the H.264 file format, which makes the footage files smaller without compressing the video too much. As a result, you save a lot of space for more videos or photos without losing in terms of quality. Additionally, this model features a built-in Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU that improves power saving, image processing, and the speed of wireless transferring. What is more, with the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, your phone will have a constant wireless connection with the camera. This feature will provide you with the opportunity to take videos or photos almost immediately. The only drawback of this model is its memory capacity. The 19 GB won’t allow you to record videos longer than 40 minutes. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to expand the internal memory with a microSD card due to the lack of an SD slot.
On the bright side, Theta V is one of the first 360° models that you can control with a remote playback via any display adapter with wireless capabilities. Moreover, the device features a built-in gyroscope that helps taking stabilized videos and photos without the risk of camera tipping over. In conclusion, the upgraded Ricoh 360 camera will be suitable for both beginners and professionals, thanks to an array of convenient features that help make your videos and photos absolutely unforgettable.
Even if you are not a professional photographer, the 360 ONE camera from Insta360 will prove to be the go-to device if you'd like to capture some precious memories. With an IP68 grade water protection housing, you can take the camera anywhere and record videos in any weather conditions. Although the Insta360 ONE has dust- and waterproof capabilities we still recommend purchasing a durable waterproof case that will further improve the protection allowing you to record videos underwater or in extreme conditions. Just with a few taps, you can create breathtaking edits of your footage with your phone using a mobile app. Unlike other similar models, the Insta360 ONE has a ¼” thread mount that allows for mounting the camera almost anywhere instead of relying on regular bipods or tripods.
As for the technical specifications, this little camera is able to take absolutely incredible videos and photos. The resolution of the camera allows recording 4K footage in 30fps, 2560 x 1280 in 60fps, and 2048 x 512 in 120fps. Moreover, the 24 MP (7K) camera makes high-quality photos practically without the stitching effect, which is impressive considering the modest price of the product. In addition to the regular JPEG photo format, this model can take pictures in Insp and RAW formats, which makes the camera suitable for professional photographers and clipmakers.
Bullet-time for Everyone
This little device features the best-in-class FlowState stabilization that lets you make videos so smooth they seem hypnotic. In case you usually rely on a selfie stick to increase the angle of your shot, you know how irritating it can be to edit out the stick from the picture each time you cycle through the photos. That said, with an Invisible Selfie Stick, it won’t be an issue anymore. This handy feature detects the stick in the shot and accurately removes it, creating an impression that the camera is flying in the air above you. As for other handy features, the camera has a bullet-time that lets you make slow-motion videos capturing your every move in stunning 240 FPS. These convenient features make video and photo editing almost effortless, which will be helpful for entry-level photographers.
As for the packaging, this model comes with a protective case for transportation, an 8GB microSD card, and a USB cable for charging and transferring data from the camera to an external drive. All in all, the budget-friendly 360 VR camera from Insta360 is a complete package suitable for both experienced photographers and newbies.
A Time to Remember
The SM-R210 360 camera is created specifically for those who want the most reliable device. However, surprisingly enough, this model is also one of the most affordable on the market today. Engineered with the distinct Samsung quality, the camera has a variety of Android exclusive features. You can shoot photos, capture video footage, and edit them without even touching the camera itself. The mobile app is compatible with almost all newest Samsung phones and tablets such as Galaxy S and Note. Although you can use the iOS products with the camera, the experience may feel somewhat laggy, since the iOS application tends to stutter a bit. Unfortunately, the iOS version of the mobile app also lacks some features its Android counterpart has. Despite that, the Samsung Gear 360 camera is one of the easiest to use panoramic cameras out there. This little device will definitely catch your eye if you have never used a 360-degree camera before. The User Interface of the mobile app is fairly simple and straightforward, which is helpful in terms of editing.
In comparison to the previous Gear 360 model, the 2017 edition is significantly smaller and can fit even in a small pocket (not to mention the bags and backpacks). The all new and updated version of one of the most popular models has a larger battery capacity that allows you to record 4K videos for up to 130 minutes. What is more, the new edition of this camera does not overheat like the previous version did.
A Revolutionary Device for Samsung Users
Although this camera has a live stream feature, you will only be able to use it with the most recent iterations of the Galaxy S line due to the somewhat poor optimization of the mobile application. One of the drawbacks of this model - it doesn’t have a built-in memory and requires a microSD card in order to record and save footage and photos. Unfortunately, no microSD cards come in the package, thus you will have to purchase one beforehand if you intend to use a camera as a recording device. However, this particular spherical cam works with the cards of up to 256 GB capacity, which makes it perfect for long vacations. And if you happen to have an external power source with you, such as a laptop or a power bank, you can recharge the camera on the go without losing any footage.
Finally, the 360° camera from Samsung is, to say the least, a revolution for Galaxy and Note users. You will be able to capture everything that is going on around you, and thanks to the Gear 360 app, you'll be presented with the opportunity to edit videos into amazing montages.
A Panoramic Companion
The Xiaomi 360 camera is, without a doubt, a true panoramic companion. Although this model differs from other similar products with its ergonomic and minimalistic design, it actually helps to avoid footage stitching that ruins the immersion. The camera itself is one of the smallest models out there and is fairly convenient to carry. Although there is no additional protective case for the Mi Sphere, it comes with a leather pouch so you won’t scratch the lenses. You can purchase the protective case that fits the dimensions of the device but you must know that the quality of the video and photos may degrade because of it. Speaking of quality, the camera is able to record video in crystal clear 3.5K in steady 30 FPS or take 360-degree photos with its 23.88 MP lenses. What is the most surprising, the quality of the videos and photos can compete in quality with the more expensive 4K models, thanks to the high-quality Sony image sensors.
While other famous brands are using mechanical solutions for stabilization, the Xiaomi decided to go even further and has implemented a 6-axis electronic stabilization system on top of a built-in gyroscope. No matter what you do or how fast you are moving, the fidelity of the image will always be smooth. The sound quality of the video, however, is less than impressive.
The Beauty of the Shot
On the bright side, the Mi Sphere Camera features a 1600 mAh battery that allows recording up to 90 minutes of high-fidelity footage with one full charge. Additionally, you can use the Mi Sphere camera app to send short clips of up to 30 seconds to your favorite social media right after they have been recorded. On top of that, you can choose a music track that fits the tone of your clip right from your phone library. No need to use a PC or laptop to edit the footage, with just a few taps of your finger, you can cut and clip your videos with your phone when connected to the camera via a mobile app.
Show everyone how beautiful the nights can be, just set the exposure of the lenses to a maximum of 32s which results in amazingly beautiful panoramic photos of the night city. Although the app has a lot of handy features up its sleeve, the UI leaves a bit to be desired and some options may seem misleading at the first glance. However, considering the reputation of the company, we believe that this minor inconvenience will be fixed with future software updates. To sum up, the 360 camera from Xiaomi, despite some minor flaws, is a fairly solid choice for a moderate price and it has a great potential to become your irreplaceable companion wherever you choose to go.
Giroptic iO HD 360
An Intriguing Design
The Giroptic iO 360 camera is definitely one of a kind. Only a handful of models can be compared to this cam due to the design that works in the most intricate manner. In order to use the camera, you will have to connect it to your iPhone or an iPad by plugging it into the lightning connector. Afterwards, you can easily shoot 360 photos in 4K and videos in 2K resolution. As you would probably expect, this camera would have to consume the phone’s energy, but in reality - it doesn’t. To be more specific, the camera has a built-in battery that allows up to 60 minutes of video recording before it starts to drain the battery of your device.
The camera itself is pocket-sized and extremely compact, which makes it highly portable. The convenient design allows you to simply unplug the cam when you don’t need it to conserve your phone’s energy. What is more, the Giroptic iO has its own 2 microphones and does not use the microphone on your device. This way, you get an immersive stereo sound while live streaming or recording videos.
Accessibility Above All Else
This particular cam is compatible only with iOS devices. As for the iOS version, it works just fine with Apple models that support iOS 11.0 and higher. With a handy iOS companion app, you will be able to shoot 360-degree videos and images with just a few taps. Be aware though that the camera does not have an internal memory module and thus, it saves all the photos and videos directly to your iOS device. The companion app itself is fairly simple and user-friendly, which makes the Giroptic iO camera one of the most accessible products out there. When using the app, you can easily share the moments spent with friends and close ones on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Additionally, you can stream high-quality 360 videos on Facebook or Periscope, just make sure that your iOS device has a full charge since this feature tends to consume a lot of mobile data and energy. For a smoother video stream experience, we recommend using WiFi and 4G compatible cellular networks.
The Giroptic iO package includes a micro USB charging cable, protective case, and a cleaning cloth. No matter what you are going to use this model for, just as your phone is an extension of you, the Giroptic iO is an extension of your phone. Thanks to its unusual yet highly convenient design, you can take this 360 camera anyplace you want. To wrap things up, the panoramic camera from Giroptic is definitely a unique piece of mobile equipment and a perfect choice if you like to share the moments of your life as you are experiencing them.
What Is a 360 Camera?
An omnidirectional camera or simply a 360 camera is a device that can make photos and videos with a visual field that covers 360 degrees, which creates an impression that the video or photo is spherical. These devices are mostly used in such areas as panoramic photography and engineering. A regular spherical camera consists of two or more wide-angle lenses on the front and the rear sides of it. Although the images and video recordings are technically taken in 360 degrees, they do have a black spot. However, the wide lenses of the camera allow for stitching the footage or image to create a panoramic shot without any black spots. Such photos and videos can be played on PCs, mobile devices, or head mounted displays (Virtual Reality headsets). The usage and applications of 360 cameras do not only include making beautiful photos or videos but also such areas as video conferencing, surveillance, and security since this technology can cover a large visual field, which, in turn, simplifies the job. Although this technology might seem like it belongs in science fiction, the vast number of commercially produced devices are widely available on the market today. The 360-degree camera is definitely a product that can help save unforgettable moments of your life in a creative way. So take a look at our 360 camera review and decide which one suits your needs the best.
What Features to Compare
A 360-degree camera differs from other types of recording devices drastically. That’s why it is important to understand what you want to achieve with this kind of equipment. The days of expensive 360° devices are long gone and there is a big number of affordable wide-angle cameras on the market today. Most of them have mounting capabilities that allow attaching them to vehicles, elements of clothing or other pieces of equipment, so they are engineered to be compact and lightweight. Unlike sports cameras, not all models are impact-resistant and often require a special protective case. Take into consideration different sizes and shapes to find the device that suits your needs.
Moreover, some cameras are sold as autonomous devices that only require recharging while others are dependent on such gadgets as tablets and smartphones in order to operate. Furthermore, some specialty 360 cameras are made to be waterproof and dust-resistant without any additional hardware. That’s why we recommend taking a closer look at such models if you don’t want to limit the recording capabilities of your cam.
There are a lot of specifications to consider while you are choosing the right camera. The most important are the ones that affect video recording and photo capturing. The resolution of the video will help you determine how good your footage will look. One of the highest resolution settings for spherical cameras today is 4K (3840 x 2160) but there are some special 360 kits that allow recording videos with even higher resolutions. On the other hand, if you are going to use a camera on a day-to-day basis, the regular Full HD will suit you quite well and save more space since 4K is quite a heavy file format.
The internal memory expansion is another valuable feature. If a camera includes a memory card slot, you will be able to record more footage before transferring the data to a PC or a laptop. Additionally, we would like to draw your attention to the battery capacity of the device you are looking for. The more mAh it has - the better. A battery with considerable capacity allows recording much longer videos compared to smaller models.
The FPS (frames per second) is arguably a more niche specification that will prove to be useful to advanced or professional filmmakers since it basically allows recording smoother videos and adding slow-motion effects.
The last but not the least important aspect is usability of your camera and how exactly does it suit your needs. Considering the number of different models there are for sale today, one can certainly lose his head trying to figure out what camera will be a better fit for him. so try to make sure that your device of choice suits your needs and preferences. The omnidirectional cameras are used both professionally and casually, so if you are looking for a model that is designed for a daily use, you need to make sure that its UI (user interface) is simple and easy to use. The most recent models often feature only a couple of buttons and LED lights, an approach that simplifies the recording process.
Did you know?
The applications of 360-degree cameras
As the technology of 360-degree devices is advancing rapidly, so are its applications. The usability of such devices grows by the hour and more and more uses for this technology appear every single day. The main application, however, is science, of course.The scientists use 360 cameras in robotics, computer vision, and odometry. The large visual field provided by the technology of omnidirectional cameras is needed in determining the orientation and position of robots with AI. Such cameras help the robots in constructing and updating a map of an environment that is unknown to them. This process is called SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). It is an extremely useful process that not only helps the robot understand its surroundings but also gives the ability to pinpoint its current position within the “map”. This method is partly implemented in self-driving cars, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), and domestic robots such as robotic vacuum cleaners.
Many other professional and semi-professional fields have already begun to implement the technology of 360 videos and photo. Professional photographers, clip makers, and even film directors tend to use 360 cameras more and more often. The sole idea of watching a 3D movie or a live show in 3D using a VR headset is simply mind-boggling. A simple music video that is recorded using a 360 cam can truly immerse you into the action and give off a feeling that you are standing beside your favorite artist, even if you are simply watching it in full screen on your laptop.
Big software companies have figured that 360-degree photography holds a great potential years ago. The results of these decisions can be seen today and are mostly done by Google in such projects as Google Streets, Google Museums, Google VR, etc. Panoramic photography is used by professional photographers to increase the number of their followers. Although they aren' t always as successful with it, people that work as real estate managers, for instance, use 360° photos to show all the details of the rooms and houses they help sell. Studies show that people are more willing to buy a house or rent a room only after they see it. Suffice to say, it is more convenient to see the room for yourself in the comfort of your house, instead of taking a 3 hour trip to the other side of town.
The technology of immersive 360° real-time video streams is getting more sophisticated as well. Nowadays, these live streams are being implemented in various areas. They are used in stationary and mobile surveillance systems in the world’s biggest facilities and cities to help respond to threats way faster than 20 or even 10 years ago. You can visit places that you’ve never been to, watch a rocket launch in real time, visit a concert of your favorite band and all you have to do in order to observe all that is just open your Internet browser. As the omnidirectional video and photo technology advances, it opens more and more opportunities to see the world around you and to share your precious moments with other people.
Q: How do 360 cameras work exactly?
A: Most 360-degree cameras have two or more lenses with a wide angle of view (usually from 180 to 190 degrees) that covers the entire sphere. This basically means that it is able to capture almost all the light that falls onto the camera's focal point. Usually, such a device is programmed to stitch all the photos or footage together, which creates an illusion of a panoramic shot and video.
Q: Can I record a continuous live stream if the camera is plugged?
A: It depends on the model of the device. If it has a battery and does not require any additional hardware in order to operate, you can use an external power source or an insulated power cord to power the device while it is streaming a live video. You can purchase a power bank with a large mAh capacity if access to the outlets is limited.
Q: Can I record with the camera while it is charging?
A: Yes, if the camera is recording standalone. If you intend to record while charging the appliance, you should keep the power cord in the blind spot of the camera so the cable won’t get into the final shot.
Q: Can I attach the camera to an aerial drone?
A: Yes, if the device has mounting capabilities. In order to mount the camera on the drone, you need to make sure that the device is firmly fixed to avoid possible fall damage.
Q: Does the camera have a sports camera mount?
A: No, the majority of 360 camera models have a bipod, tripod, or a general selfie stick mounting capabilities. In addition, you can mount the camera on your protective helmet if you have one for a better angle of view.
Q: Can I use the 360 camera for underwater diving?
A: Unfortunately no, you can’t. Depending on the waterproof capabilities of the camera, you can expose the camera to extreme weather conditions only for brief moments. But even in these cases, the safety of the device is not guaranteed. Most of the 360 camera manufacturers provide waterproof casings for their devices as supplement products. Only when using a waterproof casing for your camera will you be able to utilize them underwater.
Q: How do I transfer the photos and videos to my laptop?
A: In order to transfer the recorded data to a laptop or a PC, you will have to connect them to your camera using a USB cable. After that, all you have to do is follow the instructions in the user manual.
Q: Can I print the 360 photos?
A: Yes, you can. Just like any other photo, you can print the photos taken by a 360 camera. However, you will have to edit the picture into a panoramic or a snapshot using a photo editing software in order to print it as a regular photo.
Q: How to take the perfect selfie using a 360 camera?
1. Omnidirectional Camera, Wikipedia.
2. Gear 360, Samsung.
3. Geoffrey Morrison Beginner's Guide to 360 Cameras, Forbes. February 28, 2018.
4. Ricoh Theta Technology, THETA360.
5. How to Develop Your Photography Skills: 13 Steps, wikiHow.
6. VR Photography, Wikipedia.
7. The Complete Guide to 360 Video Editing, pinnacle.
8. Laura Forer 360 Degrees of Success: 360 Video vs. Regular Video, MarketingProfs. February 23, 2018.