360 Degree Camera

 360-degree cameras are the latest babies in the photography world. With the ability to capture light from all angles, they provide a magnificent panoramic view of the visual field and produce spherical images as well as videos.

These days, most media sites like Facebook and Youtube have already started accepting 360-degree content, and with 360-degree cameras, you can edit your photos and videos and upload them directly on such sites from wherever you are.

The feature of multiple lenses is the secret to how 360-degree cams work. Now that smartphones are on a quest to integrate higher-quality imaging into their gadgets, most camera companies are offering high resolution and good performance in low light and that too on a customer-friendly budget.

360-degree imagery truly transports you to somewhere else, and once you see such wonderful panoramic views, you can’t deny the fact that technology can take you places. Also, refer point and shoot cameras,   Universal Travel Adapters for Tech savvy

Types of 360 Camera

A 360-degree camera basically comes in 2 types:

1. Monoscopic

This type of 360 camera uses two back-to-back cameras or a handful of cameras that cover multiple fields of view to produce flat images which can then be viewed as photos or videos.

They are specially designed for VR content. If you want higher resolution images, monoscopic is the one for you.

In a decent camera, the ‘stitching’ lines developed as a result of using multiple cams should not be visible otherwise they might create a blurry effect in the photo or video.

2. Stereoscopic

A stereoscopic 360 camera comes with a lower output resolution than the monoscopic one since it uses two side-by-side videos that must split the resolution of the screen.

It uses either two cameras or four cameras (two cameras per field of view) to create 360 content that offers a better perception of depth. So for a 3D experience, stereoscopic camera is the right choice.

 

Buyer’s Guide

The objective of buying a 360-degree camera is that it should take the best possible quality spherical images.

The main features to focus on when choosing which 360 cameras to buy are the ones that ensure the camera takes clear, high quality, fully 360° image and video that looks great on a VR headset, Facebook, and YouTube.

1. The Resolution of Images and Videos

Unlike normal cameras where 1080p is the required standard video resolution, a 360-degree camera should have at least 4k video resolution so that it appears HD quality.

The resolution of 360-degree photographs should be at least 15 megapixels.

2. Stitchings

Stitching is the process where two overlapping fields are combined in a single photo.

It is very important that after multiple field pictures are stitched, they appear as one or whole. The line where the two images meet should not be obvious, a good quality 360-degree image should be one without this juncture line.

3. Full 360-degree

When you are planning on a 360-degree camera, you should find out what “full 360-degree” means because some cameras brand themselves as ‘360-degree cameras’ but offer only a limited field of view.

360-degree photos and videos should have that ‘spherical effect’ otherwise there wouldn’t be much difference between these cameras and traditional cams.

4. The number of lenses

You should always go for that camera which provides a higher number of lenses because more lenses mean that each lens has to cover less space to produce the full image so automatically the quality of the image improves.

Most 360-degree cameras have 2 lenses and they can produce amazing results.

5. The Battery Life

The 360-degree camera that you pick up should be able to last long enough for your photography of the day before you recharge it again.

It is very convenient, that while buying a prospective cam, you go through the battery specifications.

5. The camera should be outdoor-friendly

Since a 360-degree camera is mainly used for outside purposes, one should also check whether it is dust-proof and splash-proof.

There should be enough casings in the camera for full protection.

Top 11 360-degree cameras

1. Samsung Gear 360 (2017 Edition) Real 360° 4K VR Camera (US Version)

 

The Samsung Gear 360 Camera has a brilliant 4k resolution which means you can view every angle of your favorite image with sheer pride.

It is very easy to handle and you can also edit the contents with a user-friendly app and upload them directly to your favorite smartphone or site.

The Gear 360 has an IP53 water-resistant rating. To experience virtual reality better, use it with Samsung S8 or S8+.

Features:

  • Maximum resolution for photos is 15 MP due to dual 180-degree lenses
  • Screen size is five inches
  • 1 AAA battery required (included)
  • Aspect ratio is 16:9
  • Supports Bluetooth technology
  • Lightweight (132 g)

Pros:

  • Very simple and easy to use
  • Has self-timer for perfect high-resolution selfies
  • Great battery life
  • Works with both Android and IOS

Cons:

  • Since this product is directly imported from the USA, there is no warranty in India
  • No current lens replacement kit available
  • Works best only with Samsung smartphones (preferably S8 or S8+)
  • Some users complained of problems during live video streaming

 

 

2. Insta360 Air 360 Degree Dual 3K lens VR Video Camera Real Time Seamless Stitching for Android Phone (Micro USB Connector)

This camera supports a video resolution of 2560 x 1280 and a photo resolution of 3008 x 150.

You can also share a live 360-degree video on any platform like YouTube and real-time sharing on any social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and even Skype.

The Insta360 Air is portable and users can attach it to their own devices to capture their cherished moments. The design of this product is sleek and fashionable and aimed at the new generation.

Features:

  • Video Resolution: 2560 x 1280 (some cell phones support 3008 x 1504) @30fps and Photo Resolution: 3008 x 1504(3k)
  • One lithium ion battery is required
  • The smartphone should support OTG
  • Compatible with Android 5.1 or above
  • System on Chip(SOC): Qualcomm: 600 Series or 800 Series
  • Extremely light for effortless attachment to mobile phones (45.4 g)

Pros:

  • Easy to use and portable
  • Allows real-time sharing almost everywhere!
  • Compatible with most smartphones
  •  Very user-friendly for people who want to upload content to social media

Cons:

  • Picture/video quality is not ideal for VR
  • Heavy pixelation when the frame freezes
  • Hardly useful without internet connectivity
  • Not recommended for those who want to go for professional high-quality 360-degree photography

 

 

3. LG 360 Cam Spherical Digital Camera For Clicking 360 Degree Videos And Images, Supports Micro SD Card

The LG 360 Cam has been equipped with two 13 MP wide-angle cameras and is a stunning recording device for anyone who wants to live life fully 360.

Images taken with the LG 360 Cam can be uploaded to Google street view and YouTube 360 degree.

It also provides 2K video recording and 5 Channel surround-sound recording on three microphones for flawless content creation, which users can directly share via their smartphones.

Basically, if you want pictures enriched with details, this is the cam for you.

Features:

  • Dual 13 MP camera, with 2K video
  • 1200 mAh battery
  • Three microphones for recording
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 10x optical zoom
  • Moderately lightweight (222 g)

Pros:

  • Compatible with any Android-based phone
  • Quick, compact and easy to handle
  • Detailed pictures in natural light
  • One of the best 360-degree cams in this budget

Cons:

  • Cannot be activated without external SD card which is sold separately
  • Transfer of files is tedious
  • Picture quality is average in indoor lighting
  • Stitching is not of high-quality

 

 

4. Ricoh Theta M15 360 Degree Spherical Panorama Camera (White)

The Ricoh Theta M15 is simply superb for capturing spherical images and allows dedicated apps and video tools for download so that consumers can have the best experience while editing and sharing their beautiful moments. 

You can also share your own original street view by posting images taken with RICOH THETA to Google MapsTM. You can also post spherical images to Google+TM and share them with friends.

Three minute long videos (with sound) can be recorded with a shutter speed of 1/8000 sec to 1/15 sec. This camera has both manual and interval shooting functions.

Features:

  • Shutter speed: Still image: 1/8000 sec. to 1/7.5 sec, Video: 1/8000 sec. to 1/15 sec
  • Fast WiFi transfer
  • Wireless sharing
  • Equipped with an SDK – allows users to develop their own Apps
  • Battery average life: Approx. 200 photos *3 (lithium-ion battery)
  • Manual and interval shooting functions available
  • Blurring function enables you to maintain privacy while sharing images

Pros:

  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Extremely fast with amazing spherical videos
  • You can zoom both photos and videos (while they are playing)
  • Image transfer is simple and easy
  • Light and portable
  • Excellent stitching

Cons:

  • Since there are lenses on two sides, need to be careful while using the cam
  • Image quality is not excellent
  • Only up to 3 minutes of video per recording session
  • Sketchy wireless connection

 

 

5. Ricoh Theta SC 360 video and still camera (Sand)

This is a high-resolution camera which provides fully spherical 360-degree images and video.

With an amazing intuitive operation, the Ricoh Theta SC 360 has a new and improved user interface which makes content-sharing a breeze.

Currently one of the best in the market, it allows both Android and IOS compatibility.

Also, Theta+ apps are available for both image and video editing. A US-imported product, the Ricoh Theta SC 360 should definitely be on your wishlist or rather, in your cart.

Features:

  • Bright F2.0 lens for flawless photos (and videos!)
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Intuitive operation
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Compatible with both Android and IOS
  • Effortless editing with the Theta+ App (for spherical photos) and Theta+V App (for spherical videos)
  • Unique sand-colored product designed in a cool style

Pros:

  • Excellent for both personal and business purposes
  • Battery life is good
  • Editing apps are really commendable
  • Camera is compact and simple to use
  • Ability to take 360-degree pictures is commendable

Cons:

  • Camera body is sleek and slippery so you may need a strap or holder for proper grip
  • Chromatic aberration may be noticed in some cases
  • GPS sensor is absent
  • Only a few platforms allow native support for 360-degree photos

 

 

6. Ricoh Theta V 360 Spherical Camera

The Ricoh Theta V is ideal for shooting high definition, smooth 360-degree videos of 4k.

It includes a new image sensor and processor for improved image quality and allows the camera to produce more realistic “as-if-you-were-there” 360-degree content.

It can be connected to Android or IOS based smartphone or tablet via the Theta S app. It has high-speed data transfer capability with up to 2.5 times faster than the previous Theta models.

Theta V prides in having the world’s first remote playback capability in a commercially-marketed, fully spherical camera.

Even though, though it is on the pricey side, the Theta V is flexible, compact and easy to carry and provides an outstanding shooting experience with its new and spectacular features.

Features:

  • 4K videos with the H.264 file format for video recording
  • 4-channel microphone that supports 360 Degree spatial audio recording (omnidirectional audio recording)
  • Compatible with Android as well as IOS
  • World’s first remote playback capable 360-degree camera
  • Enables BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for efficient smartphone connectivity
  • Wireless display adapter
  • 3D Microphone TA-1 (optional) scheduled for launch with the camera will allow users to pick up a natural sound with a large volume of information at low to high frequency

Pros:

  • Lightweight, compact and extremely easy to use and operate
  • Power consumption is efficient
  • High-speed file transfer capability
  • Theta S app for editing and sharing is really good
  • High definition and smooth image and video quality
  • Amazing color accuracy
  • Audio requirements are taken care of in this model

Cons:

  • Stichting artifacts may result in doubled image
  • Few bugs related to firmware
  • High price

 

 

7. Pluto Plus Panorama View Action Camera 360 Degree Dual Lens Camera 1920*960P 30fps HD 8MP with 220 Degree Fish Eyes Lens

The Pluto Plus Panorama View Action Camera is a super wide-angle lens camera with a 220-degree fisheye lens.

The SYVR360 App in Google Play & Apple Store needs to be downloaded for the ease of capturing and editing pictures and video with this device.

It is compatible with both Android and IOS. This camera also has a movie resolution of 1920*1080.

Features:

  • Wide-angle lens with a 220-degree fisheye
  • Compatible with Android as well as IOS
  • Supports Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Built-in Lithium-ion battery
  • Image sensor: 8MP CMOS
  • Micro SD card capacity up to 32GB
  • Moderately lightweight (231 g)

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Takes good quality 360-degree photos and videos
  • Supports Wi-Fi
  • 6 months of warranty

Cons:

  • Not very professional
  • Images and videos are of average quality
  • Not versatile

 

 

8. KODAK PIXPRO ORBIT360 4K 360° VR Camera Satellite Pack

This camera from Kodak is a 360-degree VR camera with two fixed focus lenses housed in a futuristic body.

With this 4k resolution VR camera satellite pack, anybody who wants to indulge in serious, professional videography.

Three multi-view angles of 360 degrees allow endless possibilities to capture panoramic views and upload them on social media sites with utmost ease and simplicity.

Features:

  • 360 Degree VR camera with two fixed focus lenses
  • Dual 20MP CMOS sensors
  • Three multi-view angles of 360 Degree Spherical VR Mode and 197 Degree 4K Ultra Wide Mode and 235 Degree Dome Mode
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Live streaming via Wi-Fi

Pros:

  • 3-in-1 Camera
  • Lots of accessories to choose from
  • Dustproof and shockproof
  • Good photo and video editing capabilities
  • Suitable for professionals

Cons:

  • Stitching is not so good
  • Not easy to use and operate
  • Only jpg format, no raw pictures
  • Manual requirement needed to get good shots

 

 

9. NeuTab Panora 360 degree 3D Panoramic Super Wide Angle Fisheye Lens HD Action Sport Camera –Dual Lens, WiFI/Wireless (ROSE GOLD)

This stylish Rose Gold colored camera comes with dual 220°High Definition Fisheye Lenses of Panora.

Lightweight and portable, it can be attached to smartphones for a great recording experience.

Compatible with both Android and IOS, it has a wonderful battery life and a user-friendly interface.

For ultimate 360-degree pictures and videos, this is one device that every photographer should consider while choosing cameras.

Features:

  • Wide-angle panoramic images with Planet View
  • Image resolution: 1920*960 @ 30 FPS
  • Great battery: continuous working time of 2 hours
  • Compatible with Android and IOS
  • Wi-Fi connectivity (dual mode)
  • Unique design with beautiful rose-gold color

Pros:

  • Brilliant camera for 360-degree videos and photos
  • Compact, easy to handle
  • Independent working mode available on the camera
  • Durable
  • Good sound quality
  • Amazing DIY virtual reality experience

Cons:

  • Problem with live-streaming persists
  • File transfer is slow

 

 

10. Insta360 ONE 360 Camera, Sports, and Action Video Camera, VR Camera, 24MP (7K) Photos, 4K Videos for iPhone All Series

The Insta360 ONE 360 Camera, Sports, and Action Video Camera can shoot photo and video, at resolutions 4K and 24MP.

With the amazing FreeCapture technology, one can stream videos effortless into a 1080p frame which can be shared anywhere.

The camera also comes with multiple shooting modes and powerful in-app editors to give you flawless pictures and videos whenever and wherever you want.

This is one of the cameras that give stunning 360-degree results which are effortless to edit and share.

Features:

  • Photo Resolution: 24 MP (6912*3456) and Photo Format: insp, jpeg, RAW
  • Video Resolution: 4K  and Video format: insv?mp4?LOG
  • FreeCapture technology (Little Planet mode)
  • Built-in 6-axis gyroscope & gyroscope algorithm in app
  • 360 live-streaming on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and other sites
  • Compatible with iPhone 7/7 plus, iPhone 6s/6s plus, iPhone 6/6 plus, iPhone SE, iPad Pro(10.5-inch), iPad(9.7-inch), iPad Pro(12.9-inch), iPad mini4, iPad Air 2
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled
  • Editing can be done smoothly with the Insta360 One App

Pros:

  • Provides a bullet-time effect for epic shots
  • Slant correction for smoother and sharper images
  • Multiple shooting modes and powerful in-app editors
  • Easy to use and share with iPhone/iPad
  • Supports SD-card storage of maximum capacity 128 GB

Cons:

  • Camera software has issues
  • Insta remote and selfie stick has to be bought separately
  • Color infringement may occur in some cases
  • Not suitable for rugged outdoor purposes

 

 

11. Rylo HD Recording Cinematic Stabilization Camcorder

 

 
 The Rylo 360 is a total 4k 360-degree video camera which is absolutely perfect for an immersive experience of virtual reality.
This device can make your videos look highly professional, giving your content a classic appeal.
With breakthrough stabilization, this camera takes quality and functionality to the next level. Plus, it has a direct wired approach for data transfer which is sometimes way better and faster than file-sharing via Wi-Fi.

Features:

  • Immersive 360-degree video-capturing ability with 4k resolution
  • FrontBack feature
  • Built-in breakthrough stabilization and horizontal leveling
  • Time-lapse control
  • Directly wired file-transfer

Pros:

  • Video stabilization is excellent
  • Amazing software built into the Rylo app
  • Great battery life
  • Direct wired transfer means fast file-sharing
  • Effortless editing
  • Solid build, impressive looking device
  • Very responsive customer service

Cons:

  • Low-light photo quality is not that great
  • Software is sometimes buggy
  • Camera is small and slippery so it can be easily dropped or damaged

 

 

Conclusion

With all the 360-degree cameras available in the market, we have hundreds of features and options to choose from, but if money is not an issue I would say go for the Ricoh Theta V 360 Spherical Camera as along with a high-resolution image and video quality, it has excellent sound features for audio as well.

If you really want to experience the panoramic vista that a 360-degree camera is supposed to offer, the Richo Theta V 360 should top your list. 

For a more consumer-friendly price tag and good overall performance, the Samsung Gear 360 is a recommendable choice for a day-to-day use, so that you instantly share all the priceless moments of your life with supreme convenience.

360-degree cameras are in the market, have you bought one yet for that out-of-the-world virtual reality experience?

 

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