camera 360

360 Cameras are becoming more and more popular. They capture 360 degrees around the camera as opposed to normal cameras that capture a narrow field of view.  They work by using two fisheye lenses and then seamlessly stitching both cameras into one 360-degree image. There are many different types of 360 Cameras. Some are meant for more rugged action situations and even for underwater.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching the internet to find the best deals on 360 Cameras. You can jump straight to my selections by clicking below:

Best of the Best

Best Value

Best on a Budget

The cool thing about shooting with these cameras is that the image/video that’s created is interactive. You can use your phone and apps like Youtube, Facebook, and Vimeo to view the 360-degree image or video. The 360 VR Cameras really create an immersive experience for the viewer. You can more realistically relive the moment.

You can even mount some of these 360 Cameras on a drone/UAV. If you don’t have a drone yet and want one, have a look at my report on Best Drones.

With Virtual Reality becoming more and more popular the use of these types of cameras is on the rise. You can also use VR goggles like Samsung Gear VR to relive the experiences that are captured with 360 cameras.

Its important to note that even if the 360 camera shoots video in 4k it stretches those pixels around the 360 sphere instead of just to a 16:9 frame. That means that the video is not as sharp as normal 4k. If you want the sharpest possible video and images its better to go for a 360 camera that captures in 5.2k or 5.7k.

360 Cameras are a lot of fun. They also allow you to edit and create content that previously wasn’t possible. The GoPro Fusion has an OverCapture feature which lets you go back to look at parts of the scene that you didn’t see that the camera captured as well. That way you can edit into your video pinches and zooms and other cool effects.  I hope my report helps you to find the right 360 Camera for you.

BEST OF THE BEST

 



BEST OF THE BEST

Photo

Video/Audio

Sensor/Lens

Storage

Waterproof

Connectivity

#1 WINNER

Ricoh Theta V

15 Megapixel 360 Images

4K 30 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in 4 channel microphone for spatial sound. 25 Minutes Maximum per recording (or 4GB)

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.0 aperture

19 GB internal

No. Compatible with waterproof housing

Wireless LAN, Bluetooth

#2 WINNER

Garmin Virb 360

15 Megapixel 360 images. RAW image capture and RAW Time-lapse (5K)

Up to 5.7K 30 fps RAW Unstitched (desktop stitching) and 4K 30 fps stitched in camera. Live Streaming (Apple Devices only). 360 spherical/spatial audio from 4 built-in microphones. 1 hour and 5 minutes recording.

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.0 aperture

microSD

Yes, built-in/standalone, up to 10.06 Metres/33 Feet

WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth. Micro USB 2.0. G-Metrix (GPS and GLONASS, Barometer, Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope)

#3 WINNER

GoPro Fusion

18 Megapixel 360 Images. RAW image capture.

5.2K 30 fps, 3K up to 60 fps. Built in 4 channel microphone for spatial sound. ProRes 422 output

2 x 9.3 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.8 aperture.

Dual microSD

Yes, built-in/standalone, up to 4.8 Metres/16 Feet

Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, USB 2.0 Type-C. Geomagnetic sensor, GPS, Accelerometer,  gyroscope).


#1 WINNER
Ricoh Theta V 360 Camera

 

Photo: 15 Megapixel 360 Images

Video/Audio:
4K 30 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in 4 channel microphone for spatial sound. 25 Minutes Maximum per recording (or 4GB)

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

Storage: 19 GB internal

Waterproof: No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: Wireless LAN, Bluetooth

Pros: Great design and compact size. Join lines masking is very good. 3D audio. 4k Video capture. Manual and Auto controls.

Cons: Lacks RAW image capture. No microSD slot. Pricey. Not waterproof without a housing. Lacks stabilization.

The Ricoh Theta V is an exceptional 360-degree camera that offers excellent 4K video quality. I like that it also takes 15 Megapixel 360 photos. The content from each camera is seamlessly combined. That’s what really stands out about this camera and why it is my #1 Winner pick. Ricoh’s software and hardware delivers a superior final 360 video and image. On the downside, it would have been great if they had added an external microSD and built in waterproofing. It also lacks RAW video and photo capture which may or may not be important to you.



#2 WINNER
Garmin Virb 360 Camera

 

Photo: 15 Megapixel 360 images. RAW image capture and RAW Time-lapse (5K)

Video/Audio:
Up to 5.7K 30 fps RAW Unstitched (desktop stitching) and 4K 30 fps stitched in camera. Live Streaming (Apple Devices only). 360 spherical/spatial audio from 4 built-in microphones. 1 hour and 5 minutes recording.

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.0 aperture

Storage: microSD

Waterproof: Yes, built-in/standalone, up to 10.06 Metres/33 Feet

Connectivity/Sensors:
WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth. Micro USB 2.0. G-Metrix (GPS and GLONASS, Barometer, Accelerometer, compass, gyroscope).

Pros: Built for rugged use. Waterproof. Voice control commands. 5.7k and 4k recording. Built-in Stabilization. Pro Settings and Auto.

Cons: Pricey. App could use improvement.

The Garmin Virb 360 is the best all-around action/rugged 360 camera. It captures beautifully sharp 5.7k and 4k video. Another awesome feature is that it captures RAW photos and videos. This is absolutely great if you are looking for top of the line videos and post production flexibility.  It has built in sensors that capture a lot of data which you can later use as an overlay HUD on your 360 videos. If you’re a rugged outdoor person that would like to push the camera to the limits this is the one for you. Also, If you’re an enthusiast or professional videographer looking to add high quality pro 360 footage to your demo reel, this is the 360-degree camera for you. It takes my #2 Winner position because its expensive and may be a bit over the top for the average 360-degree camera user.

 

#3 WINNER
GoPro Fusion 360 Camera

GoPro Fusion

Photo: 18 Megapixel 360 Images. RAW image capture.

Video/Audio: 5.2K 30 fps, 3K up to 60 fps. Built in 4 channel microphone for spatial sound. ProRes 422 output.

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 9.3 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.8 aperture.

Storage: Dual microSD

Waterproof: Yes, built-in/standalone, up to 4.8 Metres/16 Feet

Connectivity/Sensors:
Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, USB 2.0 Type-C. Geomagnetic sensor, GPS, Accelerometer,  gyroscope).

Pros: OverCapture. Voice Control. Image Stabilization. Works with GoPro mounting systems. Manual controls and Auto.

Cons: Pricey. Fusion Studio software needs improvement. Minimal Android support.

The GoPro Fusion is GoPro’s first 360 camera. It is a powerful camera capable of super sharp 5.2 K video capture. I like that its waterproof though it can’t handle the same depths as the Garmin Virb. Its compatible with GoPro mounting systems so if you already have them this could be the camera for you. The Fusion introduces OverCapture which is a really cool feature that allows you create standard videos from your spherical video. You can also use some awesome new editing features like transitioning from “little planet mode” or fisheye back to the 360 video or 16:9 video. This makes for very interesting state of the art video editing effects. Have a look at the video below to see what I mean. It takes my #3 Winner position for a few reasons. Firstly, its expensive. Secondly, there have been a lot of complaints about the software being buggy and that the camera feels like its in beta testing. Its also been on the market for only a short while and I can’t be sure that a firmware and software update will fix these issues. If you’re a GoPro fan this could be the camera for you.

 

BEST VALUE



BEST VALUE

Photo

Video/Audio

Sensor/Lens

Storage

Waterproof

Connectivity

#1 WINNER

Rylo 360

18 Megapixel 360 Images, 6K Panoramic Photos

4K 30 fps, Dual Microphones. Approximately 9 Minutes maximum limit per video file (will continue recording to total of 60 minutes but on separate files)

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.8 aperture

microSD

No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

USB, Bluetooth (iOS app only), Micro USB

#2 WINNER

Insta360 One

24 Megapixel 360 Images, RAW Image capture capable

4K 30 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in microphone. 15 Minutes Maximum per recording

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.2 aperture

microSD

No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Bluetooth, Lightning connector, Micro USB

#3 WINNER

Ricoh Theta S

14.4 Megapixel 360 Image

1080p 30 fps, Live streaming. Built in microphone. 25 Minutes Maximum per recording (or 4 GB)

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture

8 GB Built-in

No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

WiFi, Micro HDMI, USB 2 Micro


#1 WINNER

Rylo 360 Camera
iPhone Version
Android Version

Photo: 18 Megapixel 360 Images, 6K Panoramic Photos

Video/Audio:
4K 30 fps, Dual Microphones. Approximately 9 Minutes maximum limit per video file (will continue recording to total of 60 minutes but on separate files).

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.8 aperture

Storage: microSD

Waterproof: No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth (iOS app only), Micro USB

Pros: Great value. Excellent software stabilization. Good quality sharp image/video capture. Nice design.

Cons: No live stream. No live preview on connected phone. No manual controls.

The Rylo 360 is a solid performer. The video and image quality are solid though not as sharp as more expensive 5.2 and 5.7 K cameras like the Virb 360 and GoPro Fusion. The software app that it comes with is easy to use and well thought out.  The Rylo 360 offers great performance both from the hardware and especially from the software and at a good price. That’s why its my #1 Winner for Best Value. On the downside, you have to use a wire to transfer files and the Rylo is only waterproof with a separate housing. Its a good camera if you don’t want to tinker with manual controls.  This isn’t so great choice for prosumer or professional videographers.


iPhone Version



Android Version


 

 

#2 WINNER
Insta360 One

Photo: 24 Megapixel 360 Images, RAW Image capture capable.

Video/Audio: 4K 30 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in microphone. 15 Minutes Maximum per recording

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. 2 x wide angle f/2.2 aperture

Storage: microSD

Waterproof: No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Lightning connector, Micro USB

Pros: RAW Image capture. 4K live Stream. Live preview/shooting (on iPhone). Wi-Fi for live streaming and smartphone control. Voice activation. Manual controls and Auto.

Cons: Not great in low light situations. An adapter is required for use with android devices. App could use improvement.

The Insta360 One is a superb camera for the price. Offering 4K 30 fps footage and RAW image capture and other features normally only found in much more expensive 360-degree cameras. I like that you can manually control exposure, white balance, and ISO. The app has a Free-Capture mode that allows you to reframe the videos. This is similar to the OverCapture feature of the GoPro Fusion. What really stands out about this camera for me is the huge 24 Megapixel RAW still images capture capability. Because its so small you can easily mount this camera on a smaller travel drone like the DJI Mavic Pro. It takes my spot for #2 Winner because it struggles in low light and its video stabilization function could be better. There’s also been some complaints about compatibility with android devices.

 

 


#3 WINNER
Ricoh Theta S 360 Camera

Photo: 14.4 Megapixel 360 Image

Video/Audio: 1080p 30 fps, Live streaming. Built in microphone. 25 Minutes Maximum per recording (or 4 GB)

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

Storage: 8 GB Built-in

Waterproof: No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: WiFi, Micro HDMI, USB 2 Micro

Pros: Comes in different colours. Good build quality. Great value. Live stream Capable.

Cons: No 4K video. Not waterproof. Not a lot of built in memory. Modest video quality. Fixed aperture.

The Ricoh Theta S is a good 360 camera with decent video quality. It doesn’t compete with 4k and up 360-degree cameras but really does a good job if you’re not too concerned about 4K. Its easy to use and very reasonably priced.  You can get your 360 video fix without having to spend a fortune. It has very good still image capture quality. This is a good 360 camera if your focus is on still images rather than video. It takes the #3 Winner spot because it lacks 4K video and has limited manual controls. If you don’t care about length of video capture and live streaming I’ve listed the have a look at the Ricoh Theta SC (#3 Winner for Best on a Budget) and save yourself some cash.

 

BEST ON A BUDGET



BEST ON A

BUDGET

Photo

Video/Audio

Sensor/Lens

Storage

Waterproof

Connectivity

#1 WINNER

Samsung Gear 360 (2017)

15 Megapixel 360 Images

DCI 4K 24 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in stereo microphone. 130 minutes recording time.

2 x 8.4 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.2 aperture.

microSD

No. Splash-proof

WiFi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C, Gyroscope, Accelerometer.

#2 WINNER

Samsung Gear 360

 30 Megapixel 360 Images

4K 30 fps, Built in Stereo microphone.

 2 x 15 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

microSD

No. Splash-proof. Compatible with waterproof housing.

WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB 2.0

#3 WINNER

Ricoh Theta SC

14 Megapixel 360 Images

1080p 30 fps , Built in microphone. 5 Minutes Maximum per recording.

2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

8 GB Built-in

No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

WiFi, Micro USB 2

#1 WINNER
Samsung Gear 360 (2017 Version)

Samsung gear 360

Photo: 15 Megapixel 360 Images

Video/Audio: DCI 4K 24 fps, 4K live streaming. Built in stereo microphone. 130 minutes recording time.

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 8.4 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.2 aperture.

Storage: microSD

Waterproof: No. Splash-proof

Connectivity/Sensors: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C, Gyroscope, Accelerometer.

Pros: Great compact design. Live view. Full DCI 4K video (4096 x 2160). Great video quality. Affordable.

Cons:  Not submersible. Can’t capture 4K footage at 30 fps (an issue for high speed action shots). Support only for Samsung Android phones, and iPhones. Some complaints about quality of image/video stitching.

The Samsung Gear 360 (2017) is the successor to the Gear 360. There have been some improvements to picture quality as well as automatic stitching. Its lightweight, small, ergonomic and user friendly. It works seamlessly with the Samsung Gear VR Goggles.  Its a good camera if you want high res 4k video and crisp images. Its also available at a very reasonable price. Its my #1 Winner because of this and because you get quite a lot for the money and its easy to use. The Samsung Companion app is very good. On the downside, there have been some complaints about the smoothness of the 4K videos when playing them back on desktops or in VR goggles. This is a great starter 360 Camera.

 

 

#2 WINNER
Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 360

Photo: 30 Megapixel 360 Images

Video/Audio: 4K 30 fps, Built in Stereo microphone.

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 15 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

Storage: microSD

Waterproof: No. Splash-proof. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB 2.0

Pros: Price! (its very inexpensive now that its been replaced by the 2017 version). Very lightweight. Wi-Fi.

Cons: Only compatible with certain Samsung phones. No voice controls. No GPS. No RAW still images.

The original Samsung Gear 360 is a great buy at the moment. The price is greatly reduced because its been replaced. It offers the largest still photos in a consumer 360 Camera. Its easy to use and works perfectly with the Samsung Gear VR Goggles.  The audio recording functions of this camera is quite good. On the downside, there are limited manual controls, and no video stabilization. Also, there is a noticeable stitching line especially if you’re subject is less than 5 feet away. Since its Samsung’s first 360 camera its a bit rough around the edges. Its only compatible with some Samsung phones and you can’t live stream with it. For those reasons it takes my #2 Winner position.

Ricoh Theta SC

Photo: 14 Megapixel 360 Images.

Video/Audio: 1080p 30 fps , Built in microphone. 5 Minutes Maximum per recording.

Sensor/Lens: 2 x 12 Megapixel sensors. Two wide angle f/2.0 aperture.

Storage: 8 GB internal

Waterproof: No. Compatible with waterproof housing.

Connectivity: WiFi, Micro USB 2

Pros: Comes in different colours. Nice innovative design. Manual exposure control. Great still images quality.

Cons: No live streaming. No 4k video. Limited to 5 minutes per video clip.

The Ricoh Theta SC offers similar quality to the Theta S but it is lighter and less expensive. One of the major differences is that it can only record video for 5 minutes per clip and you can’t live stream with it. Also, Its geared more towards still 360-degree images rather than video. It does shoot video but not at the level of the #1 Best of the Best Winner the Ricoh Theta V. The SC is basically an updated cheaper version of the S that was made to be more accessible to more people. It features a great ergonomic slim design. Like the other Ricoh Theta cameras, the stitch is basically seamless and invisible. It t takes my #3 spot because it can’t shoot in 4k and can only shoot video 5 minutes per clip.

FINAL THOUGHTS

360 Cameras and Virtual Reality are here to stay. Its amazingly fun to shoot 360 videos and offers a truly immersive unique viewpoint of the scenes and world. There have been big strides made in these cameras over the last few years. I hope you enjoyed my report and have fun with your new 360 Camera.

 

Want to know more about 360 Degree camera and virtual reality?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VR_photography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_stitching

How does 360 Video Work?- Linkedin 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_reality_headset