Around 2015, the craze of 360-degree videos started. At that time it used to take separate cameras and high-end computers along with powerful software to come up with an immersive video same as the one that you can experience in the Street View mode of Google Maps.
The evolving technology and the advent of new inventions in smartphones made it smaller along with its camera, sensor technology, and processor. This, in turn, resulted in the invention of portable and affordable 360-degree video cameras. Portable and affordable 360-degree cameras started emerging in the market like mushrooms last year only. This year you can get a 360-degree camera in a price range of $200 to $400. You can shoot 360-degree immersive videos of birthday parties, wedding ceremony or your travel adventures very easily.It will not be wrong to say that the whole compact and affordable camera concept is still in the developing process, which means one can create a video with 360-degree immersive experience via using these cameras, but it isn’t as good as the traditional equipment used for doing the same. No matter in which phase they are the 360-degree cameras does what they are manufactured to do, so no complaints there. If you have a desire to capture special moments to create a new experience for the viewers, that too without spending huge sum or money and time for editing sessions, then for sure, you must explore the available options in this section.
It is important to mention it before that the 360-degree cameras that are available in the market and sold the most captures or records 360-degree wraparound of the view. If you have a desire to have a camera that captures up and down as well as horizontal then you should look for a camera that records 360×180 degree view (spherical). However, you can enjoy both kinds of recordings, and it is evident from the contents available online that most of the people are choosing the former option over the latter one, no wonder price is one of the reasons behind it. [/su_box]
Best 360-Degree Video Camera
|Field Of View
|Samsung Gear 360 2017
|3840 x 1920 Pixels
|2880 x 2880 Pixels
|LG 360 CAM
|Ricoh Theta SC
|2560 x 1280 Pixels
|3040 x 1520 Pixels
|Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K
|1920 x 960 Pixels
|Insta 360 4K
|4096 x 2048 Pixels
|Kodak PIXPRO SP360
We will be exploring this very category and will be discussing different 360-degree cameras that are best in the price range mentioned above in the article. The list includes:
1. Samsung Gear 360 2017 ( Excellent 360-degree Camera)
Samsung Gear 360 is an excellent 360-degree camera if you are looking forward to buying one. The new and improved Samsung Gear 360 has all the features that one needs in a 360-degree video camera. The upgraded and new Samsung Gear 360 design is a bit user-friendly. The new handle allows users to hold the device firmly and the stubby leg can stand on any flat surface. If you think that the instrument will not be stable on a flat surface because of its smaller footprint, then you can use a rubber ring in order to stabilize it or support it better.
For sure some might say that Samsung Gear 360 is still too bulky to carry around in pockets with ease. To some extent, we too have the same feeling and can correlate with the response of others, but one cannot deny the fact that Samsung Gear 360 is easier to hold and is a lot lighter as compared to its predecessors. Samsung Gear 360 comes with a tripod thread at its bottom, so you can easily fit it to a tripod, selfie stick, or a drone.
The latest Samsung Gear 360 displays shrunk camera, the shortened distance between the lenses has made it possible to stitch the images impeccably to each other to generate immersive experience in 360-degree videos captured via this device. You also get the option of suing one or both cameras which make it possible to capture regular videos and photos. On the sides of Samsung Gear 360, you get navigational buttons which you can use to navigate through the settings. Samsung Gear 360 has a USB-C port solely for charging purposes, and it supports microSD cards up to 256GB.
Samsung Gear 360 comes with the live streaming option. You can share video or photos captured by Samsung Gear 360 on YouTube, Facebook and on also Samsung VR. The best thing about Samsung Gear 360 is that it is now compatible with iOS as well as Windows device which in a way, is good for Samsung as this decision opened up new doors for them also.
|√ Compact design
|⊗ Less durability
|√ Live streaming supported
|⊗ Image resolutions not that good
|√ Compatible with both iOS as well as Mac devices
2. 360fly 4K (Compatible format for YouTube, Facebook, and VR headsets)
Shooting videos and capturing images with 360-degree cameras isn’t as easy as most of the people think it to be. You will need to have an idea where you should place the 360-degree camera, and in addition to that, you must have knowledge regarding how to convert the captured video to a compatible format for YouTube, Facebook, and VR headsets. 360fly 4K is a 360-degree camera which eliminates the worry to learn all these stressful things. Using this 360-degree camera is very easy, and the companion app makes the sharing part to others very simple.
The black colored 360fly 4K 360-degree camera is a multifaceted orb, and the controls of this small device are pretty simple. One button is provided on 360fly 4K. To turn the 360-degree camera on you will need to press the power button for long and for starting or stopping recording you will need to press the power button once. In acknowledgment to the power on and off command, it vibrates.
It is true that there isn’t any LCD screen to allow the user to navigate through the settings but there are two LEDs, one present around the 360fly 4K camera’s lone button, whereas the other one is located at the base of the 360-degree camera. When recording is started, these LEDs change their color from blue to red. It is a visual indicator that recording has begun. The best thing about these LEDs is that one can even see the changing color in sunlight.
360fly 4K has few cons associated with it that we would like to point out here in order to help you make informed buying decisions in future. It comes with an internal storage of 64 GB which makes it impossible to swap out the 64GB storage, in addition to that you can’t even change the battery of 360fly 4K. Which means you will need to recharge the camera by placing it on its charging cradle after it runs out of juice.
If you are looking for a 360-degree camera that can capture a real spherical image, then 360fly 4K isn’t the right option for you. This very camera has few limitations when it comes to taking pictures or recording videos. You can record videos 360-degrees horizontally and 240-degree vertically. While the manufacturers of 360fly 4K quoted that no one holds the desire to record his or her feet, if you are recording for VR, then you must have a desire of capturing everything.
The best thing that we liked the most about 360fly 4K was its companion app. It is full featured app and is one of the best among all others as it gives full control over 360fly 4K. In addition to that, you can easily transfer recorded and stitched files to your smartphone in no time. Another glitch that we caught in 360fly 4Kwas related to the battery life. While recording continuously, we found that battery got completely exhausted in an hour. This is a disappointing side, but if you are looking forward to recording short 360-degree videos, then 360fly 4K can prove to be a great option for you.
The easy-to-use feature of the 360fly 4K camera and the sturdy build has included this 360-degree camera in our list of 10 best 360-degree cameras. If you are in searching for an affordable and accessible to camera 360-degree camera then for sure 360fly 4K will match your taste and requirements.
|√ Waterproof and dustproof
|⊗ FField of view limited to 240-degrees
|√ No video stitching required
|⊗ Audio isn’t that great
|√ No chagrining required
|⊗ Lack of expandable memory option
|√ 4K video resolution
|√ Great companion app
3. LG 360 CAM
LG 360 CAM is one of the LG’s finest products; it is 360-degree shooting camera which was released to be used with the G5 smartphone and its VR headset. However, owning an LG phone is not necessary for using this gadget. You can use LG 360 CAM with your iPhone or with any other Android phone, or you can use it all alone without pairing it with any other device.
It is clear for everyone that virtual reality is the next big thing and this is the reason which forced LG to knock down this industry with LG 360 CAM.
Well, while discussing the design of LG 360 CAM, we would like to mention here that this very product’s design is a lot similar to Ricoh Theta S.
LG 360 CAM comes with two lenses located on both side of the device, both lenses points in the opposite direction and are equipped with fish-eye lenses to capture a spherical 360-degree image. In reality, not much of details what is inside LG 360 CAM has been provided by LG. The only information that is available about LG 360 CAM is that it has a 13-megapixel lens and has a covering area of 206-degree.
It is important to mention here that the 13-megapixel figure and feature here in LG 360 CAM refers to the sensor located behind the lens this is a lot similar to Theta S. Comparing the size of the sensor chips of both the devices will be irrelevant here. However, when you compare the video and picture resolution of LG 360 CAM and Ricoh, then you will find that the former is a lot better than the latter one.
So it can be said that in a way LG 360 CAM is an improved version of Ricoh Theta S, especially in the video department. LG 360 CAM has also overcome the biggest limitation that Theta S had, and that was Theta S’s built-in memory. LG 360 CAM comes with a microSD card slot and doesn’t rely upon built in memory feature. The MicroSD card slot supports microSD cards with storage capacities up to 1 TB.
LG 360 CAM design is slick and compatible for easy video recording. There are few buttons on this device. To be specific there are only two buttons, one right beneath the lens which is the record button and the power button is located on the edge of the camera body. A hard casing comes with LG 360 CAM, and it slips onto the camera for protecting lenses of LG 360 CAM.
As every other 360-degree camera, this device, too, has some limitations. The biggest one is that it is quite difficult to use it without using any smartphone. However, if you have a smartphone, then you need to download its control app in order to make proper use of this product. LG 360 CAM, when switched on also, starts its Bluetooth connection which helps in connecting the device to the smartphone and then Wi-Fi connection is used via the control app to start recording or capturing images.
For sure all these steps just to connect it to the smartphone might look messy and inconvenient to you, but in reality, it has a benefit. This very process helps in saving the battery of the LG 360 CAM and your smartphone as Wi-Fi isn’t switched every time you press the power button of LG 360 CAM.
|√ Video resolution of 360-degree recorded video is 2560 x 1280
|⊗ Companion app is necessary for configuration
|√ Can upload photos to Google Street View and videos to YouTube
|⊗ Direct Video upload to Facebook isn’t recognized as VR
|⊗ No flash memory
Ricoh is a well-known company all around the world for its small 360-degree video cameras. They were the first one to come up with 360-degree camera idea and were the first to revolutionize the market with this quality market. Well, we have appreciated Ricoh too much, now let’s discuss their latest product in the 360-degree camera category which is Ricoh Theta SC. In reality, Ricoh Theta SC is very similar to its predecessor Theta S. Ricoh Theta SC has almost all the features that Theta S has. However, it is around $50 cheaper than its predecessor. Ricoh Theta SC is so similar to Theta S that you can decide whether you should buy Ricoh Theta SC by simply reading the reviews of Theta S.
The design of v is same as Theta S. In case if you haven’t seen Theta S before then you should know that Ricoh Theta SC is rectangular bar-shaped and has two lenses mounted on the top part. The front side of Ricoh Theta SC contains camera status LED, capture mode LED, wireless LED, and a shutter button. The top side of Ricoh Theta SC comprises a speaker and a microphone.
The bottom part contains a tripod hole and MicroUSB port. The left side of Ricoh Theta SC has a power button, and a LED has been provided along with it, a button for activating capturing mode, and a wireless button. The only noticeable difference between Ricoh Theta SC and Theta S is that the latter one has a microHDMI port.
The design is sturdy and durable, but the only fragile part of Ricoh Theta SC are its lenses. The lenses of Ricoh Theta SC can get damaged pretty easily. Therefore you should prefer keeping Ricoh Theta SC inside a pouch when it isn’t being used.
The design is sturdy, but it isn’t an action cam which means that Ricoh Theta SC isn’t designed for extreme sports. It is a social camera, and for keeping it for a long time, you will have to good care while using it.
Ricoh Theta SC can record 1080p full HD resolution at a frame rate of 30 frames per second and 720p at a frame rate of 15 frames per second. Ricoh Theta SC has all the things that you can expect from a premium 360-degree camera. However, you won’t get live stream functionality with Ricoh Theta SC, for sure live streaming option was available in Theta S, but Ricoh has ripped off this feature from Ricoh Theta SC. If you have a tight budget and have been looking for a great 360-degree camera that too at an affordable price then you should buy Ricoh Theta SC. However, if you choose to buy Theta S, you will get some additional features.
|√ Highly portable
|⊗ FProne to easy damage
|√ Great stitching quality
|⊗ Nonremovable batteries
|√ Live streaming
|⊗ Low resolution
|⊗ No expandable storage
We have discussed above Kodak Pixpro SP360, for our information, Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K is just its upgrade. There are only two upgrades that you will see in Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K, and that is, in the new version maximum resolution is 4K, and Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K can capture some extra space in the vertical axis. You can capture 360-degree in horizontal with Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K.
However, if you have a desire to capture the spherical 360-degree view, then you will need to buy Dual Pro Pack which in comparison to other cameras will cost you way more. With the dual pro pack, you will be required to mount the cameras back to back with the help of provided accessories; the two views captured by both the cameras will then be needed to be stitched together for getting spherical 360-degree coverage video or pictures.
The use of single Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K is satisfactory and the pictures captured and videos recorded are immersive and of better quality, but while using Dual Pro Pack we felt a little difficulty. Difficulty in using the dual pro pack and software limitations doesn’t make the decision of buying dual pro pack a better deal.
Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K is a compact and easy to carry a 360-degree camera. With sharp edges and corners, it looks a bit boxy. However, this design works in its favor as one can use the flat base of Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K to place the camera on a flat surface and record videos or click images. You should keep in mind that while using Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K you will have to be a bit careful to take the perfect picture or record a good video as a little of vertical perspective is not captured or lost because of its design.
You can make the camera face forward and can use it as a conventional camera for recording videos and clicking images. All the control buttons are located on one side of the camera, and the LCD is located on the other. Another side of Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K has Micro HDMI ports, microSD card slot, and Micro USB port.
Know that Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K is not an action camera. Therefore, you should be careful while using it. However, it is splash proof. Therefore, exposure to a little bit of rain or water won’t harm it. It comes with a lens cover and lens cap to protect the lens from unwanted scratches and damages.
Same as Kodak Pixpro SP360, Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K too can be connected to a laptop or smartphone.
|√ Great video quality
|⊗ Stitching footage is difficult
|√ Multi-camera shooting options
|⊗ Camera isn’t durable
|√ Great accessories comes With the pack
|⊗ Recoding via dual camera is fiddly.
6. Insta360 Air
If you are in search of a gadget for recording 360-degree videos, then Insta360 Air is the best option for you. It neither is too fiddly or too expensive which makes it one of the best pocket-friendly 360-degree recording devices. Insta360 Air was released last year, and this very gadget is compact and reasonable priced. It is a smartphone add-on which can be used for recording 360-degree videos or capturing 360-degree photos easily and without any hassle. Unlike Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air is designed and sold for Android users all around the globe.
While talking about Insta360 Air design one cannot miss out on the four color options that one gets. However, we decided to stock with the black one because it was soberest among all the available options. Insta360 Air is solidly built and very sturdy. However, one might face issues of fingerprints on lenses of Insta360 Air because of its round shape.
For protecting the two lenses, Insta360 Air comes with a rubber case. This means that you can keep it in your pocket or bag free from the fear of getting any scratch on the lenses by any sharp object or metallic object such as the key in your pocket.
Insta360 Air can be used with every Android device as all Android operated smartphones come with microUSB port or USB-C port. It is true that the design and the look of Insta360 Air is a lot different than Insta360 Nano, but the price of Insta360 Air is in the same range. Here we would discuss if it functions same as Insta360 Nano or is there any difference.
There are no controls available on Insta360 Air this is another difference between Insta360 Air and Insta360 Nano. Insta360 Air can only be controlled via the companion app that you can download from Google Play store. It will work only and only if it is attached to the companion Android phone, there isn’t any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity option available.
Whenever you plug Insta360 Air in your Android phone, the companion application for controlling Insta360 Air will start with just a movement of your phone. This is quite convenient and easy to operate. You can start taking photos right after plugging in Insta360 Air in your smartphone.
Everything with Insta360 Air and its app is very simple. You will just have to point and start shooting or capturing images. The companion app will do the stitching thing in no time, and you will have 360-degree video or picture on your phone in no time. If you are looking for lightweight and compact 360-degree camera, then for sure, you should consider buying Insta360 Air. You can own this great product by paying a decent sum of $ 129.99.
|√ Lightweight and compact
|⊗ Faced connection issues frequently
|⊗ Bad video quality because of low resolution
|√ No chagrining required
|⊗ Recoding via dual camera is fiddly.
|√ Using it is easy
|√ Live video streaming of 350-degree video
7. Insta360 Nano (Best for iPhone Users)
If you have an iPhone and have a desire to capture 360-degree videos, then buying Insta360 Nano is one of the easiest ways to explore a new and exciting hobby of yours. It is true that it is compact is easy to use with iPhone, but like any other gadget, there is a huge drawback of this product. The con that we mentioned above is that Insta360 Nano cannot be used in all iPhones. It is only supported in iPhones with lightening port.
Though there is a drawback associated with this product if you have lightning connector option, then this dual camera gadget can be useful for you. It can work with iPhones as well as can be operated independently. But while operating independently, you won’t have the facility of live view display which can be counted as a con, but most of the 360-degree cameras require a device as a companion for doing the same.
If you are looking for a great product that can offer simplicity as well as great satisfaction then Insta360 Nano has plenty to offer. It is also pocket-friendly, which means one can buy Insta360 Nano at a decent price of $ 199.
Insta360 Nano has a slim design, and it easily fits with iPhone by hugging its back when it is plugged in. Since this device is connected to the bottom of the iPhone, therefore, users will have to hold their phone upside down in order to operate their device while being connected to Insta360 Nano. If you have a case of your iPhone, then you will have to take it off before plugging in Insta360 Nano. Insta360 Nano weights around 70g which makes it lightweight and the soft slip pouch which is provided can assure its safety while carrying it around. You can easily place it in your pocket or can put it in your bag and can take it anywhere with you. Since the construction is of plastic, therefore, you will have to be somewhat careful while using Insta360 Nano.
Insta360 Nano has only one button on it which acts as power button as well as shutter button while being used independently. The best thing about Insta360 Nano is that it has its own internal battery, so Insta360 Nano will not drain your iPhone’s battery.
The picture and sound quality are pretty decent. If you need a device to capture 360-degree video easily and you have an iPhone, then Insta360 Nano might appeal to you.
|√ Also works without companion device
|⊗ Video quality not that great
|√ Great design
|⊗ Lack of sufficient protection
|√ GEasy to use
|⊗ Companion app needs to be upgraded
8. Giroptic iO
While looking at Giroptic iO, the very first thing that comes to mind is how they could make something so useful and attractive so small. Well, the compact size is one of the plus points of this product. Anyone can easily fit this 360-degree camera in their pocket. However, you will have to be careful about the bulbous lens of Giroptic iO as it can easily get damaged. Giroptic iO comes with a hard plastic case that should always be put to use when Giroptic iO isn’t attached to your smartphone.
Giroptic iO weight 2.5 ounces. It is compact, and the casing of this gadget is made of aluminum which gives it a premium finish. Even the plastic legged sleeve which comes with it to protect it from damage and scratch, and for holding, porpoise looks rugged and gives a sense of premium product.
Apart from the great look, the feature that undoubtedly attracted our attention right after plugging this device in our smartphone was that we were prompted us to download companion app. We were able to download the required software with one touch. No hassle of entering email id or visiting different sites for downloading the required app. Within few minutes after plugging Giroptic iO into your iPhone, you will be ready to use it to record 360-degree videos or capture 360-degree images.
You should know that Giroptic iO captures videos in 1920×960 resolution at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It is imperative to mention here that while using the app for recording video the preview that you will be shown on the device will not be the quality of the final video. The recording shown is deceiving as after saving the clip you get 360-degree footage with sharp video quality.
Overall you will be getting a good deal by buying Giroptic iO. If you love taking 360-degree images and record 360-degree videos, and have an iPhone, then you shouldn’t delay anymore and should buy Giroptic iO as soon as possible.
Giroptic iO has numerous pros, but there are few cons too. Sometimes the 360-degree recorded videos after stitching might not give you’re the right feeling. In addition to that since it is connected to the lightning connector port, therefore, you won’t have the option of charging your iPhone while using it. iPhone 7 users will not be able to use earphones while using Giroptic iO.
|√ Lightweight and compact
|⊗ Can’t charge companion device while using this 360-degree camera
|√ Great built with high durability
|⊗ iPhone 7 owners can’t connect headphone while using this camera
|√ Unbeatable companion app
9. Insta 360 4K
You should know that Insta 360 4K is among few 360-degree cameras that record videos in 4K and is available for under one thousand dollars. One of the best thing about Insta 360 4K is that it is the only 360-degree 4K recording camera that can live stream. There is no need to discuss the reputation of the manufacturers as this product comes from a company that has given this world various premium quality 360-degree cameras.
The design of Insta 360 4K is very compatible the candy bar design makes it easier to hold it with one hand. Insta 360 4K has two lenses, and both lenses are located at the top of the device and some basic controls are also located there for giving users full control over the recording and enjoying great 360-degree video recording experience.
You can find a small LCD screen which is located near the base of Insta 360 4K. The cabinet or the outer body material have a matte finish and is scratch resistant. Know that the most delicate part of Insta 360 4K is its lenses. Therefore, one should always use the carry bag which comes with Insta 360 4K.
Insta 360 4K has a standard tripod mount, and almost all the tripods, drones, and selfie sticks can be attached to Insta 360 4K. An external memory card slot and external audio jack are also present in Insta 360 4K.
The picture quality of photos clicked via this device is quite impressive, but the video quality wasn’t that good because of low frame rate which is 15 frames per second. This makes the movement in the video look like choppy. The stitching of the recorded video is done with high precision. However, one might notice faint lines where the videos are stitched together.
The audio recording of Insta 360 4K isn’t the most impressive point of this device, and surely it can’t be put on the pros list. The sound of the internal fan of Insta 360 4K whirring in the background of most of the videos is pretty standard. You can install the free studio software on your Mac or PC for editing the video.
|√ Live streaming capable
|⊗ In 4K recording video records at 15 fps
|√ Great quality 360-degree photos
|⊗ Audio isn’t up to the mark
|√ Highly durable
If you haven’t seen an action camera before, then you should know that Kodak Pixpro SP360 isn’t an action camera. If you have seen one before, then you will tell it is something else right after having a look at the Kodak Pixpro SP360 camera.
Kodak Pixpro SP360 is dust, shock, splash and freeze proof. The top part of Kodak Pixpro SP360 is entirely covered with a very wide lens, and the exact specification of the wide lens is used in this 360-degree camera is f2.8 and 8.25 mm lens. This powerful lens helps Kodak Pixpro SP360 in covering 360-degree view in videos and photos.
You can mount Kodak Pixpro SP360 on anything up or down and can get started right away. You can connect it with your smartphone or with your laptop to control the camera. Kodak Pixpro SP360 is designed in such a way that it can also record videos in full HD (16:9 ratio).
Talking about the design of Kodak Pixpro SP360, it will be important to mention here that Kodak Pixpro SP360 is comparatively a lot smaller than other 360-degree cameras. It has a dimension of 1.6x2x1.5 inches. Most of the top or the front area of Kodak Pixpro SP360 is consumed by the lens only, but stereo mics are also located right next to the lens.
On the opposite side of the camera’s lens, a battery compartment is provided where a removable battery can be fixed. Kodak promises that the battery which buyers will get along with Kodak Pixpro SP360 will last for 160 minutes while continuously recording 1080p video. Our testing has also proven that the battery of Kodak Pixpro SP360 can last that long on recording mode.
Wi-Fi is automatically switched on whenever one power up the camera. If you are using Kodak Pixpro SP360, then to start recording you will need to press the power button once more. You can also use the camera wirelessly by using the app available for controlling Kodak Pixpro SP360. You cannot start recording right after taking out Kodak Pixpro SP360 from your bag, this might be a negative point, but the price of Kodak Pixpro SP360 to some extent compensates for this negative aspect of Kodak Pixpro SP360.
A monochrome screen on Kodak Pixpro SP360 allows one to navigate through the settings. However, for getting the preview of the recording, you will need to connect the camera to your smartphone or laptop. Kodak Pixpro SP360 can also take pictures. You can select as per your requirement to take a single photo with a click or take photos in bursts of 10 with every click. Kodak Pixpro SP360 also comes with motion detecting settings. The camera will start recording in this mode right after sensing any motion in the frame and will stop recording if there isn’t any motion for 10 seconds.
|√ Rugged look and highly durable
|⊗ Audio quality is poor
|√ Twin pack can easily record 360 x 360 video
|⊗ When you turn ON the camera, the camera’s Wi-Fi starts up. This prevents user from recording video via this camera quickly or right after starting it.
Finding the best 360-degree video camera can be a difficult task, not only because of the huge number of options but also because the 360-degree camera market is still not mature and is the starting phase of evolution. You might not like even the best 360-degree cameras from the list that we have compiled.
There is a plain and simple reason behind this and that is 360-degree cameras are still evolving and the current models available in the market might not meet your requirements and match your expectations. However, the 360-degree video camera is the next big thing in the entertainment industry and there is no doubt in this fact.