360-degree cameras have been around for a while, and their allure has locked the minds of every photographer. They are not just new cameras, but a new category of cameras. Their ability to capture moments in 360 degrees gives the user a feeling of being immersed in the action. 360-degree action cameras are designed for filming action while being immersed in it. Therefore, they are compact, lightweight, portable, mountable, and some are even waterproof.
When buying a 360-degree action camera, it is of paramount importance to consider the cams resolution. Sure, a normal camera will produce great images at 1920 x 1080 since it only needs to capture around 900 of the space around the object. If we were to use the same resolution in a 3600 camera, the image would appear blurred since it will be stretched out over a wide area. Ideally, the best 360-degree action cameras should shoot at 4K minimum. Read on to discover the best 360-degrees action cameras in the market today.
The top best 360-degree action cameras to buy
For years, the GoPro Omni has set the standards for how 360-degree action cameras should look like. The camera is not for average consumers and it aims at professional photographers and filmmakers. Love it or hate it, there is no competition when it comes to versatility and features. That’s expected because it comes from the company that creates the legendary GoPro cameras. But what exactly makes it so powerful?
The Omni is a rig outfitted with 6 GoPro Heroes 4 action cameras, all working in tandem to capture a 360-degree video. And since each Hero4 camera can shoot up to 4K resolution, all the cameras combine to deliver an 8K resolution footage. GoPro also includes a Kolor software so all stitching is effectively handled. You can use a headset to view the high resolution or downscale it and watch it on YouTube.
In addition to the powerful cameras, GoPro also provides the users with an attractive package that blends well with the camera. The full Omni package includes six 32GB MicroSD cards, six mini-USB cables, a GoPro smart remote, six batteries, and the Kolor software license. The GoPro Omni is the go-to camera for VR enthusiasts. However, at a price of $5,000, the camera doesn’t come cheap and you’ll have to pinch your pocket really hard to get it.
Virtual reality is not going away, but it’s nothing without content. And that’s where the Nokia OZO comes in. Although it’s one of the most expensive 360-degree action cameras, the Nokia OZO lives up to its promises. The camera comes equipped with eight lenses, each with a 195 degrees field of view. Each lens has a 2K sensor and it shoots at 30fps, which is relatively higher that the 24 frames you usually see with film.
Nokia boasts that OZO is the first VR device to capture 360 degrees spherical videos with 360 x 360 surround sound. This way, it mirrors what we see and hears. Consumers have also viewed the OZO as the silver bullet for all VR productions. In addition, OZO cam offers live streaming, live monitoring, 3D video and audio recording, and automatic stitching. Some of the big name companies such as Sony and Disney have already inked deals with Nokia to use the OZO for production purposes.
The 360Fly 4K packs all you would want in an action camera. It comes with a powerful 16MP image sensor so you can capture crystal clear images at 2880 x 2880 pixel resolution. It also offers a generous 64GB internal storage so you will never run out of storage space. The orb design is modern and the sealed casing is waterproof to a depth of 30 feet. The camera is incredibly easy to use. There is only one button on the casing that allows you to start recording video in just a single click.
The footage transforms to virtual reality experiences with just the push of a button. The camera has mobile and desktops apps so you can easily edit and share your 360 degrees videos on the social media. The durability of the camera is not questionable, thanks to its dustproof, shockproof, and waterproof capabilities. You can use the 360Fly 4K camera to record any action or sporting activities, surfing included.
Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K
The PIXPRO SP360 4K can record ultra-high definition videos at 30 fps via its huge 235 degrees FOV lens. Kodak notes that the camera is waterproof up to 2m deep when used with the cover so you can use it to record videos in moist conditions or in shallow waters. The device can also survive extreme temperatures. You can pair two PIXPRO SP360 4K cameras together to capture full 3600 x3600 spherical content.
Kodak has an intuitive PIXPRO stitch software that you can use to effortlessly stitch videos from the two SP360 4K and create an immersive 3600 x 3600 footage. There is also a free PIXPRO SP360 4K editing software for PC so you can add all the flavor you want to your 4K videos. And if the 4K version is too pricey for you, there is another cheaper version of the PIXPRO S360 that only record videos at 1080p.
The Insta360 is another premium camera that allows you to record 4K 360-degree videos via duo 230 degrees fisheye lenses. The dual 4K cameras record high-resolution (4,096 x 2,048) videos that don’t require post production stitching. All the content stitching takes place in the camera so you can get the results in real time.
The Insta360 versatility makes it usable for a wide range of activities. You can fly it with a drone, mount it on a tripod, or just hold it by hand. It records footage to a microSDHC memory card and has support for up to 32GB cards. Additional features include a mobile app for Android and iOS, Wi-Fi connectivity, and virtual planning when used with a mobile device.
While it requires only 2 lenses to create a 360-degree image, it has become a common consensus that the more the better. Nokia OZO, for instance, utilizes 8 lenses, which partly explains why it delivers the best content for VR. You should also consider other factors that make a 360-degree camera stand out, such as stitching capabilities. Some cameras are able to stitch the images automatically and in real time, while others may require you to use a special software or even do it manually. We hope that this article will help you to make a more informed buying decision.