Since the introduction of 360-degree video support on YouTube and Facebook, a new era of virtual reality was born. Now professionals and ordinary people have been using this new feature to enhance their videos. While we thought that the evolution of 360-degree cameras has reached its zenith, a new breed of 360-degree drone cameras has just arrived, further transforming the drone experience.
Shooting videos in 3600 to create VR and 3D footage is now available on many cameras. However, only a few can fly. The 360-degree drone cameras enhance the 360-degree videos by allowing you to capture footage even in conditions of extreme difficulty. And since this is the newest buzzword in the 360-degree world, 3600 drones are very few. In this article, we will touch on the currently existing 360-degree drone cameras.
The top 360-degree drone cameras
Janus 360 Drone
The Janus 360 is a quadcopter, and one of the most powerful 360-degree drone cameras ever made. It can carry 10 GoPro cameras, positioned 5 below and 5 above the frames, each held tight by two Freedom360 mounts. One of its greatest strongholds is the ability to shoot in 3600 without the propellers or any element of the gear appearing on the image. The drone is equipped with two heads, each carrying 4 GoPro cameras, so it’s able to effortlessly cover all angles of a scene.
The 360-degree drone captures spectacular aerial images for virtual reality. With 10 4K cameras recording at 30fps, Janus 360 produces spectacular 360-degree videos with 15 minutes flight time. The drone can capture 150GB of images in each flight. This flying camera does sport some classy looks. However, at a sky-high price tag of $20,000, the drone is not for the average consumer.
As more and more drones enter the market, the price tends to swing in favor of the consumer. The newest member of the 3600 drone family comes from Queen B Robotics. The company has designed a drone called EXO 360, that houses 5 cameras, enabling it to capture amazing 360-degree videos for virtual reality. The drone comes in two flavors: the standard and the pro version. The main difference between the two is in the camera‘s resolution.
The pro version comes with cameras that shoot 3600 videos in 4K while the standard version cameras shoot at 1080p. In both cases, four cameras are located towards the end of the drone’s 4 arms and one under the main body. The strategic position of the cameras allows the drone to record fully spherical images. The EXO360 drone can be flown either autonomously through the mobile app or manually via a remote control. While you would expect it to come at an eye-watering price tag, the standard version cost $1,000 and the pro version sells for $1,400.
VR Gimbal Drone
Advertised as the most sophisticated 360-degree drone camera, the VR Gimbal Drone is powerful, yet still a work-in-progress. Since the greatest challenge with 360-degree videos is that you usually see the hand or the tripod holding the camera, the Gimbal drone from Varavon has a solution to that. The company is introducing a three-axis-stabilized drone so users will be able to film full 360-degree sphere without being visible in the footage.
The 3600 Gimbal drone is designed for professionals. Once launched, the drone will cost somewhere around $30,000 as revealed by the manufacturer. The Varavon three-axis drone is large and sports a special Gimbal design that firmly holds the cameras steady against strong winds. As a result, the drone can record videos that are extremely difficult to shoot in any other way. All in all, the Varavon Gimbal drone should be available later in the year.
Drone cameras have been around for quite some time, most common ones being the selfie drones. There are also powerful drone cameras such as the DJI’s phantom 4, widely used for a vast array of applications. However, none of these drones can shoot 360-degree videos. Thanks to the advancement in technology that we now have powerful 360-degree drone cameras. Though still very expensive for the average consumer, we hope that with time, the price will go down.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.