Which 360 Camera Should You Buy?
With advancements in 360 camera technology, filming and viewing 360-degree photos and videos is easier than ever before. Until recently filmmakers needed to arrange multiple cameras to record all angles of a shot and then stitch together the footage. The cost and time it took discouraged use of it. This is no longer the case.
360 Camera Features
With devices like the Ricoh Theta SC, 360fly, and Samsung Gear 360 (see a comparison of each in the table below) it is now possible to take pictures and video in all directions at once, save, and share them.
The setup of 360-degree cameras varies but there are two basic designs. One has two 180 degree lenses one on either side of the device which merges seamlessly thus capturing everything. The second design is a single “fisheye” lens that sits at the top of the device to “see” all angles.
|Brand||Ricoh Theta SC||360fly HD (4k)||Samsung Gear 360|
|Design||2 – 180 degree lenses||360 degree fisheye lens||2 – 180 degree lenses|
|Video Resolution||1080p||1504p (2880p)||Up to 4096×2048|
|Storage||8 GB internal||16 GB internal (64 GB)||microSD card – up to 256GB|
|Compatibility||Android & iOS||Android & iOS||Galaxy devices, Gear VR, Android & iOS (with app)|
|Avg Battery Life||Appx 260 photos||2+ hrs recording (1.5 hrs)||Recording time up to 130 mins|
|Size||5.1 x 7.8 x 0.7 inches||7.5 x 4 x 4 inches||3.8 x 6.2 x 3.8 inches|
|Weight||3.5 ounces||5 ounces (6 ounces)||8.8 ounces|
Uses and Benefits for 360 Cameras
The uses for a 360 camera are as diverse as the people who buy them. One popular use is to record extreme adventures. Everything from skydiving to mountain biking, motocross to snowboarding, a 360 camera can capture all aspects of an adventure for the adrenaline lover and their friends to watch later. Others just like to use them to record a night out with friends. Special events are also a popular time to use these cameras, including weddings, family reunions, and vacations, especially destination vacations, those super special trips that may only happen once in a lifetime. What better way to record memories than to have 360-degree video while you kiss the blarney stone or stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower or visit the Grand Canyon?
One of the benefits of 360-degree video is it can be viewed with virtual reality devices or computer controls allowing viewers to control the video with their own movement and feel as though they are really there. Companies use 360 cameras to create manipulatable videos of their locations. Hotels use it to showcase their rooms and amenities, Facebook has introduced it as a way to enhance its experience, even car companies are using it to create dynamic ads. Allowing viewers to control what they see, to interact with the video gives them more of a feeling of “buy-in”, they are more invested and interested in what is being shown.