Over the last year, 360-degree photos and videos have been exploding in popularity. What took a professional rig and a massive budget to do years ago, can now be accomplished with affordable 360-degree cameras that consumers can actually afford. Now everyone can view 360-degree photos and videos on Facebook and YouTube using their smartphone, computer, tablet or a VR device.
Viewing or watching a 360-degree photo or video makes you feel like you’re right there. The hardware to create 360-degree content is evolving and more players are beginning to emerge. Even Facebook is designing an open source 360-degree camera called the Surround 360.
This 360-degree immersive experience brings a whole new take on the way we consume media. It’s safe to say 360-degree cameras will become more prevalent as they become more affordable in the coming years.
Here, we round up some of the best mainstream 360-degree cameras and see how they stack up.
Ricoh Theta S
Ricoh has been releasing affordable 360-degree cameras since 2013. The Ricoh Theta S (US$350)/(~RM1400) is the company’s latest model, retaining its predecessors' design and one-button functionality. It features twin f/2 lens housing 12-megapixel cameras that shoot 360-degree 14-megapixel images or Full HD, 30fps spherical video. Using the Theta S smartphone app, you can adjust basic settings, see what you’re recording or conduct a 360-degree live stream. There are many other fun apps compatible with the Theta S that enable HDR, photo editing and even one that remotely activates the shutter when you jump!
LG 360 Cam
Part of the LG G5 Friends family, the LG 360 Cam (~RM1170 standalone, ~RM880 purchase with purchase of LG G5)has two 13-megapixel, 200-degree wide angle lenses capable of 360-degree 2K (2560 x 1280) video and 16-megapixel stills. Like the Ricoh Theta, there’s only one button for start-stop recording just below the lens. You can even connect it to your phone via the LG 360 Cam Manager app for live view recording and remote control functions, though there aren’t any in-app edit functions.
Kodak PixPro SP360 4K Action Cam
Contrary to its name, the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K Action Camera (~RM2110, dual kit ~RM4100) only shoots with a field of view of 235 degrees; you’ll need a pair fitted back-to-back to capture fully spherical 360-degree videos and photos. The camera captures 4K Ultra HD video at 30fps (1080p up to 60fps) and 8-megapixel stills, with the option of 10-frame burst shots. It's shockproof, dustproof, splash-resistant, and operable down to -10 degrees Celsius. It has a little 1-inch LCD screen and physical controls for you to adjust camera settings, or you can connect to its smartphone app instead.