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Capture Everything With The Best 360-Degree Cameras
Last updated: 22 Oct 2021
360 cameras are an incredible piece of technology that will make you feel like you are actually in the photo. They are perfect for scenic holiday shots, capturing a moment, and giving people a comprehensive slice of the environment around you. With a regular camera, you are limited as to how much you can include in a single shot. A 360 camera does away with this limitation altogether.
For example, if you want to capture the full atmosphere of a concert, a 360 camera has got you covered. Capture the band and the entire crowd, including yourself, at the same time. People will feel like they are right there with you, and you’ll have a detailed image of that memory for the rest of your life.
How many times have you gone for a night out and seen groups of revelers slouching and standing next to each other to squeeze into a single camera shot? If they had a 360 camera, they would not need to contort themselves into weird positions just for a photo! Sat at a table enjoying drinks? Place the camera in the center and click away. The same goes for the dance floor. Show the world your best moves without the need to stop, collect yourself and pose.
Although 360 cameras have been around since the early 1900s, they have only recently been sold commercially. There are completely different beasts in this day and age. The technology has improved ten-fold in recent years. As such, there are now plenty of surprisingly affordable 360 cameras to choose from.
To make life easier for you, we have come up with a list of the best 360 cameras in 2021.
Check ‘em out below!
This was the first 360 camera we tested for this article. In our opinion, it is better than most other devices on the market. The camera lets you shoot in stunning 5.7K 360-degree quality. It also comes with a Steady Cam mode for stable wide-angle videos.
The FlowState stabilization ensures all your shots are steady and the invisible selfie stick is a great added bonus for third-person perspectives and drone-style angles. In addition, the camera is totally waterproof, making it the perfect companion for surfers and hikers alike.
Great for extreme sports
Stunning picture and video quality
Does not work right out of the box – it requires activation
If you are looking for a camera that represents great value for money, the Ricoh Theta SC2 should be right up your street. Available in 4 different colors (our favorite is hot pink), this handy 360 camera is capable of shooting in 4K resolution. It also comes with a pleasing Night View mode that allows you to take beautiful night videos thanks to a wide dynamic range. Plus the dual-lens exposure controls AE and AWB in the front and rear camera. This makes the camera very useful when shooting indoor scenes with extreme contrasting light.
The GoPro Max CHDHZ-201 is yet another solid offering from the GoPro brand, building on their stellar reputation with a foray into the world 360 cameras. While it cannot shoot in UHD resolutions like some other products on our list, this device offers 3 cameras that give you the ultimate creative freedom. MAX offers unbeatable stabilization for 180-degree capture, while HERO mode lets you livestream in 1080p to your social media account.
You have the choice between 4 different digital lenses, allowing you to choose exactly how you want to capture the scene in front of you.
Very versatile depending on your requirements
Audio is fantastic
Livestreaming is a cool feature for modern consumers
Video quality is not as powerful as other products
Without a doubt, the KODAK PIXPRO Orbit360 is the coolest-looking 360 camera on our list of recommendations. This device comes with two focus lenses supported inside a very futuristic-looking body. Each curved lens works in tandem to create a stunning 360-degree 4K video or images, which can then be transferred to social media and YouTube.
With impressive dual 20MP CMOS sensors and 3 multi-view angles to choose from, this is a 360 camera that is sure to please tech fans all over.
The Samsung Gear 360 is perfect for anybody looking for a lightweight 360-degree camera from a brand they can trust. With 4K video qualities, this camera is perfect for a variety of situations, it even works well in low light. You’ll be capturing vivid content wherever you go. The tempered glass lens is also very scratch-resistant, which is a must for this sort of device. You can even edit your footage on your Samsung Galaxy device.
Want something a little different? This 360 AC1C Indoor Security Camera is the answer to all of your home security needs. With video quality up to 1080p, this camera captures everything you want to keep an eye on. It is also ridiculously intelligent. The Ai processor can distinguish between people and objects, it also recognizes individual faces. This camera alerts you whenever anything strange happens or if it hears conspicuous sounds. You’ll get a message to your phone with a video or photo of the event.
Great for keeping your home safe
Very intelligent AI design
2-way audio so you can listen and speak to anybody in range of the device
The Voger Security Camera is the second piece of home safety equipment on our list capable of 360-degree videos. This device connects your home internet connection via LAN cable or a strong wifi antenna. It comes with 1080p Full-HD video quality and 12 infrared lights so it can capture footage during day and night without issues. The smart motion detector, body tracking, and 2-way audio make this an excellent choice for all your outdoor security needs. When you throw in the encryption protocols that prevent anybody else from having access to the camera, it is clear this is a handy device for anybody who wants to beef up the safety measures of their home.
We have done extensive research into the best 360 cameras available right now. However, we understand that many people prefer to do their own research before investing in expensive technology. After all, part of the fun is comparing specs and deciding what is right for you.
To help you make your decision, we have come up with a list of things to consider before buying your camera. When shopping for your camera, this list will give you a concrete idea of what features you should look for. We have also included some information on the benefits of a 360 camera and typical pricing.
What is a 360 camera?
A 360 camera is a device that shoots two pictures at the same time. The camera then “stitches” the two photos together, capturing everything around the camera at once. Imagine it as an image that has been captured by a sphere instead of a flat rectangle. A 360 camera does not require the photographer to turn in any way. It also captures what can be seen above and below the lens, resulting in a stunning panoramic view of the scene.
But why choose a 360 camera instead of using the panoramic setting on a regular camera? Similar to a 360 camera, a panoramic photograph consists of several photographs that have been stitched together. However, a panoramic shot requires the person holding the camera to spin 360 degrees once to capture everything around them - you also won’t be able to capture what is above or below.
What are the benefits of a 360 camera?
A 360 camera will not only capture a complete 360-degree vision of your surroundings, but it will also capture you in them. You do not need to worry about a steady hand or blurring the image like you would with a panoramic photograph. With one click, you can capture everything! 360 cameras also can shoot 360 videos, which are becoming progressively more popular on social media platforms.
Things to consider before buying a 360 camera
To choose the best 360 camera, there are several features you may want to consider.
Quality of photo
If you want a 360 camera to produce high-quality photographs, choose a camera that allows you to shoot in both auto HDR and DNG RAW format. The RAW format contains more colors and dynamic range than other formats but it is sometimes difficult to find software that allows you to edit the photo. The DNG RAW format makes your image file more compatible with a variety of editing software programs.
For the best quality photo, you also want a camera that offers a high amount of pixels. This gives you clarity and precision in all your photography endeavors. Good quality lenses are also a must. For the highest resolution possible, opt for a camera with a diagonal fisheye lens.
Quality of video
If you are buying a 360 camera with the intent of making videos, look for a camera with a resolution of 5K or above. To get the best sound for your videos, choose a device with built-in ambisonics audio. This type of audio makes the viewer hear sounds from all different directions. This can be a useful tool in pointing the viewer in the direction you would prefer them to look, especially if you are making an interactive video. Many viewers will follow the sound. If the camera you chose doesn’t have built-in ambisonic audio, you can buy a portable recorder separately, though this will be costly.
You may also want to consider a camera with multiply video modes that offer multiple styles, allowing you to express your creativity.
Bit depth is the number of pixels used to create a singular color. The larger the bit depth, the more vibrant the colors you will see on your camera screen. Buying a camera with a large sensor means not only do you get a higher bit depth it also means you get a camera with better low light performance. Look for a camera with a large sensor size if possible.
Design and usability
If you want to buy a 360 camera that is easy to use, you don’t need to buy one with a lack of features. You just need one with good auto options. Don’t worry about advanced features until you have mastered the basics. If you can, ask to try out the camera in a store and have the clerk show you how to use it.
The term “image stabilization” refers to the techniques or features that reduce the likelihood of blurring through motion. Look out for lens-based stabilization. The camera uses a floating lens element. This feature moves your camera lens in the opposite direction if your camera shakes, reducing any motion blur.
Your 360 camera should also have a decent grip to reduce motion blur. If necessary, you can buy a separate stabilizer for your 360 camera. However, your camera might come with different types of mounts. As you are spending a lot of money on your 360 camera, it is always worth asking if you can get a discount on these types of accessories.
Some older models of 360 cameras only offer desktop software to bring your photos and videos to life. If you can afford to pay a little more for a newer model that automatically stitches your photos, do so. You may find the effort of processing the footage of the older model might not be worth the money you save.
360 camera price range
We have provided some general knowledge of what to look for in a 360 camera if you want the best available, but, in order to suit different budgets, you may need to sacrifice a few features. To get the best value for money, think about how you will be using your camera mostly and choose features that complement your goals.
You can buy a 360 camera for anything between the prices of $200 to $6000. If you find a cheaper 360 camera, it will likely be an older model or won’t have many of the features mentioned in this buying guide.
How we choose our 360 cameras
To choose the best products for our top 7 360 cameras, we had to conduct an extensive amount of research. We have liaised with manufacturers to discuss their features. We looked up the biggest retailers to find out about their best sellers. We also compared that with countless customer reviewers. We also read up on some extreme sports vloggers who use 360 cameras regularly. We also tested all of the products on our list and more. We will never recommend a product that we would use ourselves.
In addition, we also made sure every camera passed our list of considerations and offered real value for money.
360 Camera FAQ
What are the names of some 360 camera-compatible editing software?
Editing a 360-degree video is a little different from editing a regular video because it is not flat and you are not viewing just one camera angle. Usually, your video is turned into an equirectangular video, so when you edit you are seeing all images flattened and placed next to each other. Adobe Premiere and Power Director are both great editing software for this type of work. They allow you to move around your 360 spherical videos in real-time as you edit. This allows you to place things like font correctly.
What 360 camera accessories are available?
There are several accessories you may want to buy for your 360 camera. These include an invisible selfie stick, an SD card with large memory, a suitable tripod, and a VR headset. A quick search on Google will show you what products are compatible with your particular 360 camera.
Technology fascinated Alex from a very young age, and he's carried his passion into his career as an aeronautical engineer, designing new technologies for airplanes. Dealing with such advanced technology emphasized to Alex the need for simple tech in our everyday lives, and he recommends computer products that will make anyone's day-to-day operations easier.