Until very recently the camera gear that you needed to take reasonable quality 360° Video was complicated and expensive, but 2016 seems to be the year when Consumer 360° Video cameras will explode… there are dozens of high quality, low cost 360° Video Cameras scheduled for release in 2016… watch this space for updates.
We’ve collated below information about some of the more popular currently available 360° Video cameras and also summaries ofthe most interesting cameras planned for later this year.
Samsung Gear 360
This much awaited 360° Video camera was released in South Korea (where Samsung is based) on 29 April 2016 and is scheduled for release elsewhere in June 2016 – although Australian release dates and pricing are not yet announced (although expected to be around AU$600).
The Gear 360, offers 4K recording and is designed to works with Samsung smartphones and the Samsung Gear VR.The camera offers two F/2.0 fish-eye lenses, each providing 195° coverage and packing a 15MP sensor. It doesn’t have any storage of its own, but it does offer a microSD card slot capable of handling up to 128GB of storage.
Nikon KeyMission 360 (not yet available)
The KeyMission 360 (which is not yet released and has no announced release date or pricing) , according to Nikon, records 4K UHD video, is waterproof to depths of 30m/100ft, shockproof from heights up to 2m/6.6ft, and has electronic image stabilization.
It is expected to include support for microSDHC/SDXC media cards, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth, an integrated microphone, non-removable Li-Ion battery and USB 2.0.
The 360Fly HD Camera ($650 from JB HiFi) has been around since the end of 2015… however it was lacking in image quality. the 4K version (that nearly quadruples the resolution, producing 2880×2880-pixel, 360-degree 4K video) was released in Australia in May 2016 ($850 from JB HiFi).
The 360Fly has a single, upward facing lens , so images don’t require stitching – however the Nadir (the black “hole” at the bottom) is HUGE.
The camera features a built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, an altimeter, and an accelerometer. So you can track altitude and speed, and use third-party apps to overlay the data into your existing 360-degree video content. It is also waterproof down to 30 feet and comes standard with Bluetooth and built-in Wi-Fi
Unlike most of the cameras listed here, the Vuze VR (by HumanEyes in Israel) is a true stereophonic camera (3D 360-degree videos) – which provides depth and offers a more realistic immersive VR experience. It achieves this with 4 pairs of lenses (8 in total) and also for microphones (for a multidirectional audio effect).
The Vuze camera comes with 64GB of internal storage although there’s also a microSD card slot for adding more storage.
Nokia calls it the “world’s first professional virtual reality camera”, and at US$60,000 it is certainly not a casual purchase.
The Ozo records 360 x 180-degree spherical video using eight 2K x 2K image sensors at 30 frames per second (fps) as well as something Nokia calls 360 x 260 surround sound. It works wirelessly and records both video and audio to a single file, stored on a a 500GB solid-state drive (SSD).