For as long as you can remember, taking photos has always been about what’s in front of you. Whether it was a picture with your friends, or a landscape from a vacation, still images and video have always been in 180 degrees.
Though in reality, people see the world in 360 degrees. So why limit yourself when it comes to your pictures and videos? 360 cameras are becoming a buzz in the tech world because they let you record everything that goes on around you. This idea of technology and specialized cameras have only been around for a few years, but often they come with a heavy price tag, but fear not. There are options for 360 degree cameras that you can purchase, without having to pay thousands, or even hundreds of dollars!
This is Samsung’s first generation of a 360 camera and is well priced. Featuring two 180 degree wide-angle lenses, just a single click can merge your photos into one 360 image. The 2016 Samsung Gear 360 is also capable shooting 4K resolution videos and 30 megapixel photos, which is important for taking quality photos during the day or night. It’s also a very easy option to travel with due to its small size and light weight! It also comes with its own tripod for if you want stable and wider photos or video.
When it comes to the storage of photos, you will need to purchase a microSD storage card. It’s also worth noting that to use some of the camera’s key features such as the VR experience and manual controls, you will need to have a specific Galaxy smartphone such as a S8 or S7 as well as the camera’s app. Also, the camera isn’t water proof. It is however water resistant, but don’t expect to jump into a pool with it. Ultimately, it’s hard to beat the price of this device, especially if you have a Samsung smartphone. Right now, you can purchase the 2016 Samsung Gear 360 for less than $70, though that doesn’t include a storage card which you need to purchase separately.
The LG 360 Cam is one of the cheaper 360 cameras you can buy that’s worth the money.
With its dual wide-angle lenses, this camera can shoot 360-degree footage in a 2k resolution. Meaning, the video can look a little pixilated, but this can be passable for those who are new to the technology and just want to experiment. Unlike the Samsung Gear 360, this LG can be compatible with both android and iPhones, which is very convenient for when you want to download the application on your phone. Speaking of the application, if you decide to download it, you can control the camera from your phone as well reviewing the videos and photos you take. Connecting the camera to the phone is also simple. All it takes to is connecting to your phone’s WiFi and you’re ready to go, making this camera very user friendly.
Though with that price comes a few cons. One of those being that the video quality is not as high as others 360 cameras would be. Also, like the Samsung Gear, you will need to purchase a storage card to take photos and video. So, if you’re looking for a camera that’s simple to use, you can purchase the LG 360 Cam on Amazon for just under $112. You will also need to purchase a storage card.
What’s great about technology is that it’s able to combine one device with another, and that’s is what you get when it comes to the Insta360 Nano. What makes this camera different from the LG and Samsung cameras is that it’s designed to be plugged into your iPhone. Though right off the bat, the camera is only compatible with the iPhone 6 models and above, so non-Apple users are out of luck. Luckily, you can still use it as a stand-alone camera, but you will need a memory card and won’t be able to see your pics and videos until you connect with an iPhone or computer.
When it comes to taking photos with the camera, the Insta360 Nano can take 360-degree photos at a pretty high resolution, one that’s higher than the LG 360 Cam. Also, due to its high resolution, photos that are taken both inside and out are at high qualities.
When it comes to shooting videos, the quality is just under 4k, but compared to other more affordable 360 cameras, videos can come out quite well. Plus, with the Insta360 app, you can upload all your photos and videos directly to Facebook and YouTube if you have an iPhone. You can also livestream to Facebook and YouTube in 360 degrees if you want to share something in a live moment. Ultimately, there’s a lot you can do with this camera if you have an iPhone and for a price of just under $150, it’s not a bad deal to consider.
If you thought the Insta360 Nano was a great choice for you, but didn’t have an iPhone, how about trying the Insta360 Air? This camera is essentially the android version of the Insta360 Nano. It also works the same way as the Nano, just plug it into your charging port of your Android phone, but can’t work on its own since it uses the phone’s memory and battery. When it comes to its differences, the Air has a little lower video and photo resolution than its iPhone counterpart, so all your pics and videos won’t be as sharp. Though still, photos resolution is at 3K and videos can be shot in 30 frames per second.
Also like the Nano, the Air comes with its own Android app so you can get the most of out of your camera. By using the free app, you can preview what your camera is seeing as well as use tools to edit your photos and videos. The Air is also capable of live streaming videos in 360 degrees to Facebook and YouTube in four different shooting modes! One more interesting feature about the Air is that can also be used as a webcam for your PC or laptop. Overall, it’s a fun little camera if you’re getting into the 360-camera world and are an Android user. Right now on Amazon, the Air is just under $115.
When it comes to convenience and simplicity, an option you can try is the Giroptic iO that attaches right to your smartphone, no storage card needed! Available in versions for both Android and iPhone, the 360 camera has dual lenses which allow for full 360-degree coverage. Once attached to your phone, you can download the camera’s app from the App Store or Android Market, turn on the app and you’re ready to start shooting!
Photos can be shot at a higher resolution than both the Insta360 Nano and Air, making it still a pretty good option if you’re a casual photographer and want to have some fun with the different effects. Those who are looking for some higher quality 360 photos still might need to look somewhere else. Though when it comes to shooting videos, that is one of the downsides to this device. Out of all the cameras on this list, the Giroptic iO has the lowest resolution, so your videos won’t come out as crisp and clear.
The iO can also be used to livestream on Facebook, YouTube and Periscope in an easy fashion, like a lot of other features on this camera. Just be aware, the video won’t be as clear as say the Insta360 cameras. Finally, the iO also comes with its own waterproof case so if you decide to shoot some vacation photos at the beach, be sure your smartphone is also waterproof or at least water resistant! Overall, it’s an affordable option that’s very convenient for photographers who want to begin exploring the world of 360 photos. If you can get by the lower resolution video quality, you can purchase the Giroptic iO on Amazon for $150 (Apple version) or $160 (Android version).