Best 360 Cameras 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

It is very interesting to see where things are going in the world of photography.

As we get more and more into immersing our technology with the real world, things like a good 360 camera are soon becoming more popular. This is where some confusion may lie:

How Do We Choose The Leading 360 Cam For Our Needs?

Luckily, this is something that I have been interested in for a very long time and I have put a lot of work into finding the highest graded 360 degree cameras in order to help you make the right choice.

Best 360 Cameras 2017

Stay tuned for our comparison chart that we are currently working on right here! Coming very soon.

What To Look For When Choosing A 360 Camera

It is said that people can’t resist an idea whose time has come. Indeed, many are drawn to 360 cameras because of what they offer: a full view of any scene from all angles. We are no longer confined to a flat depiction of the world in a small frame. This type of device provides an immersive experience that is changing the way we consume media. Content creators who would like to try it out have a number of models to choose from. Here what to look for when choosing a 360 camera:

Image Resolution

Standard cameras capture one scene and call it a day. These new ones have to capture everything that’s in front, at the back, on the sides, and so on. The resolution simply has to be high or else the resulting image will be too blurry to be useful. If you want to capture every detail, then go for the highest resolution that you can afford. Full HD or 1080p is considered too low for this kind of application. Go for a model that is capable of 15MP image resolution and 4K video resolution at the very least.

Field of View

Due to the buzz surrounding 360 cameras, a lot of companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Some have come out with devices that are advertised as such but ultimately fail to deliver. For instance, they may be able to capture successive images across the horizontal plane, essentially providing a panoramic view. Yet they are not able to capture the scenes above and below them. These are not true 360-cameras because of these blind spots. Look for a model with a full field of view if you are aiming for total immersion.

Lens Quality and Quantity

As with any camera, then lens will be crucial in determining the output. The general rule is that more lenses translate to better results. This usually holds true in practice so pay attention to this when browsing the specification sheets. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There are devices that are able to deliver excellent images despite having only two lenses at their disposal. Quality matters just as much as quantity.

Ruggedness

Be sure to get a model that can handle your typical usage scenarios. For instance, you might be getting one to create a 3D video of a museum for virtual tourists. The device will likely stay indoors for most of the shoots so the outer shell will not face much of a challenge save for the occasional drops. It will be different if you plan to take it on your outdoor adventures. Then it will have to be waterproof, windproof, and dustproof for a start. The shell should be impact-resistant. See if it has accessories that can give more protection.

Battery Life

Creating 360-degree images are videos take a lot of resources, including power. Think about the length of your shoots and find cameras that can handle the load, unless you’re fine with switching batteries in the middle of the proceedings. To give you some idea, there are models that can deliver 30 minutes of recording time and others that can last for 2hrs or more.

Stitching Software

Finally, do check out the reviews and view their outputs for better evaluation. The hardware specs are important but so is the stitching software used to deliver the final images. Remember that the lenses still capture frame by frame in quick succession. All of these are then stitched together to create a more realistic representation of a scene. Some cameras are able to do this better than others.

What Are 360 Cameras Used For?

There are many different uses but here are just a few things that we are seeing so far:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Youtube 360
  • Marketing videos for businesses – like creating virtual walkthroughs of business locations.

Other Sources:

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