With virtual reality finally here, 360-degree videos are on the rise meaning demand for a wide variety of content is also surging.
That's where 360-degree cameras come in. The hardware behind VR and 360-degree content is evolving with new, beautifully designed cameras seeing releases every year.
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For people who don't want to spend $60,000 on a Nokia OZO, there's a decent amount of 360-degree cameras you can get your hands on, and more on the way. Take a gander at our list below for the best 360-degree cameras out now and upcoming devices.
Best 360-degree cameras available now
Already tried and true, these are the cameras that enthusiasts and regular folks like you and me can pick up. While some run a bit high in terms of cost, most are still under a grand or figure in around that mark.
Ricoh Theta S
Ricoh has been on a roll with 360-degree cameras. The latest Theta S model lets you shoot in 1080p HD at 30fps for up to 25 minutes at a time. You can also livestream your videos and even transfer footage to a mobile device without connecting to a PC. It's a great price for the slim, easily portable camera.
Samsung Gear 360
Combining a duo of 180 degree f2.0 fisheye lenses, each with 15 megapixels, the Samsung Gear 360 is capable of shooting two super wide videos or images at once, which can be stitched together using the companion app to create 360 degree visuals.
Once you've recorded your 360 degree action, it's simple to share on Facebook or YouTube by tapping the relevant icon in the app and, of course, you can view the images or video on the Gear VR headset - for which there's a dedicated mode.
Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K
The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 4K has a splash-proof build and can record UHD content at 30FPS via an ultra wide 235-degree lens. The camera can also survive 2m drops (Kodak notes with a drop cover) and extreme temperatures. You also have the option to pair two PIXPRO SP360 4K cameras together for fully spherical content capture. A mobile app and stitching software come bundled with the camera.
If spending nearly $500 is too much, the previous model - the Kodak PIXPRO SP360 - is cheaper at $279 if you don't mind sacrificing 4K quality. Instead, the camera delivers 1080p, which still isn't too bad.
LG 360 CAM
The LG 360 CAM is one of the most affordable cameras on the list and it doesn't fall short of specs. It comes equipped with two 13MP, 200-degree wide angle cameras, which surpasses several competitors; a 1,200mAh battery and 4GB internal memory, which can be supplemented by a microSD card. You'll also get 2K video and 5.1 surround sound channel recording through three microphones.
Like several other cameras, you'll be able to upload to YouTube360 and Google Street View, or view the content on LG's other new product, the LG 360 VR.
One of the more pricey cameras, Bublcam consists of four cameras where all the stitching is done in the device. 360-degree, 14mp photos and 720p videos can be taken then uploaded to YouTube where it's all viewable through Google Cardboard and its fellow VR headsets.
Another tough little guy, the 360fly 4K promises water, dust and shock resistance along with 1,504 x 1,504-pixel resolution at 30 frames per second. However because there's only one lens, there's no spherical image. A newer version is on the way that shoots in 4K and costs $100 more.
Definitely more expensive that the other cameras above, the Sphericam 2 makes up by recording in 4K and still remains under three thousand bucks. You get 60FPS at 4096×2048 resolution, in 10 bit color where everything is stitched internally in real time. The hefty price doesn't seem to be stopping people as it's currently backordered.
Best 360-degree cameras coming soon
These are the next cameras you'll see everyone scrambling to buy in order to create their own 360-degree videos.
Nikon KeyMission 360
The KeyMission 360 is the first in a line of action cams from the veteran camera company. The camera has two lenses with f2.0 apertures and 20MP sensors that can record footage in 4K with electronic stabilization.
The device also does all the stitching in-camera, is waterproof to 98 feet, shockproof up to 6.6 feet and can be operated in temperatures as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The KeyMission is launching October of this year.
The pear shaped camera from Giroptic is pretty cute with its unique design but it's also packed with decent features too. The camera is completely waterproof down to 33 feet for up to 30 minutes and comes with a removable base to let you swap out rechargeable batteries. The rugged little thing can also stream video, connect to GPS for geotagging and more. The 360cam is up for preorders now.
While the LucidCam isn't actually a 360-degree camera, we called it the "virtual reality camera for the everyman" in our last write up of the device because of its simplicity. With the press of a single button, you can capture video and photos in full HD. Connecting three cams will allow you to shoot in 360-degrees. The LucidCam ships fall of this year.
The compact, flat Vuze camera houses eight full-HD cameras with 180x120-degree lenses on its edges that records in 4K at 30fps. Preordering the Vuze will get you an app, editing software and a VR headset to view your creations.
Preorders are open with plans to ship October of this year.
High-end 360-degree cameras
If you're still curious about the cameras that require deep pockets, here's the shortlist. These rigs are aimed at the professional filmmakers rather than average consumers, but it's still fun to learn about things you can't have.
The GoPro cameras are pretty much the go-to for 360-degree creators but the company has launched its own rig. That means you get six cameras, Kolor software, smart remote, cables, memory cards and more, or you can buy the $1,500 casing alone if you already have the cameras. The whole set-up isn't as expensive as the other ones listed after, but it's still much more costly than the ones above. Units started shipping this summer and it looks like they're sold out for the time being.
Easily the most expensive of the bunch, the Nokia OZO also promises to be one of the best. There are already big deals in place for companies to use the camera - like a recently inked deal with Disney - so here's hoping we'll get to see some cool stuff out of it.
The spherical camera has eight synchronized global shutter sensors that capture stereoscopic 3D video, accompanied by spacial audio that's captured by eight integrated microphones.
Surround360 was a surprise announcement from the social media company but the news after made it even better. Apparently the hardware and software specs for this camera is now free for the public later to download through GitHub.
We've placed it on the high-end side of of the list since it's unclear just how much building the camera will cost - if it will go on sale at all. The Surround360 consists of 17 cameras, one fish-eye camera pointing up and two pointing down to capture footage that renders online via a specially created software. From there, images will be stitched together in 4K, 6K and 8K for each individual eye.
Google JUMP Odyssey
The Jump camera rig called the Odyssey was announced at the last Google I/O as a partnership with GoPro. The rig consists of 16 camera modules in a circular array where the size of the rig and the arrangement of the cameras are optimized to work with the Jump assembler, which is Google's software that stitches together the 16 pieces of video into stereoscopic VR video.
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