The Best 360 Cameras That You Can Purchase for Less Than $200
A 360-degree camera is the perfect way to elevate your photo game in 2019 and start creating more realistic 3D images of the scenes that you wish to capture. 360-degree cameras are growing increasingly popular with both the casual enthusiasts and gear-heads thanks to their functions that allow you to capture scenes and life in full 360-degree view and high definition.
360-degree cameras have revolutionized the showcasing of images making it possible to capture views from all angles through the deployment of multiple ultra-wide lenses. They are probably the simplest way to capture the world around you with panoramic images that extend and expand the views from all the angles. 360-degree cameras also allow users to capture very high-definition images with great HD quality with 4K or 5K video capabilities.
The 360-degree camera industry has grown in concert with the fast expansion of the virtual reality field. Like VR, the 360-degree experience also offers users an immersive experience that allows them to get a very detailed and realistic perspective of scenes being captured. The virtual reality field is currently growing at a rapid pace and increasingly, becoming more mainstream. Virtual reality headsets are now costing as little as $200 and even amateur photographers can get their hands on 360-degree cameras and create captivating 360-degree imagery.
When it comes to 360-degree cameras, you can choose to go high with the high-end professional camera models that can cost thousands of dollars. On the other end of the spectrum are the low-priced 360-degree cameras which are still very solid models capable of providing excellent quality footage, ease of use and portability.
Most 360-degree devices also have video camera functionality and are capable of shooting stills. For the full 360-degree video, you will need to knit together these stills using apps or some software though as we shall see, there are some cameras that do it for you. You don’t need any specialized skills for that and there are plenty of apps that you can use to process the images that you have captured into a full 360-degree content.
Below is list of some of the best 360 cameras that cost less than $200 and which you can use to create superb 360-degree digital products:-
Samsung Gear 360
The Samsung Gear 360 is one of the most popular and also one of the most reviewed 360 cameras in the market currently. The 360 camera is lightweight, portable and with 4K video capabilities. The camera weighs only 130 grams and with its portability, is built for travel uses. It has a long handle and a long good grip that allows you to clutch it safely. The camera casing is dust- and water-resistant so you can comfortably use it in an outdoor environment.
Apart from its 4K videos, the Gear 360 can also shoot 15MP photos. It has a spherical design along with dual 180-degree lenses that produce sharp and focused images for your 360-degree final product. The camera’s batteries can last up to 130 minutes of recording time on a single charge.
To process the captured images, you can download the Samsung Gear 360 app which you can use to edit and share your photographs. You can also convert the 360-degree content into the standard video and photo formats that you can subsequently upload for your audiences. There are five viewing modes that you can select from to convert your 360 content into captivating experiences without needing a special lens.
The Samsung Gear 360 camera can also be paired with a Samsung Galaxy phone to livestream footage. However, the live broadcast mode will only support 2K videos. The Samsung Gear 360 set will come with a carry strap, a USB charging cable and a protective pouch. You can buy it on Amazon for a price of only $138.
The Ricoh Theta SC 360-degree Video and Still Camera
This is another popular 360-degree camera brand that you can use to create your 360 content masterpieces. Ricoh is behind the popular camera brand Pentax, known for its superb quality images so you can expect them to bring the same adherence to high quality and performance in its 360-degree line of cameras.
The Ricoh Theta SC 360 has a bright F2.0 lens that will come in handy during use in low lighting conditions. The camera also has auto HDR functionality and an intuitive 360 app that you can use to process your footage. The app enables you to edit the captured footage, add some special effects or select music among other functionalities. The Ricoh Theta SC has a 1 /2.3-inch image sensors that allows you to capture crystal-clear 14MP images.
It has a weight of four ounces and has approximately the same size as a TV remote. You can use the Theta to capture footage as you travel. With its small and portable size, it will easily fit into your kit and use it on the go. The Theta SC 360 is much better suited for still footage more than for videos and delivers superb depth and accuracy in your images. According to numerous reviews, the main drawback with this 360-degree camera is that the battery does not last. Even though the device charges easily via a USB connection, it also drains fairly quickly which can be inconveniencing. The device comes in four colors that you can choose from and is currently available on Amazon for a price of $179.95. For the price point, it offers fairly nice features.
Insta360 ONE 360 Video Action Camera
You can never talk of 360 content without the Insta360 cameras coming to mind. A premium model in this brand is the Insta360 ONE X which goes for about $420 and has received lots of rave reviews from users. But the Insta360 ONE 360 Action camera also gets you more or less of the same specs but for an affordable price of just $200. The camera will meet your needs just fine if you are not planning to film an action sequence or some movie.
The Insta360 ONE camera has some winning features. You can use the ONE to shoot in multiple directions simultaneously and capture high quality 4K 360-degree videos along with crystal-clear 24MP photos. The higher priced ONE X camera shoots videos in 5K. The ONE has excellent “FlowState Stabilization” that allows the user to capture smooth footage even when they are on the move. It filters out the shaking to deliver very stable footage. You will also appreciate the “SmartTrack” functionality that allows you to zoom in on a particular scene keep them in focus and within a frame.
The camera has buttons that you can press to shoot your videos or take photos. You can also connect the Insta360 ONE 360-degree camera to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth so as to control and preview the shots you are taking via the phone screen. The camera can be plugged directly into your phone.
The Insta360 ONE 360 camera has a rating of IP68 for its waterproof casing so the camera can be submerged in up to 1.5m of water for duration of up to 30 minutes without damage. The 360 camera’s casing is also dust-proof and with its hardness rating of 9HD, it has the ruggedness to withstand the rigors of outdoor usage. It is currently retailing for about $200 on Amazon and other online retail outlets.
YI 360 Camera
The YI 360 has one of the best specs among the low-priced 360 cameras. The camera delivers superb 5K video masterpieces at 30 frames per second. With a price tag of just $200, it is currently the cheapest 5K 360 camera in the marketplace. Its dual 220-degree lenses will capture more of the view without worrying about any blind spots.
The YI 360 Camera also includes “Advanced Electronic Image Stabilization” that takes care of the shakiness and helps stabilize the footage. Shaky hands often mean terrible footage.
The camera has other nice features that you will love such as in-camera stitching which removes the need to stitch up the footage in a separate app or computer program like in other 360 cameras. This not only simplifies the process of putting together 360 footage but it also saves a considerably amount of time.
You can also use the Yi 360 Camera to livestream 360-degree videos with an impressive 4K resolution. The batteries will last you roughly 40 minutes when shooting at 5K and up to an hour if you will be shooting at 4K. The complete set will come with a battery, the 360 VR camera, a mini tripod, USB cable and a protective case. The Yi 360 Camera goes for $195.