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Which 360 Camera Should I Buy

The best 360 cameras are perfect for action video enthusiasts or content creators. As the name suggests, 360 cameras capture a panorama of everything around you, to help immerse your audience in the video.

which 360 camera should i buy

The Insta360 One X2 is the best 360 camera for most people. That's because, like its predecessors, the Insta360 One X2 has the most innovative software and features in addition to being a great piece of hardware.

For those looking for a 360 camera with more of a traditional action camera design, the Insta360 One RS is your best bet. Like its predecessor, the Insta360 One R, this innovative camera has a modular design that lets you swap out its 360 lens for a wide angle 4K camera or a camera with a 1-inch sensor. What's more, the camera has some other pretty cool features, including video stabilization and a comprehensive app that has a lot of powerful editing tools.

We like that the One RS' display can be turned around so you can frame yourself in videos, but its small size relative to the GoPro makes it much more difficult to navigate on-screen menus. And, like older GoPros, you'll need to use a frame to mount it to anything. But, this is one versatile 360 camera.

Unlike most 360 cameras, the GoPro Max has a small display on its back that lets you view what its cameras are looking at. While it's not as handy as it seems, the large display does make it easy to navigate and change the Max's settings without having to use your smartphone.

Additionally, the Theta Z1 has dual microphones, which delivered great audio, and the camera's motion stabilization was pretty effective too. The Z1 uses an Android-based operating system, and Ricoh is letting third-party developers create plug-ins for the camera, increasing its functionality. However, this camera lacks expandable storage, it has a relatively short battery life, and you need to use two different apps if you want to edit photos or video. But if you prize image quality above all else, this is the camera to get.

The Vecnos Iqui is a 360 camera designed for those who want to take photos or videos at a moment's notice. The camera starts up in a flash, and snaps pics just as quick. Its small, pen-like shape makes it a cinch to store in your pocket, too.

Samsung was one of the first companies to make a truly useful 360 camera, and though it's been several years since it released anything new, its Gear 360 camera from 2017 still remains a fairly useful and functional device. The Gear 360 has a fun, lollipop-like shape that makes it easy to hold in one hand, and can even withstand a few splashes. It also has a tripod mount, if you want to attach it to your bike or something else.

The Gear 360 takes good photos and videos (up to 4K in size), and livestreams to Facebook and YouTube, too. However, there are a few big caveats: it only works fully with Samsung smartphones (from the Galaxy S6 and up), and while it works with the iPhone 7 and later, not all of the camera's features are supported. If you have a Samsung smartphone, though, the Gear 360 is a fun accessory.

Small and compact, the Rylo 360's small GoPro-like profile makes it a great 360 camera for action sports, as its low profile is ideal for attaching to a helmet, bike, or any other action-y activity. However, if you're going to get it wet, you'll want to get the Adventure Case (opens in new tab) (sold separately), as it lacks any sort of waterproofing. The case, which is increasingly hard to find, costs around $70, and only provides water-proofing for up to 10 feet.

Now this is an interesting 360 camera. Not only does the Vuze XR take 360-degree photos and video, but its two cameras can pop out, parallel to each other, so you can take 180-degree stereoscopic images and video, too. If you've ever used a VR headset, these types of images add a real depth.

When shopping for a 360 camera, you'll find that they tend to fall into two camps: small, pocketable stick-style devices, and larger squarish (or circular) cameras. The former, such as the Insta360 One X, tend to be less expensive, and are designed for more casual and impromptu shooting. In the second category are cameras such as the GoPro Hero Max, which are larger and more expensive, but tend to produce higher-quality video. Generally, the design of the latter type of 360 camera also means you'll have to attach it to a tripod or some other mount if you want to capture good footage.

Be sure to think about how you plan to use a 360 camera before you purchase it; if you want to get some fun selfies with friends, then the stick-style cameras will fit your needs well. If you want to capture hair-raising exploits when you go skydiving or skiing, then a larger camera may be the better option.

You get a lot of weird stares and comments when you test 360 cameras. By now, people are used to seeing action cams like the GoPro, but both the shape and way you mount 360 cameras immediately draws attention.

As they need to capture a full 360 degrees of action, most 360 cams are designed with more than one bulbous lens. And, if you don't want half of the image to be the side of your head, you have to mount the camera pretty far from your body.

All of the cameras work with a smartphone in a similar manner; when you turn these cameras on, they all create a Wi-Fi hotspot, which you then connect to with your phone. From there, you open the companion app, and use your phone's display as a viewfinder. For the most part, connecting the cameras to my smartphone was an easy process, and the video feed from the cameras was relatively smooth and stutter-free.

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With the best 360 cameras, you can capture images and videos that are quite unlike anything else. Interactive 360-degree content allows a user to navigate through it using a mouse or a touchscreen and is an unparalleled way to capture an incredible landscape, a fleeting street scene, or a pulse-pounding bike ride. It requires getting a little technical, but the results are so worth it.

The files created by 360-degree cameras are big and unwieldy, as often 360-degree cameras are really multiple cameras in one, capturing different perspectives that can then be stitched together in software. However, many 360 cameras also let you dive in and pick out a flat "slice" of a scene to convert into a more traditional "flat" video. This means you have tremendous versatility with a 360-degree camera; it almost doesn't matter where you point it.

The Z1 is also the only 360 camera in this comparison that can shoot excellent images in low light conditions. This is again thanks to those larger sensors as well as its ability to change aperture size, the only 360 camera able to do this.

The image below features shows a section of a photo shot with four of the best 360 cameras for photography. Each camera can shoot DNG RAW photos and have been edited in lightroom to get the best overall quality. In the first image I focus on the sunlight as this is the toughest challenge for 360 cameras; as you can see each camera handles the direct sun with different results.

Owner of Writer, photographer and videographer. You can see my YouTube channel for guides of how to shoot 360 video. I've written for The Times, Digital Photography School and Sunday Express.

What are your thoughts on the original Gear 360 for stills? It seems to have the highest pixel count of all the cameras tested at 30MP. Have you compared it to the others? Thoughts on color reproduction, range, etc? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

360 cameras are a great choice for shooting immersive virtual tours. Upload 360 images or video to a compatible hosting platform (such as Facebook or CloudPano) and visitors will be able to explore a location in full 360 degrees from the comfort of their home. This is particularly useful for venues such as a hotels and museums, as well as real estate listings.

Most virtual tours use 360-degree stills shot by a tripod-mounted camera. The best 360 cameras in 2021 can capture sharp, immersive images which are perfect for virtual tours. The Kandao QooCam 8K is again a great option here: it shoots dynamic still images at a resolution of 29.4MP (the highest of any camera in our list), allowing viewers to pan around sharp virtual scenes. It also features a tripod mount on its base for easy positioning.

The Max also amps up many of the features seen on the GoPro's Hero action cams, including superior HyperSmooth stabilization and 360-degree TimeWarp sequences. The slightly sub-par 2D video footage (which is the result of it being converted from a fish-eye images) means the Max falls short of being the ultimate GoPro for both 360 and standard footage. But it's a fantastic option for anyone who wants to shoot action sequences in every direction without the hassle of deciding where to point their action camera, then edit it together quickly later.

Add GPS, a compass, accelerometer, gyroscope, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3D audio, and compatibility with existing GoPro mounts, and the waterproof (to a depth of 5m) Fusion is a powerful camera for the price. The newer GoPro Max brings a front-facing screen, a more compact design, six microphones (rather than four) and better image stabilization. The Fusion's last software update was also over a year ago, if these issues don't bother you then it's definitely worth considering if you need a waterproof 360-degree camera.

The best 360 cameras come in a range of shapes, sizes and styles. That said, most models work in a similar way: they use multiple camera modules (usually two wide-angle lenses placed back-to-back) to capture footage which can then be digitally combined to create a fully spherical video. 041b061a72


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