Several of the companies rolling out consumer 360-degree cameras this year are new to the category, but not JK Imaging. The global licensee of the Kodak brand released the Pixpro SP360 in 2014, a tiny camera with a single big fisheye lens that can capture a 360-degree view on the horizontal axis and 214-degree angle of view to cover the vertical axis.
For 2016, the Pixpro SP360 4K widens the field of view to 235 degrees and ups the resolution for better detail than its predecessor. Plus, with just one lens, you get immersive content without needing to stitch together two or more images. And if you want full spherical imaging, Kodak makes that possible, too -- for a price.
At $900 (£750 and about AU$1,200 converted) for the SP360 4K Dual Pro Pack, it's not for someone who wants to casually shoot a few seconds of 360-degree video to post to Facebook or YouTube. Not that you couldn't do that, just that there are less expensive and easier-to-use options like the Ricoh Theta S. What the SP360 4K Dual Pro Pack buys you is shooting flexibility in one box.
With two cameras, you can mount them back to back and then stitch the video together with software to create 3,840x1,920-pixel resolution spherical video. Or you can use them separately to capture two different 360x235-degree videos. Or, because each camera can shoot flat 16:9-aspect video at resolutions up to 4K UHD (2160p), you can use them like you would regular cameras and mount them at different angles to create more compelling videos.
This flexibility is what you don't get with single-body cameras such as the point-and-shoot Samsung's Gear 360. The other nice part of the SP360, you can always start with the $500 single-camera Premier Pack, which comes with a bunch of mounting accessories, and then add another SP360 4K for $450 if you decide you want to make spherical videos. Again, if you want a simpler -- and possibly cheaper -- camera for spherical video you'll want to look elsewhere, but if you want the potential to do more, consider the SP360 4K.or mountable models like
The Premier Pack's accessories are geared more for action cam-type uses including suction cup, handle bar/pole and helmet mounts. The Dual Pro Pack, on the other hand, will set you up for more stationary use with its selfie stick that can be mounted on a tripod as well as the suction cup mount and a mount to hold the kit's two cameras back to back.
This dual-camera mount is, unfortunately, a pain to use. It firmly holds the cameras, but to attach or remove them from the mount you'll need a screwdriver or a coin because I guess thumbscrews would've been too easy. The main issue is you need to remove the cameras to charge them or swap their batteries, connect them to a computer, or access their microSD card slots.
You can modify the included mount or pick up this 3D printed one to make the ports and card slots accessible. Also, since the cameras have standard 1/4-20 tripod mounts, you can create your own for your particular application. The cameras can actually be spaced pretty far apart because of how wide its lens is. So wide, in fact, Kodak was able to create a mount for 3DR's Solo drone that puts a camera on the top and bottom. (You can check out a video playlist using the mount on YouTube.)