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​Yi's 360 VR camera should worry the competition

The compact dual-lens camera is loaded with top-end features for capturing and streaming spherical video, but it's not priced that way.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read

The compact 360 VR camera can capture spherical video at up to 5.7K resolution at 30fps.

Yi Technology

The Yi 360 VR camera is yet another example of what the imaging company does best: deliver big specs and features at a very competitive price. The all-in-one spherical camera aimed at consumers was announced today at the NAB show in Las Vegas alongside the Yi Halo, a 17-camera VR rig optimized for Google Jump for filmmakers.

Scheduled to arrive in June at a price of $399 (approximately £315 or AU$530), the 360 VR camera might not be the most creatively named, but its specs and features are beyond others competing in the space, such as Samsung, Ricoh and Nikon.

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Boasting a pair of 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel Sony image sensors behind 220-degree f2.0 lenses, the camera can capture 360-degree video up to a resolution of 5.7K (5,760x2,880 pixels) at 30fps. At that resolution you'll have to handle the stitching yourself, but if 4K at 30fps will suffice, the camera can handle the stitching internally with its Ambarella H2V95 processor. And Yi claims it can record at 4K for up to 75 minutes.

On top of that, it can live-stream video to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter/Periscope at up to 2.5K resolution via its dual-band wireless. It can also wirelessly connect to a mobile device so you can control the camera and preview and review your videos and photos.

The camera measures 102 by 53.2 by 29.6 mm (about 4 by 2.1 by 1.2 inches) and weighs 6 ounces (170 g), so it's compact enough to stick in a pocket or mount like an action cam (there's a tripod mount on the bottom).

More details are available on Yi's site, where you can also preorder it.