GoPro, Pixpro, or Ricoh? Finding the best 360 camera
We now have the tools to record a 360 view of the world, but with so many options out there, it's hard to know what you need.
We're gonna break it down for you to help you decide which 360 camera is right for you.
Let's take a look at three different levels.
In the beginner category, we have the Ricoh Theta S. It's two lenses built into one piece, shoots in full HD, it's very portable and pretty much ready to use out of the box all for about $350.
Others in this category, Samsung's Gear 360 and the LG 360 can.
At the personal level, we have the Kodak Pixpro SP360 dual pack, 2 wide-angle cameras mounted back to back that shoots in 4K Higher resolution, but at a higher price, $900 for the whole setup.
Now if you really wanna spend some money, this DIY rig could be what you're looking for.
This Freedom360 cage holds six GoPro Hero4s, each shooting up to 4K.
The whole package will run you about $3,000.
Or just wait for GoPro's Omni which syncs all the cameras automatically and will set you back about $5000.
The beauty of the Theta, no assembly required.
All the components are built in including the battery and storage.
Choose between photo and video and just point and shoot with the capture button.
It stitches the 360 image on the fly so it's the only one that actually lets you preview your shot using the phone as your viewfinder.
With the PixPro you have two cameras, two batteries and two SD cards to worry about.
You can pair the cameras to start recording at once or press each capture button individually.
Make sure the object is facing one of the lenses head on, because you can't really see what you're shooting.
Now, multiply that by three for the GoPros, six cameras, six batteries, and six SD cars.
Our rig requires that you remember to press the Power and Record button on each one.
Also, with six cameras, you're really gonna have to pay attention to that stitch line.
Which is at that point, I would also all meet.
Unless you wanna end up with your body sliced in two.
And you won't notice until after the fact, cuz in the field there's no way of monitoring it.
To save all the work for you.
So just sync the videos on to your phone or upload your videos to a computer via USB.
And in UNO360 player You can share directly to Facebook right from the app and eventually even live stream.
You'll need your computer for the PixPro.
Download the free stitching software from Kodak for Mac or PC and import your videos from SD cards.
The program will sync the videos automatically using the audio as a base.
But the stitch is far from perfect and you don't have as much control over the edits.
The goPro also needs a computer but it uses advanced stitching software from a company called color.
The downside you have to sync each of the six clips manually.
The advantage You'll have way more control.
And the quality of the stitch will really depend on your color skills.
Let's take a look at our 360 video.
The Theta is good enough to share on social media and looks great on a phone screen with a near-perfect stitch.
But once you view it in headset mode, or on a larger screen, the lower resolution Solution really takes its toll and you can start to make out the pixels.
The Pixpro is a hugely forward in terms of picture quality.
It's the sharpest and most vibrant of the bunch when you're looking at it head-on.
But the image begins to deteriorate around the edges as you move through the space.
And you'll notice things magically disappear right around the stitch line The goPro footage looks muted in comparison with less contrast and color saturation, but the quality is consistent overall.
The image is generally in focus no matter what angle you're facing and the stitch can be refined manually if it's distorting the subjects.
No matter which one you're looking at, be ready to sacrifice quality when uploading to services like Facebook and YouTube360, which compress the files.
So make sure you're viewing at max quality during playback.
At the end of the day, it comes down to what you're willing to put up with, in terms of quality, convenience, and most importantly, price.
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