Ricoh Theta V 360 360-Degree Camera
The Ricoh Theta V 360 has the same sleek design and intuitive controls as its predecessors, coupled with excellent image and audio quality. It delivers an excellent balance between pricing and available features.
Samsung Gear 360 360-Degree Camera
Samsung's second-generation Gear 360 is easy to use, and it works with both iPhone and Android smartphones. If you're looking for a sub-$200 option, this is the one to get.
GoPro Fusion 360-Degree Camera
The GoPro Fusion has great image quality, an excellent set of available features, and a rugged body that's made for adventures. It's definitely pricey, but it's also one of the best of its kind.
Insta 360 Nano S 360-Degree Camera
The Insta 360 Nano S 360-degree camera is an excellent option for iPhone users who like to instantly share the content they capture. The gadget has excellent image and video quality, and it's incredibly easy to use.
Insta360 Air 360-Degree Camera
The Insta360 is a solid option for Android smartphone users. It's lightweight, easy to store when not in use, and really affordably priced. It can also double as a webcam when connected to a compatible laptop.
There are two distinct types of consumer-friendly 360-degree cameras: single-lens and dual-lens offerings. Single-lens cameras typically capture content with better quality, while dual-lens offerings help you capture more from your surroundings.
Dual-lens 360-degree cameras "stitch" the content from their two sensors into a single spherical video. The same applies for the still spherical image they capture.
Most high-quality 360-degrees cameras today can capture video with 4K resolution and above. The term 4K refers to the horizontal resolution of the video (typically it's 3,840 pixels or slightly above in some cases). The GoPro Fusion and the Garmin Virb 360 can capture 5.2K and 5.7K video respectively that's even sharper.
All cameras have the ability to connect to your smartphone for easy editing and sharing of the content you've captured. Most new offerings can also stream live 360-degree video to Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
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1. Check Price—
Pro: Easy to use, great image and video quality
Con: Lacks expandable memory, not waterproof
The sleek Ricoh Theta V 360 camera is powered by a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. It can capture crisp 360-degree video with a resolution of 3,840 by 1,920 pixels, as well as 14 MP still images.
Unlike most of its competitors, the Theta V can also capture high-quality audio via a quartet of built-in microphones. There's even an option to connect an external microphone to the gadget.
Like all Ricoh offerings, the Theta V has an intuitive one-button operation. You can transfer the content to a paired smartphone (via an app), or play it remotely to an Amazon Fire TV. The camera has 19 GB of built-in flash memory for storing videos.
2. Samsung Gear 360 Camera — Check Price
Best Budget Buy
Pro: Cool design, waterproof build, easy to use, good image and video quality
Con: Some of the coolest features are exclusive to Samsung phones
The second-generation Samsung Gear 360 camera is our favorite affordable option for capturing all of your surroundings. With a duo of high-quality image sensors sitting behind 180-degree lenses with f/2.2 aperture, Samsung's offering can capture 4K video with great quality, as well as 15 MP still images.
When connected to a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, the Gear 360 can stream 2K video live on Facebook, as well as on a Gear VR virtual reality headset via the tech giant's own Samsung VR app. The camera has a microSD card for expandable storage, and you can pair it to a phone via an app.
The Samsung Gear 360 is IP53 water- and dust-resistant. It's compatible with iPhone and Android devices, though some of the above-mentioned camera features are exclusive to Samsung phones.
3. Check Price—
Pro: Great image and video quality, rugged and waterproof, voice controls, a great selection of mounts
The GoPro Fusion has excellent image and video quality, as well as a ton of available features, all tucked into a sleek and rugged body. As expected from a GoPro, the Fusion is also waterproof (up to 5 meters without a housing) and intuitive to use.
The Fusion can record sharp 5.2K (5,228 x 2,624 pixels) spherical video at 30 frames per second, or 3K footage at a smoother 60 frames-per-second via two high-quality image sensors with wide-angle lenses.
GoPro's advanced digital image stabilization ensures that your content will remain smooth at all times. The camera has a quartet of built-in microphones for capturing high-quality audio during your adventures, too.
Still photographers can capture 18 MP still images, including in RAW format. The Fusion supports burst shots at 30 frames per second, and it has a dedicated mode for capturing night photos.
Other notable features of the GoPro Fusion include built-in GPS, as well as handy voice controls. You can transfer, edit, and share your Fusion videos with your smartphone via an excellent GoPro mobile app. GoPro also offers a desktop suite, which is better suited for more advanced edits of your content.
GoPro has bundled the Fusion with a grip, two mounts, and a carrying case. It supports GoPro's superb ecosystem of available mounts. For optimal performance, the camera requires a high-quality microSD.
4. Check Price—
Best for iPhone Users
Pro: As easy to use as attaching it to your phone
Con: It uses a microUSB connector for charging
The Insta360 Nano S 360-degree camera is the best option for iPhone users looking to capture their surroundings. Compatible with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and up, the camera has been designed to utilize their Lightning connector.
The gadget can capture 4K video at 30 fps via a duo of Sony-made sensors, sitting behind fisheye lenses with bright f/2.2 aperture and advanced image stabilization tech. The latter utilizes the iPhone's built-in sensor. You can also capture 20 MP still images, including in RAW format for advanced editing.
You can stream live on popular social media platforms with the Insta360 Nano S. You can also edit and share your photos and videos as soon as you capture them via a sleek mobile app.
The accessory has a built-in microSD card slot for expandable storage. It has a built-in battery, which can last up to an hour between charges. We only wish the Nano S used a Lightning port to charge its battery instead of microUSB.
5. Check Price—
Best for Android Users
Pro: Affordable price, easy to use, can double as a web camera
Con: Image and video quality aren't the best out there
The affordable Insta360 Air camera has been designed to work with Android smartphones via a USB-C connection. Lightweight and compact, the device can capture 2K video via a duo of sensors with 210-degree fish-eye lenses.
There's also the option to capture 360-degree photos with 3K resolution. A dedicated virtual reality capture mode is also available. All the content captured by the device is easily shareable on Facebook, YouTube, and other major platforms.
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Want other options? These cameras are worthy of your consideration, too.
6. Check Price—
Best Versatile Option
Pro: Incredibly versatile, good image quality, great battery life
Con: Only available with a Lightning connector
The Insta360 ONE 360-degree camera is one of the most versatile options worth your attention. It can capture content on its own, or when attached to an iPhone via a retractable Lightning connector.
The camera's duo of image sensors allows it to capture excellent 4K video, as well as 24 MP still images. Slow-motion video capture is also available. Other key features of the device include a sophisticated six-axis image stabilization and clever subject tracking capabilities.
The Insta360 ONE has a microSD card slot for expandable memory. It can capture up to 70 minutes of video on a battery charge. You can transfer videos to your phone and edit them via a free app.
7. Check Price—
Best Single-Lens Option
Pro: Good image and video quality with no stitching, waterproof body, easy to use
Con: Lacks expandable memory
The 360fly 4K camera captures crisp 360-degree footage with a resolution of 2,880 by 2,880 pixels. Because it sports a single 240-degree fish-eye lens, the 360fly 4K doesn't require any content stitching.
The gadget comes with 64 GB of built-in memory, as well as a built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, and GPS antenna, all tucked into a water-resistant and shockproof body. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Users can control the camera via a smartphone app, too.
8. Check Price—
Pro: Easy to use, well priced, colorful design
Con: There are options with better image quality
The Theta SC by Ricoh is a well-priced 360-degree camera that can capture 1080p video, as well as 14 MP spherical images. An intuitive smartphone app controls the Theta SC, and it allows users to transfer content from the camera directly to their smartphone.
Compared to the Theta V, the Theta SC captures lower-resolution clips and inferior audio. With 8 GB of flash memory on board, it also has less storage. There are several colors to choose from for this one as well, including blue, white, salmon, and sand.
9. Garmin Virb 360 Rugged Camera — Check Price
Best for Rugged, Waterproof Body
Pro: Great image and video quality, incredibly rugged and waterproof, voice controls, a great set of sensors
The Garmin Virb 360 camera is handily the most rugged offering on this list. Shockproof and water-resistant to 10 meters, the dual-sensor gadget can capture stitched 4K video at 30 frames per second, unprocessed content with even higher 5.7K resolution, and 15 MP still images. Live-streaming capabilities are also available.
Like the Ricoh Theta V, the Virb 360 can record 360-degree audio via a quartet of microphones. You can control the device with your voice, or via the intuitively placed buttons.
In a manner befitting a rugged camera, the Virb 360 packs a plethora of sensors. They include a barometer, an accelerometer, a compass, and a GPS chip, among others. The coolest bit about having them on board is the ability to overlay their data in your videos, making them even more engaging.
Garmin has bundled the Virb 360 with a tripod that also doubles as a grip. The camera will store your content on a microSD card.