Top 10 Best 360 Cameras Of 2019

360° cameras are different from other cameras, so it’s worth explaining what they do and what this means. The key is to imagine a scene that is not in a flat rectangle but on the inside of a sphere. You can view a 360-degree view from this sphere by moving your smart device or a window in your web browser to look around. There is only one thing. The Best 360 Cameras sound like they have good resolution for photos and videos, but it is spread over the inside of a sphere. When you view and edit smaller parts of it, that resolution does not go far.

In general, there are two types of consumer 360° cameras: spherical action cameras designed to survive dangerous adventures, and lifestyle cameras that are cheaper, smaller and often easier to use. Our buying guide has four of each type to help you decide what is best for you. Let’s have a look at them in our comparison table and then we’ll discuss them.

Best 360 Cameras Comparison Table

360 Cameras
Camera NameStills ResolutionVideo Resolution
Insta360 ONE X16.0 MP5.7K
Garmin VIRB 36015.0 MP5.7K
Ricoh Theta V14.0 MP4K
GoPro Fusion18.0 MP5.2K
Insta360 One24.0 MP4K
Samsung Gear 36015.0 MP4K
Nikon KeyMission 36024.0 MP4K
Kodak PixPro Orbit36020.68 MP4K

Here are the Top 10 Best 360 Cameras

Insta360 ONE X

This amazing new camera makes 360 imaging so easy!

  • Weight: 115g
  • Dimensions: 115 x 48 x 28mm
  • Waterproof: Optional housing
  • Stills resolution: 18MP
  • Video resolution: 5.7K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mount: Tripod socket
  • Battery life: 60mins

We found the Insta360 One, which is a little bit further in our list, but the new Insta360 ONE X is a completely different product. Or read ‘great’ for ‘different’. It has the attractive slim shape of the Ricoh Theta V, the 5.7K ‘over capture’ of the Garmin Virb and an app that offers advanced video editing and subject tracking on your smartphone. Insta360 makes a great game about the 6-axis gyro system and the ‘FlowState’ stabilization of the camera, and it is just as good as they say – we have the strange ‘shimmer’ in photography in low light indoors, but pretty light it is just as smooth as you want, and the playback remains the same, but you aim the camera at an angle. In fact, if you have the optional “invisible” selfie stick, it is hidden in the recorded footage and it appears that you are a spectator in your videos and photos and do not hold the camera at all. The Insta360 ONE X feels like a huge step forward in simplicity, usability, and quality for the best 360 cameras.

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Pros:

  • Slim enough for a shirt pocket
  • Excellent stills and video quality
  • Amazing stabilization

Cons:

  • 60-minute battery life

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Garmin VIRB 360

The VIRB 360 has everything: ruggedness, quality, and features

  • Weight: 160g
  • Dimensions: 39.0 x 59.3 x 69.8mm
  • Waterproof: 10m
  • Stills resolution: 15MP
  • Video resolution: 5.7K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mount: Various, via supplied cradles
  • Battery life: 65mins

The VIRB 360 is a rugged action camera that is watertight to a depth of 10 m and comes with clip-on slides for both a normal tripod mount and a GoPro mount. You can operate it as a stand-alone camera via a small mono display and three multi-function buttons, or you can control it via the VIRB app. The still images of the VIRB show average sharpness, but with very little color fringe and well-mixed seams where the two hemispherical images are sewn.

The 5.7K recording should yield better results, but you need a computer for that. In-app stitching is limited to 4K, but the app’s HyperFrame Director provides simple but efficient tools for adding smooth camera shake and angle changes to create separate, standalone movies for storage and sharing. The built-in GPS and G-Metrix sensors also provide data overlays for extreme sports fans who want their viewers to see this extra data. If you like adventure, this is one of the best 360 cameras for you.

Pros:

  • Waterproof to 10m
  • Hyperframe Director editing

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to others
  • Full 5.7K stitching needs a computer

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Ricoh Theta V

The classy lifestyle alternative if you don’t need action cam toughness

  • Weight: 121g
  • Dimensions: 45.2 x 130.6 x 22.9mm
  • Waterproof: No
  • Stills resolution: 14MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Memory: 19GB internal
  • Mount: Tripod
  • Battery life: 80mins

The Theta V is immediately sympathetic. The long, slender shape is perfect to hold in one hand without obscuring one of the two lenses and you have easy access to the controls. These are very simple and you do not need the smartphone app to start shooting. You set the Theta V to the photo or video mode and press the shutter button to capture the image – and that is all you need to know. The smartphone app is equally simple.

You can browse through images on the camera and have been transferred to the app, and just tap a file on the camera to view it, initiate the transfer and delete the image from the camera’s memory – and because it’s fixed at 19 GB, is that probably as good. The app has simple but effective VR display options and there is a separate Theta + app for editing your images. The quality of the still image is very good and the video is not bad either, although there is a strong purple edge where the two half spheres blend. It is certainly one of the best 360 cameras but is now upstaged by the Insta360 ONE X.

Pros:

  • Beautiful design and simple controls
  • Easy viewing and editing apps

Cons:

  • Fixed 19GB internal memory
  • Not a rugged action cam

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GoPro Fusion

Powerful, tough and smart, but the dual card slots can be annoying

  • Weight: 220g
  • Dimensions: 74 x 75 x 40mm
  • Waterproof: 5m
  • Stills resolution: 18MP
  • Video resolution: 5.2K
  • Memory: 2x MicroSD
  • Mount: GoPro
  • Battery life: Not quoted

The GoPro Fusion is slimmer than the Garmin VIRB 360 and Nikon KeyMission 360 and, just like the other two cam rivals, is waterproof, but only up to a depth of 5 meters. With a maximum video resolution of 5.2 K, the Fusion uses a function called OverCapture to extract normal “flat” Full HD movies from the spherical images. The additional resolution can be used by the corresponding smartphone app or by the free downloadable GoPro Fusion Studio software.

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The QuickCapture button starts recording at the touch of a button even when the camera is turned off, and there is a photo button that does the same. You can also use voice commands to start and stop recordings and add marker labels to find key moments later. Like other 360° cameras, the Fusion is actually two cameras, from back to back. Strangely enough, however, this requires two matching microSD cards, which makes transferring images to a computer later more difficult. Overall, this is one of the best 360 cameras to buy right now.

Pros:

  • Simple control over a slim body
  • Reliable app and connectivity

Cons:

  • Twin card media storage
  • Not the toughest action cam

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Insta360 One

It’s iPhone-specific, but the Insta360 One is neat, easy and effective

  • Weight: 82g
  • Dimensions: 96 x 36.5 x 25mm
  • Waterproof: No
  • Stills resolution: 24MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mount: Tripod, Lightning port
  • Battery life: 70mins

The Insta360 One is designed exclusively for use with an iPhone (or iPad). It has a fold-out Lightning connector that can be plugged directly into the Lightning socket on the iPhone and can also be attached to the phone. It feels reasonably safe, but it would feel even better if there was an extra attachment point. But this direct connection offers fast, reliable and trouble-free communication. The corresponding app is automatically started and immediately provides a lower-free live view of what the camera sees.

If you use the camera independently, you can use the single power button to capture still images or video or start the camera remotely via Bluetooth. There is no Wi-Fi, so there is no live view and your iPhone simply functions as an external version. The image quality is great, and the editing tools in the app are second to none in rendering “flat” video from your 360 photos, with pan-and-zoom real-time viewfinder mode, a SmartTrack mode for tracking moving subjects, and a pivot point to create smooth panning movements. It is not as good as the newer Insta360 ONE X, but still is one of the best 360 cameras.

Pros:

  • Image quality and editing tools
  • Fuss-free wired connection

Cons:

  • iPhone/iPad specific
  • Mounting not fully secure

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Samsung Gear 360

It’s cheap and it’s cute and the Gear 360’s images are decent too

  • Weight: 130g
  • Dimensions: 100.6 x 46.3 x 45.1mm
  • Waterproof: No
  • Stills resolution: 15MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mount: Tripod
  • Battery life: 130min

The Gear 360 is just as attractive as the Ricoh Theta V, but in a different way. The rounded shape gives it the cute look of a toy robot and is ideal for shooting from the hand, although there is also a tripod connection in the base. Just like the Ricoh Theta, it is very easy to use and this time you are helped by a small LCD screen to navigate through the camera modes, including video, photo, time-lapse, video loops and Landscape HDR.

It is cheap enough in the UK, but in the USA the 2017 Gear 360 is an absolute example, and the accompanying smartphone app is easy to use and offers a good number of viewing options. Still, images look somewhat soft, but the 360 video quality is not bad. We had to restart our Wi-Fi connection via the camera to an iPhone a few times, but connectivity problems are rarely far away with 360 and action cameras and smartphones. The Gear 360 is cute, simple and cheap, and is one of the best 360 cameras on the market.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent value for money

Cons:

  • Some iPhone connectivity issues
  • Images not as sharp as others

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Nikon KeyMission 360

Nearly a great product, but let down by its SnapBridge system

  • Weight: 198g
  • Dimensions: 65.7 x 60.6 x 61.1mm
  • Waterproof: 30m
  • Stills resolution: 24MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mount: Supplied mount base
  • Battery life: 230 shots

It does not take long to find the weak spot of the KeyMission 360; it is severely disappointed by the SnapBridge 360/170 app and the unreliable Wi-Fi connection. In our hands, the WiFi connection deteriorated after only a few seconds or a few inputs of the app, making any attempt to remote control both frustrating and meaningless. This is all a big shame because the KeyMission 360 is a very attractive, well-made and substantial camera that really feels like it means business. It does not offer the 5.7K ‘overcapture’ of the Garmin VIRB 360 or GoPro Fusion, which is limited to 4K spherical video but does have 24 MP photos.

In addition, it is shock-resistant up to a height of 2 meters, waterproof to a depth of 30 meters, and both frost-resistant and dust-proof. The KeyMission 360 can still be used as a standalone 360 camera, with photos and video later transferred to a computer for sewing and editing with the KeyMission 360/170 Utility software from Nikon. This is a simple editor that does not offer the same tracking or panning tools as other 360 editing software, but it is a start. And overall, this is one of the best 360 cameras right now.

Pros:

  • Robust body
  • 24MP stills

Cons:

  • SnapBridge very unreliable
  • No on-camera display

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Kodak PixPro Orbit360

This dual-lens PixPro shoots in three different modes

  • Weight: 156g
  • Dimensions: 55.0 x 55.0 x 67.6mm
  • Protection: Splashproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof
  • Stills resolution: 20.68MP
  • Video resolution: 4K
  • Memory: MicroSD
  • Mounts: Optional packs
  • Battery life: 160 shots

The main fame of the PixPro Orbit360 (the 4KVR360 is called in the United Kingdom and Europe) is the choice of three display modes. Interestingly, it uses asymmetrical lenses to provide a wide-angle action comb display, an even wider ‘dome’ view, and a sewn 360-degree spherical view. Kodak makes three different 360° cameras, but the other two – the PixPro SP360 and PixPro SP360 4K are cameras with one lens to be used in pairs and the results need to be constructed to get a full, spherical image. The Orbit 360 4K looks cool and is easy to use, but while the horizontal resolution matches the 4K standard (3840 pixels), the vertical resolution is only 1920 pixels, so the Kodak is used to many of its more recent rivals. The results are average, so it is a good buy at a reduced price, but otherwise not so attractive.

Pros:

  • Spherical, Wide and Dome modes
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Resolution not great
  • Expensive for what it does

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Conclusion

Forget the 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9 camera layouts and embrace the world as it is – a 360-degree landscape where anything can happen, anywhere. That is the selling point for a new type of 360-degree cameras that usually place two fisheye lenses behind each other in different versions to let you capture the world in a completely new way. Our list of Best 360 Cameras will help you to buy the best 360-degree cameras for you.

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