People have been making 360-degree images for years, but recently a new breed of ‘360 cameras’ have hit the market promising to end the multiple exposures and hours of stitching frames together in Photoshop.
Such is their convenience, the 360 cameras even remove the need to sweep your camera across a scene, which camera phones introduced as the last great innovation in this niche of photography several years ago. The best 360 cameras even stitch your scenes internally within the camera.
With a dedicated 360 camera you can simply press the shutter button and, depending on the make and model you have, the camera will record your 360 scene with a single fisheye lens or two lens situated back to back.
We had a look at some of the best 360 cameras on the market to find out what they offer for photographers seeking a wider view of the world.
Which 360 cameras shoot 4K?
This is a question we often get on Facebook but, to be honest, most do these days. The better question is which 360 cameras don’t. The Ricoh Theta SC and Ricoh Theta S were probably the last 360 cameras we reviewed that didn’t shoot 4K.
All the cameras on our list of the best 360 cameras shoot 4K, if not higher. The GoPro Max captures 5.7K resolution footage, for instance. But it’s worth remembering that 4K from a tiny sensor like those in 360 cameras isn’t like 4K footage from, say, the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic GH5 or GH5S, or a full-frame Nikon Z6.
Which 360 cameras shoot 5.7K?
Now this is a better question! We already cited the GoPro Max, and 360 camera manufacturers have been ramping up the pixel war. Currently there are four options that offer 5.7K video resolution: the Insta360 ONE X, the HumanEyes Vuze XR, the Garmin Virb 360 and the YI 360 VR.
If you twisted our arm and asked us to pick the best-looking video footage of those three, we’d hand you our Vuze, Garmin and YI cameras and ask you to let our arm go, then run off with the Max and Insta360 ONE X. The others are good cameras, but these two are a more complete package. One could even argue that the ONE X borders on being a professional-level option.