Best 360-degree camera

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119 contributors
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After considering 29 360-degree cameras, the Slant community recommends Ricoh Theta S for stills photography, Kodak SP360 4K for shooting video and LG 360 CAM for a budget pick. These recommendations are the result of thousands of contributions from the Slant community.
79
Slant Score

Best for stills photography

Ricoh Theta S

Ricoh Theta S is a pocket-sized camera that can take the highest quality stills in a straightforward way.

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
Optics
2 x 206° FOV f/2
Video
1920x1080 @ 30 fps
Stills
14.5MP
Spherical coverage
Yes
Release date
August 2015
Stills quality
Video quality
Durability
Ease of use

Highest quality stills

Theta S allows you to take detailed stills with accurate color reproduction. The camera's excellent noise reduction software, allows it to perform well even in low light situations.

Easiest camera to use

You turn the camera on and press the big button on the front of it to shoot. The camera will then take the footage, stitch it and send it to your smartphone ready to be shared. The learning curve is really gentle. The ease of use means you can focus on capturing great moments when they happen without the camera getting in the way.

Highly portable

It's about the same height, same thickness and half the width as an average smartphone with a case. You can slip it into your pants or shirt pocket and have it be with you at all times.

The video quality is lacking

Videos the camera produces tend to be very blurry. Footage loses a lot of detail - faces captured more than 10 feet away are indiscernible, text is hard to read and any subtle patterns mush together to form solid colors.

Easy to damage the lenses

The camera's lenses protrude from its body which makes them prone to scratches. The thin, tall shape of the camera also makes it easy to tip it over and damage the lenses. You have to be extra careful with the camera and always carry it in its protective sleeve.

Other things to note

It supports HD live streaming, interval photography, includes an HDR mode, has a built-in service for uploading videos and pictures, comes with a protective sleeve for carrying and storage, and allows previewing the camera's feed via a smartphone app. Plus, it's dustproof, splashproof and has a microphone for audio.

SamSamSam
October 28, 2016

The image quality (stills specifically, video not so much) is just great for what's currently available in terms of 360-degree cameras. While the results aren't comparable to top-end DLSRs and such, the software gets really great results, and in works well in many situations where most competitors flat-out fail. Plus, it looks sleek and it's small enough to carry around without it getting in the way.

76
Slant Score

Best for shooting video

Kodak SP360 4K

Kodak SP360 4K is a highly durable action camera with which you can capture the highest quality 360-degree videos for the price.

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
Optics
1 x 235° FOV f/2.8
Video
2880x2880 @ 30fps
Stills
12.4MP
Spherical coverage
No (360° x 235°)
Release date
2015-10-01T07:00:00.000Z
Stills quality
Video quality
Durability
Ease of use

Highest quality video

Within its price range, Kodak's camera captures the highest quality 360-degree video. Its footage preserves a lot more detail than any other 360-degree 4K camera under $500.

Highly durable

The camera is dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof up to 14°F/-10°C, shockproof up to 2 meters via a lens cover and waterproof via a case, making it an excellent outdoors camera that can withstand the elements.

Getting a completely spherical image requires 2 cameras

A single SP360 4K camera captures a 360 by 235 degree video. In order to get a completely spherical 360 by 360 degree video you need two cameras and a mount to stick them together. A bundle like that costs $799.99, which, while still a great value for money, requires a serious commitment to shooting spherical video.

Poor desktop software

The software that the camera comes with is a hodge-podge of clunky functionality with next to no guidance. You'll have to figure out how to import, unfold, calibrate and export your footage pretty much on your own and you will most likely run into file type issues and export issues that you'll need to resolve for yourself as well. It's not a pleasant process.

Other things to note

It's the only highly recommended camera with electronic image stabilization, 4 microphones, high framerate video support, and motion-detection mode. Plus, it offers a good range of mounts.

Annerry
October 28, 2016

While this camera is comparatively expensive (and to make things worse you need two of them to capture completely spherical footage), if you're on the lookout for a serious 360-degree camera, this is it. The video quality of the SP360 4K for a camera in this price range is truly excellent. You can easily spend twice as much for the same result. And it's durable and well weather sealed. This is could be the first 360-degree camera under $500 (or spherical under $1000) that has passed the point of novelty of 360-degree video and produces footage usable in production... I mean, it's still early days for the category as a whole, but it's starting to become real.

72
Slant Score

Best budget option

LG 360 CAM

LG 360 CAM is a portable, easy to use 360-degree camera with specs that can rival cameras twice as expensive. It's a great camera to get a feel for the 360-degree experience in an affordable way.

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
Optics
2 x 206° FOV f/1.8
Video
2560x1280 @ 30fps
Stills
16MP
Spherical coverage
Yes
Release date
April 2016
Stills quality
Video quality
Durability
Ease of use

Great bang for the buck

At $139.99, this camera offers amazing specs for the price. The 2K resolution, especially, is something you would expect on a camera twice as expensive.

Easy to use

To take a photo, you power the camera on and press the shutter button on the front. The camera will stitch the photo and send it to your smartphone from which you'll be able to share it with others.

Highly portable

It's a camera you can carry with you with the same ease you carry a smartphone. It's about the same height, half the width and slightly bulkier than an average smartphone with a case. You can slip it into your pants or shirt pocket and have it be with you at all times.

Mediocre image quality

While it's a rather high resolution camera for its price, both the image and the video quality are subpar. The footage produced is very soft for a high resolution camera. Everything is blurry to some degree, which worsens near the seams. There's also significant artifacting throughout and very noticeable stitching.

Easy to damage the lenses

Like the Theta S, the camera's lenses protrude from its body which makes them prone to scratches. It also has a thin, tall shape making it easy to tip over and damage the lenses. You need to take extra care with the camera and remember to carry it in its protective case.

Other things to note

The camera has expandable storage, real-time live preview via a smartphone app, and comes with a protective lens cover for carrying and storage.

JonathanJamesDoe
October 28, 2016

Between the low price and being easily usable for all people, I personally believe this camera is one of the best first 360° Cam for everyone to know if this is something for you before u spend the big bucks for one of the top of the line 360 Camera's. These cameras aren't for everyone so I advise starting cheap before you invest in a large scale 360° Camera/Video Recorder IMO. I know many developers and YouTuber who invested in the large scale expensive versions and bow are stuck with a few thousand dollar item that they barely ever use. I personally get all new tech that I can since I like to be an early adopter of new tech that interests me in my personal Development Field but if u dont have the disposable income, or in the industry I believe this is your best bet. Now if you're a large scale dev or a YouTuber a cheap 360° is a good start but wont be up to par for the act of beginners. It introduces you to 360 camera world without spending $1000s of dollars on something you might not use as often as you originally thought. It's good enough for YouTubers, or even development of new tech and or trying to push the limits of 360° Video/Images this isn't the item for you. Hope my review helps good luck and enjoy..teams as long as you aren't after the most bleeding edge technology.

What others are saying

Here are some of the best reviews from around the web on 360-degree cameras.

How they compare

When picking the best 360-degree camera for you, the Slant community thinks you should consider the following criteria: Stills quality, Video quality, and Durability.
The best cameras preserve as much detail as possible in the widest variety of conditions. And unlike typical cameras, if you're capturing spherical footage, you need to make sure that the image is stitched together seamlessly.
Ricoh Theta S
    • The Theta S allows you to take detailed stills with accurate color reproduction. The camera's excellent noise reduction software allows it to perform well even in low light situations.
    Kodak SP360 4K
      • Shots taken in well-lit environments are sharp and have vibrant colors. However, the stills start to get a bit mushy when in low light conditions such as indoors or at night.
      LG 360 CAM
          • Only a small area in the center of each lens is properly in focus. Everything else is blurry to some degree with areas near the seams being especially poor.
        Stills quality Specs
        Ricoh Theta S
        Kodak SP360 4K
        LG 360 CAM
        Optics
        Count of lenses along with their field of view and relative aperture (f-number). A higher f-number creates a wider depth of field so more objects can be in focus at the same time.
        2 x 206° FOV f/2
        1 x 235° FOV f/2.8
        2 x 206° FOV f/1.8
        Ricoh Theta S
        2 x 206° FOV f/2
        Kodak SP360 4K
        1 x 235° FOV f/2.8
        LG 360 CAM
        2 x 206° FOV f/1.8
        Stills
        Resolution of still images after they've been stitched.
        14.5MP
        12.4MP
        16MP
        Ricoh Theta S
        14.5MP
        Kodak SP360 4K
        12.4MP
        LG 360 CAM
        16MP
        ISO Range
        The range of camera's sensitivity to light according to ISO standard. The higher the maximum ISO the less light is needed to capture an image, but higher ISO also makes the image more noisy.
        100 - 1600
        100 - 800
        50 - 2700
        Ricoh Theta S
        100 - 1600
        Kodak SP360 4K
        100 - 800
        LG 360 CAM
        50 - 2700
        Image stabilization
        Image stabilization helps avoid blurry and shaky footage caused by camera movement.
        No
        Yes
        No
        Ricoh Theta S
        No
        Kodak SP360 4K
        Yes
        LG 360 CAM
        No
        Video quality of current generation 360-degree cameras is not yet comparable to that of typical cameras. In most situations you're only looking at a segment of the 360-degree footage, so 360-degree cameras have to have significantly higher resolution sensors than typical cameras to achieve comparable results in that segment. Couple that with issues introduced by stitching and the overall video quality expectations for 360-degree cameras are significantly lower. With that said, a good camera should still give you enough detail to clearly tell apart one face from another 10 feet away from the camera.
        Kodak SP360 4K
          • Within its price range, Kodak's camera captures the highest quality 360-degree video. Its footage preserves a lot more detail than any other 360-degree 4K camera under $500.
          Ricoh Theta S
              • Videos the camera produces tend to be very blurry. Footage loses a lot of detail - faces captured more than 10 feet away are indiscernible, text is hard to read and any subtle patterns mush together to form solid colors.
            LG 360 CAM
                • While the camera can output a respectable 2560x1280 resolution video @ 30fps, the software processing is really poor. The footage comes out a lot softer than what you would expect from other cameras of equal resolution. Everything is blurry to some degree, which worsens near the seams. There's also significant artifacting throughout and very noticeable stitching.
              Video quality Specs
              Ricoh Theta S
              Kodak SP360 4K
              LG 360 CAM
              Optics
              Count of lenses along with their field of view and relative aperture (f-number). A higher f-number creates a wider depth of field so more objects can be in focus at the same time.
              2 x 206° FOV f/2
              1 x 235° FOV f/2.8
              2 x 206° FOV f/1.8
              Ricoh Theta S
              2 x 206° FOV f/2
              Kodak SP360 4K
              1 x 235° FOV f/2.8
              LG 360 CAM
              2 x 206° FOV f/1.8
              Video
              Resolution and framerate of video after it has been stitched.
              1920x1080 @ 30 fps
              2880x2880 @ 30fps
              2560x1280 @ 30fps
              Ricoh Theta S
              1920x1080 @ 30 fps
              Kodak SP360 4K
              2880x2880 @ 30fps
              LG 360 CAM
              2560x1280 @ 30fps
              ISO Range
              The range of camera's sensitivity to light according to ISO standard. The higher the maximum ISO the less light is needed to capture an image, but higher ISO also makes the image more noisy.
              100 - 1600
              100 - 800
              50 - 2700
              Ricoh Theta S
              100 - 1600
              Kodak SP360 4K
              100 - 800
              LG 360 CAM
              50 - 2700
              Image stabilization
              Image stabilization helps avoid blurry and shaky footage caused by camera movement.
              No
              Yes
              No
              Ricoh Theta S
              No
              Kodak SP360 4K
              Yes
              LG 360 CAM
              No
              HFR
              High frame rate support allows capturing footage at more than 30 frames per second. A HFR video played back at a regular framerate creates a smooth slow-motion effect.
              No
              1280 x 720 @ 120fps; 848 x 480 @ 240fps
              No
              Ricoh Theta S
              No
              Kodak SP360 4K
              1280 x 720 @ 120fps; 848 x 480 @ 240fps
              LG 360 CAM
              No
              How durable you need your camera depends on how you intend to use it. A good casual use camera should still be able to handle an occasional drop and a little rain, but only in certain situations will you need strong weatherproofing and shockproofing.
              Kodak SP360 4K
                • The camera is splashproof, waterproof via a case, shockproof up to 2m via a lens cover, freezeproof up to 14°F / -10°C and dustproof, making it an excellent outdoors camera that can withstand the elements.
                Ricoh Theta S
                    • The camera's lenses protrude from its body which makes them prone to scratches. The thin, tall shape of the camera also makes it easy to tip it over and damage the lenses. You have to be extra careful with the camera and always carry it in its protective sleeve.
                  LG 360 CAM
                      • The camera's lenses protrude from its body which makes them really easy to accidentally scratch. And because of the thin, tall shape of the camera, it's easy to tip it over and damage the lenses that way. So you have to be extra careful with the camera and always carry it in its protective case.
                    Durability Specs
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Splashproof
                    Whether the device is capable of withstanding light splashes of liquid.
                    Yes
                    Yes
                    Yes
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Yes
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    Yes
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Yes
                    Waterproof
                    Whether the device is impervious to water and to what extent.
                    No
                    via case
                    No
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    No
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    via case
                    LG 360 CAM
                    No
                    Freezeproof
                    Whether or not the device will stay operational below 0° C and how far below 0° C it will safely remain operational.
                    No
                    14°F / -10°C
                    No
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    No
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    14°F / -10°C
                    LG 360 CAM
                    No
                    Dustproof
                    Indicates whether the device is impervious to dust.
                    Yes
                    IPX6 equivalent
                    Yes
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Yes
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    IPX6 equivalent
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Yes
                    Shockproof
                    To what degree is the device shock absorbent. Expressed as the height from which it can be safely dropped.
                    No
                    Up to 2M (via lens cover)
                    No
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    No
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    Up to 2M (via lens cover)
                    LG 360 CAM
                    No
                    The whole process from shooting to sharing the final image should be as seamless as possible. Good cameras have straightforward ways of capturing footage, easy ways of adjusting camera settings, intuitive ways of processing the footage and super-simple approaches to getting the final result in the hands of other people.
                    Ricoh Theta S
                      • You turn the camera on and press the big button on the front of it to shoot. The camera will then take the footage, stitch it and send it to your smartphone ready to be shared. The learning curve is really gentle. The ease of use means you can focus on capturing great moments when they happen without the camera getting in the way.
                      • Capturing and editing is done via different apps, which only creates hassle for the user. This could have been avoided had there been only one app providing both functions.
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                      • For the most part all you have to do is choose a mode and press record. If you're looking to adjust settings, the camera has an LCD screen that allows you to access setting right on the camera. The interface is laid out reasonably. The camera can also be controlled remotely from the user's mobile device, allowing for added flexibility.
                      • The software that the camera comes with is a hodge-podge of clunky functionality with next to no guidance. You'll have to figure out how to import, unfold, calibrate and export your footage pretty much on your own and you will most likely run into file type issues and export issues that you'll need to resolve for yourself as well. It's not a pleasant process.
                    LG 360 CAM
                      • To take a photo, you simply power the camera on and press the shutter button on the front. The camera will stitch the photo and send it to your smartphone from which you'll be able to share it with others.
                      • Neither the mobile app, nor the desktop program that the camera comes with can edit the captured footage.
                    Other Specs
                    Specs
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Spherical coverage
                    Whether the camera has 360° x 360° coverage.
                    Yes
                    No (360° x 235°)
                    Yes
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Yes
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    No (360° x 235°)
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Yes
                    Release date
                    August 2015
                    2015-10-01T07:00:00.000Z
                    April 2016
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    August 2015
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    2015-10-01T07:00:00.000Z
                    LG 360 CAM
                    April 2016
                    Battery
                    Capacity and life of the battery.
                    ~260 photos w/ Wi-Fi and image transfer on
                    1250mAh. ~55min @ 4K60
                    1200mAh
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    ~260 photos w/ Wi-Fi and image transfer on
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    1250mAh. ~55min @ 4K60
                    LG 360 CAM
                    1200mAh
                    Microphones
                    Count and location of microphones.
                    1. At the top.
                    4. 2 front-facing, 2 on the side.
                    3
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    1. At the top.
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    4. 2 front-facing, 2 on the side.
                    LG 360 CAM
                    3
                    App compatibility
                    Supported operating systems for the companion app.
                    Android, iOS
                    Android, iOS
                    Android, iOS
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Android, iOS
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    Android, iOS
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Android, iOS
                    79
                    Slant Score
                    79
                    Slant Score
                    Best for stills photography
                    Ricoh Theta S
                    Available on Amazon
                    76
                    Slant Score
                    76
                    Slant Score
                    Best for shooting video
                    Kodak SP360 4K
                    Available on Amazon
                    72
                    Slant Score
                    72
                    Slant Score
                    Best budget option
                    LG 360 CAM
                    Available on Amazon
                    Community Discussion
                    Have a question about picking the the best 360-degree camera? Ask Greg Page, Jan Blomqvist Kinander and the 117 other Slant community enthusiasts that contributed to this guide.
                    What's the current overall state of 360-degree cameras?

                    Although 360 degree cameras are still very much a new and actively evolving product category where a lot of things still have to be figured out, the cameras have very recently reached a point where the price to image quality ratio is starting to become reasonable for the general consumer. It's still not quite ready for mass consumption - stitching is still easily noticeable and the image quality could be much better, but it's gotten to the point where the novelty of 360 video isn't being completely undercut by the poor image quality of previous generations.

                    SamSamSam's avatar
                    SamSamSam
                    Where can I show off my 360-degree videos?

                    The main platforms for 360-degree video currently are Youtube and Facebook though there are some other competitors like Video and Littlstar emerging that focus specifically on 360-degree video.

                    SamSamSam's avatar
                    SamSamSam
                    Can the consumer-level 360-degree cameras be used for VR?

                    While technically, yes, any 360-degree camera can be used to create a VR experience, the experience won't be great with consumer-level equipment. VR requires a constant 90Hz framerate for the experience to be immersive and a very (!) high-resolution image to show enough detail for the image to not look blurry. At the moment there aren't any consumer-level cameras capable of producing such output.

                    Barret Piers's avatar
                    Barret Piers
                    What is stitching exactly?

                    Stitching is the process of combining images together.

                    Imagine you need to capture completely spherical video. You can't do that with just one lens. There doesn't exist a lens that can capture 360 by 360 footage. So you get 2 lenses pointing at opposite directions and then you have to combine their footage together to get the spherical end result. That process of combining footage is called stitching. Hope that helps. :)

                    128bpm's avatar
                    128bpm
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