360Fly 4K Review
The 360Fly 4K is a unique 360 camera in that it is waterproof and dust proof. The lack of expandable memory is a shame and there are a few issues with video quality, but an overall great 360 camera.
A second generation waterproof and dust proof 4K 360 camera.
The 360Fly 4K is a 360 action cam that can shoot at high speed and produce excellent good quality videos and photos. Aficionados will recognize it as Fly’s second attempt at a camera of this style; the first had a limited resolution but they have learned from their mistakes and have released this much improved 4K version.
This camera is bluetooth and wi-fi compatible (which allows you to connect to their app, one of this cameras most positive features that we will touch upon later). They have changed the speaker, while still making the camera dust proof, shock resistant and waterproof up to 1 ATM. The power button is both beautiful and easy to see in bright conditions, and unlike the last one, the mounting point is universal. Overall this camera offers excellent ease of use and impressive quality for an acceptable price point.
Resolution – 2880 x 2880 @ 30FPS Max
Video recording rate – 50 Mbps
Audio format – Stereo AAC 48KHz 96Kbps
Built in storage – 64gb
Field of view – 240°
Minimum focal distance – 30cm
Weight – 172g
Water resistant – 1 ATM (33 feet)
Shock resistant – 1.5 meters
Battery life – 1.5 hours recording, up to 14 hours standby
Full charge time – 2.5 hours
Operating temperature – 40° to -20° C
Gloriously minimalist, the first thing that came to mind when I laid my eyes on the 360 Fly 4K was “2001 A Space Odyssey”; appearing as a collection of triangles that form a sphere. The majority of the camera is taken up by one huge bulbous lens which is used to take the 360 media and has a few manual controls. Most of the control is done on the app in order to keep the camera minimalist in design. The materials are quite durable but the lens is still vulnerable to scratching.
Two LED lights indicate the power and connection status of the camera. Memory is internal and is quite large at 64GB, however these is no way to expand this memory and therefore no external SD card slot.
360 Video Quality
The 360Fly can shoot at a maximum of 4K resolution however you can select lower resolutions if you wish. While this is technically a 360 camera, the field of view is limited to 360 x 270 degrees due to the camera only using 1 lens. This means the camera captures everything apart from what is underneath it, however the benefit of this is that there is no stitching required, making the picture smoother and faster to process.
The picture quality of the 360Fly 4K is good but not perfect; it seems to suffer a drop in frame rate at 4K and there is a light blurriness. The lens has a minimum focal length of 30 cm which is decent for such a small camera but may result in the blurriness I just mentioned if objects are placed too close to the camera.
360 Image Quality
360 photos taken with the 360fly 4K are high quality thanks to a large resolution. It’s a shame about the missing 180 degrees below the camera but the image it does capture is clear and colorful. The quality easily matches up to other camera like the Gear 360 or LG 360 Cam.
The Fly doesn’t actually have a photo mode, but allows you to save and capture still images directly from your taken video, “cutting” them out and copying them into a separate file. Quality won’t be compromised as is sometimes the case when taking a dedicated still photo, but it does mean no spontaneous snapshots.
The folks down at Fly have come up with a pretty ingenious way to make their product waterproof up to one atmospheric pressure (which is about 14 pounds per square inch, or 33 feet of depth) while still being able to record sound. The drawback is that the quality of the sound is a little bit muffled. But considering that most people use external audio or a music track as the background of their videos, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
The Fly has a host of interesting features packed into its 61mm sphere. It has a built in accelerometer and telemetry. An E-compass so you can orient your shots if need be, and non assisted GPS, this means the camera receives its GPS signal direct from the satellite (as opposed to a series of cell towers like your phone). The location is slightly less exact but still more than suitable for its intended use and a cool feature to have.
The best and most defining feature of the camera though is its native app. Allowing you to connect, view, edit and upload your videos directly to your phone, and from there on to any platform you desire. With a very user friendly design It gives you a live view of what you’re taking a video of and the ability to have up to the minute control over the settings and picture quality. That means no disappointments when you get home, and considering the price point this is a huge positive. Sharing to Facebook and YouTube can be done instantly via the app.
Dust Proof and Water Proof
To cement its action cam credentials, the 360Fly 4K has been made both dust proof and waterproof to a depth of 33m. This is one of the only waterproof 360 camera around right now (with another being the newly released Keymission 360).
A second generation waterproof and dust proof 4K 360 camera.
- No stitching required.
- Excellent app for control and editing.
- 1.5 hour long battery life.
- Waterproof and durable.
- 4K video resolution.
- Its field of view is limited to 240°
- Muffled Audio
- Memory not expandable.
- 4K video can stutter slightly.
To sum it all up, the 360Fly 4K is a compact camera with good battery life at an acceptable price point. Though it is possible to get a camera with better video and audio quality, this camera offers good durability and water resistance, a universal mounting point and the ability to edit video as you go and to see what you’re taking, as you’re taking it. For these reasons the Fly works best as an action cam and there are only a few actions cams that can shoot 360 footage. Mount it to your helmet, car, vest or diving suit and amaze your friends with a view of the world not possible by people using other body mounted cameras.