Best 360 Action Cameras of 2018

Looking to take your action videos to the next level? With the unstoppable rise of VR and 360 video (you’ve seen them all over Facebook, right?) now is the time to start shooting with a 360 camera. In the past few years the number of cameras that can shoot in 360 has exploded and better yet, there are now more than a few that are designed specifically to be 360 action cameras. 360 cameras are not only able to capture the entire envirnment around you, but some are able to create completely stable footage without a gimbal.

What does a 360 action camera look like?

Everyone knows what a GoPro and its many clones looks like; small, light, robust – but what about a 360 action camera? You’ll be pleased to know that all of the 360 action cameras out right now are equally small and light, with tripod mounts and various accessories. One huge different is that you’ll find 2 large lenses on a 360 action cam instead of just one. Protection from the elements and impacts vary depending on the model you choose and what you intend to do with it, but there is something for everyone and for all budgets.

 

The Best 360 Action Cameras of 2018

Without further delay, let me take you through your options when hunting for a 360 action cam. I’ve tried to cover all of the bases and be as varied as possible; there are cheaper options and more expensive ones ones too, but obviously the pricier devices will offer the best quality video and more impressive action cam credentials. My minimum criteria for including a camera on this list is as follows: must shoot 360 video, must have some type of water and shock resistance and must have a standard tripod mount.

 

1. Garmin VIRB 360 – The best 360 action camera of 2018

The VIRB 360 is without doubt the best 360 action camera out right now, but it’s also the most expensive. Created by action camera makers Garmin, the VIRB 360 is one of the most recently released 360 cameras and comes packed with the latest features. The VIRB is waterproof to 10m, shock and dust proof and comes with two mounts, one of with is compatible with GoPro accessories.

Specs

Features Garmin VIRB 360
Video Resolution 5.7K @ 30fps
Photo Resolution 15 Megapixels
Number of Lenses 2
360 Live Stream  1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps (Apple Only)
Waterproof Yes, up to 10m
Shockproof Yes
Memory MicroSD up to 128GB (officially, also accepts 258GB)
Battery 1 Hour continuous video on full charge
Compatibility Android and Apple smartphones
Price $800/£660
Other Features Stabilization software, data overlay and augmented reality, Gyroscope, Accelrometer, 360 Audio
Where to Buy Amazon

Video

The VIRB 360 ($799) can shoot at an incredibly impressive 5.7K, which is among the highest resolution of any 360 camera under $1000. The video is sharp, clear and looks great on a headset of on social media. You can also shoot at 4K which is a bit easier to deal with, and even at this lower resolution video looks great.

Sensors 

What makes this the best 360 action camera is the huge number of sensors packed into its small chassis, and how the camera uses them to create augmented overlays on your video. The VIRB comes fitted with a Gyroscope, Accelrometer, Barometer, GPS, WiFI, Bluetooth and a Compass. The VIRB can combine data from all of these senors to create what it calls G-Metrix overlays. Take a look at the video below for what these overlays looks like.

This is just one of many options available for displaying data on your videos and its all done using a really easy to use app or desktop software.

As well as augmented reality, the VIRB has excellent stabilization software which should keep your video looking relatively smooth.

The VIRB has some issues with software, the app sometimes struggled to connect to the camera and live stream quality is poor, but these should not stop you getting the VIRB if you plan to use it as an action cam. Overall no over 360 camera has the specs to beat the VIRB, but you do pay a hefty $800 price for this privilege

Read my VIRB 360 Review 

 

2. Rylo

The Rylo is one of the most innovative cameras I’ve seen in a while. What makes it such a good action camera is that shoot perfectly smooth video even if its moving. Attach the Rylo to a bike or even a motorcycle and you’ll be able to record full 360 video that lacks any vibration and shaking. Not only can you record 360 video, but you can manipulate that video to create cinematic flat video. Take a look at the examples below.

Specs

Feature Rylo
Number of Lenses 2 x f/2.8
Video Resolution 4K @ 30fps
Photo Resolution 6K Panoramas
360 Live-Stream No
Stabilization Built in stabilization and horizon correction
Waterproof Unknown (underwater video footage suggests yes)
Shockproof No
Memory Micro SD up to 256GB
Battery 830 mAh (up to 60 minutes)
Sensors Unknown
Audio Unknown
Compatibility iOS at release, android coming 2018
Other Features Re-framing software in App, 16x timelapse
Price $499
Where to Buy Amazon

360 Video:

The Rylo (available on Amazon) can shoot 4K 360 video at 30 fps. The detailing is very good however you may notice a yellowish tinge to the video, this can be easily fixed in the Rylo app which allows you to adjust color balance and saturation with just a few clicks. The overall quality of the video is certainly above average, but not the best. What the Rylo does excel at is stabilization, perfect for anyone who wants to film any moving video.

The Rylo also allows you to create ‘normal’ non 360 video using the very intuitive app. The video above is a quick example of this, however you can achieve an even more cinematic effect if you spend a bit more time editing your videos. The end result is a 1080p video that looks like it’s been professionally stabilized with multiple cameras. This is only possible by using a 360 camera and the Rylo does it best.

Check Price

 

Read my Rylo review here

 

3. GoPro Fusion

The GoPro Fusion is an action camera designed by the king of action cam makers. The Fusion is GoPro’s first consumer 360 camera and it’s certainly one of the best. The duel lens camera shoots 5.2K 360 video and is housed in a shockproof and waterproof casing which protects it from the elements.The 360 video produced by the Fusion is second to none and could probably be classed as the best in its price rage (check amazon). You can also re-frame your 360 video to create 1080p flat video which also looks amazing.

The Fusion has excellent stabilization, but not quite as impressive as the Rylo above. The Fusion still manages to keep your video look steads as long as it’s not moving too aggressively. The video quality is really where the Fusion shines. The color balance, detailing and saturation are all pretty much on point, a rarity in this product category.

 

The reason the GoPro Fusion isn’t number 1 on my list is because it’s slightly more difficult to work with than other cameras. For a start, you need to use two MicroSD cards, and you’ll also need a pretty powerful computer to create the final video. Never the less, if you want the absolute best quality 360 video for your action shots then the Fusion is probably the camera to buy.

Check Price

 

4. Samsung Gear 360

Specs

Features New Gear 360 (2017)
Number of Lenses 2
Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 at 24 fps
Photo Resolution 15 Megapixels
Aperture f/2.4
Stitching Instant
Waterproof Splashproof
Shockproof No
Memory 256GB MicroSD
Battery 1160 mAh (130 minutes continuous video)
Compatibility Samsung Phones/iOS
Livestream Yes 2K resolution
Price $230
Where to Buy Amazon

OK, so technically this isn’t an action camera, but it doesn’t have some features that warrant being on this list, plus it’s a bargain! The latest Samsung Gear 360 was released early this year and is a second generation 360 camera. Samsung are taking VR and 360 media very seriously, so they put a lot of work into this camera to make is accessible and decent quality. 4K 360 video and live stream are headline features, it also comes with one of the best apps for controlling 360 cameras I’ve ever used.

The Gear 360 won’t survive a trip underwater, nor will it be unscathed if dropped from a great height, however it is splash-proof, dust-proof and shock proof to about 1 metre. It has a tripod mount which works with most action cam accessories and it comes fitted with a gyroscope and accelerometer. So if you are less into extreme sports and just want a 360 camera that can withstand some basic elemental challenges, the very cheap ($190) Gear 360 is probably the best value option.

Samsung Gear 360

Excellent value 4K 360 camera with live streaming capability. Can withstand some knocks and bumps, but not a fully fledged action camera

$188.00

 

4. 360 Fly 4K

Specs

Features 360 Fly 4k
Number of Lenses 1 f/2.5 x Fish Eye Lens
Field of View Vertical 240° X Horizontal 360°
Video Resolution 2880 x 2880 @ 30fps
Photo Resolution No Photo mode. Photos can be taken from video.
Stitching Realtime
360 Live-Stream Yes
Waterproof Yes, up to 30ft
Shockproof Yes, up to 1.5m
Memory 64GB, internal only.
Battery 1780 mAh
Compatibility Andoid/iOS
Other Features Gyroscope, Accelerometer
Price $288
Where to buy Amazon Reviews

Video

The 360 Fly 4K was one of the first 360 action cams ever and is still once of the best. The Fly was designed with action in mind, its hard shell protects it from knocks and falls from 1.5m and it’s water-poof up to an impressive 30m. The 360 Fly can shoot 4K 360 video, however as it only uses a single lens this means the camera can only shoot a 360 x 280 field of view; this means that in the final video you won’t be able to see underneath the camera.

The Fly has has a price cut recently and it’s now one of the best value 360 action cameras considering the number of features it possesses.   There are more than a dozen accessories specifically designed for the Fly, but other standard accessories will also work with it too.

360Fly 4K

Single lens 4K 360 camera. Shock proof and waterproof to 30 metres. Design is perfect for a helmet cam.

£288

 

360 action cameras coming soon

360 is the perfect format for action cameras, it allows the audience to see the enter environment and become immersed in your experiences. The number of 360 cameras is only going to go up, which is great for us. Here are a few of the most exciting products coming later this year.

Nissan JukeCam

Yes you read that right, car maker Nissan are developing their own 360 action camera. The JukeCam is actually going to be the first 360 dash-cam, specifically designed to record your car journeys, but the camera will have a duel function as an action camera.

Developed with the creators of the 360 Fly camera, Nissan wants to make it easy for you to record in 360 from inside your car as well as your adventures outside it too. The camera will be able to shoot 4K 360 video and feature much of the same protection found on the 360 Fly (water proof, hardened case, dust proof). Specialised docks will allow you to attach your camera to the dashboard of your car or to a helmet.

No work on release date or price yet, but I’ll be sure to inform you as soon as that info is released.


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360 camera expert, 360 photographer and lover of banoffee pie. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for awesome 360 content.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Sami Jumppanen 12th January 2018 at 10:40 am

    Again, a new era of tech mislabeling: 360 degree cameras! Like we see here, a “360 camera” can consist of single lens or dual lens (dual camera) system. With single camera and single lens the maximum FOV is around 180 degrees, can be more, but never even close to 360.

    Suppose I want to find a real 180 degree camera, not 360. Tough call?

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