The Garmin VIRB 360 has just been released and it’s one of the only 360 cameras with the ability to stitch 4K video internally and shoot video underwater, in fact the only other 360 camera than can do this is the Nikon Keymission 360.
The Keymission 360 was released last year after much anticipation, it promised to shoot high quality 4K 360 video using a shockproof body that was also waterproof. So now that a rival has emerged, which one is the best? The Garmin VIRB is newer, can shoot at a higher resolution, but is also more expensive. Let’s take a look at the specs along with some example videos from both cameras to decide.
Nikon Keymission 360 vs Garmin VIRB 360
|Feature||VIRB 360||Keymission 360|
|Number of Lenses||2 x f/2.0||2 x f/2.0|
|Video Resolution||5.7K @ 30fps unstitched 4K @ 30fps stitched 3K@ 60fps unstitched||3840 x 2160 @ 24fps|
|Photo Resolution||15 Megapixels 5640 x 2816||23.9 megapixels 7744 x 3872|
|360 Live-Stream||4K @ 30fps (Apple Only)||No|
|Stabilization||3 modes: stabilize, lock, follow (up to 4K)||None|
|Waterproof||Yes, up to 10m||Yes, up to 30 metres|
|Shockproof||Yes||Yes, from 2 metres|
|Memory||MicroSD up to 128GB||MicroSD up to 128GB|
|Battery||1 hour continuous video on full charge||1050 mAh (130 minutes continuous video)|
|Sensors||Gyroscope Accelrometer GPS Barometer Compass||None|
|Audio||360 Audio with 4 Mics||Single Mic|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Amazon|
The VIRB 360 has the overall better specs but is also significantly more expensive and some aspects of the Keymission are better on paper. The Nikon can shoot almost 30 megapixel 360 photos where as the VIRB can only shoot half that. Both are waterproof and shock proof and yet the Nikon can withstand more extreme environments. So, it the Keymission the better value camera? While it looks like you get pretty much the same camera for cheaper with the Keymission, the reality is different.
The Keymission was dogged with software issues upon release and while the camera is indeed waterproof, it requires an extra case which lowers the quality of the 360 video. Some of the software issues appear to have been resolved but you can see the mixed reaction to the Keymission in the Amazon reviews.
Lets take a look at some example videos from both cameras:
Keymission Example 4K Video
VIRB 360 Example 4K Video
I chose to compare 4K video from both cameras even though the VIRB 360 can shoot in 5.7K. This is so I can demonstrate the quality difference between the two cameras more accurately. The environment in both videos is quite different so it’s not possible to make a perfectly accurate comparison, but I think it’s pretty clear that the image is much sharper in the VIRB video. The stitching line is barely noticeable in the VIRB video, however there is no movement which helps considerably, the stitching line in the Nikon video is more obvious, but there is a lot more movement. While the 360 video shot with the Nikon is reasonably clear, there is some lack of detailing and the colors are very washed out. The Nikon is around $200 cheaper though, so if you think the video is good enough for you then you could certainly save some money by choosing this decent camera.
Overall I think the VIRB is the clear winner. Both cameras are attempting to top the 360 action cam space and the VIRB does it more successfully. The number of sensors on the camera is astounding as is the quality of the 360 video, whereas the Nikon makes for a decent 360 camera, its action cam credentials are less impressive.