LG 360 Cam Review – The first budget 360 Camera

Overview

The LG 360 cam is one of the first 360 degree cameras to be released that is targeted at the average consumer. LG is hoping to establish a foothold in this new product category which looks set to explode along with the popularity of VR. What makes LG’s offering stand out from the crown is its low price; at $200 it undercuts all other 360 cameras released so far, but does this low price come with a cost in terms of video and image quality? 

7 Total Score
A great value, fun 360 camera - but you do get what you pay for.

The LG 360 Cam is a great value 360 camera that is perfect for anyone who wants to use the camera for personal fun. The quality of the video is not high enough for any serious film work.

360 Video Quality
6
360 Photo Quality
7
Image Stitching Quality
6
Camera Design
7.5
Software
6
Value for Money
7
User Rating: 2 (2 votes)

PROS:
  • The cheapest 360 Camera available
  • Decent image quality
  • Easy to use and very compact
  • Compatible with large range of handsets

CONS:
  • Video quality is sub-par, especially in low light conditions
  • Video can take a long time to be ‘converted’ into 360 degree format
  • Non removable battery

The Full LG 360 Cam Review:

LG 360 Cam Specifications

Number of lens's 2
Video Resolution 2560 X 1280 30fps (2K)
Image resolution 16 Megapixels
Weight 97 grams
Size 98.5 x 43.4 x 29.8mm
Batter Power 1200mAh
Memory 4GB internal memory MIcroSD 200gb max
Price $199

 

Video and Image Quality

The LG 360 Cam is capable of filming 360 degree footage in 2K resolution. Whilst this is an improvement on some of its competitors, it still falls short of what is required for high definition 360 video. As explained in my What makes a good 360 degree camera post, 360 degree imagery requires a resolution of at least 4K to look anywhere close to the high definition we are used to seeing. The limited 2K capability of the LG 360 cam means that video ends up looking rather pixelated and low quality, whilst this may be acceptable for causal users who just want to experiment with the technology, anyone who wants to undertake some serious 360 film making may be disappointed with the quality of the video.

Here are some examples of 360 video from the LG 360 Cam (remember to set youtube video quality to highest)

The LG 360 Cam shoots in full 360 degrees with 2 fish eye lens’s, it stitches the output from each lens together to create the 360 effect. The stitching is done reasonable well, however in most videos there is a noticeable ‘blind spot’ or distortion where the two images are stitched together, again this effect can be reduced with good lighting. Each video can be a maximum of 20 minutes long before the camera will stop automatically, if you want to take longer clips you need to manually start recording again and stitch the two clips together in post production.

360 Photo’s with the LG 360 Cam

The LG’s dual lens’s take 360 photos at a resolution of 16 megapixels, more than enough to produce clear images but much less than the Gear 360’s 30 megapixel photos. Never the less, the 360 photos produced by the camera are clear, colorful and bright. The quality is high enough that 360 images uploaded to facebook will still impress your friends.

Design, Controls and App

The candy bar shape of the camera is very similar to the Ricoh Theta S and distinctive from the eyeball shape of the Samsung Gear 360. The camera is easy to handle, very small and light, can easily fit in a jacket pocket and is compatible with and standard sized tripods and selfie sticks. Controls are basic, with only a few buttons to control the shutter, power and wifi/bluetooth connectivity. Most of the controls are contained within the accompanying LG Friends Manager App which is available on Android Play store and the Apple App store. It’s worth noting that this camera is compatible with all phones, where as the Samsung Gear 360 is only compatible with the last 2 generations of Samsung handsets.

LG360Cam

The App is an essential part of the camera software and is required to stitch the two images taken by the camera to create 360 degree images and videos. It has been reported that large files can take several hours to transfer and stitch using the phone app, which may prove troublesome for keen users. The App allows you to choose between camera modes, such as Night, as well as change settings for manual exposure, ISO (ranging from ISO 50 to ISO 2700), shutter speed (from 1/2 to 1/6000) and white balance.

Verdict

The LG 360 Cam is a great value 360 camera for casual users who just want to try out this new technology as a hobby. The camera is well made, very easy to use and produces some very good 360 degree images. Video is where the camera lets itself down; even in the best lighting conditions the quality resembles video taken on a phone from 10 years ago.

If you are looking to experiment with 360 imagery, take some cool photo’s and maybe make a few home movies in the 360 degree format, then this excellent value camera is probably the best option for you right now.

 

Update: This camera is now an absolute bargain at just over $100. Offer available on Amazon

 

What others say

Eugene Seattle on Amazon said: Overall good camera, well made in Korea, cheap, compact. Acceptable photo/video quality. I noticed poor performance in low light. The biggest con – no any tools, converters, etc. for PC.

Artem Lazukin on Amazon said: This camera is just totally amazing as it is changing how I record videos now, especially parties since I’m able to see everyone at the same time.

Richard Easton from Expert Reviews said: The LG 360 Cam is a great introduction to spherical 360-degree video at a good price, and it works with any Android or iOS device

James Morris  from Trusted Reviews said: The LG 360 CAM ups the virtual-reality video quality a notch, and reduces the cost too.

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

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

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