We Tested The Best 360 Degree Cameras Under $1200

Shooting 360 degree video, which can be viewed on Youtube, Facebook or with a VR headset, was once reserved for professionals with a professional budget. Over the last year, we've begun seeing a number of manufacturers releasing 360 degree cameras that promise high quality immersive video at a price point that consumers can actually afford. We rounded up the 360 degree cameras that are currently on the market for under $US1000 ($1,412) and took them to a puppy school to see how they stacked up.

Note: For the best puppy experience, we highly recommend watching the video portion of this review with a Cardboard or other VR headset.

Bublcam, $US800 ($1130)

  • Raw Video Resolution: 1440px by 1440px

  • Flattened Video Resolution: 1984 px by 992 px

  • Number of Lenses: 4

  • Field of View Per Lens: 160 degrees
  • Full Spherical Video: yes

Theta S, $US350 ($494)

  • Raw Video Resolution: 1920px by 1080 px

  • Flattened Video Resolution: 1920 px by 960 px

  • Number of Lenses: 2

  • Field of View Per Lens: 190 degrees
  • Full Spherical 360° Video: yes

360Fly, $649.95

  • Raw Video Resolution: 1504 px by 1504 px

  • Flattened Video Resolution: 2560 px by 1280 px

  • Number of Lens: 1

  • Field of View Per Lens: 240 degrees
  • Full Spherical 360° Video: no

PIXPRO SP360 4K, $US500 ($706)

  • Raw Video Resolution: 2880 px x 2880 px (30 fps)

  • Flattened Resolution: 1920px x 960px

  • Number of Lens: 1

  • Field of View Per Lens: 235 degrees
  • Full Spherical 360° Video: no

These little cameras make 360 degree video incredibly easy to shoot and share at a price point that is thousands of dollars less than the professional multi-camera rigs, but shooting footage at a resolution that will put you right there in the pile with the puppies is still a ways away for the everyday person.

Special thanks to School for the Dogs for the adorable puppies. Video by Mandy Mandelstein. Graphics by Devin Clark.



    "a ways away" what a peculiar expression, is that exclusively Australian for this edition, or reminiscent of the US lack of English language skills, (I'm not sure)

    Just like the oft used: "off-of", and "sodder". Interesting editorial oversight.

    Sorry, I shouldn't throw stones one may return and break my spectacles.

    Just saw and tried one of these today. The 360fly. Impressed with how responsive the goggles were given that it's a smart phone. Good VR might be too much for a smartphone CPU but as a sensor and screen for a VR video /telepresence experience, I'm impressed. These are just glorified web cams, like gopros before them, so once the R&D is paid off, I will definitely grab one of these. Bet they will work with my coming gear VR. Telepresence is almost here for us regular people :-)

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