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Finder's team checked out dozens of 360 cameras from manufacturers across the globe to find out which models are worth your time and money. Every camera featured on this list was chosen based on device specifications and customer reviews.
Insta360 has plenty of experience making 360 cameras, as you'd hope from a company that has 360 in its name. The One X2 is the latest version of the company's pocket-sized camera, capturing high-quality footage and giving users plenty of features to explore. At $749, it's the best 360 camera you can buy.
The One X2 is a small camera. It's shorter than the iPhone 12 Mini and it weighs just 149 grams. Remarkably, it's still not the tiniest camera in the Insta360 lineup, but it packs a punch for its size. The handheld device can capture 360 videos in resolutions as high as 5.7K, and it takes wide-angle shots too. Keeping the camera in great condition for those high-quality shots can be challenging as no lens or body protection comes in the box. You can buy covers and cases, but they'll cost you.
You can load the camera up with up to a terabyte of Micro SD card storage for a long day of shooting, though the battery will last just 80 minutes, according to Insta360. Luckily, charging is a breeze thanks to the built-in USB-C port.
The camera comes with almost countless features and modes, such as ultra slow-motion, object tracking and even functionality that can filter people out of a timelapse. Realistically, most people will use just a handful of these capabilities. Some might find the sheer volume of functions overwhelming, with many reviewers mentioning it's a little hard to get the hang of using.
The Insta360 One X2 is well-liked by its users, earning a 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 50 reviews on Google. Many customers loved having so many options and modes to choose between when creating their content, and others praised the device's build quality. Unfortunately, some weren't as impressed with the tiny touchscreen and noted that the lenses were prone to scratching if improperly protected.
It's always good to have options to choose from, and it'd be hard for any 360 camera shopper to ignore the GoPro Max. The waterproof action camera is built for almost anything you could throw at it and records 360 videos at 5.6K, making it the runner up best 360 camera on the market.
Despite its small size, the GoPro Max is capable of taking some impressive photos and videos. You can take spherical or standard photos or even capture 270-degree panoramas with the camera's two lenses. Videos can be recorded at either 5.6K or 3K, depending on how many frames per second you want to capture. And those recordings should come out looking smooth regardless of the environment, too, thanks to GoPro's Max HyperSmooth technology.
You'd expect the GoPro Max to be able to withstand some harsh treatment given the company's reputation. Luckily, the camera is waterproof up to 5 metres deep for everything from surfing shots to watersports. GoPro doesn't provide any information about what else the Max can withstand but says it's "built tough".
The two lenses aren't built so tough, though. They're easy to scratch, and all of those small imperfections that could build up might ruin a photo. Because of that, you'll want to make sure the lenses are shielded from anything that could leave a mark on them. Thankfully, GoPro includes lens protection in the box.
Like other GoPro products, the Max isn't cheap. It'll set you back around $800 at its retail price, but you can get discounts online, and GoPro will sell it to you for cheaper if you buy it with a subscription to its premium service.
Everyone expects a GoPro to be a well-designed piece of camera gear, and with a 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 500 reviews on Google, users seem to think that's true. Users complimented the device for its lightweight design, top-notch video stabilisation and high-quality media. Some buyers complained about the camera's battery life and delicate lenses, while others had difficulty mounting the device.
Using its wealth of knowledge on 360 cameras, Ricoh developed its Theta SC2 to include plenty of essential features in a compact and colourful body while cutting the price down to a more reasonable amount. Thanks to its design and wireless photo-sharing capabilities, the SC2 is the best budget 360 camera on the market.
Like Ricoh's other 360 cameras, the Theta SC2 comes in a compact rectangular shell that can easily slip into a pocket or bag sleeve. Unlike the other cameras in the lineup, the SC2 comes in a range of four colours to help your device stand out from the crowd.
The Theta SC2 can record 360 videos in resolutions as high as 4K, and it can take some pretty impressive photos for its price, too. Unfortunately, you can only record up to 30 frames per second, which is significantly less smooth than other options like the Insta360 One X2, which records in up to 50 frames per second at 4K. Many other cameras also shoot in resolutions above 4K these days.
One of the most convenient features of the Theta SC2 is its wireless file transferring, which beams photos and videos you shoot on the camera to your smartphone. But unlike other Theta devices, you can't live stream from the camera.
Ricoh's entry-level Theta SC2 received a 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than two dozen reviews on Google, which is one of the highest ratings on this list despite its price point. Buyers were happy with the camera's build quality and easy-to-use design. Some said they would have liked the option to shoot in RAW, and others mentioned that images weren't as sharp as they'd like.
Ricoh's Theta V does almost everything you could want a 360 camera to do, such as live streaming and capturing high-quality imagery without breaking the bank, and that makes it the best mid-range 360 camera you can buy.
The Theta V is a great camera for beginners and those who want to explore 360 content creation thanks to its ease of use and impressive image quality. The device supports video capture at 4K, which you can live stream straight to YouTube and other platforms through a computer. It also takes fantastic-looking photos at an even higher resolution of 5376×2688. The Theta V has plenty of features baked in, such as image stabilisation and HDR rendering, which helps make its photos stand out.
Many of those features are actually the same that you'll find on the flagship Theta Z1, which costs more than twice as much as this model. You're basically only missing out on a few pro-level photography features by opting for this model. Still, the Theta V only has a 1/2.3 CMOS sensor, compared to the superior 1-inch sensor on the Theta Z1.
While the camera is built for high-quality media creation, its 4K video resolution is lower than most of its competitors at this price point. Options like the Insta360 One X2 offer 5.7K recording and the GoPro Max records at a similar resolution to the Insta360.
Ricoh doesn't give you much space to play with on its 360 cameras, and the Theta V is no exception. There's just 19GB of internal storage on the device, which is only enough for around 40 minutes of video or 4,800 photos. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about the storage limitation apart from frequently transferring your media to another storage device.
The mid-range Theta V earned a 4.4 out of 5 rating from more than 80 reviews on Google, with customers happy with the camera's ease of use and image quality. Some mentioned that the camera struggled a little in low light situations, but it thrived when plenty of light could get to the sensor. A few users complained that the 19GB of included storage was too little.
Ricoh has been making 360 cameras for quite some time, but the Theta Z1 is by far the company's most advanced model yet. Featuring a high-end construction, phenomenal photo capabilities and support for plugins, it's the best premium 360 camera that money can buy.
The Theta Z1 has a pretty standard shape that somewhat resembles a chocolate bar. The device's shell is made of magnesium alloy, which gives it a more solid feel. At 182 grams, it's not the lightest camera ever, but it's not going to be uncomfortable to use or carry around with you either. Unfortunately, it's not the most durable 360 camera you'll find. There's no waterproofing at all, and you won't want to scratch those lenses as that can reduce image quality.
Unlike most 360 cameras, the Theta Z1 sports a 1-inch sensor. That means that the camera can pick up extra light, significantly improving performance in low light situations. You can also save photos in RAW, which retains more information than your typical JPEG file.
While you can take some fantastic photos and videos on the Theta Z1, the standard model comes with just 19GB of non-removable storage. Ricoh says that's only good enough for around 40 minutes of 4K footage, or 350 photos taken in RAW. There is a brand new Z1 model with 51GB of onboard storage on the way, so it might be best to wait for that to hit shelves if you don't want to carry extra storage around with you.
The high-end Theta Z1 received a commendable 4.6 out of 5 rating from 40 reviews on Google, with many customers praising the device for its stellar image quality and ability to shoot in RAW. Some were also impressed with its overall build quality, but many weren't so happy with the camera's eye-watering price tag.
At first glance, the Vecnos Iqui looks like it's straight out of an early 2000s spy movie. Upon deeper inspection, the pencil-like device is an easy to use and compact 360 camera that can easily fit into a bag or almost any pocket. Thanks to its overall design and simple button controls, the Iqui is the best 360 camera for beginners.
One of the Iqui's main appeals is its unique design. Its distinct shape makes it stand out from the crowd of similar-looking action cameras and chocolate bar style 360 cameras. Aside from looking like a thick pen, it's ultra-compact and can easily come with you wherever you go. You won't have any trouble tucking the 60-gram camera away in your pockets, and it'll easily fit into a bag or backpack.
The Iqui takes ease of use to a whole new level, with just three buttons responsible for power, shutter and switching between photo and video modes. If you don't feel like pressing buttons, you can download the IQUISPIN app to control the camera from your phone. The app also doubles as a mini editor where you can add custom effects and filters for easily shareable mini videos and snaps.
The Iqui is not a camera for pros. Photo and video quality is decent in the right conditions, but it's not going to knock your socks off. And while it does make sharing video simple, the IQUISPIN app is by no means a comprehensive photo or video editor. The few effects you can apply in-app are more playful than transformational.
Overall, users seem to like the Vecnos Iqui, with the tiny 360 camera earning a 3.8 out of 5 star rating from more than a dozen reviews on Amazon. Customers praised the unique camera for its design and simplicity. Reviewers weren't quite so happy with the lack of features available in the IQUISPIN app.
360 cameras aren't cheap, but thankfully there are a few devices on the market that double as action cameras as well. The Insta360 One R (Twin Edition) is one of those devices. It's got a variety of interchangeable modules, plenty of accessories and fantastic waterproofing, making it the best multipurpose 360 camera on the market today.
Thanks to its modular design, you can do almost anything you could dream of with the One R. You've got the flexibility to choose between shooting 360 shots with the dual-lens 360 mod or taking regular photos and videos with the 4K wide-angle mod. And those are just the two modules that come with the Twin Edition. There's also a high-end lens you can get for the camera, which was co-developed with Leica and packs a 1-inch sensor.
The trade-off of having plenty of lenses and accessories to choose from is that you need somewhere to store everything. That makes the device a lot less portable than other options on this list since you'll probably be lugging around plenty more gear whenever you go out to shoot photos or videos. All of those accessories aren't cheap, either. If you want the fancy Leica co-developed lens, for example, that'll set you back another $489.99 on top of the already-steep asking price of the camera. Other accessories can cost anything from around $10 to over $100.
The One R is a pretty rugged action camera at its core and boasts IPX8 waterproofing for the adventurous. That means you can splash the device with a bit of water and can take it up to 5 metres deep so long as it's properly built, connected and in its mounting bracket. There's a dive case you can buy as well if you plan on subjecting the camera to more than just a few splashes.
Insta360's One R (Twin Edition) earned a respectable 4.2 out of 5 rating from more than 250 reviews on Google. Many were happy with the camera's ease of use and video quality, but some were a little let down by battery life. Several reviewers noted that they preferred Insta360's other cameras, so it might be worth checking those models out to see if they fit your use case.
Plenty of 360 cameras record in 4K and above, but very few can handle 8K recording. As its name suggests, the KanDao QooCam 8K is one of those few that can. Thanks to a heap of high-end capture settings and functions, support for external microphones and a 2.4-inch touchscreen, the QooCam 8K is the best 8K 360 camera you can buy.
The QooCam stands out from the pack thanks to its high-end 8K captures rarely seen in consumer-grade hardware. Most 360 cameras record in either 4K or 5.7K, but it's not often that you see anything above that. Like a few other cameras on this list, you can save photos in a RAW format to retain all of those extra details, too.
Creators can take advantage of the QooCam's accessory support to help add to their content. There's a 3.5mm microphone-in port on the side of the device to help you easily improve audio quality, and there's support for an invisible selfie stick, too.
Having high-end capabilities often comes with a high price tag, and the QooCam is no exception. With a retail price that converts to around $830 in Australia, it's a sizable investment to pick one of these up. The price isn't the only trade-off, either. This thing wasn't built to take a beating like other 360 cameras. There's no waterproofing or shock resistance to be seen on the device.
KanDao's QooCam 8K earned only an average score from more than 20 reviews on Google: 3.3 out of 5. Overall, users praised the camera for its quality and clarity, but a few customers mentioned that colours are inaccurate. Some weren't happy with the device's battery life, either.
Merging VR and 360 video brings together two creative and emerging media making technologies, and that's what HumanEyes has done with its Vuze XR handheld camera. Thanks to its high-quality image capturing and built-in video stabilisation, the Vuze XR is the best VR 360 camera currently available.
The Vuze XR can fold out to capture seriously impressive footage in 3D with a 180-degree field of view, or you can shoot in a standard 360 format. And if you're on the move while filming, a 6-axis gyro tracks movement and stabilises your video so whatever you capture looks smooth regardless of the terrain.
You can adjust advanced settings such as ISO, shutter speed and exposure on the Vuze XR to help you take the best shots in different conditions. You can also save those shots in RAW, so you've got heaps of details to work with when editing and sharing your captures.
While the Vuze XR supports both VR and 360 videos, it lacks functionality in other areas. There's no slow-mo footage capture mode and no hyperlapse either. And while there are in-app editing tools that add features such as tracking, they're way less advanced and fewer in number than those offered by competing brands. The camera also lacks waterproofing, so you'll have to be much more careful with it around water than other options on this list.
The Vuze XR earned a 3.7 out of 5 star rating from more than 130 reviews on Amazon, with customers praising the device for its solid construction and high-quality imagery. Many customers complained about the camera's companion app, which proved difficult for some to use. Some said that the device had a steep learning curve, too.
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