Couple days back, YouTube announced its support for 360 degree videos, which means YouTube users can now upload 360 degree videos and viewers can view the video on their Android device in full 360 degrees. Well, like I promised, I ordered the Kodak SP 360 camera, which is one of the two camera available today for consumers to make their own 360 degree videos.
The Kodak SP360 Explorer pack costs $283 on Amazon, and comes loaded with every attachable accessory you can think of along with the video camera. I was able to quickly and easily attach the camera onto my tripod, my motorcycle helmet, and even on my motorcycle body itself. As for the camera? It’s size of a GoPro but comes with a super-fisheye lens that is able to capture photos/videos in 360 degrees. Well, it’s not exactly 360 degrees I found out, the Kodak SP360 falls a bit short as it misses half of the hemisphere.
As for specs, the Kodak SP360 can take up to 1080P 30FPS 360-degree videos (now that’s 1080P broken down into 360 degrees so in reality you don’t get the full 1080P quality) with a F2.8 lens and is water-proof (with enclosed casing), and shock-proof. Upon taking my first 360-degree video, I was pretty amazed at it as I have only seen 360-degree videos on my Gear VR and with latest YouTube 360 videos.
So, what can you expect from the Kodak SP360?
Right now, this is one of the only two 360 cameras with support for 360 YouTube video out of the box. It took me literally 5 minutes to convert my 360 degree video into YouTube-compatible format and upload it. (You can check out my first 360 video here.) Although I had expected much better resolution, the Kodak SP360 breaks down a 1080P 30FPS video into many more parts, resulting in more or less VGA video. Also, with Kodak SP360, you don’t get true 360-degree videos. Although the camera does pick up 360 degrees of view, it only takes half of the hemisphere. This means that if you point the camera up, you will miss whatever is under your camera. For example, you put the camera at the height of your waist pointing up, you will lose any shots below your waist. So, in reality this isn’t a true 360-degree camera.
Make sure you update to the latest version of YouTube app to view the videos in 360 degrees on your Android device!
Here’s me riding a motorcycle:
And me riding a longboard:
And me walking at the mall:
Although slightly disappointed, the Kodak SP360 camera is rugged, water-proof, and can be used in all areas where a GoPro Hero can go. It is definitely a fun action camera especially if you are into action sports. Of course, the Ricoh Theta M15 goes a step beyond this as that camera takes full 360-degree (both hemispheres or full sphere) photos and videos. (I have actually ordered one and it’s already on its way so I should have a full review of that also soon.)
Overall, I am still satisfied with my purchase. The Kodak SP360 comes ready to go into any type of action sports whether that’s skydiving, motorcycling, surfing, flying, etc…etc… It’s not the most perfect 360 video camera but then again, it’s one of the only 360 video cameras that exist today. There will also be more 360 video cameras released by other companies like Gyroptic, which I should have a review of. In the meanwhile, this is a perfect product for those of you who want to go beyond having a GoPro Hero, which only takes 1-dimension videos.
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