Prediction: 360 cameras are going to take off in a big way in 2017. But there are currently only three 360 cams I think consumers should even consider buying and they all have one thing in common: they shoot 4K video. In my humble opinion, it’s best to future-proof any video you’re taking as much as possible — you’re future selves will thank you (in the near-future you’ll be glad you don’t need to upgrade again and in the more distant future you’ll appreciate clearer memories).
360 cams are becoming popular just now thanks to VR (virtual reality) and the ability to embed 360 degree content in places like Facebook and YouTube. In short, people are on the cusp of being able to enjoy fully (or at least more) immersive, non-flat content. And it can be very enjoyable: being able to look around in any direction using a VR headset or simply by dragging a finder or a mouse on the screen is very cool. Virtual tourism is going to be a thing (even if you’re just visiting your past in a way that makes it feel like you’re actually there again).
And yes, 4K video is the future (for now). With four times the resolution of regular 1080p footage, things look clearer. 4K TVs are coming down in price (check out the Samsung KS8000 I recently reviewed to see how pleased I was with it) and it won’t be long before the ability to view 4K is everywhere.
Because of YouTube, especially, I think 360/VR content is going to get big fast. Creators like Casey Neistat have already experimented with VR video and it seems like a new horizon/niche that creative content creators can exloit. So in a way, these cameras might be considered some of the best new cameras for YouTube.
Last year I made a roundup featuring the best 360 degree cameras, but I feel that post is already outdated. There are (still) some great cameras on that list, but most of them are not 4K shooters. So I guess you could consider this list a bit of an update to the previous one. Unfortunately, cameras like the Ricoh Theta, Samsung Gear 360, LG 360 Cam, the Bublcam and the Giroptic don’t make the cut this round.
When people think 360 cams, it wouldn’t surprise me if they pictured the 360fly 4K. That’s ...