Have a ball of a time with the 360fly

Although action cameras are not known for picking up great audio, the 360fly fares well in recording ambient sound.
Although action cameras are not known for picking up great audio, the 360fly fares well in recording ambient sound. PHOTO: 360FLY

The 360fly 4K is the only action camera that can take almost 360-degree pictures and videos. It also has built-in GPS, an altimeter and an accelerometer.

As it does not have two spherical lenses like the Samsung Gear 360 or Ricoh Theta, the 360fly provides a 360-degree horizontal field of view but only 240 degrees vertically. Since it is a single-lens camera, users do not have to worry about stitching lines.

About the size of a golf ball, the 360fly features a jagged rubberised exterior with the spherical lens on its top. There is only one button on the camera.

At the bottom of the camera is a normal tripod screw mount. But you will need the included proprietary magnetised dock in order to dock and charge the 360fly 4K camera via a micro-USB cable.

It has an internal storage of only 64GB and does not come with a microSD card slot. Thus, transferring your footage to your computer is also done via the dock.

Powering up and shutting down the camera requires you to hold the button for around 4sec. Once powered up, a single press will start and stop recording.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $920

    IMAGE SENSOR: 16 megapixels

    LENS' FIELD OF VIEW: 360 degrees

    DISPLAY: None

    WATER RESISTANCE: 10m

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 172g (body only)


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

 

Given its spherical design, there is no room for a display. To see what you are shooting and change shooting modes, you need to connect the 360fly camera to the 360fly mobile app (Android and iOS) via Wi-Fi.

You can toggle between the 360-degree mode and point-of- view mode, which gives a panoramic photo or video.

The 4K videos shot are sharp and crisp with great contrast of colours in good lighting. The image stabilisation works quite well, as motion videos do not look very jerky.

The only downer is that there are slight tinges of purple fringing, especially on the edges, at times.

Footage shot in the evening remains sharp but reveals only slight chromatic noise.

Although action cameras are not known for picking up great audio, the 360fly fares well in recording ambient sound.

The same holds true for still images. While they look great in bright sunlight, they tend to be grainy in low-light conditions.

However, the biggest downer of 360fly is its rather hefty price tag. At $920, you can buy four units of the Curve Extreme 200 action camera with some dollars to spare.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: Despite its hefty price tag, the 360fly 4K is a great action camera that allows you to take 360-degree video footage.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'Have a ball of a time with the 360fly'. Print Edition | Subscribe