Small, affordable and easy to use, this 360° camera has enough options to stretch beyond novelty value – but only just
Are you shooting in 360°? With a plethora of 360° cameras now on the market, travel photographers are beginning to experiment with the new format. Quality is hit and miss, but there are now plenty of 360° to choose from that have varying degrees of quality. The Detu Twin, however, is a strictly entry-level affair.
As well as being comprised of two f2.0 fisheye lenses, the Detu Twin is also compatible with both Android and iOS devices, which is a relatively rare concept in the 360 video world. So is live-streaming, which the Detu Twin will soon embrace (directly to YouTube and Facebook if you log-in via its app).
It’s SO good to find a 360° camera with a tripod connector. It’s been so long since we saw one that has – it’s such a simple thing, but it means that the Detu Twin can not only go on a tripod and be positioned anywhere, but a selfie stick can be used to give it some heigh, If you don’t want to be in the video, you can just hoist the Detu Twin above your head to survey the scene. It’s easy enough to edit the video afterwards on the app, which you can also use to upload a ‘tiny planet’ or flat panorama footage to Instagram and Twitter, as well as 360° versions to Youtube or Facebook.
However, what the Detu Twin is able to film is best described as basic. Video is produced in 3040×1520 pixels (so-called 3K – but stretched around a 360 view) at 30 frames per second in the MP4 format. It’s a tad blurry, it’s soft, and there’s some fringing around the edges. Colours are, well, they hardly pop out. Specific details are hard to make out. This is about novelty, and if you get close to the camera – or put it close to your subject – you should have no problems. But leave it in a vast area to record the action around it and you are going to struggle to see what it records. We also noticed that the stitching of the videos has errors along the join, so make sure your subject is facing the lens. Still images have the same issues; get the Detu Twin up high – using a selfie stick – and keep it close to your subject.
The main weakness of the Detu Twin is battery life, which at less than 30 minutes n a charge is seriously short. It means going out with a specific reason to use the Detu Twin, and makes its ambitions to live-stream in 360 almost laughable. However, with that tripod/selfie stick option opening up the creative possibilities, and the pure ease of use of both the device and the app, the Detu Twin is worth considering for anyone after an entry-level 360 camera. But it’s not quite as polished as the Ricoh Theta S.
Price as reviewed: UK£165/US$219