A 360-degree camera? Not quite, but this easy-to-use 180-degree lens is just as much better video quality than most
As we sat down to write this review after taking the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K camera around the USA for two weeks, Kodak announced its new 4K VR 360 action camera, the 4KVR360, at IFA 2017. Nothing like that to take the wind out of a reviewer’s sails, but no matter; the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K is worth raving about.
Now, most 360° cameras do two things wrong. The first is a very low resolution that makes almost everything you do create a novelty, but no more. The second is to take a lot of video of the ground. That’s wasted pixels, so what the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K does is focus upwards only. It can record in 4K for about 55 minutes on one charge, which is actually more than enough if you think through exactly what it is you want to film. We tested it in short bursts, plonking it in front of waterfalls, horses and, oh yeah, a total solar eclipse! Bu here’s some other stuff you can do:
That makes the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K most useful when put on the floor, from where it can take 235° spherical images of its surroundings using its 12-megapixel sensor – and they don’t need stitching together like images from 36- cameras that use two fish-eye lenses (which often looks a bit weird). So that’s exactly what we did for August 21’s Total Solar Eclipse. Check it out this 10-second video (yeah, we turned the two-minute celestial event into a time-lapse to suit the modern attention spans):
During our test we found the device to be easy enough to operate, though the small LCD screen took a bit of getting used to (especially the meaning of the various symbols). However, when it comes to filming video it’s one-touch, with the app being used for processing. The app is pretty good, too, with lots of options for formats and views you can produce from the raw footage. It also makes it easy to upload to Facebook and YouTube.
The price of the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K camera is reasonably easy to digest despite it being some way short of semi-pro quality. A well-made product that’s easy to use, and with a long enough battery life to be a contender, the Kodak PixPro SP360 4K camera is worth a punt for anyone who’s after immersive video, but who thinks 360 degrees is overkill.