The Best 360 Degree Cameras for Virtual Reality

A 360 degree camera can be used to create immersive photos and video for virtual reality, Youtube, and Facebook. In this guide, we’ll tell you the best 360 degree cameras for personal and business used.

These cameras are used in a number of ways:

  • virtual tours
  • retail store walkthroughs 
  • showcasing landmarks 
  • tourist attractions

NEW: Check out the brand new Insta360 One X2 below!

Studies show that companies who have 360 degree content available for potential customers have a higher engagement and buy rate. After you our done, check out how easy it is to load and watch 360 videos on your VR headset.

Let’s check out the list! 

8 Best 360 Degree Cameras for Virtual Reality

Insta360 One X2

insta360 one x2

The Insta360 One X2 is a brand new release for october 2020 into the 360 degree camera market. It is the follow-up to the popular One X camera with a number of really nice improvements.

For starters, the new camera has a front-facing preview screen that shows you what the camera sees and allows for simple touch gestures. You can shoot videos in multiple modes into 360 degrees, panoramic, and steady cam. FlowState stabilization is designed to keep the Insta360 ONE X2 steady, with new stabilization and horizon leveling algorithms for smooth video even without a gimbal.

The ONE X2 captures 5.7K 360-degree video, there’s a larger 1630mAh battery, four microphones for better voice capture, and IPX8 waterproofing, so it can be used for capturing underwater content.

Click here to buy the Insta360 One X2.

Pros

  • 5.7K 360 degree video support
  • IPX8 waterproofing
  • Included selfie stick that is edited out intelligently by the One X2

Cons

  • Small front screen

Insta360 EVO

insta360 evo 360 degree camera

When it comes to 360 degree cameras for VR, Insta360 has been a pioneer in the category. Insta360 always comes with new hardware designs and innovative software too. The Insta360 EVO is a top 360 degree camera for VR in the company’s product line.

The Insta360 EVO has a smooth rectangular shape that makes it easy to slide in and out of your pocket. While it has a tripod mount, it’s just as simple to hold in your hand, too. The controls on the EVO are simple: One button to record and one button to cycle through menus. 

The EVO features an updated image-stabilization feature that will make even the bumpiest videos look smooth. It can capture 5.7k video (5760 × 2880) at 30 fps and 4K video at up to 50 fps. Its FlowState image stabilization algorithm helps smooth shots. A TimeShift feature lets you slow down or speed up specific segments of your videos. The EVO can connect to Android or iOS devices via Wi-Fi or USB and lets you livestream videos, too. 

We recommend the Insta360 Evo for anyone interested in shooting VR footage in 180 or 360-degrees. The hardware is solid and reliable, the results are good, and the software is great.

Click here to check out and buy the Insta360 Evo.

Pros

  • Excellent image-stabilization
  • Excellent Mobile software
  • Pocketable design
  • Fun and useful software features

Cons

  • Only an hour of battery
  • Not weather-resistant
  • Mode lock is not the best

Insta360 ONE R (360 Edition)

Sale
Insta360 ONE R Twin Edition – Action Camera & 360 Camera with Interchangeable Lenses, Stabilization, IPX8 Waterproof, Touch Screen, AI Editing
  • 5.7K 360 + 4K Wide Angle: ONE R Twin Edition transforms on the fly from a 360-degree camera to a wide-angle 4K 60fps action camera. Just swap out the lenses.
  • FlowState Stabilization: FlowState achieves gimbal-like image stabilization without the gimbal. Thanks to a new scene-detection algorithm, your footage stays clear and steady even in low light.
  • Super 5.7K: The Dual-Lens 360 Mod raises the bar with Super 5.7K resolution, leveraging H.265 encoding, advanced image processing and an AI-powered finishing algorithm to preserve detail and make your footage pop.

The Insta360 ONE R is another great 360 degree camera for VR. It plugs into your VR headset and lets you capture everything in 4K quality.

When plugged into your headset, the Insta360 One R uses the headset’s screen as your viewfinder. It lets you adjust camera settings or livestream to Facebook and YouTube.

The Insta360 One R can also be used without your headset in whatever way you want. It has an awesome slow motion “bullet-time” feature that lets you make Matrix-style movies, too. The camera also features Insta360’s Flowstate stabilization, which keeps your video from looking bumpy and jumpy. As well, Insta360’s app has a number of clever editing tools to take full advantage of your 360 videos.  

Click here to check out and buy the Insta360 One R.

Pros

  • Modular design
  • Has a fun “bullet-time” video feature
  • Long list of extra features
  • Competitive price

Cons

  • Occasional bugs
  • Small screen

GoPro Max

GoPro MAX — Waterproof 360 + Traditional Camera with Touch Screen Spherical 5.6K30 HD Video 16.6MP 360 Photos 1080p Live Streaming Stabilization
  • Three Cameras in One: Maximize your creative freedom. With MAX you can shoot traditional Hero-style video and photos or capture immersive 360 footage. Vlog to the max with shotgun-mic performance and a front-facing screen
  • Max HyperSmooth: MAX gives you unbreakable stabilization by using 180-degree capture as the ultimate buffer
  • Live Streaming in 1080p: Shoot in HERO mode and share while you’re there. Live stream in 1080p on social, get Max HyperSmooth stabilization as you broadcast via the GoPro app and save footage to your SD card to check out later

The GoPro Max is a total reboot for GoPro’s virtual reality action line. The Max has a more compact camera body that’s easier to take with you everywhere. Plus, GoProo has boosted its internals for more immersive, higher resolution footage. The Max also has improved slow motion capabilities, and video smoothing tech. 

Unlike most 360 degree cameras, the GoPro Max has a small display on its back. This lets you view what its cameras are looking at. The large display does make it easy to navigate and change the Max’s settings without having to use your headset. The GoPro Max also has a HyperSmooth stabilization feature, so your bumpy video will look nice and smooth. Image quality from the camera, up to a max resolution of 5.6K/30 fps, lives up to GoPro’s typical high standards.

Plus, GoPro’s app is loaded with features, including the ability to livestream video from.However, the GoPro Max’s design lacks a tripod mount. This means that you have to use it with one of GoPro’s accessories.

Pros

  • Excellent video quality
  • Motion-smoothing
  • Intuitive menus

Cons

  • Needs tripod
  • A bit pricey

Vuze XR

Sale
Vuze XR 5.7K 3D VR & 360 Camera - Black
  • Shoot with Confidence Using in-App Video Stabilization
  • Record videos with the resolution of [email protected] fps, [email protected] fps and [email protected] fps. Records as MP4 with H.264 encoder for enhanced image quality.
  • Take DNG and JPG photos at 18 MP resolution. Giving you the ability to professionally edit your photos after taking them, to achieve whatever result you desire.

The Vuze XR is an interesting 360 degree camera. Not only does the Vuze XR take 360-degree photos and video in VR, but its two cameras can pop out. This means that you can take 180-degree stereoscopic images and video too.

If you’ve ever used a VR headset, these types of images add a real depth. We liked the simplicity of the Vuze XR’s mechanism — a press of a button causes the two cameras to open. As well, the camera has a sturdy build and feels durable. We also liked the lollipop-like design of the camera. Its built-in handle makes it a cinch to use and carry around. 

In general, the Vuze XR also delivers quality images and movies. One complain is that it has trouble in low-light conditions. Also, its desktop app lacks behind GoPro and Insta360 for features.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Takes both 180- and 360 photos
  • Well-designed

 Cons

  • Struggles in low light
  • Limited features in desktop app

GoPro Fusion

Sale
GoPro Camera Fusion - 360 Waterproof Digital VR Camera with Spherical 5.2K HD Video 18MP Photos
  • Spherical video + photos capture incredible 5.2k videos and 18MP photos of everything around you by shooting in every direction at once
  • Over capture : Turn 5.2k spherical videos into traditional 1080P videos from any angle right on your phone; Full compatibility on iPhone 6s, iPad mini 4 and later devices; compatibility varies for earlier devices; See technical specifications below for android compatibility
  • Transform spherical photos into traditional shots crop 18MP spherical photos any way you want to create standard resolution photos that are easier to save and share. Video ISO Range: 400 to 6400 (Manual)

The GoPro Fusion is fairly compact. The two lenses are said to be the equivalent of six normal GoPro cameras. They are offset on either side of the main chassis. The device is being positioned as a VR/consumer hybrid. It is capable of capturing spherical video cropped to whatever portion a user wants. It also has full VR functionality.

Each segment of the spherical video captured can be “punched out” into its own 1080p clip, ensuring users don’t miss a thing. The GoPro Fusion is seen as something of a one-stop shop for sports camera needs. It is capable of VR and also ensures that nothing is missed. The device also comes with special software for editing. Average consumer can use the footage without being familiar with 360-degree video.

Being a 360 degree camera, the Fusion is equipped with two 180-degree lenses that capture everything around it. The Fusion also shoots 5.2k video, which is great quality. Its sensors and optics should make this one of the best action cameras on the market. 

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • OverCapture delivers compelling traditional footage
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Transferring footage through the app is slow and fiddly
  • Relatively expensive

Ricoh Theta V

Ricoh Theta V 4k 360 Spherical Camera
  • Theta V shoots hi-def smooth 360 Degree video at 30 fps @ 3840 x 1920 pixels or 4K. It supports the H.264 file format for video recording ; Remote release: CA-3-compatible
  • Hi-res 360 Degree spherical stills & video with improvements to the image quality. New Qualcomm Snapdragon processor has completely enhanced the exposure accuracy and white balance algorithm. Object distance- Approx. 10cm - ∞ (from front of lens).Lens configuration:7 elements in 6 groups
  • Theta has a 4-channel microphone that supports 360 Degree spatial audio recording built in Omnidirectional audio is recorded not just in the horizontal direction but also in the vertical direction. Storage temperature range - -20°C - 60°C

Do you want to capture 360-degree photos and videos with your VR headset? Consider purchasing the Ricoh Theta V camera. The original Theta camera was first launched in 2013 as the world’s first 360° single shot camera. The line has been improved over the years to keep up with industry standards. 

The Ricoh Theta V has a compact, lightweight body. It’s small enough to be portable and take anywhere, anytime. It’s packed full of performance-enhancing features too.

The Ricoh Theta V 360 degree camera has a 4-channel microphone that supports 360 Degree spatial audio. Audio is not just recorded in the horizontal direction, but vertical as well. Sound and video are both reproduced at it was in the environment. 

The Theta also has some nice accessories that you can buy to supercharge the device. You can buy an underwater cover for the Theta V and capture videos in a pool or ocean. There is also an external 3D microphone for even better sound quality.

Pros

  • Great Form factor
  • Takes great photos and videos
  • 360-degree video join lines are masked

Cons

  • Non-removable battery
  • Expensive

Insta360 Pro 2 

While the rest of the 360 degree cameras above are for consumer use, the Insta360 Pro 2 is designed for professional use. It is perfect for businesses looking to create videos for VR headsets or head-mounted devices (HMDs).

The Insta360 Pro 2 is about the size and shape of a large cantaloupe with 6 equidistant lenses around its equator. It has a small LCD screen in between two lenses and a battery and microSD card slot between two others. There are four microphones between four sets of lenses for ambisonic spatial audio. It packs a hefty set of features and controls into a fairly compact and aluminum alloy package.

Additionally, there are notches carved out on opposite ends of the camera. The top-notch is for ventilation and antennas (GPS and Wifi). The notches on the bottom are for more ventilation and various ports:

  • LAN
  • USB
  • DC-in
  • Microphone
  • A reset button

Click here to check out and buy the Insta360 Pro 2 now.

Pros

  • 8K, 360-degree video capture in 2D or 3D.
  • In-camera stitching at up to 4K quality.
  • 100fps capture at 4K.
  • Live streaming support.
  • Digital stabilization.
  • Can use an external mic.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Short battery life

How to Set Up 360 Videos for Virtual Reality

One way that you can use 360 degree videos and pictures in a professional setting is VR Sync. VR Sync allows you to push, sync, and watch videos in virtual reality across one or many devices at a time.

There are a number of useful applications when you might want to do this:

At a trade show, you can push 360 degree videos to one or more headsets and playback on demand.

In a training session, you can sync video playback across multiple VR headsets at the same time.

A retail store can sync and manage videos that help customers see products, showcase new ideas, and present anything in VR.

You can upload your content through the VR Sync dashboard and push it wirelessly to a VR headset. The software is easy to use, and it’s affordable.

Check out VR Sync here for more information.

Check out our step by step guide for watching 360 videos on your VR headset.

Which 360 degree camera is your favorite? 

Share your thoughts with us via the comment box below.

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