Apart from awkward panoramic modes on your phone, there aren’t many ways for the average consumer to take 360-degree pictures or video: That’s why Giroptic launched the 306cam Kickstarter project, and why it’s now one of the best waterproof cameras of 2018, and destined to grow even more popular.
This little camera occupies an interesting position, kind of like a GoPro cam (pricing is also similar) but for a different audience – people who want to take 360 images on trips, share events with friends, or just have better slideshows and video conferences.
The cam uses three cameras with wide lenses, and then some proprietary image stitching technology to make them look like a single image. The stitching works in real time, which is why the 360cam can also take video. Quality is pretty high too: Video goes up to 2K resolution at 25 to 30fps, while photos are at 4K and can shoot up to 3fps. A panel of LED lights on the cam can also give you status notifications and other useful info so you know what mode you are in.
Three separate microphones around the cam work to keep sound as realistically 3D as possible. There’s a gyroscope and accelerometer, so if you or the camera are moving you can still snap clean pictures. Meanwhile, protective features like waterproofing mean you can take the cam out on a boat or in the rain without worrying too much.
The connectivity options really underscore just how useful this all-around cam is. It has a microUSB port for charging, and an Ethernet adapter for sharing, as well as a mini jack for audio output. If you don’t carry an Ethernet cable everywhere you go, don’t sweat it – there’s also built-in Wi-Fi for instant sharing.
People using the 360cam are encouraging to take it on trips or parties so they have something cool to share later – or beam to friends in real time. It’s also worth mentioning that the rise of virtual reality headsets means that such panoramic images and video will soon have a much broader audience. Why show photos of your vacation when you can transport a friend there, sound included? Pick up a 360cam for $500 if you’re interested!