360 cameras are innovative devices that completely changed the photography landscape. However, most models don’t work underwater. That typically restricts their versatility and limits what they can do.
Fortunately, there are a few premium models that do a great job on both above and below land. This guide breaks down the best ones on the market by analyzing all of their wonderful features.
After we checked some of the most popular waterproof 360 cameras on the market, we came up with three that met our standards for durability, audio quality, accurate preview, stable connection, and battery life.
- Insta360 ONE is a good choice for users who want smooth video and great stabilization.
- Ricoh Theta V is ideal if you want a reliable camera that can handle high-contrast and low-light situations.
- If you want a device that works down to sixteen feet underwater, the GoPro Fusion should be your choice.
Who Should Get This?
360 cameras are perfect for users who want a camera with amazing stabilization. As they have an unlimited field of view, the cameras allow you to capture a unique third-person perspective that other models don’t offer.
Another perk that comes with using this type of camera is that you can simulate movements that usually require equipment, saving you thousands of dollars. For instance, the gadgets can give you angles you would normally need three different devices ( crane, drone, slider) to get.
The cameras’ excellent stabilization allows you to focus on other things while you shoot. The wide view also makes them great for group photos and wide selfies.
Best Waterproof 360 Camera: What to Consider in 2020?
Here are vital considerations to keep in mind before buying a waterproof 360 camera.
If you want to easily take great pictures or footage, it’s crucial to go for 360 cameras that have a realistic preview. That feature gives you the most accurate results and reduces your number of takes.
If your camera has a stable Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, it will allow you to trigger the camera and change the settings from a distance. Always get a device that you can operate from a wide range of places.
When shooting, sound can be just as important as image quality. Always look for models with strong microphones.
Before you buy a 360 camera, you have to ensure the device is sturdy enough to withstand the condition and environment you plan to use it in. Avoid devices that overheat. Instead, go for ones that dissipate the heat it produces when you’re filming. The gadget should also work flawlessly in freezing temperatures.
User-Friendly App with Different Features
Camera with user-friendly apps make it easy to explore different scenes. They allow you to add cinematic pans and edits as well.
Always consider your camera’s battery life before purchasing it. That will let you know how much time you have to shoot and how long you can keep it off the charger.
Cameras with good image stabilization can save you from having to buy an expensive gimbal. It also allows your device to act as a strong action camera and gives your videos a professional feel.
Best Waterproof 360 Camera: Our Picks for 2020
1. Insta360 ONE
The Insta360 ONE takes our number one spot because it is an excellent value camera with a lot of unique features commonly found in the most expensive 360 cameras. This model allows you to shoot 4k 360 videos alongside high resolution 360 photos.
You can also use the app to create a re-framed over capture video. The model shoots 5.7k video and 18mp stills. It can even transfer in real-time via Wi-Fi, includes stabilization, and has a 50-frames-per-second mode for smooth footage.
It weighs about 3.2 ounces with its rechargeable battery and comes with an optional waterproof case if you need to shoot videos under the water.
It also shoots great bullet-time due to the fact that it maintains a 3k video at 100 frames-per-second. There is also fantastic stabilization, and when you turn on the Wi-Fi transmission the camera can shoot for an hour on a single charge.
Just be sure to budget for an SD card since the camera doesn’t come with one.
What We Like:
- Free capture video mode
- 4k video
- Live streams in 4k
- Large 24mp photos
What We Don’t Like:
- Images are slightly oversaturated
Theta V is one of the best all-round 360 cameras on the market. It allows you to shoot fantastic looking videos and photos on the go and it comes with an automatic HDR mode that shoots great 360 photos.
The four microphones create great 360 audio, and while the stabilization is not the best, the camera has the option of a handy ambisonic microphone attachment
What We Like:
- Automatic HDR photo mode
- 4k video
- 360 audio
- Available ambisonic microphone attachment
What We Don’t Like:
- Limited stabilization
3. GoPro Fusion
At first glance, this square 360 camera doesn’t look like it can create quality images. While it doesn’t have the power of similar models, it has the ability to go 16 feet below the waves thanks to its top-of-the-line waterproofing case.
That enables you to shoot deep underwater without a separate water-tight case.
The camera can take 5.2k video and 18mp. It also comes with software that allows you to save and pick a flat perspective photo or traditional 1080 video—even though you’ll still have the fish-eye distortion.
In addition, the Fusion is compatible with the most popular Android models and iPhones. It works best
when you use two fast SD cards with it, and it is able to shoot a flat HD video.
What We Like
- It comes with a monopod attachment
- Impressive stabilization
- Great video quality
What We Don’t Like:
- Requires two Micro SD cards
5 Vital Techniques for Using 360 Cameras
Handling 360 cameras may seem very simple at first, but they can be tough to understand—especially for beginners. Here are some vital techniques to help you get started:
1. Reaching the Best Height and Distance
To get a good position, place it around shoulder or chin height. For videos, you can set the camera at a speaking distance from the subject.
2. Avoid Glare
It’s normal to have photos and videos with uneven exposure. It usually happens as a result of glare. So how do you avoid glare?
Simple! Aim the stitch line towards the primary light source and always ensure your lens is clear. It is also important to avoid scratching the lens when you set it on a hard surface.
3. The Best Way to Use the 3PV Feature
To use the 3PV feature, get a selfie stick and hold the 360 camera at a natural angle.
4. Make the Selfie Stick Disappear
If you choose to play around with the camera’s stitch line, it may distort your face. However, that is not always a bad thing because if you use a selfie stick within the stitch line, it disappears. The method is quite useful when you want to use the 3PV feature.
Just make sure your selfie stick is narrow enough to fit within your camera’s stitch line.
5. Elude the Stitch Line
A stitch line refers to the area where two videos or photos meet. The 360 cameras can capture everything apart from the space between lenses. As such, if you don’t want a distorted face, avoid putting essential objects within the stitch line.
At this point, we hope you’ve been able to determine which waterproof 360 camera suits your needs and which one works best for your lifestyle.
What do you think about the buying guide? Did we omit your favorite? If you need more help with your decision, let us know in the comments section.
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.