5 Best Budget 360 Cameras Under $500
360 cameras offer a unique viewpoint to your recorded content. Whether you’re traveling, biking, or hiking, a 360-degree camera allows you to capture your surroundings. While these cameras were once a novelty, they have gained popularity and are now more affordable.
Looking to start your vlogging journey by recording yourself and your surroundings? We’ve compiled a list of the best budget 360 cameras under $500. These cameras can also be used to provide virtual tours of locations, buildings, or construction sites.
Before we discuss the cameras, here are some other articles you might be interested in:
– Looking for an action camera for adventurous activities? Check out the best GoPro alternatives with 4K recording.
– Want to edit your 360 videos on the go? Consider installing the best video editing apps for your iPhone.
– Thinking of using a 360 camera in your car? Get a budget dashcam instead.
Now, onto the cameras.
1. Kodak Orbit360
Screen: For modes only
The Kodak Orbit360 is an affordable 360 camera, making it a default option for those on a tight budget. Its compact size allows for easy portability in pockets or the palm of your hand.
The Kodak OrBit 360 is a small cube-shaped camera with two lenses on each side. It can record 360 videos up to 4K resolution, which can be viewed in VR. This makes it one of the best 360 VR cameras available. It also offers special ultra-wide and dome modes for different effects.
The camera is compatible with mounts and tripods, depending on your specific needs. While it is a great choice for beginners, it does have some drawbacks.
There is no screen on the camera to view the feed. You only get a tiny 1-inch display for settings. The camera doesn’t perform well in low-light situations, according to reviews. It’s slightly complex to operate initially but you should get used to it.
One advantage of getting this camera is that you get a ton of accessories in the box, including a tripod and multiple mounts for various uses. It’s also splash-proof, but don’t take it to the pool!
2. Vecnos IQUI ZTQ01
Lenses: Quad Resolution: 2K Screen: Nil
Vecnos IQUI ZTQ01
This Vecnos 360 camera has a design that you may love or hate. Unlike most small and pocketable 360 cameras, this one has a long handle that enables you to easily hold and record without a tripod.
The Vecnos IQUI ZTQ01 is the most unique-looking 360 camera on this list. It’s slim and can fit into your pockets or backpack like a pen. Unlike most 360 cameras with 2 lenses, this one has 4 covering the cylindrical surface. You can record videos in up to 2K resolution.
This camera isn’t ideal for videos according to reviews. The videos lack detail and are especially poor in low light conditions. Therefore, if you prioritize video recording over photography, this camera is not recommended.
However, the design of this camera makes it suitable for group selfies. Therefore, you can consider purchasing it solely for that purpose. Additionally, some users find the instructions difficult to follow and there is no onboard display.
3. Ricoh Theta SC2
Screen: For modes only
Ricoh Theta SC2
The Ricoh Thera SC2 is slightly pricier than previous models but offers significantly improved quality. It includes two 4K lenses and a dedicated Night mode for low-light shooting. It also comes in four different colors.
The Rico 360 camera is a top choice for construction sites and real estate projects. Users have successfully used it for 3D house tours and interior design. It’s compact and comes with a protective carrying case. The lenses protrude slightly, so the added protection is helpful.
There are two downsides to this product, though, which aren’t that big but you should be aware of. The HDR on the camera doesn’t seem to work well. If there’s a bright sky or light coming out of a window, the exposure will be blown out. Another issue is that if you have an iPhone, the app disconnects from the camera frequently, so it’s a task to reconnect it. You won’t face this issue with an Android device. If you can extend your budget slightly, this should be the best starter 360-degree camera for most people.
4. Insta360 X3
Screen: Touchscreen with live feed
This is one of the best 360 cameras available. The features and image quality make it worthwhile. You can also use it to record with a single lens if you don’t want 360 photos or videos. If you want a professional 360 camera, get this one!
The Insta360 X2 was already one of the best 360 cameras available. But the upgraded X3 model takes it up a notch. It has two 1/2-inch sensors with a 48MP resolution each. You can record videos up to 5.7K with these lenses, which is impressive. There’s also a big display on the camera with a live feed of what you’re recording, which is helpful for vlogging.
This camera is filled with useful features like 8K timelapse, 72MP photo mode, FlowState stabilization, and 360 horizon lock. It also has a neat trick where you can hide the selfie stick in the video, making it appear as though the camera is floating while recording. Since the camera is waterproof, you can take it underwater without hesitation.
It might be slightly difficult to understand all the features at first, but you should get accustomed to using the camera over time. If you’re considering creating professional content, you cannot go wrong with the Insta360 X3. Oh, and it records at 60fps for that extra-smooth look.
5. GoPro MAX
Screen: Touchscreen with a live feed
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