Shooting with a 360 Camera; The Best Options? | Blend Media

The purpose of this series is to provide useful 360 video tips to consolidate your 360 production skill set. 360 video content creators can apply these tips and tricks to any future productions.

In episode seven of our ‘360 Video Top Tips’ series we caught up with Blend Media creator, Daniel Pharaoh, otherwise known as The 360 Guy. He shared some excellent advice on which 360 cameras to buy no matter what your budget is.

Take it away Daniel!

Just a few years ago, shooting in 360 required expensive rigs with multiple cameras and was a hugely time-consuming post processing.

For those looking to start creating 360 content now, the situation couldn’t be more different. Theoretically you could start shooting passable 360 video using a £60 camera and have it uploaded to Blend Media within a few hours.

Of course there are much more expensive cameras that shoot in 360 and if you want the best quality you can expect to pay significantly for it; but there are also a myriad of excellent, affordable 360 cameras out now.

I run one of the only YouTube channels and websites dedicated to 360 cameras and shooting 360 video, and I own nearly every consumer 360 camera. Feel free to check it out here.

Let’s take a look at some of your best options if you want to start shooting 360 video. Thankfully there is something to suite every budget.


1. Samsung Gear 360 (2016)

This is the £60 camera I was referring to and it’s currently the cheapest 360 camera that meets the standard of acceptable 360 video. The 2016 Gear 360 is marketed as a 4K 360 camera and has a video resolution of 3840×1920 which is pretty much accepted as 4K. 4K is considered the minimum resolution for 360 video to look passable and the Gear 360 was one of the first consumer 360 cameras to shoot at this resolution. While it’s a few years old now, it still holds up reasonably well. If you have a very restricted budget then this 360 camera will do you well, but you may want to consider a slightly more up-to-date device if you can.

2. Yi 360 VR

The Yi 360 VR is currently one of my favourite 360 cameras thanks to its ability to shoot very high quality 360 video at such an affordable price. The Yi 360 can shoot 360 video at 5.7K resolution which is above average for a consumer 360 camera. More importantly, the video it shoots has fine details, good colour balance and a high bit rate. It does struggle with bright light, but if you take into consideration its sub £400 price tag it still represents excellent value. If you are looking to step up your game and start shooting higher quality 360 video then the Yi 360 is an excellent option.

3. GoPro Fusion

 The GoPro Fusion launched at the end of last year after much anticipation. The Fusion is GoPro’s first all in one 360 camera and it comes after nearly a decade of developing small, high quality cameras. While the Fusion isn’t as easy to work with as some other cameras, it’s without a doubt the best 360 camera under $1000 as of now. It can shoot 5.2K 360 video and while this is a lower resolution than some of its competitors, it still out performs them thanks to superior optics. The Fusion can create near professional quality 360 video, and with some post production tweaking, you can really get some stunning footage out of it.

4. Insta360 Pro

I would class the Insta360 Pro as an affordable professional 360 camera. While its £3000 price tag may seem excessive, it’s actually considered cheap for a pro level camera. The Insta360 Pro can shoot 8K 360 video utilising multiple lenses. It can shoot in RAW, allowing you to tweak the colour and light balance without losing quality. Compared to consumer 360 cameras, the Insta360 Pro is a much more capable camera and will set you apart from the crowd. The Pro has been used by various production companies, media organisations and documentary crews and is developing a reputation as the workhorse of the VR video industry.


5. Z- Cam S1 Pro

The final and most expensive 360 camera on this list is the Z Cam S1 Pro. At around £6,500 ($8500), this 360 camera is firmly aimed at production companies wanting to get a head start in shooting ultra-high quality 360 video quickly and easily. The Z Cam S1 Pro features four Micro 4/3 lenses which team up to shoot seamless 360 video. The very high quality lenses means the S1 Pro can shoot in low light conditions and maintain fine details; a feature that eludes almost all other 360 cameras. This is the best 360 camera I’ve ever used and it’s the only one that can shoot 360 video that looks as good as a flat video in 4K.


These are my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy a 360 camera as of now. The 360 camera you choose will depend on your budget and what you hope to achieve, but the most important thing to consider when shooting 360 video is not necessarily the image quality, but the environment you are shooting. People will be interested in your video regardless of its quality if you can take them somewhere interesting and immerse them in a unique environment.

Before you go, why not check out Daniel’s 2018 review on twelve different 360 cameras…