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Will It Go Round In Circles? 360-Degree Action Cameras In Focus

360fly: The 360fly 4K camera’s powerful new image sensor produces 2,880 by 2,880-pixel, 360-degree 4K video that can be live-streamed via the Livit mobile app. It also captures traditional point-and-shoot videos and stills. It has a built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, an altimeter and accelerometer to track altitude and speed, and boasts 64GB of internal memory. It is waterproof to 30 feet and has a battery life of up to an hour and a half. The camera comes standard with Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi, and is compatible with a free Android and iOS mobile app that allows users to share content to popular social platforms. It retails for $399.

Nikon: The KeyMission 360, the company’s first-ever action camera, will shoot 360-degree 4K video from an ultra-compact form factor. The small square camera is slightly bigger than GoPro’s Hero Session 4, with dual lenses on the front and back and dual image sensors inside. It is shockproof to 7 feet and waterproof to 100 feet. The camera has electronic vibration reduction and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It is expected to hit the market in October at a price to be announced.

Samsung: The Gear 360 is the company’s first 360-degree video camera. It records 4K video with two F/2.0 fish-eye lenses, each driven by a 15-megapixel sensor. It stores shot content to a MicroSD card slot capable of handling up to 128GB of storage. The camera has been engineered to work in concert with Samsung’s Gear VR headset as well as its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones. When the camera is synced to the phone via Bluetooth, live footage can be viewed on the phone screen and the phone can be used as a remote control. All video shot with the Gear 360 will automatically appear on and be saved to the phone. It will retail for about $360 and set to ship by the end of this month.

LG: The LG 360 Cam has one-touch toggling between 360- and 180-degree image capture with one click. Dual 13-megapixel wide-angle cameras with 9-axis sensors produce 2K video with 16-megapixel spherical image support and 5.1-channel surround sound through three integrated microphones. The cameras weighs only 2.65 ounces and is less than 4 inches high. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It saves content via an external SD slot and has a 1,200 mAh battery. The camera is compatible with YouTube and the Google Street View app, making it easy to publish, share and explore 360-degree videos and photos with others. It is available now with a $199 retail.

Kodak: The all new Kodak PixPro SP360 4K action cam has a 360-degree spherical lens with a 235-degree field of view. Two bundles are offered: the Premier Pack, which includes a single camera, a bar mount, a suction cup mount, curved and flat adhesive mounts and protective lens covers for standard 4K action shooting; and the Dual Pro Pack, with twin cameras and a dual housing base mount for 360-degree shooting. It adds a selfie stick and a portable remote control with wrist strap. The cameras work with free downloadable PixPro SP360 4K Editing Software that stitches content into 360 degrees and automatically loads it to the user’s YouTube channel. Pricing starts at $449.

Sphericam: Built from the ground up specifically for capturing virtual-reality content, the prosumer Sphericam is a 4K cam housed in a rugged anodized aluminum body. About the size of a tennis ball, the Sphericam features six integrated cameras working together to capture 4K VR video, stitched internally for immediate playback. Wi-Fi connectivity and a free app allows the user to start/stop recording, monitor the view while recording, transfer and configure content. It captures 2.4Gbps RAW 4,096 by 2,048 native resolution images. The global shutter sensor captures every pixel instantaneously, with zero focal plane distortion, no rolling shutter effect, and zero “Jell-O” effects. It will be available in late summer at a retail of $3,000. Pre-orders knock off $500.

HumanEyes: The prosumer, spherical-shaped Vuze VR camera boasts eight FullHD cameras, two on each side, each with 120-degree horizontal/180-degree vertical fields of view. That setup allows it to capture stereoscopic 360 videos in 4K resolution at 30 fps. An accompanying app is used for controlling the camera. The camera is said to have “near real-time processing” with a built in automatic stitching algorithm. Captured content can also be offloaded for use with third-party production software. The company’s “All You Need VR Kit” includes the camera, the Vuze app, Vuze Studio software, a tripod, and, get this, a free Vuze VR headset. Preorders are being accepted now for $799, with October delivery slated.

Bublcam: When Bublcam launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter last year it was billed as “the world’s first 360 spherical camera.” Bublcam has a feature set that rivals or exceeds the other prosumer 360 VR cams on the market. It captures RAW and JPG files that can be edited with amost any off-the-shelf video editing software. It utilizes an external SD card slot for memory and ships with a compact tripod. The Bubl Xplor app controls the camera from afar. It also includes features for high dynamic range and time-lapse photos. It is available for $799.