The action cam takes on a whole new look with the new 360fly 4K ($499.99), a water-resistant and dust- and shockproof 360-degree camera. It has a standard tripod mount, 64GB of internal storage, a single button for power and recording, and a mobile app that makes it very simple to capture, edit and share your 360-degree movies to Facebook and YouTube.
360fly 4K Design
The 360fly 4K is an angular sphere-shaped device with a single massive fish-eye lens, a single physical button and no ports, nearly identical to the original 360fly. Since there is just one lens, the 360 video is not spherical, but instead has a 360×240-degree field of view. You lose the 120 degrees below the lens, but you don’t have to worry about stitching.
The company’s original HD-resolution 360fly camera, which is still available for $300, had some issues. You had to use it’s proprietary mount, the power/record button was hard to find, the exterior wasn’t as nice as the new 4k, and the video quality was so-so. Enter the 360fly 4K, and you have a whole new ball game.
The $500 360fly 4K is worth the extra cabbage. Its activity light and power/record button are combined, which makes it easier to see with the camera on or off. It also get’s rid of the original’s mount for a standard 1/4-20 tripod mount. Finally, it’s now water resistant down to about 10 meters without the mic plug, and the exterior is rubberized for a better grip.
You can mount the 360fly 4K in your car, on your helmet or on a bike. The standard camera tripod screw on the bottom means it’ll work with about every camera mounting accessory, and the included GoPro adapter is a plus
There’s a magnetic socket on the bottom of the 360fly 4K that lets the camera sit flat when it isn’t mounted somewhere, and when you set 360fly on top of its charging dock you gain the ability to transfer video over USB to a PC.
Another cool addition with the 360fly 4k is the light ring on the base of the camera. The big button on the side of the original 360fly glows several colors to indicate the current state of the camera, and the ring on the bottom of the 4K now glows that same color. This is important because now the status of your camera is a lot more prominent.
The 360fly 4K can also be used to live stream 360-degree video via streaming service Livit. Just install Livit’s app and connect your smartphone to the camera. In the Livit app there’s a little fly icon that you just need to tap and it should start streaming.
The associated companion app for the 360fly 4K is really robust, especially compared to what other consumer 360-degree camera makers are offering. It makes the 360fly 4K that much more usable, as does its design, which also makes it better suited for action cam use than as a point-and-shoot 360 camera.
Turning the camera on also turns on the camera’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Once you pair and open the 360fly app, you’ll now have a live preview from the camera as well as control over its settings.
Along with 360-degree video, the 360fly 4K will also shoot 360 photos, POV movies, 16:9 widescreen shots and time-lapse video. The resolution tops out at 2,880×2,880 pixels, which is very detailed, and you can choose between 24 frames per second for a live onscreen view while recording, or get slightly smoother results at 30fps without the live view.
The app also makes it a breeze to edit your videos, letting you quickly select just the sections you want to include. You can also add music, control playback speed, grab stills from video and use image filtering. The 360fly 4k also has built-in GPS, an altimeter and an accelerometer. Why? The company says it has plans to eventually make this data available to overlay on your videos. A Watch Me mode allows you to decide what you want the 360 viewer to see and record just by pinching, zooming and swiping, and then the app exports it as a flat, 16:9 widescreen video you can share.
Speaking of sharing your videos, you can share your 360 videos to the company’s website, Facebook, YouTube or straight to the app. Uploading to the 360fly website offers the best image quality because the other two end up compressing the files and altering its quality. Additionally, when you upload to the 360fly website, you also get the luxury of using their 360fly Director desktop software to edit, which is full of function, and produces very cool video. We will say, however, that ironically the app has more features and function than the desktop software.
The built-in battery lasts for about 1.5 hours of straight recording to the camera’s internal 64GB of storage, which holds up to 3-hours of 4K-res video. To charge and transfer images, there’s a PowerCradle, a small round dock that magnetically attaches to the camera’s bottom. It uses a Micro-USB cable for connecting to a computer or charger. You won’t be able to charge or transfer without it.
The 360fly 4K takes stunning 4k video and stills, and while the 4K can take a beating during action shots, it’s still sturdy enough to handle the bumps and tumbles when using it. Additionally, the light ring indicator on the bottom makes a huge difference in how often you need to check and make sure it’s still recording. The app does a super job keeping you informed, but if you’re recording something dynamic, it helps to not have to check your phone.
A fully charged battery will record at least an hour of video, or capture a timelapse over four hours. The larger file size hasn’t made any significant difference in battery drain, which is nice. Despite being one of the physically smaller cameras of its kind, the battery seems to be the best among its competition.
Finally, thanks to the many features, functions and services, which allow you to create, edit and share your 360fly 4K videos and stills, it makes for a very user-friendly and robust camera for the serious 360-camera operator.
The 360fly 4K is a winner, and significantly more capable and a higher quality camera than its predecessor. Images and video are sharp and detailed, and using the camera just got a little more friendlier.
If you’re looking for a 360 camera with great video functions, the 360fly 4K is for you. Its excellent mobile app is a definite plus compared to competing cameras. If you’re wondering what comes after a GoPro, check out the 360fly 4K. It’s the wave of the future.
The 360fly 4K runs $499.99, and you can purchase it here.