Kodak 360 Camera Review

Kodak 360 Camera Review
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Find out all that you need to know about the Orbit360 with the Kodak 360 camera review.

Our Review of the Kodak 360 Camera

Before going any further, you should know that the seams can be seen even in the final edited images. Although the camera has a good range and high resolution, sadly, seams are very much there.

Pros

  • Full 360 view video recording
  • Decent audio quality
  • Mic input
  • Splash and dust resistant
  • Multiple recording options
  • Tripod socket

Cons

  • Seams don’t go away
  • Pricey
  • Manages only 24 fps at 4K resolution
  • Mobile software unstable

Background

The license of the renowned Kodak camera brand, JK Imaging, was an early entrant in the 360 camera market. Initially, models had only a single lens.

The Kodak Pixpro Orbit360 sports dual lenses and is the first to do so in the Kodak lineup.

Image quality, however, suffers serious drawbacks. The stitches are apparent, and there is a difference in quality between the two lenses, which shows up in the final photos.

A better option at this price point would be the Nikon KeyMission 360.

Design

The Orbit360 is a square-shaped device that bears a dual-lens system – each lens is covered with a separate dome. There is nothing much to say about the construction and build quality except that it does not thrill with its white plastic exterior.

The camera weighs 5.5 ounces, has a depth of 2.7 inches, and its face measures 2.2 by 2.2 inches. The bottom holds a tripod socket. Although the device can take a few odd splashes, it won’t survive if submerged.

The camera body bears some control buttons. There is also a small LCD screen. There are buttons for recording, powering on or off, menu selection, and Wi-Fi. The LCD screen displays enough information so that you can work the camera without using the app.  However, using a smartphone to operate the app is recommended since you can adjust settings more easily and change modes instantly.

The locking side door protects ports as well as the removable battery. The battery can last just under half an hour when recording 360 videos.

Software

You should install the app on your phone to control the 360 camera easily. You can see the live view on the app screen and exercise full control over your camera. Change shooting modes quickly, snap photos, stop and start recording and manage exposure.

You can transfer videos and images to your smartphone using the app. An iPhone 8 takes around 4 minutes to transfer a one-minute 360 clip shot at 4K.

One downside is that you cannot stitch the video in the camera at max settings (4K at 24 fps). But at 15 fps at 4K, in-camera stitching is possible. But at such a low frame rate, the clip will be choppy.

The app is capable of stitching one minute’s worth of video in six and a half minutes. However, the app cannot convert longer videos. So you will have to keep your footage short. Or you can shoot short clips, convert them and combine them later on.

There is a problem with the app that needs mentioning. If your phone screen switches off, then stitching is disrupted. You will have to start stitching from square one if that happens. So you will have to select phone settings that will keep your phone screen switched on.

Image and Video Quality

Normally, 360 cameras have identical lenses. But the Orbit is different. The front lens is visibly shorter than the rear legs. The 155 degrees of view that the front lens covers are much more restricted than the much wider 235-degree view that the rear lens captures. Thus, the rear lens can even record the scene behind it.

There is actually an explanation for this apparent discrepancy. The front lens is suitable for 16:9 conventional video formats, due to which it captures images at the 135 degree viewing angle. This is much like an action cam. You can use the rear lens on its own. Sadly, the lens design takes its toll on the final video quality.

It’s true that even at 4K resolution, the 360 camera shoots clips that look less sharp than normal 1080p clips. However, the 360 video quality of the Orbit is well below that of leading models on the market. So even at a distance, you can see the seam easily. The highly conspicuous difference in sharpness makes this even more apparent. The difference in exposure doesn’t help matters.

The front camera video quality is unsurprisingly sharper. There is a 20 MP sensor behind each lens. So the video quality is better for the front lens since it has a limited scope and thus less detail to capture. It is best to keep the best lens forward (the front lens) when recording videos.

The low frame rate is also detrimental to the quality of the final video. At 4K, you cannot record beyond 24 fps. There is also a 15 fps setting available at this resolution. The motion is too choppy at this low frame rate. But at 24 fps, the relatively low frame rate gives the video a cinematic feel.

However, action video enthusiasts will want 30 to 60 fps. But for the 30 fps framerate, you will have to take the resolution down to 960p. Of course, at this point in time, even the best 360 cameras don’t have the processing power needed for 4K videos at 60 fps.

Still Photos

You can also capture still photos using both lenses. 27 MP 360 images are possible with both the front and the rear lens. The front lens gives 8MP 2D images, while the rear lens gives 13MP 2D images.

The Orbit does not fare well under indoor lighting. So you are just not going to get meaningful videos in dimly lit pubs and bars.

Our Final Thoughts

The Kodak Orbit360 has too many issues worth recommending. At this price point, you will do better with the Nikon KeyMission.

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