Virtual Reality is a massive industry that keeps on growing. It has even caused companies to start building 360 degree action cameras. And it makes sense as well. Action cameras are small and easily attachable. They can be used to create some fantastic virtual reality environments. But there have always been the same problems. Either the 360 degree action cameras are too expensive or just bad. SJCAM has come to change that.
I have recently reviewed a number of their newest action cameras. And they have been mind blowing amazing. That’s why I was really excited when I heard that SJCAM has come out with the SJ360, their very first 360 degree action camera. Maybe this is will be the best bang for buck action camera for 360º videos?
- Dimensions: 50×50×50mm / 1.97×1.97×1.97″
- Weight: 104g / 3.6oz
- Sensor: Sony IMX078 CMOS 12MP
- Chipset: Novatek 96660
- Field of View: 220°
- Video resolutions: 2K 30fps; 1440p 30fps
- Bitrate: 60Mbps
- Photo: 12MP
- Modes: Fisheye, Hemisphere, Sphere, Panorama, Cylinder, VR, Time Lapse, Self Timer, Burst
- Features: WiFi, 1″ LCD Screen, 360º
- Ports: MicroUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
- Battery life: 115 minutes of 2K at 30fps
- Price: $149
In The Box
- SJCAM SJ360 Action Camera
- Arch Holder, Plane Holder
- Arch Base, Plane Base, Base, Permanent Seat, Bicycle Stand
- Connector, Adhesive Tape, Adapter
- Camera Bag
- MicroUSB Cable
Design & Accessories
The SJCAM SJ360 has a pretty typical 360 degree action camera design. It has a round shape with the dimensions of 50×50×50mm / 1.97×1.97×1.97″. So it’s pretty comfortable to hold onto. The body is fully made out of plastic. It’s pretty high quality and looks really modern/sleek. Somewhat futuristic even. The action camera is also available in two different colors: black and white. While the body is plastic, the lens still made out of glass. And it sticks out of the camera quite a bit, so definitely be careful with that. Keep it in the camera bag that’s included in the box to avoid any scratches on the glass. It’s definitely the weakest part on the camera.
As I mentioned, the top side of the SJCAM SJ360 has the 220° lens. Bottom of the camera has a threaded hole connector for the accessories. It’s always good to keep it attached to a handle if you are filming from your hand. If you hold onto the camera while filming, your hand will also be seen in the footage. The side has a 1″ LCD screen that let’s you know what mode you are currently using and how much battery is left. There are also two buttons: one for recording/power and the other for changing modes. Along the side there is also a compartment for the battery, MicroUSB, MicroHDMI and MicroSD card slots.
SJCAM has included all the basic accessories you’ll need to get started with the SJ360. You’ll get plenty of different mounts, a threaded adapter for the camera that can be used with GoPro mounts and a bag. It’s actually a pretty decent set. I would like there to be a handle included as well. It would make it so much easier to record while walking. At least I would like to use it while just browsing through the city. I would recommend getting the simplest/cheapest one you can find. Amazon has plenty of them available, just make sure they are fit for GoPro/SJCAM.
Video & Features
Like most 360 degree action cameras, there aren’t many video resolutions or frame rates to choose from. The SJ360 records videos at a resolution of 2K at 30fps and 1440p at 30fps. Pretty typical specs really. All that really matters is how good the video quality is. I have reviewed some 360 degree action cameras before that had pretty much the same video resolution and the quality was really bad. So let’s see how well the SJ360 performs.
Well, first of all this is a 360 degree video so the quality won’t be as good as on normal action cameras. Compared to other 360 action cameras, the quality actually isn’t bad. Yes there is quite a lot of blur and everything kind of looks like it’s taken in 720p. But I have seen much worse from the other action cameras in the same price range. The only other 360° action camera I can see beating this is the Samsung Gear 360 but that’s almost 4x more expensive.
So apart from just the standard VR video recording, there actually 5 more 360 degree video modes: Fisheye, Hemisphere, Sphere, Panorama, Cylinder. They can be used to record some interesting videos. For example this “planet” like video captured from a drone.
The SJCAM SJ360 comes with WiFi so it can be connected to a Android or iOS smartphone. Just download the SJCAM ZONE app that’s it. It’s a pretty easy and well developed app. I haven’t personally noticed any bugs or anything weird. With the app you can fully control the SJ360 from a distance. You can change settings, view live footage and even start recording. It’s pretty much a must have if you plan to mount the camera somewhere.
The SJCAM SJ360 is definitely the best priced 360 degree action camera available. While the video quality isn’t as good as you are probably used to, 360 degree videos are just in this state at the moment. If you are looking for a 360 degree action camera right this moment and don’t want to spend huge amounts, then SJCAM SJ360 is currently the best choice in this price range. I’d say that the better ones start at $400 so that’s quite an increase.