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Tutorial, guide, and workarounds for using the Xiaomi Mi Sphere Camera

Tutorial, guide, and workarounds for using the Xiaomi Mi Sphere Camera
Tutorial, guide, and workarounds for using the Xiaomi Mi Sphere Camera

Here is a video tutorial on using the Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere 360 camera.  I also have late-breaking news on possible workarounds using third party software.

UPDATE: Also check out my Ultimate Xiaomi Mijia MI SPHERE Guide, FAQ, Resource Page, which has all the information about Mi Sphere.

The Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere 3.5K panoramic camera currently appears to offer the highest video quality for 360 cameras for $300 or less, and it is one of the few that offer manual exposure controls.  Together with fairly smooth stitching, edge-to-edge sharpness, and a 24mp photo resolution, it offers an excellent package for those looking for an entry-level or even intermediate 360 camera.

The only problem with the Mi Sphere is that its software is not straightforward and has quite a few bugs.  In this video, I will show how to use Xiaomi and hopefully demystify the Mi Sphere’s software.

As you saw in the video, the Mi Sphere has a few issues when stitching or exporting videos.  I therefore recommend trying out some files from the Xiaomi on your phone before buying it.


iOS app
Android app
Unstitched samples for you to try to stitch on your phone.

Lon Seidman has a good tutorial for importing and stitching these samples:

Because of these exporting issues, I tried to look for a third party app that could stitch the Mi Sphere offline at full resolution.  One such software appears to be Muvee for Mac OS.  I don’ have a Mac to test it myself, but Muvee staff offered to try stitching a video from the Xiaomi, and they said they succeeded.  Here is a frame grab provided by Muvee staff (still looks like fisheye at the edges):

Reader Ulf Brusquini reported success with Muvee:

I got it almost perfect now in Muvee 360 video stitcher. The Muvee 360 video stitcher is a simple drag’n drop software so you have to create the layout first to make it stitch 100% right. You can stitch any 2 to 1 spherical video, but you have to make a template to make it work. …. In this case I had to make the spherical videos oval…a bit higher than wide. just sayi’n.

Here is the video stitched by Ulf with Muvee:

I’m also going to try other software especially for Windows, such as Video-Stitch or Autopano.

In the meantime, if you’d like to study the Xiaomi’s samples, check out the links below.  if you’d like to get the Xiaomi camera, please buy it here from Gearbest, which ships to more than 200 countries, and offers competitive prices.  Buying from the link will support 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you, so I can do more tests and reviews.

Sample photos
Sample video for comparison
Sample low-light video
Workflow and other info

About the author

Mic Ty

24 Comments

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    • Thanks Michel. Open the app and tap on the Gallery. Select “import photo” on the upper left corner and copy the unstitched image into the app. Then open the app… Hopefully it stitches the photo correctly.

      Best regards,
      Mic

      • Hi Mic,

        It’s exactly what I’ve done… 🙁

        Video is stitched automaticly, but not your picture.
        I even published it (only for me) on Facebook.

        I really want to purchase this camera, but the app needs to work properly…

        Am I the one with this problem?

        Regards

        • Hi Michel. I updated the post to include a video from Lon Seidman showing how to import and stitch the photo. Please let me know if it works for you.

          Best regards,
          Mic

          • Hi Mic,

            I apologize for my poor english. 🙂

            The new video talks unfortunetly about video only.

            My video stitching and exporting works fine as you can see:

            http://prnt.sc/f76fdz
            http://prnt.sc/f76fl5

            So I’m a bit confused, why it stitch video and not the picture !!!

            Resuming: If you take this file (I mean the picture) and if you import it to the app, you got a perfect stitching?

            I ask that because in your video, the preview is always stitched in real time. So, when you take a photo pressing the shutter button, the result is always a double circular image like the one you shared on Google Drive or is a stitched one?

            Sorry for your time, I just try to understand why the video works well, but not the unstitched picture. It weird, maybe its due to the different resolution since picture is bigger than video.

            Of course, if I import your already stitched picture, it works like a charm and I can see it perfectly on 360º…

            I’m pulling my hair with what seems to be a bug.

            Have a good week-end!

            Greetings from Portugal.

  • Hi Mic,

    The camera arrived yesterday, I’ve done a little testing and am so far pleased with the results. I’ve created a template using PTGui which does a reasonable job of stitching in VideoStitch. I’ll refine it when I have time, but drop me an email and I’ll send you the template file.

    James

    • Congrats on getting the Xiaomi, and wow that would be awesome! My email is creadvty AT Gmail.

      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Does this camera overheat / blur after extended use? Also any work-hardened to get it to take photos at regular intervals? Thanks

  • Hi Any one can help me?
    I need to add my logo on the photo or video as a water mark and hide the monopod mark ..
    any solution for the Xiaomi Mi Sphere Camera and Samsung 360 2017 ???
    Thanks

  • Hi Mic, I follow you from Argentina, I read every report that you upload and it is a pleasure to be able to consult you. I tried to download the application in my country but I can not find it. I am about to buy the camera, but I worry about not having the application. Do you have a link where to download it for Android?

    thank you very much!

  • +Mic Ty I can use the stabilizer after your excellent tutorial and download the video to my samsung note 4, but only in half resolution. Depressing. I’ve asked the Muvee people to add automatic horizontal level to the stitch software a couple of weeks ago and they said OK, so maby we can stitch “stabilized” videos with Muvee in a while… But I must say I allready love the Xiaomi cam. The resolution and lenses are awesome. My newly arrived cam’s spherical raw video turns out to not be the same as yours (the spherical video is not at the same orientation as yours), so I’m now trying to make a template that works with MY Xiaomi to stitch with the Muvee software. It’s the same with my 2x LG360CAM’s…I’ve done one template for every cam…because the raw files are not the same in the layout.

  • Hi Mic,

    When I look into the memory card, some photos are stitched and others not. Any ideas why ?

    Best regards from Switzerland.

    • Hi Jerome. All photos and videos are unstitched. When you view them in the Android app, they are downloaded and stitched automatically. They should be in the DCIM \ Camera folder. Best regards, Mic

  • I got my Mi Sphere camera this weekend, but can’t seem to record in a resolution better than 1440×720. I though maybe it was my phone, but even using the camera without connecting my phone, the file on the card is 1440×720.

    • Hi Jamie. For each video, Xiaomi creates two video files — one that ends in AA and one that ends in AB. The one that you need to use is AA. AB is only for preview and I think that’s what you’re looking at when you see 720p. BR, Mic.

      • Thank you! Yes, upon looking at the files closer, there are indeed two versions- a full-resolution and an 1440×720 version. It appears my phone is not fast enough to process the larger files, so it only works with the smaller file. Holding my breath for the PC app!

  • Hello, i have bought Mi Sphere. But my app is not detecting memory card. Whenever I click on format memory card option, it say that there is no memory card. But my phone does show it. What should I do?

    • Hi Swapnil. The app’s format memory card option is for a memory card in your camera (not your phone). Have you put a Micro SD card in the camera (pls use U3 speed)?
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • Hi Mic

    I am so new with this thing but my problem is I couldn’t download the clip from Mi Sphere to my phone, I got iPhone and Huawei

    When I hit download button, there is a sign say couldn’t download and stuck there.
    I could play the video on camera through app but couldn’t download

  • HI

    I am so new with this thing but my problem is I couldn’t download the clip from Mi Sphere to my phone, I got iPhone and Huawei

    When I hit download button, there is a sign say couldn’t download and stuck there.
    I could play the video on camera through app but couldn’t download

  • HI

    I am so new with this thing but my problem is I couldn’t download the clip from Mi Sphere to my phone, I got iPhone and Huawei

    When I hit download button, there is a sign say couldn’t download and stuck there.
    I could play the video on camera through app but couldn’t download