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Garmin Virb 360 vs. Xiaomi Mi Sphere photo and video comparison!

Garmin Virb 360 vs Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere 360 camera
Garmin Virb 360 vs Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere 360 camera

Here is a quick informal photo and video comparison between two of the best 360 cameras at the moment: the Garmin Virb 360 ($799; first impressions here) and the Xiaomi Mi Sphere ($250 to $300; reviewed here).
When I reviewed the Xiaomi Mi Sphere, I found it to have the best photo and video quality among consumer 360 cameras around $350 or less.  Meanwhile, the Garmin has launched the Virb 360 with 5.7K video* (4K in-camera stitched), which is the most feature-rich 360 camera I am aware of, bar none.

Both cameras feature image stabilization, which puts them heads-and-shoulders above the competition, IMHO.  No doubt the Xiaomi is a great choice, but is it worth spending the extra to get the Virb 360?  To help you answer that, I took a quick sample of photos and videos from these two cameras for comparison.  (Note: the Virb is using firmware 2.70, while the Xiaomi is using firmware 12494).

Here are the videos.  The first is a montage that alternates between the two cameras.  The other two videos in the playlist are the Virb 360 by itself, and the Xiaomi by itself.  The videos are unedited with default settings except that I added titles and I dovetailed the videos using Adobe Premiere Pro, rendered at constant bit rate of around 80mbps with “maximum depth”:

Here are 360 photos for comparison:

I will take more sample photos and videos.  Of course, photo and video quality are just two of the factors for choosing 360 cameras, not including other issues such as features, workflow, and of course, price.  Watch for my full review of the Virb 360!

In the meantime, if you would like to buy either camera, I would appreciate it if you would use the affiliate links below to support 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you so I can do more tests and reviews:
– Garmin Virb 360 ($799) is available at Amazon or B&H Photo.
– Xiaomi Mi Sphere ($255 to $300) is available here:  To get the best price, usethesecoupons:
Coupon1: GBMijiaCa , Price: $244.99 (while offer lasts)
Coupon2: 9dnyemqq , Price: $249.99

About the author

Mic Ty

6 Comments

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  • Thanks for the pictures. I’m looking forward. If you take the price is the virb in this comparison a tick better (video + pictures) I think. But I wait for further material from you. Thank you

  • My first impressions:

    Garmin

    Price: You can buy 3 Xiomi instead of the Garmin. That unique variable make the two cameras uncomparable IMHO
    Quality: Very good dynamic range, but the flares are very annoying and impossible to fix.
    Colors: Great realistic colors. Contrast seems a bit low, fortunatly it’s easy to correct in postproduction.

    Xiaomi

    Price: A perfect winner
    Quality: Annoying purple fringe near the stitchline (easy to fix, at least in photos). No flare effect.
    Colors: Your Xiaomi seems to be over saturated. maybe due to the recompression after your edition. Mine have realistic colors.

    • Hi Michel. Yes the Virb costs much more but it has many more features, and for some people, the extra features could be worth the price difference. I will post about them next time.
      Best regards,
      Mic

  • hello Mic, under your opinion and without the price thing, which one do you think is better? and between Xiaomi and YI 360 VR? Thanksss 🙂

    • Hi Albert. I haven’t tried Yi 360 VR yet. I did order it, so if and when I receive it, I will post a comparison.

      Best regards,
      Mic

    • Hi Albert, without considering the price, I prefer the Virb 360 for the video and the features. I prefer Xiaomi for photos and the slim body which can be made invisible. So it depends what I’m trying to do. If I’m walking around vlogging while holding the camera, the Xiaomi would be my choice. For other types of videos, I would probably prefer the Virb 360.
      I can’t compare to Yi 360 VR because I don’t have it yet.
      Best regards,
      Mic

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