I found a camera case that fits the Xiaomi Mi Sphere perfectly and doubles as a lens cap!
Like any 360 camera, you need to take very good care of the Xiaomi Mi Sphere’s lenses. Unlike non-360 lenses, scratches will have a serious impact on the image quality of 360 lenses because of their very short focal length.
The Xiaomi does include a camera case, which has a rubberized texture that seems waterproof. However, I wasn’t satisfied with it for two reasons: first, it’s not that thick, and doesn’t seem like it will protect the Xiaomi in case you drop it. Second, every time I take the Xiaomi out of the case, I see that the lens is smeared. It seems like the rubberized texture has some kind of oil in it (perhaps to prevent it from drying out).
I searched high and low for a replacement case, and finally found one that’s pretty much perfect. Here is the case I found. Here is a video showing how well it works with the Xiaomi:
To recap, here are the primary benefits:
1. Can fit the Xiaomi horizontally or vertically. I can put my Xiaomi with the 1/4-20 tripod insert exposed, so I can attach my Benro MK10 selfie stick tripod any time, while keeping the Xiaomi in its case until I’m ready to shoot.
2. Is very thickly padded for protection. Originally, I was looking into a crushproof hard case, but if the case is rigid, then the impact from a fall will transmit the shock to the camera and possibly crack the lens, defeating the purpose of having a case.
3. Wearable. I can put the case on my belt. It also comes with a shoulder strap if you want to use that.
4. There is a pocket to put a microfiber cloth for cleaning the Xiaomi lens. (But there is no microfiber cloth included.)
5. Reasonably priced.
I found the case at Amazon. For some reason, it seems to be on its way to being discontinued so I wouldn’t wait too long…