Do you want to capture an amazing 3rd person view or aerial tiny planet with your drone? Here are the lightest 360 cameras for your DJI Mavic or FPV quad to capture impossible views that you can’t capture with any other camera.
Your drone can capture a third person view video of itself, like a selfie aerial video, with a 360 camera. The challenge is that 360 cameras are an additional weight on the your drone. Although the weight of a 360 camera is negligible compared to a DSLR or mirrorless camera, the additional weight will affect your drone’s flight performance significantly. In this regard, the lighter the 360 camera, the less of an effect there will be on your drone.
Here are the lightest 360 cameras for your drone, all under 120 grams. I’ve only included 360 cameras that can be used standalone. This excludes 360 cameras such as the Kandao Qoocam Fun, which is quite capable but cannot be used without a phone.
Here is a table that can be sorted according to weight, resolution, or other factors:
|Name||Price||Weight in grams||Video Resolution at 30fps or higher||Stabilization||Type of mount|
|360Rize Penguin||Check here||71.5||3840 x 1920||None||1/4-20 (offset)|
|Insta360 Nano 4K||Discontinued - check ebay||66.6||3840 x 1920||None without phone||None|
|Insta360 One||Discontinued - check ebay||88.3||3840 x 1920||Stabilized||1/4-20|
|Insta360 EVO||Discontinued - check ebay||116.4||5760 x 2880||Stabilized||1/4-20 (offset)|
|Insta360 One X||Discontinued - check ebay||118.3||5760 x 2880||Stabilized||1/4-20|
|Mi Sphere / Madventure 360||Check here||106.9||3840 x 1920||Stabilized||1/4-20|
|Ricoh Theta SC2||Check here||103.8||3840 x 1920||Stabilized||1/4-20|
|Insta360 One R "naked"||Check here||100.6||5760 x 2880||Stabilized||None|
Here are more information about them, in reverse order of weight:
8. Insta360 One X (118.3 grams). The Insta360 One X is a 360 camera that can capture stabilized 5.7K 360 video. It’s been discontinued but occasionally there are still some units sold here and there. It has the same sensor as the Insta360 One X2 but lacks a touchscreen. On the other hand, without a touchscreen and with a smaller battery, it is significantly lighter than the One X2.
7. Insta360 EVO (116.4 grams). The Insta360 EVO is a hybrid 360 / VR180 camera that can capture 5.7K 360 video or VR180 video. It’s been discontinued but if you can find it, you can use it to capture not only 360 videos but also aerial VR180 videos.
6. Madventure 360 or Xiaomi Mi Sphere (106.9 grams; available here). The Mi Sphere and the rebranded version, the Madventure 360, is a compact 360 camera that can capture stabilized 4K 360 video. Incidentally, I believe the Mi Sphere was the first 360 camera to be used on an FPV drone to capture a 3PV video, shot by AndyRC.
5. Ricoh Theta SC2 (103.8 grams; available here). The Theta SC2 is a 360 camera designed primarily for 360 photos, but it can also capture stabilized 4K 360 video. The 360 video can even be automatically stitched in-camera.
4. Insta360 One R (100.6 grams with iFlight adapter, no battery, without mount; available here). The Insta360 One R can capture stabilized 5.7K 360 video. It is normally one of the heaviest 360 cameras. However, because of its modular design, it can be used without its battery and can be instead powered by a 4S to 6S Lipo battery’s balance cable using this iFlight adapter. With this configuration, the One R is the lightest option for a 5.7K 360 camera. However, please note the semi-naked One R will also need a frame, which will add some weight. Here is a frame that you can use. Here is another design that uses TPU. Here is a 3rd version that uses the One R vertically.
3. Insta360 One (88.3 grams). This is the 360 camera that put Insta360 on the map with its bullet time effect. It is a hybrid 360 camera that can be used with or without a phone. It can capture stabilized 4K 360 video even when used in standalone mode. The Insta360 One has been discontinued but
2. 360Rize Penguin (71.5 grams; available here). This is a 360 camera you might not have heard of. It can capture 360 video at 4k 30fps, with no stitching needed. However, the video will not be stabilized. It also happens to be one of the lightest fully spherical 360 cameras. The downside is the limited image quality due to its small sensor. The sample video above was shot on 360Rize Penguin.
1. Insta360 Nano S (66.6 grams without mount). The lightest 360 camera on this list is the Insta360 Nano S, which is a hybrid 360 camera that can be used while attached on a phone, but can also be used standalone. When used as a standalone camera, it can capture 4K 360 video but the video will not be stabilized. One challenge is that the Nano does not have a built-in mount. You can use this mount I found (assuming your drone has a GoPro mount, you can get the “reserved charging port” version to save weight). It’s been discontinued but you might find a used one on eBay or Facebook user groups.
HOW TO EDIT 360 VIDEOS
After shooting your 360 video, you’ll probably want to edit it. After the video is stitched, you can use Insta360 Studio. Check out my tutorial for Insta360 Studio here.