If you want a cheap 360 camera that does not require any stitching for photos or videos, check out Madv Mini, which is on sale for 40% off, or around just $60 after discount. Here’s a quick review, tutorial, plus a sample 360 photo and 360 video. Please note Madv Mini is only for Android.
Madv Mini is a 360 camera designed for ease of use. It connects to your phone’s USB Type C port and can instantly stitch 360 photos and videos automatically in-camera, with no need to stitch it on an app or desktop software. Moreover, the photos and videos are stored directly in your phone’s gallery, so there’s no need to sync the Madv Mini with your phone.
How to use Madv Mini
Simply install the Madv Mini app on Google Play then plug the Madv Mini to your phone’s USB port. It will automatically launch the app, where you can change modes from photo, video, time lapse, live streaming (YouTube or Weibo). You can see a live view as you take your photo.
Please note Madv Mini has to be connected to your phone. It is possible to use it for an invisible flying camera effect but you’ll need a very slim phone tripod adapter, such as the one included with the Benro MK10.
When you take a photo or video, the photo or video appears directly in your phone gallery and will be recognized as a 360 photo or video (if your phone gallery app supports 360). You can also export a snapshot of your 360 photo as a non-360 photo.
Photo quality and video quality
Here’s a Madv Mini sample 360 photo:
As you can see, it is reasonably detailed for a low-cost 360 camera, with a resolution of 5376 x 2688, similar to Ricoh Theta V or Theta SC2. The primary limitation is the dynamic range, which is somewhat limited, as you can see from the sky with blown highlights in the sample 360 photo above. Whereas Ricoh Theta cameras can use HDR, the Madv Mini has no HDR or bracketing and has no manual exposure. It does have exposure compensation (+/- 2EV, in 1/3 stop increments).
Stitching is not perfect, but it’s acceptable for social media.
Besides the limited dynamic range, another issue is that photos and videos are not stabilized. It is possible to level or straighten the photo using apps such as Edit360, aka Theta Converter. If you want to stabilize the 360 video, I recommend PowerDirector.
Madv Mini videos have a resolution of 1920 x 960, similar to early 360 cameras like the Ricoh Theta S. You can upload them to YouTube or Facebook, which will recognize them as 360 videos. Here’s a sample 360 video:
SUMMARY; WHERE TO BUY
In summary, the Madv Mini is an affordable 360 camera that is also easy to use. It is designed for casual photos and offers decent resolution, but you’ll need to straighten your photos using a 3rd party app. It does have video as well, but the videos are low resolution and are not stabilized. Madv Mini is currently on sale on Amazon (check the box to apply the coupon). Thanks for using my affiliate links to support 360 Rumors at no additional cost to you.