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How Trump’s $200 Billion tariff will affect 360 cameras and accessories

Best professional 360 cameras for virtual tours

As you probably know, US trade talks with China failed.  Today May 10, 2019, the Trump administration increased the tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, by raising the 10% tariff on them to 25%.  Do the tariffs include 360 cameras and accessories?  Unlike the tariffs in the previous trade war, this one will include consumer products.

Here is the official tariff list, which includes among other products:

3923.10.90 Other boxes, cases, crates and smiilar articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics.  Likely includes hard cases.
3923.21.00 . Sacks and bags (including cones) for the conveyance or packing of goods, of polymers of ethylene and 3923.29.00 … of plastics other than polymers of ethylene.  Seems to include camera bags.
8523.52.00 . Semiconductor media, “smart cards” and 8523.59.00 . Semiconductor media.  This will include Micro SD cards and other storage.
8525.80.50 . Television cameras, digital cameras and video camera recorders.   This likely includes 360 cameras.
9620.00.10 to 9620.00.70 .  Monopods, bipods, tripods and other similar articles (whether aluminum, carbon, plastic, steel or anything else).

How will the tariff affect prices?

How will the tariff affect 360 camera prices?  This will vary by retailer.  Some retailers may choose to absorb the tariff, in which case their customers will not see any price increase.  But for many affected retailers, it is likely that they will increase the price.  With the previous 10% tariff, some retailers had already been passing on the tariff to their clients.  For these products, the retailer will pass on a 25% cost instead of a 10% cost, therefore you’ll see an approximately 15% increase in price.

However, other retailers had previously been absorbing the 10% tariff.  If, at 25% they decide to pass on the tariff, then for these products, you may see a 25% price increase.  It’s also possible that they’ll pass on some of the cost, while absorbing part of it.

If you’re planning to buy a camera before a possible price increase, here are some of the ones I recommend that are made in China, with links to their reviews and where you can buy them.  Thanks for using these affiliate links to support 360 Rumors so I can do more tests and reviews:

Stabilized 360 cameras:
Insta360 One X.  Most popular 360 camera, unique HDR video mode has the best dynamic range for 360 cameras. Available $399 direct (with free selfie stick) or Amazon or B&H Photo.
GoPro Fusion.  Excellent photo and video quality, waterproof without a case, GPS without a phone.  $399 (sometimes on sale for $299) at Amazon or B&H Photo.
Rylo.  Detailed in good light, compact body.  Note: 5.8K mode only for Mac.  $399 Amazon or B&H Photo.

Hybrid VR180 + 360 cameras:
Insta360 EVO.  Unique HDR video mode has the best dynamic range for consumer VR180 cameras.  Available $419 Direct (with free selfie stick) or Amazon or B&H Photo.
Vuze XR (not sure if it’s made in China – I’ll check).  Convenient shooting controls, similar detail to EVO. $439 at Amazon or B&H Photo.
Kandao Qoocam.   Depth mapping, Facebook 3D, 10X slow motion and other features.  $399 at Amazon or B&H Photo.

Virtual tour cameras:
Ricoh Theta Z1.  Best dynamic range for 360 photos, best Raw DNG workflow.  Available for preorder at B&H Photo.
Ultracker Aleta S2C.  66mp photos stitched in-camera with 7-shot HDR exposure bracket.  Available on Amazon (you can get a 20% discount using the code 29R8EDJT).
Xiaomi Mi Sphere.  Most detailed 360 photos among consumer cameras as of April 2019.  Available around $299 from Amazon.  Also check Madventure 360 camera, which is identical except it’s orange and includes a dedicated selfie stick with built-in shutter button.

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  • Even though tariffs are imposed, it’s unlikely that packages ordered from China and sent to individuals will be stopped and stamped with such tariffs. The cost to the government to stop every single package and make customs forms would be prohibitive. But, who knows ?

    The irony is that this will hardly make a dent in Chinese business. The only ones it will affect will be the American buyers who will have to pay more to the US for the same products.

      • Well, it’s not as if there were other options… I doubt that a price hike will weigh much in such a decision. All it will do is hurt one’s pocketbook and fill government coffers !

        This is similar to in Canada where our “tariffs” are the value of our dollar against the US dollar. One day it’s on par, then a few months later, we are paying 35% more on the dollar. People continue buying. They just end up paying more. But it’s always the consumer that gets hurt in the end – not the big corporations.

  • In 2015, when Europe announced a trade embargo for Russia, many goods from Europe were banned from importing into Russia (they were simply destroyed at the border). But this didn’t prevent trade imports, now the goods were simply marked not as manufactured in the EU, but, for example, made in Turkey or Belarus. It’s funny, but it works. Perhaps US importers and Chinas manufactures will come up with something. After all, not many people enjoy paying taxes (and sometimes they has a reasons).

    • Thanks Roman. Yes it’s possible some of the camera manufacturers might “move” their headquarters to taiwan, which is subject to different tariffs. we’ll see.