360 Camera News and Info

VRDL360 is a slim 360 camera with 7K photos and 3K videos; should you get one?

VRDL360 is a 360 camera with 7K photos and 3K video that will be launching on or around June 12, 2017.  Should you get one?

VRDL360 is a new 360 camera that will be crowdfunded and is launching in a couple of weeks.  It looks very similar to the Ricoh Theta S, but offers better specifications:
– Photo resolution: 7K (I am guessing it to be 6912 x 3456)
– Video resolution: 3K (I am guessing it to be 3008 x 1504, but could be 3456 x 1728)
– Live streaming: 3K (I am guessing it to be 3008 x 1504)
– removable Micro SD up to 128GBHere is a video about it:
On paper, the VRDL360 specifications look pretty good, and do beat those of the market leader Ricoh Theta S seemingly in every way.  Moreover, it appears to have a thin body just like that of the Theta, and with a small distance between the lenses, it will be less susceptible to parallax stitching error.

Moreover, even though they don’t say it, if VRDL360 has live streaming capability, it will likely have an in-camera stitching option.

The specifications seem somewhat similar to those of the Xiaomi Mi Sphere 360 camera, which also has two Sony 16mp sensors and also has a slim body.  However, there are a few differences:
+ Xiaomi has no live streaming (at this time)
? VRDL360 may have in-camera stitching option
– Xiaomi’s video is 3.5K (3456 x 1728).  VRDL360 has said that its video is “3K” which could mean 3008 x 1504, but may mean 3456 x 1728.
Xiaomi has image stabilization.  VRDL360 hasn’t said whether their camera has stabilization.

There are also many things we don’t know yet:
– How good is the lens?  Xiaomi’s lens is sharp across the entire frame (except right at the stitch line) and has decent resistance to flare.  The Xiaomi’s only weakness is susceptibility to purple fringing near the stitch line.
– The quality of the stitching.  Xiaomi has pretty good stitching.  VRDL360’s slim body seems to suggest that it will have good stitching too, but we don’t know.
– Will VRDL360 have image stabilization?  If not, that’s a serious disadvantage compared to the Xiaomi.  The tiny planet videos they showed seem like they might be stabilized, although it’s hard to tell from just a tiny planet video.
– Is it compatible with both Android and iOS?  (Xiaomi can be used with both Android and iOS, but see below re app reliability).
– How reliable is the app?  Xiaomi’s app works well with high end phones (Snapdragon 820 or better) but so far has limited video resolution with other phones, including iPhones.
– How much is the VRDL360?  Xiaomi is quite affordable at around $270.  Will VRDL360 try to undercut it?  And if crowdfunding backers can get it at “50% off,” will it be substantially cheaper than Xiaomi?
– Is the company behind VRDL360 reliable?  Xiaomi is a well established company, well known for its phones and its action camera in partnership with Yi Technology.   On the other hand, I’ve never heard of VRDL360.  Moreover, many crowdfunded projects suffer delays or fail completely, leaving backers with limited recourse.  FWIW, VRDL360 is being promoted by ComingSoon Tech, which also promoted the Beoncam, a wearable hemispherical camera that seems to be on its way to production.

In summary, the VRDL360 seems to have intriguing specifications, but there are still many unanswered questions.  Nonetheless, I think it is worth keeping a close eye on them.  You can sign up to be notified about their Kickstarter here to receive a notice of when it will begin (typically, the lowest prices are for the earliest backers).

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Mic Ty

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