ELECAM 360: A Budget 360 Camera

I've watched several impressive 360 degree action camera videos, mostly from GoPro, and was stoked when Gearbest asked me to review the ELECAM 360 camera. It's an affordable 360 camera, made by the same folks behind the nice ELE Explorer and ELE Explorer Pro cameras.
Click below to read my full review of this new 360 camera:

ELECAm 360 stats:

Image sensor: OV4689*2
Backend chipset: CPU SPCA6350M Manufacturer iCatch
Lens: Aperture F 2.0 Effective Focal Length f=1.1mm View Angle 220°*2
LCD monitor: Size 0.96'' LCD Resolution 128*64
Storage media: Micro SD 8G~32G
File Format: Movie H.264 (MOV)
Photo JPG 
Movie: Resolution 1920*1080P@30FPS
Photo: Resolution 3008*1504 
Exposure Auto 
Focus Fixed Focus 
Real Time Clock(RTC) Yes 
Micro SD card capacity Max to 32GB (SDHC) 
Mass storage Yes 
Output Interface: Mini HDMI, Mini USB
Elephone ELE Explorer Pro Sports Camera Size: 6cm*5cm*3.5cm

The ELE 360 features two 220 degree lenses, back to back, producing two videos which are then stitched into one using the ELE software. I used the SYMAX360 software and converted the files with ease into 360. From there, you can automatically upload them to YouTube, and they'll be 360 viewing compatible. However, if you want to splice multiple video clips together (as most users will), you'll need to edit them in your compatible video editor (Sony Vegas, etc), making sure to maintain the proper dimensions. Save the video, then run it through the YouTube 360 software, and you are finally done. Whew! Quite a few steps!

ELE 360 cam offers both video and photo modes. The photos are best shot using the app, allowing for remote control of the camera. Otherwise, you'll end up with shots where half the image is taken up by the you pushing the button. The camera can mount on a normal tripod mount, with adapters available for GoPro mount conversion. In addition, there is a waterproof case available for it, which I did not get to try out.

The camera is really, really easy to operate. Power on, and press the record button. If it freezes on you, simply reset it (look for the text "reset" near a little pin button on the camera--don't push it if it's not labeled, otherwise you'll likely damage a microphone on the front that looks like a reset button). Video quality on a normal PC monitor is only so-so. It's not that great once it's in true 360 mode, with roughly 720p resolution (actually 1920 x 960P / 30fps). However, the video looks great on smartphones, I actually prefer to watch the 360 videos on a smartphone. This is because it's a lot more immersive, and fun, to just move the phone to rotate the video, rather than clicking around on a computer screen. For a truly immersive experience, get a cheap smartphone VR viewer, such as the Google Cardboard or other VR viewers, and watch the videos in true 360.

Sample video of ELECam 360 in true 360 mode:

Non-360 mode:

Sample photos (unedited, unstiched format)

Full Video Review:

Overall, the ELECAM 360 is a nice introduction to 360 cameras but not that sharp of a camera. It's certainly lower resolution and framerate than I would prefer, and its really best suited for those looking to try out the most affordable 360 camera, not for those looking for high quality, HD imagery. I'll keep using it for some fun 360 videos, great to share with friends and family on my VR headset. The 360 camera market is still quite young and we will likely see even more cameras with better framerate and resolution continue to appear, even at affordable prices. Take a look at the following videos below and head over to Gearbest if you want to pick up one today. 

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Be nice.