LG 360 Cam – Capturing your entire surroundings in a click

LG launched the LG 360 Cam at Mobile World Congress 2016. The LG 360 Cam allows you to capture 360-degree photos and 2K resolution videos easily via its two 13-megapixels cameras. A click of the shutter button captures a stitched 360-degree photo or video. In this post, I will be reviewing the LG 360 Cam and documenting the specifications which seems to be missing on the Internet.

There are a couple of 360-degree (or VR) cameras in the market currently, namely: Ricoh THETA S, Ricoh THETA m15 and Samsung Gear 360. Among these cameras, the LG 360 Cam is (currently) the most affordable. Specification-wise, the LG 360 Cam is pretty much the above average VR cam. Below is a comparison between LG 360 Cam, Ricoh THETA S, Ricoh THETA m15 and Samsung Gear 360.

Technical Specifications
Camera LG 360 Cam Ricoh THETA S Ricoh THETA m15 Samsung Gear 360
Retail Price (US$) 199 350 299 350
Cameras 2 x 13MP 2 x 12MP 2 x 3.2MP 2 x 15MP
Microphones3 supporting 5.1 surround capturemonomono2 supporting stereo capture
Photo Resolution16MP14.5MP6.4MP30MP
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
2704 x 1440 (30p)
1920 x 1080 (30p)
1280 x 720 (15p)
1920 x 960 (15p)3840 x 1920
Max Video Duration20 mins25 mins5 minsNot mentioned
Max ApertureF1.8 F2Not mentionedF2
ISO (Photo)50 – 2700100 – 1600100 – 1600Not mentioned
ISO (Video)50 – 2700100 – 1600100 – 400Not mentioned
Sensor SizeNot mentioned 1/2.3 inchNot mentionedNot mentioned
Sensors9-axis6-axisNot mentionedNot mentioned
Storage Internal 4GB
Expandable via microSD
Internal 8GB Internal 4GBNot mentioned
Expandable via microSD
BatteryInternal 1200mAh Internal
~260 photos
Internal
~200 photos
Removable 1350mAh
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.0
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB 2.0
WiFi 802.11 b/g
USB 2.0
micro HDMI
WiFi 802.11 b/g
USB 2.0
Bluetooth 4.0
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB 2.0
NFC
Dimension (mm)30 x 97 x 25 40 x 130 x 23 40.6 x 127 x 22.9 66.7 x 56.2 x 60
Weight (g)118 125 95 153
OthersIP53 Rating

In terms of publishing, social platforms like Facebook and YouTube supports these 360-degree photos and video format. There are also web codes for embedding these contents onto websites.

 

Getting my first 360 camera

I was sold when I saw the 360-degree images from Ricoh THETA S back in March 2016. The possibilities of taking wefie with family and friends while being immersed in the surroundings is great as it captures not only the participants but also the atmosphere which will probably allow you to recall that particular moment when the picture was taken. However, the Ricoh THETA S is a little costly as it is retailing for approximately S$730 locally (in Singapore). Overseas retailers (on Qoo10) are selling them for approximately S$510 (before tax). I tried communicating with the overseas sellers to apply various discounts to bring the price lower but none of them budged and I held back the purchase.

While waiting (and hoping) for a great deal on the Ricoh THETA S, I came across couple of news on the LG 360 Cam. I did some research and found its specification to be above average and friendly on the pocket. The LG 360 Cam is retailing for approximately S$455 in Singapore while overseas Qoo10 sellers are listing it for S$359 (shipping included). It is almost 20% discount on Qoo10. Well, I think I can go without the warranty for almost $100 savings.

In fact, I managed to make the deal sweeter by bringing the price down further to S$297 by applying various coupons and loyalty points.

LG 360 Cam on Qoo10
Listed Price S$359
Item Coupon -S$10
Cart Coupon -S$50
Q·point -S$2
Grand Total S$297

 

This translates to S$158 savings or almost 35% discount for the LG 360 Cam. This price is close to LG 360 Cam’s price on Amazon.com (US$199). So I crossed my fingers, made the purchase and it arrived via FedEx within a week. For the record, the LG 360 Cam works with both iOS and Android devices, not only with the LG G5.

 

The LG 360 Cam

The LG 360 Cam's packaging.
The LG 360 Cam’s packaging.

The LG 360 Cam, Plastic Protective Sleeve, USB-C charging cable and manuals.
The LG 360 Cam, Plastic Protective Sleeve, USB-C charging cable and manuals.

The LG 360 Cam comes with the following items in the package:

  1. LG 360 Cam R105
  2. Protective cap/sleeve
  3. USB-C Cable
  4. User Manual

Two 13-megapixels camera. Couple of status LEDs and power button at the side.
Two 13-megapixels camera. Couple of status LEDs and power button at the side.

It sports two 13 megapixel cameras with each one capable of capturing 200-degree wide angle photos and videos. The (two) fisheye lenses are flushed with the body of the camera and (hopefully) this design make the lenses less vulnerable to breakage when (accidentally) dropped.

On the side of the camera is the power button and couple of status LEDs. The power button, aside from switching on or off the camera, also serves as a way to toggle between 180 and 360-degree photos with a long press. The 180 or 360-degree capture mode is shown by the LED near the middle.

LG 360 Cam attached to the sleeve
LG 360 Cam attached to the sleeve

The record button is on one face of the camera. A quick press capture a photo while a long press starts the video recording. You can attached the plastic sleeve to the bottom of the LG 360 to extend it.

1/4-inch tripod mount. USB-C charging port and microSD slot under the trap door.
1/4-inch tripod mount. USB-C charging port and microSD slot under the trap door.

At the bottom of the LG 360 Cam is a standard 1/4-inch tripod mount. Under the trap door is the USB-C charging port and microSD card slot.

LG 360 Cam kept in the hard plastic sleeve.
LG 360 Cam kept in the hard plastic sleeve.

After you are done with snapping 360-degree photos and videos, simply slide the LG 360 Cam back into the sleeve to protect its lenses.

 

Using the LG 360 Cam

360-degree videos are limited to 20 minutes recording

Some of my friends asked if I needed to wait for the LG 360 Cam to whirl (its lenses) around to complete its 360-degree shots. Well, let me set it right – nothing (on the LG 360 Cam) moves when the shot is being taken. Simply press the shutter button and the LG 360 Cam takes a shot through both its lenses and plays a shutter sound. That’s it, your 360-degree shot is complete.

For 360-degree videos, it is limited to 20 minutes. If you pull the raw videos off the microSD card, you will end up with a unprocessed video with dual fisheye captures. You will need to pull the video off using the 360 Cam application to get the equirectangular projected video which will then be processed corrected by YouTube and Facebook as 360-degree video.

 

Conclusion

The LG 360 Cam is a nice 360-degree camera that doesn’t break the bank. The image quality in daylight is good. In dim lighting, the image can be a little grainy (compared to my DSLR). Like most fisheye lenses, the LG 360 Cam suffers from chromatic aberration near the edge of the lenses.

Compared to the price of the Ricoh THETA S and Samsung Gear 360, the LG 360 Cam is a steal. It is good for casual selfie/ wefie takers to start their journey into 360-degree/ VR photos and videos.

What I hope next is HDR bracketing on the LG 360 Cam and improvement to the image stitching algorithm. That will be awesome. It will also be great if there is a desktop based video processor (soon) to blend the raw dual fisheye video into equirectangular projections.

Interested to get one? Check out LG 360 Cam on Amazon.com

 

Some 360-degree Photos


Took this photo in the park at dawn. Notice the stitching issue on the lamp post? Hope future firmware corrects this.


Took this at the mall at night. There are some blurring along the stitched (imaginary) line.


Took another shot with the LG 360 Cam on the corner of a box. Some stitching issue at the base of camera.

Took this photo on one of the late afternoons my family is at Universal Studios Singapore.

 

Adding some more soon!

 

Gallery

 

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