Action cams are one of the hottest products in photography tech at the moment. Pioneered by companies like GoPro, these cameras, specially built to be rugged, waterproof and easy to strap to almost any surface are taking over the world. Now, with the rise in popularity, other companies are jumping on board too, producing their very own action cams, with new innovative features. But has the latest offering by Kodak gone too far?
The vast amount footage produced by GoPro cameras has a distinctive look, due in part to their use of a special wide-angle, fisheye lens. The new Kodak Pixpro SP360 action cam however, takes this concept to a whole new level. With a massive bubble lens, the camera contains a sensor which can take wide-angle 360 degree photos and video footage. While the concept of this kind of “photo sphere” camera has been around for some time, this is the first time it has been implemented inside an action cam.
Putting this feature aside, the Pixpro SP360 itself is a very sound action cam. It shoots Full HD 1080p footage at 30fps and HD 720p footage at a faster 60fps. Additionally, the camera features a 10fps burst still photo mode, to help a user capture action shots. As is usual with this kind of action cam, the device is also designed to be waterproof and shockproof, and comes with a range of mounts and accessories, improving its usability.
But back to this 360-degree angle footage. Is this something we actually need? Kodak has gone to great length to film some very cool footage with these new cameras, including skydives, flying and other activities, and while this shows off the capabilities of the camera, it also shows off its problems.
The only interesting footage taken by these cameras is when its in its “front” mode, which is very similar to that offered by competing devices. The other shots, taken in some of the different ‘360 degree’ or ‘dome’ modes look confusing at the best of times, and downright nauseating at the worst. Knowing this, we commend Kodak for trying to add innovative features, but for this kind of photography, 360 degrees is just too wide an angle…
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